With over one hundred thousand bikes reported stolen every year and the actual number probably much higher (most thefts go unreported), that moment when you realise your bike has been pinched is one many are familiar with.
The open garden gate. The missing padlock from the shed. The prised open garage. The shattered glass on the floor. Or just an empty space in front of some railings. All things that precede that plunging sinking feeling of knowing some thieving git has made off with your Bike.
Most thefts are opportunistic. Unsecured cheap bikes (even worthless old bangers) are easy-pickings for any unscrupulous individuals, although it is more likely to be taken by local scallywags than a serious or aspiring criminal.
It is more likely that if you leave you bike anywhere public, outside the shops or near you place of work for example, it will be locked up, but even this as most people know is not much in the way of defense - thieves can remove a lock in seconds. Any bike that is halfway decent would be at serious risk of being pinched in broad daylight. And many that are less than halfway are still taken anyway.
If your bike is taken from the streets there is little that can be done about it. If you report it to the police they will take your details, but don't expect much more (even if you have proof - stories about police inactivity even when there is a good chance of recovery are rife). You are just as well off checking ebay/gumtree and putting your details on sites like Stolen Bikes UK.
If your bike is taken from your home and is worth below a certain value (usually about £300) you may be able to claim it on your household insurance. If you want to cover more expensive bikes you'll need declare it separately and pay an extra premium, but even then it usually only covers bike taken from your property.
But what are your options if, like many people these days with the popularity of cycling being in the ascendancy, you have splashed out on some rather tasty machinery? No matter how much security you install expensive bikes are always at risk. With very little to stop stolen bikes being identified they can be resold at good prices and this makes them a target for serious organised thieves.
Although specialised bicycle insurance can be a bit pricey it is worth looking into what is covered. You can claim if your bike is taken from pretty much anywhere - or even if it is just damaged. You can also be covered if you hurt yourself or (more importantly) you injure someone else. You can cover your kit. Get a replacement hire bike while your bike is repaired and even get roadside recovery.
To get fully covered on all these areas will cost a fair bit, but picking and choosing the right cover for you can be easily affordable. Insurance only becomes good value if you are unlucky enough to need it, but if you do you will be glad you got it. For more details we recommend CyclePlan who offer excellent services and a 20% discount for new customers!