Frequently Asked Questions

We have split the FAQs into 11 sections - please click on the relevant link to see those questions.

Our Cover

If I were to go shopping, secure my bike with an approved lock to a lamp post and it were then to be stolen from the high street, would I be insured?

If you are away from your insured location with your bike and need to leave it unattended, we will cover this providing it has been locked through the frame to an immovable object with an approved lock (a lock from our locklist). The bike can be left unattended for up to 18 hours.

I'm buying a bike through a Cycle to Work scheme – will this affect my premium?

No, your premium will not be affected.

Does your policy cover my bike whilst transported in a plane?

Provided your bike is suitably packed in a bike bag or box and you have a receipt from the airline that your bicycle was checked onto the aircraft, then your bicycle would be covered against accidental damage. Any claim would still be subject a £25 excess. As it is virtually impossible to lock a bicycle to an immovable object whilst being loaded on or off the plane, and also whilst in flight – you would not be covered against theft.

Is my bicycle only covered at the address I've given – is my bicycle covered whilst locked at work?

Providing you follow the security requirements your bicycle is covered whether at home, work or out shopping. It's very important that wherever you leave your bicycle, that it is securely locked through the frame, to an immovable object with an approved lock and not left unattended for more than 18 hours.

Do you only cover UK residents?

Yes. You must have been a resident of the United Kingdom for a minimum of 12 months at the time of policy inception. You must have a permanent residential address in the UK and have not been travelling abroad continuously for more than 12 months.

I have previously made a claim, will this affect my cover?

You need to tell us about any bicycle related losses or claims you have had within the last three years whether insured or not. It is important that you make an honest disclosure of any previous claims or losses, as this could invalidate your cover. If you require the public liability option, you must tell us about any liability, property damage or personal accident related events or claims. If you are in any doubt, you should tell us.

My bicycle isn't brand new - is it still worth insuring?

For a bicycle over 3 years old, depreciation will be deducted from the bike value to take in to account wear and tear. We can cover modified bicycles on an agreed value basis, please contact customer services for more details.

What information do you need to start cover?

We need your name, address, contact details, date of birth, bicycle value(s), along with the make, model, year of manufacture, serial/frame number(s) of each bicycle and payment details.

Do you insure professional cyclists?

No, sorry – we can only insure cyclists that do not earn their living from cycling.

What is the minimum/maximum age?

The minimum age we can insure on our Cycle policy is 16. However we do have a special Cycleguard for Kids policy for children aged between 12 and 15. Public liability and personal accident cover is only applicable for policyholders aged over 16 years. Total permanent disablement is not applicable for those over the age of 65.

What value should I insure my bicycle for?

For items that can be readily replaced with a new one (or similar model), the value should be the undiscounted cost including VAT from a reputable dealer at the time you apply. End of season offers and bargains from Ebay do NOT count as the usual price. If your bike is modified you can insure it on an agreed value basis. Please call customer services to discuss.

What is the maximum value you insure?

We can provide a quotation without referral up to a maximum value of £12,500 for individual or multiple bicycles and fixed accessories. You can insure up to 3 bicycles on one policy providing the total value does not exceed the £12,500 limit. If you have a bicycle or bicycles over that value, we may be able to cover you on referral, please call on for an individual quote.

Do you cover more than one bicycle on a policy?

Yes, provided they are all owned and used by the same person. We can cover up to a maximum of 3 bicycles with a maximum combined value of £12,500. For bicycles over this amount please contact the call centre. If you, your partner or any family members have a bicycle each, you will need to have separate policies. If other members of your family need occasional use of your bicycle, select the family members option which extends theft and accidental damage cover whilst they use your bicycle.

Is there an excess on this policy?

This depends on the type of claim. The standard excess is £25 unless otherwise stated within the relevant sections of the policy wording. In respect of any claim for Theft from the Insured Location defined under 1.19e communal hallways, 1.19f communal outbuildings, 1.19g privately accessed wooden sheds and 1.19h privately accessed gardens the following Excess will apply:

  • A £50 Excess for Bicycles valued up to £500
  • For Bicycles with a value of £501 and above an Excess of £100 minimum or 20% of the Value whichever is the higher shall be payable by You.
  • The first £500 of each and every claim arising from damage to third party property where an additional premium has been paid for Roadcare.

