As cycling events this week encourage more people get on their bike, Marks & Spencer home insurance is warning cyclists to ensure their bike is protected.
Not only is September a particularly bad month for bike theft, according to Marks & Spencer home insurance data, but since cycling has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, instances of theft have also risen.
An estimated 540,000 bikes were stolen in 2008/2009, British Crime Survey figures show, a 22 per cent rise compared to the previous two years.
The Tour of Britain and the London Skyride cycling events both take place this week, which will see thousands of bikes take to the streets, so M&S has taken the opportunity to remind cycling enthusiasts that this is the worst month of the year for bike theft, and that they should cover themselves with adequate contents insurance.
In London, around 80,000 bikes were stolen last year, and with the average bike costing £150, approximately £12million worth of bicycles were stolen during 2008.
As the weather grows warmer in May and more people leave the car at home in favour of cycling, bike theft starts to grow, and reach 29 per cent higher than the average rate by September.
Marks & Spencer speculates that this season increase could also have to do with students starting a new term after the Easter holidays, as 22 per cent of student cyclists report that they have had a bike stolen.
Customers of Marks & Spencer contents insurance can get unlimited cover for the bikes against damage and theft, and can also opt to insure the bikes while they are away from the home, such as at university.
"Bikes are a prime target for thieves and it's important to make sure you are insured in case your bike is stolen or damaged," urges Steve Price, head of general insurance at M&S.
"Simple measures like leaving your bike in a well-lit area and using a good quality lock can deter a would-be thief."
In addition to having adequate home insurance in place, M&S also recommends that bike owners register their bike, always lock it up even if only leaving it for a few minutes, and to inform the police if it is stolen, so that they can make a claim on their home insurance.
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