A bicycle is more than just a way to get from Point A to Point B. It’s an investment in staying fit and reducing your carbon footprint. If you’re a cycling enthusiast, your bike may have cost $500 or more, making it critical to protect it against theft, damage and other issues. One way to protect one of your most treasured assets is to purchase a bicycle insurance policy. Keep reading to learn more about how bicycle insurance works and how it can protect you.
Standard Bicycle Insurance Coverage
For many, insuring a bicycle as part of an existing home or renter’s insurance policy makes the most sense. Bicycles are usually grouped in with other types of personal property. If you choose to insure your bike under your existing insurance policy, there are some limitations you need to know about. Some problems are covered by auto or health insurance instead of homeowners or renter insurance.
Even when you’re extremely careful, your bike can be damaged. Your homeowner’s or renter’s policy should cover the damage if it occurs due to a house fire. Your existing policy will also likely cover bike damage when you transport your bicycle via automobile. For example, if you have a bike rack on your car and get into an accident while driving to your local park, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance should cover it. Note that you may have to pay a deductible.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 130,000 cyclists are injured in crashes yearly. Suppose the driver of an automobile crashes into you while you’re riding your bicycle. In that case, you should file a claim with the driver’s auto liability insurance, not your existing homeowners or renter’s insurance policy.
Injury and Property Damage to Others
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies come with liability coverage, which gives you financial protection if your actions hurt someone else or damage their property in some way. For example, if you’re riding your bike on a crowded path and crash into someone, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy should cover the other person’s medical expenses. If you crash into another bicyclist and damage their expensive bike, your homeowners or renter’s insurance should cover that too.
Injury to Yourself
If you’re hurt while cycling, your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy won’t cover your expenses. Injuries sustained during an accident caused by the driver of an automobile should be covered under that driver’s auto insurance policy. Suppose you hurt yourself by crashing your bike into a tree or other object. In that case, your health insurance policy should cover the cost of emergency room care and any other medical bills arising from the accident.
Bicycle Insurance Riders
For many people, standard homeowners or renter’s insurance provides adequate coverage. If you have an expensive bike and low coverage limits, however, you may want to consider adding a rider to your existing policy. A rider is an add-on that gives you coverage beyond what your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy would normally cover.
Another option is to purchase a separate bicycle insurance policy, which is also known as a standalone policy. Standalone policies are completely separate from your existing homeowners or renter’s insurance. Here are some reasons to consider purchasing a rider or a standalone bicycle insurance policy:
- You participate in off-road biking, which is riskier than biking on paved paths.
- You have a specialty bike that costs $1,000 or more.
- You participate in cycling events.
- Your bicycle has been modified or upgraded in some way, making it more expensive to repair if it’s damaged.
Should You File a Claim?
Any time you experience a covered loss, weigh the pros and cons of filing a claim. Sometimes, it makes more sense to pay for the damage rather than filing a claim with your insurance company. For example, if you have a $500 deductible, it may not be worth filing a claim if your bike only sustains $700 worth of damage.
You’ll have to pay most of the cost yourself, and you’ll also have a claim on your insurance record, which may cause your rates to increase. In fact, filing a claim under your homeowner’s insurance policy may increase your rate by anywhere from 16% to 29%. If you have to file a second claim at some point, you can expect the cost of your insurance to increase even more.
Bicycle Insurance Options
Several companies offer standalone bicycle insurance policies, including Spoke, Sundays Insurance, Markel and Simple Bike Insurance. Which one is right for you depends on several factors, including your budget and your insurance needs. Here’s an overview of each option to help you make the right decision.
Spoke has several options for cycling enthusiasts. For example, you can insure an electric bicycle or a standard bicycle. Spoke also offers spare parts coverage and pays for bicycle rentals to ensure you don’t have to give up your favorite hobby if your damaged bike needs to be repaired or replaced. If you choose Spoke, you may even be able to add liability coverage and medical payments coverage to your policy.
Sundays Insurance is ideal if you have a high-end bike that costs several thousand dollars. The company has policies covering up to $21,500 for each bike you own, including electric bicycles, racing bicycles and standard bicycles.
Markel covers you for several types of covered losses, including theft and damage to your bike. You also have the option of purchasing racing coverage and crash damage coverage. What sets Markel apart from other companies is that it also offers event fee reimbursement. If you enter a cycling event and can’t compete due to a covered loss, Markel may reimburse your entrance fee.
Simple Bike Insurance protects you from a wide range of covered losses, including bike theft and damage. Additional coverage is also available, giving you protection if you need spare parts or have to rent a bicycle for several weeks while your damaged bike is repaired.
How Much Does Bicycle Insurance Cost?
The cost of bicycle insurance depends on whether you use your existing insurance, purchase a rider or choose a standalone policy. If you go with a standalone policy, you can expect to pay between $100 and $300 per year for your coverage—a small price to pay if you have an expensive bike, ride on uneven terrain or participate in competitive cycling events.
Should I Get Bicycle Insurance?
Whether you opt for a standalone policy or simply add a rider to your current policy, bicycle insurance is a great way to protect your finances, bike, and your peace of mind.
Bicycle insurance is especially important if you participate in competitive events, ride off-road, or have an expensive bike.
You might also be interested in: What Does Pet Insurance Cover – And Is It Necessary?