What are your Approved Locks?

It is a condition of your insurance that you use an approved lock appropriate with the value of your bicycle. Our approved locklist details our requirements.

Do I need any specific security on my vehicle or where I keep my bicycle?

Yes – the requirements are quite specific in terms of types of locks and security devices. For more details, see our policy wording.

Am I covered if I lend, loan or hire my bicycle to another person?

If you choose the 'family members' option, your bicycle will be covered for use by other members of your family against theft and accidental damage only. A family member means parents, spouse, partner, siblings or children aged 16 years or over but only when living at the insured location.

Am I covered if I lend or hire my bicycle to another person?

If you choose the 'family members extension' your bicycle will be covered for use by other members of your family, against theft and accidental damage only.

Am I covered to take my bicycle abroad?

This depends on the options you choose with Cycleguard. Our standard cover allows you to use your bicycle anywhere in the UK.

If you need cover outside of the UK, you can choose to extend this cover to:

  • Anywhere in EU (45 days per trip) with a maximum of 90 days in any year
  • Anywhere in the world (up to 45 days per trip with a maximum of 90 days in any year).

Please note that the Bicycle roadside recovery (Cycleguard Rescue) option provides cover anywhere in the United Kingdom only.

Can I add or make changes to the policy at any time?

Yes, you can change or renew your policy by calling us – you can also make changes to your policy online.

You can add or delete insured items and change some aspects of your policy. Note that additions will incur additional costs. Additional premiums are charged on a pro rata basis from the date of change.

No refunds are payable for reductions in cover.

I have previously had a criminal conviction, will this affect my cover?

You must disclose any criminal convictions you have received. If you are in any doubt as to whether this applies to you, you should tell us.

What is public liability cover?

Public liability is known by a couple of different names – personal liability or third party liability. It provides cover against damage to persons or property caused by your proven negligence. Cycleguard offer you the choice of £1m, £2m or £5 million of liability cover.

Please take a look at our public liability page for more information.

How does the 'Bicycle roadside recovery (Cycleguard Rescue)' option work?

If you purchase the recovery option you'll receive a contact number for "Call Assist" the recovery breakdown providers. We would recommend that you store this number on your mobile phone or in an accessible place when you are out cycling. Call Assist have over 1500 recovery agents and will despatch the nearest one to recover you and your bike. They will then travel to your location and transport you to one of the following:

  • A suitable cycle repair shop
  • An appropriate railway station
  • A car rental agency
  • The nearest overnight accommodation
  • Your home

Do you cover motorcycles or scooters?

No we only cover Bicycles. Our definition of a bicycle includes: tricycle and tandem, trailer cycle or push scooter, powered by human pedalling and/or battery which is not subject to the requirements of the Road Traffic Act including any fixed accessories which you specify.

About Proof of Ownership

I recently bought my bike from eBay and I don't have a receipt for it. Can I still insure it?

Yes, although you should make sure that the value you insure it for sufficiently covers a new bicycle of the same style, quality and functionality. This is because we replace bicycles on a new for old basis – if you put a lower value in, you may have to make up the difference to get a bicycle of similar functionality.

As you don't have a receipt, we'd advise that you have a picture taken of you with the bike (preferably auto dated) and keep that in a safe place, should you have to make a claim. Keeping a copy of the auction and any Paypal payment record would also be useful.

I don't have receipts for all of my bike parts and accessories. What can I do to prove ownership?

It's particularly important that you have proof of ownership of any major cycle parts and lock. Proof of this could be packaging, manuals or photos of all of the relevant parts, clearly showing the make (and model if applicable) of that item. Alternatively bank or credit card statements can be provided and in some occasions, retailers may be able to provide copy receipts for larger purchases.

About the Policy Options - Type of Cover

Do I need the Active option if I take part in charity cycle events like the London to Brighton ride?

No – you only need to select the Active option if you take part in competitive cycle events.

You do not need the Active option to take part in:

  • Road-based time trials
  • Charity rides
  • Endurance events
  • Cyclosportif or Audax events

Would I need Active cover if I take part in Cyclosportif or Audax type events (mass participation, but non-competitive, and not necessarily mass starts)?

You only need the Active option if you take part in competitive cycle events.

