Recent analysis published by our insurer partner Zurich shows a sharp overall drop in claims for burglary over the past four years but a steep rise in bike thefts, as they now top the list of the most-stolen household items.

Total burglary rates have plummeted by over two thirds, reflecting a nationwide trend with people housebound during the pandemic. However, the data reveals that thieves have now shifted their attention to bicycles which now account for more than one in three (36%) home contents theft claims, jumping 16% in the past four years. The average claim for a stolen bicycle is now £634.

These claims have overtaken precious watches and jewellery which have dropped by 16%, alongside those for cash and bank cards (10%). Claims for laptops and tablets however, have more than halved over the same period, now accounting for just 7%.

Zurich’s claim trends, reflect Police Crime data which shows that in January alone, 4,153 bicycle thefts were reported, equating to one every 11 minutes.  Feeding this surge is a new passion for cycling which has also been boosted by the pandemic. According to The Bicycle Association, sales soared by 60 per cent between March and December 2020.

This demand has driven up prices with the average bicycle costing nearly £400 in July 2021. Manufacturers continue to announce price hikes, due to supply chain issues, increased costs of raw materials and shipping.


Top tips from Zurich for keeping your bike safe

  • Ensure you have adequate insurance for your bicycle. Some will be included on household contents policies though they may need to be listed separately if they are above a certain value.
  • Many insurers have a limit for theft from outbuildings or sheds and will often set out any additional security requirements when bicycles are stored in these places. Customers should therefore ensure that these buildings are adequately protected.
  • Cyclists also need to check their policy provides ‘away from home’ cover in the event of being targeted while out on the road. As above, insurers will often set out any extra security measures needed when bicycles are left unattended.
  • Get your bicycle registered via an organisation such as Bike Register. This is a free service and is the Police preferred, marking and registration scheme.
  • Invest in a secure lock – use this while your bicycle is stored and when left unattended away from home. D locks tend to be the most effective though can be weighty. For high value models, some insurers may require a specific level of security such as those set out by Sold Secure
  • Lock your bicycle to a fixed object or floor mounted rack making it harder for thieves to remove.
  • If possible, keep bicycles out of view.
  • If you use a tracking and social networking app, adjust your settings to avoid sharing your home location that could enable thieves to track down your bicycle.

Source: Zurich.