Two fifths of cycles could be at risk

Person riding bike
  • UK customers spent £835 per cycle on average last year or £1,201 per e-bike
  • E-bikes three times more likely to be stolen than traditional pedal cycles
  • One in three people who purchased a pedal cycle in the last year chose an electric model
  • A fifth of cyclists have been injured on their bikes, but less than a third always wear a helmet

Hundreds of thousands of UK cyclists could be putting their two-wheeled transport at risk, because they have no bicycle insurance.

A study of 2,000 UK people who purchased pedal cycles in the last 12 months, discovered that two fifths (38%) had no cover for their bicycles – either under a home insurance policy or through specialist bike insurance.

According to The Bicycle Association, retail bike sales increased by 60%* between March and December last year, while analysis by GlobalData** suggested 1.3 million Brits bought a bicycle during the first national lockdown alone. The Association estimated that the UK cycling market was worth an incredible £2.2billion at the end of 2020.

The Aviva study discovered the average purchase price of a cycle in the last 12 months was £835 across all models. The survey also found that one in three people questioned had purchased an electric bike (e-bike), rather than a standard pedal cycle. The average cost of an e-bike was revealed as £1,201, although one in four (26%) paid more than £1,500.

Where do you store yours?

The research revealed the most popular places for storing these new purchases when not in use as follows:

Garden shed


Private garage


Inside my house / flat


Outside in the garden


Public bike storage / rack


NB: Respondents were able to select more than one storage place.

Home insurance policies usually cover pedal cycles and e-bikes when in the home, although this may not extend to taking the bike out and about. Many insurers offer a pedal cycle add-on to home insurance which covers cycles when they are not at the home address, but there are often requirements that the bike should be secured when it is not being ridden.

There are also stand-alone products available, such as Cycleplan, which provides specialist cycle protection against theft and damage with optional add-ons available, including public liability, legal expenses, personal accident and loss of earnings insurance, in case the customer is injured while cycling and unable to work as a result.

Sarah Applegate, Risk Lead for Aviva General Insurance says: “Cycle insurance can provide great peace of mind, but people should consider their cover carefully. Home contents insurance often covers bikes and e-bikes while in the home, but there may be a single item limit for possessions stolen or damaged, so more expensive models may need to be listed separately to ensure they are fully covered. Similarly there may be a limit for items stored in sheds and outbuildings - often around £2,500.

“Some home insurance providers also offer a cycle add-on option to cover bikes away from the home, while stand-alone special policies are available through providers such as Cycleplan. However, thefts may only be covered if the bike is locked or secured in accordance with the security requirements of the policy or in the customer’s control. It’s always best to check with the insurer if in any doubt.”

“It’s really important that customers do their homework, read through policy documents and note any restrictions, so they choose the product that’s most suitable for their cycles.”

You should keep your hat on….

The study also discovered almost three fifths of cyclists surveyed had encountered an unpleasant incident when using their new purchase. The most common occurrence was falling off their bike and being injured (19%). Yet in spite of this, only 30% of cyclists questioned said they always wear a helmet when on their bike.

Thefts were much more prevalent amongst cyclists with e-bikes. According to the survey, three times as many people with e-bikes had had a bike stolen (21%), compared to people with standard pedal cycles (7%).

Cycle-related incidents experienced in the last 12 months:


Percentage of cyclists surveyed who have experienced incident

I fell and got injured


My bike was damaged by a fall


My bike was damaged when parked


Argument with a pedestrian


My bike was stolen


Road rage incident


Accident with a person


Accident with another cyclist


Accident with a car


NB: Some cyclists have experienced more than one incident.

Aviva has the following advice for people to protect their cycles and themselves:

  1. Prevent thieves from taking your bike by locking it to a fixed object such as a bike rack or a ground anchor, these are often found in designated bike parking areas.
  2. Use a good quality lock such as a D-lock which is strong and difficult for thieves to cut through.
  3. Ensure the lock is around the wheel, frame AND anchor to which it is attached. Otherwise thieves may be able to remove parts of your bike and lift the main frame away.
  4. Invest in a well-fitting quality cycle helmet. You may wish consider knee and elbow pads – even seasoned cyclists have mishaps.
  5. Remove easy-to-steal parts or accessories like the saddle and post, pumps, or clip-less pedals. Some thieves like to steal these too.
  6. Leave your bike in a well-lit area with CCTV cameras where thieves are less likely to loiter.
  7. Register your bike with a tracker website such as  so police authorities can trace and identify your bike if it does get stolen.
  8. Photograph your bike and note down the serial number, make and model. If it does get stolen this will make it easy to identify to the police and insurers.
  9. Security-mark the frame using an ultraviolet marker. If it is stolen and found again, it will be identified as yours and possibly returned to you.
  10.  Familiarise yourself with your insurance policy and make sure your cover is adequate for your needs. Home insurance may be suitable for some, but more expensive models may benefit from more specialist cover.

Data relates to a survey of 2,000 UK adults who purchased a cycle in the last 12 months, carried out by Censuswide Research in between 21 April and 4 May, 2021, unless otherwise specified.

*Source: The Bicycle Association


Media Enquiries

Sarah Poulter

UK External Communications

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