Cyclists are shelling out up to 20% more for their bikes than they were during the height of the Celtic Tiger in 2006 AA Ireland have suggested following a review of their home insurance book. The average value of bikes currently insured by the AA is now €685 compared to €572 in May 2006 equating to an increase of €113 it reports.
“The bike to work scheme introduced in 2009 and high fuel prices has made cycling far more popular these days.” Says Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy AA Ireland. “At the same time bike thefts are reportedly up as much as 40% since 2008. Bearing this in mind, if you own a decent bike make sure it’s covered under your home contents policy. Don’t assume it’s automatically covered. Chances are it’s not or that strict terms and conditions apply.”
The AA indicates that they will automatically cover a bike if stolen directly from a policy holder’s home. Outside of this, in order for insurance cover to apply, a bike must be listed as a specified item in the policy in question.
The AA particularly advises cyclists in Dublin where bike crime is most concentrated, to be wary of thieves. “Bike theft in the capital is big business accounting for about 70% of reported incidents nationally.” Says Faughnan “Thieves tend to be well equipped, very organized and sadly highly effective so it’s well worth shelling out for a quality lock.”
The rise in bike theft coincides with NTA’s Canal Cordon data which shows a dramatic increase in bikes entering Dublin City. Between 2006 to 2011 the volumes of cyclists crossing Dublin’s canals rose by 42% in stark contrast to an overall drop in traffic of 12%.
AA Home Insurance offers the following security advice to cyclists:
- Review your insurance policy to check if your bike is insured both at home and off site and what excesses may apply.
- Record the serial number, make, model and other identifying features.
- Take a good quality colour photo of your bike and hang on to the receipt.
- Security tag your bike making sure that it’s clearly visible.
- Invest in a quality D-lock
- Lock your bike through the frame, as tight as possible, to an immovable object.
- Never rest the lock on the pavement as it’s easy to sledge hammer it.
- Lock it in a well lit area with a heavy footfall.
- Lock it even when in your shed or garage
- If stolen, give as comprehensive a description as possible to Gardaí and keep an eye on the Garda flickr feed for images of recovered bikes.