Motorcycle theft and your insurance

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12/12/2017 It's every biker's worst nightmare – your prized motorcycle has been stolen! Will your insurance pay out? What can you do to protect your bike in future?

Motorcycle theft is a growing problem across the UK, with a steady increase of 3% being noted in the rate of crime across the country. This number is, however, inflated in urban areas. There have been recent increases in reports of stolen motorbikes in many cities, from Swansea to London and Hull.

According to the Met Police, 7722 motorbikes and mopeds were stolen in London during 2013, 9673 in 2014 (a 25% increase on the previous year), 11299 in 2015 (a 16% increase) and 14971 in 2016 (a 30% increase). Predictions by the UK Home Office suggest that over 18,000 motorcycles will go missing in 2017 (a 20% increase).

If you unfortunately find that your bike has been stolen, contact the police as soon as possible. It’s fairly unlikely that you’ll get your bike back – statistics show that, on average, only 40% of stolen bikes are recovered (and very few of these will be recovered intact). Nevertheless, it’s best to get the police on the case as soon as possible. You should also request an incident support number to forward to your insurance company.

Always double-check the small-print of the policy for any rules that might make you lose out!

Unfortunately, bike thefts inevitably lead to higher premiums (sometimes reportedly costing hundreds of pounds). Even if you choose not to make a claim for your bike being stolen, you’ll still encounter higher premiums – in fact, the increasing number of bike thefts will increase your premiums whether you’ve had your bike stolen or not! This means that, alongside the cost of your new bike, you’ll encounter higher costs as the result of the high rate of crime!

Third party fire and theft (TPFT) and comprehensive insurance policies cover you against your bike being stolen – unless, of course, your insurance policy features any insurance exclusions that apply to theft. Always double-check the small-print of the policy for any rules that might make you lose out! It’s also worth noting that comprehensive insurance may, strangely, be cheaper than TPFT policies at the moment! This may be due to the current high rate of crime – more on this soon!

Make sure that all information you provide to your insurer is valid, as in the event of an incident the insurer may refuse to pay out if there is any invalid information on your profile. A prime example is the garage situation – if you’ve registered your bike as being kept in a garage at home, never leave it on the street overnight! If your insurer discovers that it has been stolen from the street, they may refuse to pay out.

Make sure that all information you provide to your insurer is valid.

To keep your bike as safe as possible, we recommend you use as many deterrents as possible. Bike thieves can get through a chain fairly quickly with an angle grinder, meaning you can’t just rely on a thick chain. We recommend you use a case-hardened 22mm chain (these are very hard to carry, so leave one at work or any place you frequently park), a disk lock with alarm, and a tracker that notifies you via text when it detects movement. Always cover your bike with a dust cover, and park it on busy streets using a ground anchor.

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