Insure that Ride: Bike Specific Insurance
Today’s bikes are featherweight, technological marvels, it’s why even used bike values can be a few thousand and new bikes are routinely $10,000. Nice to know your investment is covered by your homeowner’s insurance, right?
Or is it?
Homeowners insurance is general insurance and has not kept up with the skyrocketing price of bikes these days. Get your Pinarello pinched, or your Roubaix robbed you may be in for a rude awakening when you file a claim with your homeowners. If your bike is covered you may be out of luck getting anything close to replacement value. Get your bike stolen at a race or damaged in a crash and forget about making an insurance claim.
According to Kerri Nguyen, Director of Marketing at Markel Bicycle Insurance, “Most people don’t know they don’t have proper coverage for their bike until they have to file a claim. They are often shocked to discover that homeowner’s policies are often filled with exclusions and restrictions that limit what you can get in replacement costs for your damaged or stolen bike. A stand-alone bicycle insurer is more flexible than a typical homeowner’s policy and can customize their insurance policies to a specific cyclist and their riding style.”
When your bike is worth twice what you paid for your wife’s engagement ring or maybe more than the car you drive, it’s time to think about some stand alone bike insurance. There are plenty of options of out there, from BigRing Bicycle Insurance run by the insurance giant TransAmerica to the active lifestyle specialists, Markel we quoted above. A policy to cover the basics, from theft to bike crashes can be had for as little as $100 a year, but as rates are based on where you live, your activities and mainly the cost of your bike, realistically you’re looking at closer to $300 a year for a quality road bike or mountain bike.
These bike policies can also come with a lot of extras that make sense for riders. They cover things like race wheels and spare components, they cover rental or replacement bikes if your bike is stole while on a trip or at a race. If you can’t make a race due to a covered loss some will also reimburse you for your entry fees. You can even let your buddy borrow your bike, knowing it will be covered. Stranded on the roadside due to a crash or bad weather? Some policies will cover your taxi ride home. There are even medical options to help with bills incurred due to accidents riding and public liability incase the crash damages other’s property.
But, this is the insurance industry and some critical things need to be kept in mind. Don’t think you can leave that Tarmac SL4 out front of the café after the Saturday ride without a lock. That theft won’t be covered. You need to keep receipts and you need to fill out a police report. If you happen to live near a nuclear reactor and a melt down makes your bike unusable due to radioactivity, that is not covered. Seriously, it’s in the BigRing insurance FAQ’s. As much sense as bike insurance may make these days, it is still the insurance industry. Read the fine print, which you should do with your current homeowner’s policy immediately. We imagine you’ll be researching bike specific insurance right after.
Do they cover used bikes? Of course they do, so head over the Bicycle Blue Book and see what your bike is worth today. That number may surprise you and motivate you to get some bike insurance!