Bike theft is on the rise, making cycle insurance more important as a covert experiment by Aviva showed a bike being stolen within twenty minutes when left with poor security in a theft hotspot.
The left of cycles is on the rise as one third of the UK’s bike owners have had at least one bike stolen in the last five years. Even celebrities are not immune from cycle theft as David Cameron, Jon Snow and Boris Johnson have all had a bike stolen recently.
Aviva has drawn on the experiences of 2,000 bike owners to find hotspots in which cycle theft was most prevalent. A bike was then placed in each of the top five hotspots around London and left with only a number of poor security measures. Each was then covertly monitored to see how long it took for the bike to be stolen.
One was stolen within twenty minutes when it was left outside a London shop in West London. It had not been secured by a lock.
Other bikes in the experiment were stolen within five hours, even when locked to a short parking meter. However two bikes planted outside a central London office and Euston station were, luckily, still in place after 48 hours.
The bike outside the station was unlocked, but left next to locked bikes making it appear more secure and the bike outside the office was locked, but with the lock around the saddle, leaving it easier to steal.
This clearly shows the importance of securing a bike effectively when left in busy areas. It also shows the determination of cycle thieves and the importance of taking out good bike insurance.
This is particularly timely advice for the forthcoming Bank Holiday, as Ian Coull, household claims manager at Aviva points out;
“Traditionally during August we see a 25% increase in bike thefts as more people take to the great outdoors and make the most of good weather – the average cost of replacing a bike is around £400.
“So with the Bank Holiday approaching bike owners should be especially careful not to provide rich pickings to opportunistic thieves targeting bike hotspots and poor security methods.
“Obviously bike insurance will cover you for any theft or damage, but much better not to go through the hassle of dealing with the loss of your transport in the first place!
“And remember insurers do expect your cycle to be properly secured – and that means locked to a fixed immovable object – unlike the poor security measures used in our experiment.”