You do not need the Active option to take part in:

  • Road-based time trials
  • Charity rides
  • Endurance events
  • Cyclosportif or Audax events

If the events are in a foreign country, ensure you have chosen either our EU or worldwide cover extensions.

Would I need Active cover if I take part in Cyclosportif or Audax type events (mass participation, but non-competitive, and not necessarily mass starts)?

Our Active option is designed to cover all competitive cycle sports – as triathletes compete against each other you would require the Active option. We now have a policy specifically for triathletes, called Triathlonguard which was created with the unique needs of triathletes in mind (if you compete in triathlon events you still need the Active option).

About the Policy Options - Area of Cover

I’m going on a single bicycle touring trip around Europe which will last less than 90 days. Your online quote states 45 days maximum per trip, is it possible to cover me?

If your trip will take less than 45 days, then the EU extension or Worldwide cover will be sufficient dependant on where the tour is taking place. If any trip will take longer than 45 days, then please phone our customer contact centre and we will see if cover can be extended.

About Bikes, Parts & Accessories

I constructed my bike myself - can I still be covered? The frame, drive train and components were all bought from separate stores. Do I need proof of purchase for all components? And can I include an amount in the insured value for the time I spent constructing the bike?

When insuring custom built bikes we ask that you insure them for the full retail cost as new to replace with the same or similar frame and components as you currently have. Unfortunately you cannot include the time it would take to build up your bike again.

In the event of a claim you do need to provide us with proof of ownership for your bike and lock, so as your bike does consist of various components we would require receipts, packaging, instruction manuals, or photographs for your bike and the components attached, in order to be able to replace the bike with the same or similar.

We can now offer cover on an Agreed Value Basis. This means that depreciation will not be deducted from any claims settlements regardless of the age of your parts / Bike. Please call the call centre for more information.

I have a racing bike with several sets of racing wheels which I also need to insure. Should I include the cost of them in my bike value.

You can specify additional components on your policy, such as wheel sets, and you will need to consider these items when selecting your bike value to ensure that your are adequately covered when they are fitted to your bike. Please call us to discuss.

I have about £60 worth of accessories on my bike that are non-removable e.g. mud guards and pedals. If my bike was stolen, would I need to have already informed you of these additions or can I just claim the insured value that I have increased to include the accessories? Do I need proof of purchase or a photo to prove that these items are on the bike?

You need to detail your bicycle and any fixed accessories when taking out the policy. If you buy accessories later and add them to your bicycle, you can update the value of your bicycle online or by calling the call centre. You need proof of ownership of the items, this can include receipts, packaging or photos of the items attached to the bicycle.

Hi, I want to insure my bike but don't have a frame no. Can I still insure it with you?

Yes you can but you will need to either have your post code etched into the frame (which can be done at your local police station or cycle retailer) or put a Datatag inside the frame and provide us with the Datatag number. Datatags can be purchased at many cycle shops and online at Evans Cycles.

I have recently purchased a child trailer costing £500 do you cover such items?

Yes – although you need to note this on your policy and ensure the overall sum insured includes the value of the trailer.

Do you cover accessories, e.g. lights, panniers etc?

Yes, we cover fixed accessories and these should be noted with the bicycle details when you complete an application. Please note that these fixed accessories are only covered when stolen with your bike at the same time.

About Locks & Security

I have a lock which isn't included in your approved lock list – what should I do?

Our approved lock list has been created to make sure that the best level of defence is being provided against cycling theft. In order for your bike to be covered and for any claims to be successful you must make sure that the lock that you are using is inline with our approved lock list.

As part of your security requirements it says the bike must be locked to an immovable object inside the house - is this correct?

Not exactly – it depends on the insured location (where you keep your bicycle):

If your bike is kept at a house, flat or room (in a communal residence), the bicycle must be kept inside and any security devices (locks, alarms etc) put into use. It does NOT need to be locked to an immovable object.

If the bicycle is stored in a private garage or privately accessed wooden shed, the doors must be locked using 5 lever mortice lock/padlock OR the bicycle must be locked to an immovable object.

If the insured location is a communal hallway or communal outbuilding, the bike must be locked to an immovable object within the building. If your bike is stored in a privately accessed garden again the bike must be locked to an immovable object.

The bike cannot always be kept indoors, and at times it will be parked in town and at the university/hospital bike racks for a number of hours, what's the policy on this?

