What kind of lock do you need for your bike?
If you leave your bike unattended or don’t lock it properly, it could invalidate your insurance and, should your bike get stolen, you may not be covered.
'Lock it properly' means through the frame and any quick-release wheels to an immovable object using an approved lock. So, what's an approved lock?
An ‘approved lock’ can be any of the following, as long as it’s tested and approved by Sold Secure and is the correct rating for the value of your bike:
- A keyed armoured cable lock
- A keyed chain lock set
- A keyed D-lock
You’ll also need to provide the following items in the event of a claim:
- The key and receipt for the purchase of your approved lock
- A clear photo of the key and lock
- The remains of the broken lock when your bike was stolen
Which locks are approved for Churchill policies?
Check the value of your bike and make sure you lock it using one of the following:
- Sold Secure Silver Rated lock - for bikes worth less than £1,000
- Sold Secure Gold Rated lock - for bikes worth over £1,000
How to keep your bike safe
Locking your bike in-transit
If your bike is left unattended while it’s in a motor vehicle, or attached to a motor vehicle (including while it’s in transit), it must be either:
- Locked inside an enclosed boot, or
- Locked through the frame and wheels to a secure anchor point inside a securely locked vehicle, or
- Locked and secured using a properly fitted, lockable bike rack, or
- Locked through the frame of the bike to a bike rack using an approved lock, or
- Kept inside a fully-enclosed trailer which is securely locked by a closed shackle padlock or the trailer’s secure locking system
Don’t abandon your bike!
Your bike is considered ‘unattended’ if it’s out of your direct line of sight and/or more than five metres away from you.
If you leave your bike unattended, it must be securely locked through the frame of the bike and any quick-release wheels to an immovable object by an approved lock.
If not, your bike will be considered ‘abandoned’ and you will not be covered for theft or damage.
- In an unlocked vehicle
- In the secure (transition) zone of an event for over 24 hours
- At your permanent place of work for more than 24 hours
- At a train station for longer than 24 hours
- In any location other than your home for more than 18 hours
Please note, even if you have locked your bike securely in a public place, at a train station or at your work, it won’t be covered if you’ve exceeded the time limit.
Remember to take cycling accessories with you
When you lock up your bike, don’t forget to take your kit with you.
Your lights, GPS tracker, panniers and toolkit are easy for thieves to take, and won’t be covered unless your whole bike is stolen in the same incident, so don't leave them behind.
Get the correct lock for your bike
Cheap bike locks are easy to break. Plus, your bike won't be covered if someone steals it. So, make sure you get the right lock for the value of your bike. As a general rule:
- D-locks are the most durable and secure locks around
- Cable and combination locks can be cut easily
Make sure your lock is weather-proof, too. Rust can weaken the lock and make it easier to break.
Store your bike properly at home
Lock your windows and doors
If you keep your bike at home, make sure you lock up properly when everyone's out. Doors must be locked by a minimum 5-lever Mortice lock, a CEN Grade 3 closed shackle padlock, or a Chubb deadlock.
Security for communal areas
Leaving your bike in a communal garage or the foyer? It must be secured to an immovable object using an approved lock through the frame and all quick-release wheels. It must not be visible to passers-by.
Garages and sheds
Any outbuilding you use to store your bike must be fully-enclosed (with solid, robust walls and a roof). Windows and doors must be securely locked while you’re not there. Metal sheds must be permanently fixed to a concrete base and securely locked. Wooden sheds must be privately accessed and securely locked. Inside, your bike must be secured to an immovable object through the frame and quick-release wheels using an approved lock.
Safely using a bicycle hanger
If you’re using a secure bicycle hanger, the unit must be located within a one-mile radius of your home and securely locked. Inside the hanger, you need to securely lock your bike through its mainframe and all quick-release wheels to an immovable object using an approved lock.
Frequently asked questions
An approved lock means any bicycle, motor scooter or motorcycle lock used on your bicycle that has been tested and approved by ‘Sold Secure’ and is the correct rating relevant to the value of your bicycle.
If your bicycle has an insured value of less than £1,000, you must correctly secure it with a Sold Secure Silver rated lock.
If your bicycle has an insured value of, or greater than £1,000 in value, you must correctly secure it with a Sold Secure Gold rated lock.
You can view approved locks on the Sold Secure website.
It depends where your bike is stored. ‘Your home’ means your primary residence as stated on Your Policy Schedule, and is the location where your bicycle is normally kept. Your home is extended to include the following, provided the conditions of each are met:
- A brick, concrete or stone house of standard construction with a slate, tiled or multi layered roof.
- A self-contained flat within a brick, concrete or stone building of standard construction with a slate, tiled or multi layered roof.
- A communal area being an area of shared use within the building stated on Your Schedule as your primary residence which is not visible from outside the building and/or visible to the General Passing Public and is only accessible by you and others who also permanently live in the building.
- A self-contained lockable private room in the halls of residence where you live.
- A privately accessed, fully enclosed, outbuilding or garage built of brick, concrete or stone and roofed with slate, tiles or multi layered roof, which is attached to or within the boundaries of a private house securely locked by a minimum of a 5 lever Mortice or Chubb deadlock to BS3621 standard or a CEN Grade 3 closed shackle padlock and have securely locked windows.
- A privately accessed and securely locked wooden shed, within the secured boundaries of your primary residence, provided the bicycle inside is secured to an immovable object through the frame and any quick release wheels with an approved lock.
- Any temporary residence such as a holiday cottage/home, guesthouse, hotel or B&B for a maximum period of 30 days during the Period of Insurance, providing the area of the temporary residence is self-contained and secured to the same standard as your primary residence.
It’s best to keep the key. Where required, you must be able to provide the key and evidence of the lock’s purchase, so make sure you hang on to it.
If it was in circumstances covered by your cycling insurance policy, it would be a valid claim. There are many aspects of a claim to consider, so if you find yourself in this situation, please call the cycling insurance team for advice.
Your bike would be covered under your cycling insurance policy, as it would be considered malicious damage. However, there are many aspects of a claim to consider, including the amount of time your bike was left unattended. If you find yourself in this situation, please call the cycling insurance team for advice.