If something bad happens to your bike or to other people while you’re riding your bike, you’ll want to know why it’s important to have bike insurance.
This article is to raise awareness that there are different forms of bike insurance. If you want to find out more, ask your insurance agent, and make sure you understand your insurance coverages and policy.
Bike insurance will not usually insure you against injury or death while riding your bike, that is a different type of insurance. (Health and life insurance).
Today we’re dealing with damages to your bike and other stuff.
What happens if you hit a parked vehicle and you break your bicycle and damage the other vehicle; you leave the office and your bike is gone; you return to your locked bike only to find it damaged or a wheel missing; or you stand at the baggage terminal and your bike bag doesn’t show up.
Bicycle & Equipment insurance will be essential for any cyclist for a damage or loss.
Why Buy Insurance?
Bikes can be expensive. When you compare the cost to insure your bike, it’s a small price to pay to protect your assets as compared to what you spend on your cycling equipment.
What Is Bike Insurance?
Bike Insurance provides coverage specifically for cyclists where other more general insurance such as Home Insurance may not. It is designed for the cyclist to protect property in the event of damage and loss in situations such as accident and crash damage, loss through theft.
There are many things to consider. The first question is whether you want insurance at all. Many people, whether deliberately or not, choose a little product called “Self Insurance”.
Sounds good until you realise that self insurance is simply taking on the risk yourself, ie. no insurance. Many cyclists choose to “self insurance.” That’s ok, however you should be aware of the risk.
Potential Bike Insurance Risks
Here are a few of the potential bike insurance risks:
- Property (not just your bike) damaged in an accident;
- Damage to someone else’s property caused by you on your bike;
- Driving into the garage with your bikes still on the roof rack;
- Theft (at home or somewhere else);
- Damage while traveling or racing
Who Offers Insurance For Cyclists?
Typical home and contents policy (which can be fine for many people – checking your current policy can be a good start), insurance tailored for cyclists is also offered through insurance companies offering bicycle specific insurance and cycling associations.
Cycling Associations typically offer members a level of insurance through membership. The types of insurances offered can cover all types of cyclists including recreational cyclists, commuters and racing. But, check the policy.
What Other Types Of Coverage Is Out There?
Usually you can insure your bicycle under a home contents policy but this may not provide adequate protection. Most Home Contents insurance covers the bicycle in the home, but is unlikely to provide protection away from home while out riding or racing and most likely will not provide protection against damage or liability. Most insurers require the bicycle to be listed (particularly if it’s high value) on the policy and may cap the value of accessories/equipment.
Travel insurance protects against damage or loss while travelling and there are a range of specific travel insurers and some Bicycle Insurers offering travel Insurance.
What To Look For
The problem with insurance is that each policy is very complicated and its not until you start reading the fine print that you find the differences. Obtaining an absolute statement on policy cover is extremely difficult when making a comparison between policies and of course every insurance claim is treated differently.
Tailor your insurance coverage to suit your needs and try not to buy insurance only based on the premium, choose on the level of coverage that will protect you the most.
Some quick questions for your insurer may include:
- Am I covered while using my bike?
- Am I covered while the bike isn’t at home?
- Am I covered for liability in the event of an accident and if so does this cover both personal injury and property damage?
- Am I covered for theft and other damages?
- Am I covered while racing?
- Am I covered if I am overseas?
When considering policies there are many details to consider, some include:
- What is the limit on the maximum payout values?
- Most policies offer ‘new for old’ replacement policies however some have restrictions;
- Additional premiums may apply for accessories;
- Some damage may be considered repairable rather than replaced;
- Some accessories and equipment such as wheels may be required to be listed separately;
- Some insurers may require the use of specific locks;
- Some content insurers may not cover bicycles away from the home or require to the bicycle to be listed on the policy; and
- Some insurers offer a range of other insurances from Life to Travel insurance which may offer the convenience of bundling policies and insuring with the one company.
Don’t take your current insurance for granted. Consider all options, take photos of your property, keep receipt and other records, record serial numbers, be aware of replacement values, talk to your riding buddies, seek advice from an independent insurance advisor and always ask questions covering a wide range of circumstances.
Disclaimer: This information is presented ‘as is’ and is not presented as insurance, financial or legal advice. This information is offered as an overview and is not a complete list of policy coverage, terms, exclusions or conditions. Ensure you read the Insurers Product Disclosure Statement, discuss the policy with the relevant insurance company and make decisions based upon your own individual circumstances. Insurance coverage is subject to the Terms & Conditions of the insurance policy. Insurance Policies are renewed periodically and subject to change at any time without notice.