As therapeutic as a good bike ride can be, there’s no ignoring the fact that we take a risk each time we ride out. With so many uncontrollable variables that can lead to personal injury and accidental damage or total loss of a bike, having an insurance policy that’s specifically been designed to offer bike- and rider-specific coverage makes sense. With policies starting at $100 per year and averaging at around $350 per year for a $5,000 bike and options that can also help close gaps found in other insurance policies you might already have, it makes even more sense.
When there’s an accident
We all hope to never crash, but we also know all too well the chances of it eventually happening. Because the likelihood of experiencing some kind of crash is relatively high, it’s imperative that you have a plan in place for when that day finally comes. Whether you or another party is responsible for the crash is irrelevant. What matters most is the outcome: are you injured or your bike damaged in any way?
A quality bicycle insurance policy should cover all kinds of accidental damage, including those resulting from a crash. And because it’s not unusual for riding apparel such as the kit, helmet, shoes, glasses and accessories to become torn or broken during a crash, there should be coverage for that, too! Some policies extend coverage to spare parts, such as a racing wheelset.
Optional Medical Payments coverage can be used to close the gap in your major medical insurance. Most primary health insurance policies come with copays and deductibles that range in $1,000 to $15,000, all of which are expected to be paid for by you. Having this type of coverage when you’re involved in a bike accident can make a difficult situation a little bit less difficult.
Getting hit by a car is one of the top fears of any cyclist. More than 130,000 cyclists are injured in traffic accidents every year in the US alone. The vast majority of these injuries are serious, resulting in hospitalization, significant physical pain, inability to work, and long-lasting mental trauma. The financial toll of these injuries is also significant, generally exceeding $23B on an annual basis. Vehicle Contact Protection is an optional coverage that covers the insured rider for medical and other related expenses, such as physical therapy, lost wages, and mental health services.
The optional Liability coverage may also come in handy if you find yourself in the hot seat after a bike accident. If your mistake causes another person injury, sickness, damage to their property, or even death, liability coverage acts as a legal defense fund to protect you from any suit that may be brought against you. This coverage is especially important in our litigious society where you don’t have to be wrong to get sued.
When theft occurs
Many people choose their homes based on safety and crime statistics, but statistics change. Theft, once a “big city problem,” has unfortunately become prolific in residential neighborhoods. An approximate 24% increase in bike theft since 2019 was reported, likely the result of two coinciding factors that occurred in 2020: the already strained bicycle economy caused by COVID-related supply chain issues, which was nearly pushed to the brink after the sharp uptick in bicycle enthusiasm. With the bicycle black market as hot as it is right now, thieves are becoming bolder than ever.
Some criminals are now making a career out of stealing bikes right out of people’s garages. That some thieves have no qualms with entering another person’s garage uninvited is already a scary thought, but there are others who take it one step further by following cars carrying nice bikes home or to public places, anticipating the moment that will allow them to take the bike. All it takes is 20 seconds for someone to toss an unsecured bike into the back of their truck and speed off.
Victims of theft are often left feeling violated and confused, so it’s imperative to always keep the bike inside your garage and the garage doors closed at all times. It’s also recommended that you go one step further and secure the bike within your garage itself. Locking it to an immovable object with a U-lock or a thick chain is an effective way to thwart the thieves. If you don’t have anything sturdy to secure the bike to, consider installing an anchor into the floor of the garage.
When thieves are on the lookout for the perfect target in public places, they look for expensive bikes that are poorly secured. Unfortunately, as technology has advanced in recent years, so have the capabilities of battery-operated cutting tools, making it easier than ever for a determined thief to acquire whatever bike they have their eyes set on. A cordless angle grinder equipped with a diamond disc can only be defeated by the most hardened of locks and makes any cable lock little more than a simple accessory.
With the right bike insurance, it’s possible to diminish the financial burden of losing a bike and reduce the time it takes to get a new one, which will at least lessen the emotional blow that followed the theft. With a specialty bicycle insurance policy, whether the bike is taken from home, work, or any other secure location, it is covered.
Only the most fortunate people have backyard trail access, so for those who prefer to ride in the great outdoors, a short commute is usually part of the deal. Unfortunately, there are countless ways for a bike to be damaged when in transit, so taking preventative measures whenever possible is important.
One common way bikes sustain damage is when owners forget that their bikes are secured to their car’s bike rack, only to be reminded when they hear the dreaded sound of a bike hitting a low-clearance overpass. A simple sticky note on the steering wheel with a reminder might be all you need to avoid this kind of disaster. It’s also not unusual for bike damage to occur when transporting by plane or postal courier, so take extra special care when packing your bike for any kind of traveling.
Whether you accidentally back over your bike, an airport employee throws an overweight suitcase on top of it, or it somehow gets lost in shipping, a bicycle insurance policy has you covered. Even if your passion for riding takes you abroad, you can simply extend your policy’s physical damage and theft coverage to anywhere in the World with this optional coverage.
If your ambitions take you to an organized event that takes place 50 or more miles away from home and your bike doesn’t arrive or is damaged while on its way, the policy will cover the rental bike fees.
When you need niche coverage
While cyclists generally have the same basic needs when it comes to a bike-specific insurance policy, there are some who have taken their love for cycling farther than most, and that usually comes with some additional needs.
Not everyone enjoys or can appreciate the excitement of an intense race, but everyone who races can appreciate the comfort of knowing that in the face of disaster, they’ll be protected. Whether you’re just thinking about getting into racing or have a few under your belt, having the optional racing coverage can really prove to be a lifesaver when risk is generally highest. The level of commitment racing requires is not for the faint of heart, so whenever you’ve invested that kind of time and energy to prepare for an event and are unable to participate because your bike is lost or damaged in transit, the policy provides an entry fee reimbursement of up to $500.
Enjoyed by riders of all ages and levels of fitness, electric bicycles are increasing in popularity. E-bike owners can also have the peace of mind that the bicycle insurance policy brings. Considered “motorized vehicles” by all insurance companies they aren’t covered under normal provisions. With a bicycle insurance policy, the same coverage that is available for conventional bicycles is also available for all electric bikes with a nominal power of 750 Watts or less.
Why purchase a standalone bicycle insurance policy?
A common misconception is that homeowner’s and renter’s insurances will offer sufficient coverage if anything happens to the bicycle. Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. Having a policy that was specifically designed to meet the unique needs of cyclists means you’ll actually have the kind of coverage you need when you need it most. You’ll never have to worry about your bike depreciating the way it would with homeowner’s insurance. And while homeowner’s insurance requires that your bike be present on the insured property, a standalone bicycle insurance policy provides coverage even when it’s away from its home base. Homeowner’s and renter’s policies do not cover e-bikes because they fall into the “motorized vehicle” category.
When working with a specialty, you can be sure that you’re getting expert advice and “white glove” service tailored specifically to your needs. When it comes to coverage and customer service, there’s simply no other bike insurance that comes close.
To learn more about bicycle insurance, visit the Velosurance website and get a free online quote.