When I was an active mountain biker in college, bicycle insurance wasn’t the first thing on my mind. In fact, I’m just lucky I was smart enough to wear a helmet during both of my big crashes my senior year and later as a young working professional. Now that I’m older, and (ahem) a little wiser, I actually do think about things like “What if my bicycle is stolen?” or “What if I’m hit by a car?”. So I did the research from an insurance perspective.
The good news is that that “bicycle insurance” is included in most people’s personal insurance policies. But what kind of coverage am I talking about: theft, liability, personal injury? Well, actually all of those scenarios. It turns out, there is no separate “bicycle insurance policy” available for purchase. So let’s examine where you can find some coverage for bicycle related activities in the insurance policies you may already own.
What If My Bicycle Is Stolen?
One of the major concerns we have as bikers is the threat of our ride being stolen while it’s parked. Think about it. That’s why there’s such a huge industry surrounding bicycle locks! Fortunately, homeowners and renters insurance policies cover theft of most personal items, including bicycles. And many policies offer this coverage on a worldwide basis. Just be sure to check your policy’s limits and conditions since they differ from carrier to carrier.
CAUTION: If you have an expensive bike, you might want to consider putting it on a schedule, similar to insuring jewelry or furs. Many bikes these days cost $3,000 or more.
I admit, I never would have thought about this one racing through the streets of Boston on my way to class (or the bars). But it’s not uncommon for bike riders to injure someone else or damage other people’s property while out for a ride. Even more experienced and avid riders make mistakes sometimes. In this case, your homeowners policy has a personal liability limit that will pay for accidental or unintentional acts caused by you while on a bicycle. Again, just be sure to check your own policy to determine how much insurance you have for personal liability, and ask your agent to increase it if you feel like you need more.
What If I’m Hit By A Car?
Okay this one crossed my mind in college, but I figured my parents would take care of me. Now that I’m a parent myself, I worry about this. And the answer is that there are two coverages available on most personal auto insurance policies that will respond if you’re hit by a car while riding your bike. Both are optional coverages in most states. First, Medical Payments coverage will pay you, as the insured, for medical costs you incur as a result of being hit by a car while biking (or walking). Second, Uninsured Motorist coverage will pay for medical costs you incur after being hit by an uninsured driver or if you’re the victim of a hit and run. Many more people these days are driving without state required insurance or without high enough limits, so make sure you add this coverage to your auto policy.
Practically any bike you have can be insured. Here are just a few:
- Mountain Bike (Off Road Bike)
- Street Bike (Road Bike)
- Town Bike
- Classic Bike
- Limited Addition Bike
For more expensive bikes, including a classic bike or limited addition bike, I recommend having a chat with your insurance agent about scheduling it separately on your policy so you have enough insurance to cover it in the event of a total loss or theft. Seriously, don’t leave this to chance. Grown men DO cry when their $3,000 bike is totaled.
By the way, if you’re in the market for a custom bike like none other, check out Ahrens Bicycles, located in San Jose, CA. Only the finest materials are used, which is no surprise, because the owner, Mike, comes from one of the finest family’s I know. Check it out!
The best bicycle insurance quotes are available through your local independent insurance agent. And since the coverages you need are found in a homeowners and car insurance policy, independent agents are the perfect candidates for this as they can shop several insurance carriers at once to find the best combination of price and coverage. Giving them your information once will allow you to compare bicycle insurance quotes side by side in no time. And don’t worry about the fact that they work on commission. Agents know that if they don’t find you cheap bicycle insurance, they won’t earn your business.
Bicyclists know there are risks associated with riding a bike (Duh!). But whether your bicycle is stolen, you injure someone or damage something, or you’re hit by a car, it’s likely your homeowners and auto insurance policies already have you covered. Just be sure to check with your independent insurance agent to be sure you have the right coverages and the appropriate limits. Or give us a call at 888-800-4824 for a free policy review.