Britons planning to get on their bike during the Easter holidays are being warned to check they are properly covered by their insurance policy.
About one in eight (12%) home contents insurance policies on the market have no cover for bikes as standard, leaving cyclists at risk of being out of pocket if something happens to their bike, according to analysis by financial information business Defaqto.
While the majority of insurance policies offer some cover for cycles, Defaqto found that the cover limits can be relatively low with nearly one in five (18%) policies only covering up to £500.
Another area where cyclists can be vulnerable is with the single item limit. Home insurance policies have a limit on the amount you can claim for any one item, which is typically £1,500.
Someone with a bike worth more than this could be under-insured in the event of a claim.
Defaqto is urging cyclists to tell their insurer if they have a specialist or valuable bike as it is possible to list it separately on a policy, and often it only costs a few pounds more.
Cyclists could also be vulnerable if something happens to their bike while it is not being kept at home.
Defaqto's analysis of home contents insurance policies found only 12% include cover for possessions while away from the home as standard, while the vast majority offer it as an optional add-on.
Brian Brown of Defaqto said: "After the last few weeks of snow, storms and frankly unspring-like weather, many will be looking forward to getting out on their bikes this Easter.
"If you're a cyclist, there is nothing worse than getting a bike you love and then finding it has been damaged or stolen when you come to ride it.
"Bike insurance is a bit complicated as they can be insured on a standard home insurance policy, on a personal possessions add-on and on standalone bike insurance policies.
"If you have a bike you value, it is worth checking what your insurance covers and investigating adding on cover if needed. That way you can have peace of mind should the worst happen."
Here are Defaqto's tips for insuring your bike:
1. Most home insurance policies provide some cover, but several insist you specifically insure your bikes separately.
2. If you have particularly expensive bikes (say worth £1,000-plus) and you will be using them away from home, always check with your insurer to make sure they will be covered.
3. If you are taking bikes abroad, check your home insurer will cover them - it is possible they will only cover unspecified personal belongings in the UK.
4. Some insurers that do cover your bike in the home will make a deduction from any claim settlement for "wear and tear" to the bike - check what your policy says.
5. If you buy a specialist bike insurance policy there is likely to be a minimum standard of lock you will have to apply whenever your bike is left unattended, otherwise theft claims will not be paid.