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How can specialist cycling insurance help you get back on the saddle?

As much as we love racking up the mileage on the road (unlike our policyholder below), there’s nothing like the feeling of running to the hills and giving it the beans on a good mountain bike. And though any singletrack or downhill addict might see getting scraped up as a badge of honour, when the trail fairies turn up they can make for some pretty horrendous – and expensive – claims. Just ask Rob, our rider from South Wales.

Photo of Rob with his mountain bike

“I’ve been riding on and off since I was a teenager, far too long ago,” Rob told us. He’s got a lovely full suspension Cube mountain bike and takes off to his nearby spots as often as he can. “I’ll go to the local hills like Afan and Cwmcarn. I also commute along roads and trails to and from work, around eight miles each way three to five times a week.” Riding on the roads is a bit of a last resort though: “I hate road riding, I only do so as a minimum during my commute.”

Accidental damage accounts for 30% of all 2014 bike claims

One glance at our policyholders’ claims statistics for damages in the last year and we’ll bet there’s a fair few others out there who agree. We’ll be reporting soon with a fuller exploration into the figures, but costs to repair or replace insured bikes which have been damaged made up 30% of all our claims last year and the average claim easily breaks four figures.

“I usually do the hills with my sons – and take tremendous pleasure in beating them and the other ‘youngsters’ to the top,” Rob says. Despite our gentleman’s agreement to boost his PR, Rob did have to concede that he’s less of an extremist than the younger generation. “They are a little quicker and less risk averse than me on the downhill sections.”

Breaking your bike doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank

That doesn’t stop him from squaring up his Cube and letting rip on the gorgeous Welsh hills. However, it’s safe to say that what the younger generation might have in physical bouncebackability, their older counterparts make up for it by good old common sense – fiscal bouncebackability. Although it’s still not a commonplace among all bikers, specialist cycling insurance can be an easy means of protecting finances, leisure and business, covering your bike against risks. Breaking your bike doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank.

“I chose E&L based on some internet searching for the best and most suitable cover,” Rob told us. With his policy in place, Rob contacted us last April to let us know of an accident he’d had while riding. “I swerved to avoid some crazy off-the-leash mutt on a local trail. Unfortunately, I got caught up in a deep rut and whacked into a bench at the side of the trail.”

Eight out of every ten successfully settled in 2014

One phone call later and we were already handling his claim. In such a case, a policyholder needs to provide confirmation from a chosen bike repairer to see whether their damaged bike is repairable, along with the original proof of purchase document and two estimates for replacement or repair. Judging by last year’s figures, it takes an average of 16 months after taking out bike insurance before claimants notified us of damaging their bike – but on the bright side over eight out of every ten claimants for accidental damage had their claim successfully settled last year.

“The claims experience was pretty straightforward and smooth. I had to obtain some repair quotes and assessments – that was the only pain but completely understandable from a claims settlement perspective.” Rob was awarded £1,795 for the damages to his bike, and we hope he’s well geared up for the long summer ahead.

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