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Students hit by bike thieves says insurer

Insurance vital for student cyclists

Almost a quarter of student cyclists at universities in the UK have been the victim of a bike thief according to research carried out from M&S home insurance.

At a time of year when thousands of students will be preparing to head to university, and with the bike an invaluable and cheap piece of transport in many university towns and cities, the poll of 2,000 students suggests those cyclists should ensure their bikes are locked up properly at all times.

M&S Head of General Insurance Steve Price told “Cycling has grown in popularity in recent years among green-minded students who want to save money and do their bit for the environment. Unfortunately bikes are a prime target for thieves and cyclists should take basic security steps to decrease the risk of becoming a victim. Simple measures like leaving your bike in a well-lit area and using a goodquality lock can deter a would-be thief.”

Bike theft is a growing crime in the UK, with the latest British Crime Survey figures showing a 22% in the number of bikes stolen in 2008/9, compared with the previous year, while other research has shown that a bike is stolen in the UK every 65 seconds.

The survey found that 14 per cent of students have been burgled while at university and 22 per cent of student cyclists have had their bikes stolen. Despite this, only 16 per cent of students have taken out an insurance policy to cover their possessions whilst living in student accommodation.

M&S Money offers cyclists the following security advice - register your bike model, make and frame number - contact local police for advice, store your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked, avoid leaving your bike in isolated or dimly lit places, always lock your bicycle, secure removable parts: lock both wheels and the frame together.

Mr Price added: “It’s important to make sure you are insured in case your bike is stolen or damaged. Before taking out a separate policy students should check whether their parents’ home insurance policy covers their property when at university.”

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