That's ok, we recognise that bicycles can't always be kept indoors! If you need to leave your bicycle at work, university, hospital, a shop you need to ensure that it's locked to an immovable object using one of our approved locks (see our locklist for details). The bike can be left unattended for up to 18 hours.

Does your policy cover bicycles stored outside overnight, if locked to an immovable object using an approved lock? For instance - a rear garden or a campsite with cycle storage.

If you have declared your insured location as a privately accessed garden then yes you will be covered as long as all security requirements are met. When you are away from the home, such as at a campsite, you would be able to lock the bike to an immovable object with an approved lock, through the frame of the bike and leave it unattended for up to 18 hours.

About the Company - Cycleguard

What are your contact details?

Thistle Insurance Services Limited
Southgate House
Southgate Street

Tel: 0333 004 3444

The office is open from Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm

What are the Cycleguard Rescue contact details?

Call Assist
Call Assist Ltd
Axis Court
North Station Road

Email: or facsimile on 01206 364268. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

01206 771767 Rescue Centre

Who are Cycleguard?

Cycleguard is one of the UK's leading specialist insurance providers for cyclists and their bicycles and we've now been in business for over 13 years. You can find out more about the history of Cycleguard if you're interested.

Cycleguard is a trading name and division of Thistle Insurance Services Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of PIB Group PLC).

Who are Call Assist?

Call Assist are the company Cycleguard have selected to provide you with this unique rescue service. Call Assist has access to 1,500 recovery operators throughout the UK including Northern Ireland and are regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

A bicycle owner's needs are unique, not only requiring a specialist to whom they can entrust their bike, but also in needing the bike to be recovered immediately if a roadside repair cannot be done.

To ensure you receive a great level of service, we have chosen Call Assist specifically for their experience in this area and the network of dedicated service providers who can assist in the rescue of you and your bike.

Are you registered by the Financial Conduct Authority?

Yes, as a division of Thistle Insurance Services Limited, we are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, register number 310419. You can check this on the Financial Conduct Authority's register by visiting their website or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority on 0800 111 6768.

About the Website

Is this site secure?

Yes we have a secure server (SSL), ensuring your details are totally safe and secure.

The site is also monitored daily by McAfee to ensure our site conforms to strict standards.

Thawte Certificate – we are Thawte certified. This certificate acts as our digital ID card and proves we are who we say we are. To obtain this certificate we have had to prove our identity, location and authenticity.

I am having a problem in applying, can you help?

Firstly, please accept our apologies if you are having a problem.

Secondly, please contact us and explain your problem as clearly as possible, also telling us what browser you are using and what platform (eg. ‘Browser issues, on a PC') and we will help you as quickly as possible.

If you are unable to carry out a transaction because the website is down, please call us on 0333 004 3444 and we will do this for you within normal business hours.

Problems Sending or Receiving Policy Documents

I am having a problem sending or receiving policy documents. Can you help?

Our PDF documents have been created to be opened by Adobe Acrobat version 5 – *read why we've done this.

If you are unable to open the documents, please download the latest version of Acrobat. If you have a previous version installed you may need to uninstall that version for your new Acrobat to work properly.

To uninstall your previous version of Acrobat, go to 'Settings' > 'Control panel' > 'Add/Remove programs'. Then select the correct version of Acrobat and click the 'Change/remove' button. Please note that we cannot be held liable for any damage caused to your PC by the following the above instructions or trying to remove software.

Online documents
If you have not received your online documents, you may need to check your spam or junk mailbox in your email program. If you still have not received your policy documents, please contact us and provide the following info:

  • The email address you used on your application
  • Who your internet provider is (for the email provided)
  • If possible, please provide us with an alternative email address
  • Whether you are usually able to receive attachments

Postal documents
Please allow 3 days for you postal documents to arrive, if you haven't received them by that time, please call us on 0333 004 3444.

If Acrobat asks you for a password
We have security coded all of our policy booklets, if you are trying to copy and paste from the file you will be asked for a password. You can save the file or print the file but you cannot copy any parts of it.

*We use Acrobat 5 to allow better access for those people with viewing impairment and to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act; this is the earliest version that can be read by a screen reader.

Upcoming changes to your finance plan

Why are you making changes to my finance payment plan?

PIN Finance and Thistle Insurance Services Limited are both part of the PIB group of companies. We are undertaking an internal restructure to consolidate companies and to improve the service that we deliver to our customers. To support this, PIN Finance business will transfer to Thistle Insurances Services Limited.

Do I have to transfer my finance payment plan to Thistle Insurance?

Your finance payment plan will automatically transfer from PIN Finance to Thistle Insurance Services Limited with effect from the 1st August 2015. No action is required by you.

If you would prefer to pay your finance payment plan off in full by either credit or debit card, please call the UK based customer service team on 0345 450 6397.

Are there any additional charges to my finance payment plan?

No - Your finance payment plan will remain the same and we will continue to administer your plan with no additional charges.

Is there any change in my Interest charges?

All interest charges remain the same.

Will I need to sign a new credit agreement?

No - You will not need to sign any new credit agreement. Your existing agreement will remain in place.

What will appear on my bank statement?

You will see Thistle Insurance appear on your bank statement instead of PIN Finance.

Will my monthly payment date change?

No - There is no change to the date that your monthly payment leaves your bank account.*

*This is subject to no amendments on your policy.

Will my monthly payment amount change?

No - There is no change to the amount that you pay each month.*

*This is subject to no amendments on your policy.

How can I contact Thistle about my finance payment plan?

You can call our UK based Customer Service team on 0345 450 6397 or alternatively you can email us on

Do I need to inform my bank?

No - This is an automated process your loan provider is making and therefore no action required by yourself.

I am the policy holder, and you have informed me of the change, but the finance agreement does not come out of my bank account, do I need to notify the bank account holder?

Yes - you will need to notify the person whose account the loan agreement comes out of, this will reduce any confusion, and should they have any further questions, please call our UK base Customer Service team on 0345 450 6397.

About your payment plan

What is premium finance?

Thistle Insurance Services Limited provides premium finance which allows you to help spread the cost of your insurance. We as the finance loan provider pay the premium to the insurer in a lump sum and then collect monthly repayments from you, which include a credit charge.

How does it work?

If you are dealing with your insurance provider by telephone or the Internet, they will collect all the necessary details and set up a Direct Debit in your name and send the information to us. This is why the name Thistle Insurance will appear next to the Direct Debit entry on your bank statement rather than the insurance company's name. We will then email you a welcome pack within a few days to confirm the amount of each monthly payment and when we will be collecting them from your bank account. This will include a copy of the Pre-contract Credit Information which we advise you to read. Please contact us immediately on 0345 450 6397 if any details are incorrect. You should print off, sign and return a copy of the credit agreement to us. We will then collect the agreed number of monthly payments from your bank account.

What if I no longer require the insurance?

You need to contact us to discuss the cancellation of your policy. If the terms and conditions allow the policy to be cancelled we will then calculate any rebate due or payments owed on your payment plan.

If I renew my policy after a year can I continue to pay my premium by Direct Debit with Thistle Insurance Services Limited?

Yes, you can. Full details will be issued with the renewal documentation from Thistle Insurance Services Limited. In most cases your policy will be arranged to automatically renew however you should still review the renewal documents to make sure the policy continues to meet your needs. We will write to you to advise you of your new monthly payment schedule.

What happens if I miss a payment?

If you miss a payment we will contact you to try to rectify the situation. It is important that you keep up with your payments to ensure that your credit agreement and insurance cover remain in force. If you have any payment difficulties, you should contact us immediately on 0345 450 6397.

What if I default on my agreement?

If you fail to make your required payment after our attempt to rectify we will issue a default notice. This will give you up to 14 further days to make payment before your agreement will be terminated. Please bear in mind that your insurance cover may be cancelled if you fail to make your monthly payments.

What if I want to pay off my loan early?

Please call 0345 450 6397 or email us at and we will be able to advise you. Please ensure you have paid off your loan in full before cancelling your direct debit agreement.

Can I pay off any balance by credit card?

Yes. We accept most major credit and debit cards. Please call 0345 450 6397 to make arrangements to pay by card.

I was delighted with the service and help I got today from Cycleguard. I needed to make a claim and was talked through the process. Tom was a pleasure to talk to and extremely helpful.

Victoria Smith - Coventry 2015

More cycling reviews, insights & articles

cleaning tips