You love riding your bike, but what happens if the unthinkable occurs and you are in a bike accident? Worse yet, what if you hurt someone else with your bicycle? Or what if your bike was stolen while you weren’t looking? These things sadly happen all too often, and bicycle insurance can help you if you have a cycling accident.
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Do you really need to have bicycle insurance? Bicycle insurance isn’t usually required by law like car insurance, however, you may want to consider having your own policy. If you are an avid rider or racer, if your bikes are expensive, or you live in a high theft area, you might want to know what kinds of policies are available.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what bike insurance covers, if your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover you if there is a bike accident, and if bicycle insurance covers theft. We’ll also talk about some specific companies that offer bicycle insurance to help you decide on the best policy for you. But first, we’ll take a look at the different types of bicycle insurance and what they cover.
First, though, it is important to understand that in this case, we are discussing non-powered bicycles only. If you are riding an e-bike, you may need to consider a different type of insurance. In Pennsylvania for example, e-bikes must be insured through a motorcycle policy rather than a bicycle or homeowner’s policy. While we fully encourage the use of e-bikes, we’ll stick to the topic of pedal-powered bicycles in this article.
What does bike insurance cover?
There are several types of insurance that may cover you and your bike. When you think of bicycle insurance, you might think of a specialized insurance policy. You can pay a monthly premium to cover the cost of your bike if it is stolen or damaged. These policies may or may not have a deductible, depending on your insurance carrier. But even homeowner’s insurance can provide you with some protection for your bicycle. Here’s what you need to consider when you are looking into bike insurance.
What Should Bike Insurance Cover?
Bicycle insurance usually covers the rider, the health of others involved in an accident caused by the rider, and bicycle damage or theft.
Your number one priority in a bike accident should be your health. If you have health insurance, this might be your number one resource for making sure you get back to health quickly. However, if another car is involved, you might use your car insurance Personal Injury Protection policy to help. Medical costs can be high, so this is something you don’t want to take lightly.
The Health of Others
If you injure someone else, who pays for their injuries? Your homeowner’s insurance might help with this, but you also might want to add an umbrella policy to your insurance. Consider a specific policy in case you hurt a pedestrian while you are riding your bike.
If your bike is lost, stolen, or damaged, it might be covered by your home owner’s insurance, another person’s homeowner’s insurance, or even car insurance. The first place to look into is your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you have a personal article rider, this will be more likely to cover your bike away from home than your average homeowner’s policy.
Does homeowner insurance cover bicycle accidents?
Homeowners insurance can cover your bicycle under the personal articles policy. You’ll need to take pictures of your bike and keep the serial number and receipt on file in case something ever happens. If something happens to your bike, then you pay your homeowner’s deductible, and they will reimburse you for the cost of the bike. Of course, you’ll need to verify this with your individual insurance company because laws can vary from state to state in the USA.
Typical homeowner’s policies often have a no-fault medical coverage up to $5000. So if you injure someone with your bike, your policy may cover a lawsuit or medical expenses for the person that was injured. Ideally, you will want to check with your homeowner’s insurance to find out how this works and consider purchasing an additional umbrella policy to make sure you are completely covered.
Likewise, if another cyclist hits you and injures you, their homeowner’s policy should cover the damages to your bike and your health insurance would cover any physical problems, depending on the type of coverage you have. But if they don’t have this kind of insurance, you might not be covered.
If you already have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, give your agent a call to see exactly what is covered and how. There may be a list of rules or exemptions that you need to follow in order to be covered, such as wearing a helmet or locking your bicycle.
Does car insurance cover bicycle accidents?
Your own car insurance doesn’t cover you for accidents you cause while riding your bicycle, but if you are riding your bike and are hit by a car, the liable person’s car insurance will cover you (depending on the coverage that they have).
If a car is involved in the accident in any way, your own personal car insurance can help you work with the other person’s insurance to get you what you need. Of course, it depends on what state you live in. Make sure you contact your car insurance agent for details. They may recommend you purchase the maximum amount of personal injury coverage they have available.
Bicycle Theft Insurance
Your homeowner’s policy and your individual article’s policy will cover your bicycle against theft. However, there may be certain rules that you have to follow for this coverage to kick in. For example, you may need to keep the bike locked when not in use.
Event Accident Insurance
If you participate in an organized cycling event, that event may have you sign a waiver that says they are not liable for you or your bike. However, some events will include insurance in the registration fee. Make sure you know what is and isn’t covered when you sign up for an event.
Insurance Agencies Offering Bicycle Insurance
There are a number of different agencies you can use to purchase bicycle-specific insurance. The best place to start is always with your current agency because they may be able to offer you a discount for bundling your policies together. However, it doesn’t hurt to shop around.
In the list below, we have included a variety of insurance companies to give you an idea of what to expect and where you might want to purchase a cycling-specific policy.
Sundays Insurance is special because they create insurance policies based on your specific needs as a cyclist. For instance, they offer policies specific to the needs of commuters, recreational cyclists, and serious cyclists.
These policies include damage, crash damage, theft, transit damage, cycling apparel, rental, racing, liability, and liability with car contact. You can tailor your insurance to your needs, and even select the deductible you want.
For example, if you have a $5,000 bike and use it for commuting, you can purchase a policy that costs $48 per month with a $300 deductible. It will cover:
· Bike replacement
· $100,000 in liability
· $10,000 medical payment
· $25,000 vehicle contact
However, you can adjust individual amounts depending on your specific bike and your commuting needs. Being a member of USAC gets you a 10% discount from Sundays Insurance. www.sundaysinsurance.com
Markel Insurance creates specific, customizable policies for bicyclists. Check out this sample policy:
For a $5000 bike with a $500 deductible, your annual premium would be $1,061.00. And it would cover:
· $25,000 bicycle liability
· $10,000 medical coverage
· $25000 Vehicle contact
This is more expensive insurance however, you can fully customize it to your needs at https://www.markelinsurance.com/bicycle. One exceptional aspect of Markel Insurance is that they offer a policy addition giving you roadside assistance in the event of a mechanical failure while you are riding your bike.
According to StateFarm, your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of the bike after you pay your deductible. However, they also offer a valuable item policy that can be used to cover your bike. It looks something like this:
For a $4000 bike with no deductible, your premium would be $240 per year. It would only cover the cost of the bike. Also, if you are in an auto-related accident, your car insurance would kick in to help. www.statefarm.com
Lacher and Associates and Erie Insurance
Erie Insurance is well known for its excellent homeowners and car insurance policies. However, they do not currently offer bicycle insurance. Your bicycle would be covered by your homeowner’s policy only if it was stolen or damaged while in your own home. Their insurance does not cover your bicycle while you are out on the roads. www.lacherinsurance.com
Spokes offers cycling-specific insurance with added roadside assistance. This means that if you are stranded on your bike, you can get help, just like you might get AAA in your car. Here’s an example of one of their policies.
On a $5000 bike with no deductible, your yearly premium would be $750 with a $500 deductible and would cover:
· $25,000 bicycle liability
· $10,000 medical payments
· $25,000 Vehicle Contact Protection
· Rental Reimbursement
· Competitive Event Fee Reimbursement
· Spare Parts
· Roadside Assistance
Velosurance is extremely comprehensive insurance. In this example, a $5000 bike with a $500 deductible will cost $57.03 per month after the initial payment of $110.70. It will cover:
· $5000 towards Bicycle damage and theft
· $25,000 Liability
· $10,000 medical payments
· $25000 towards Vehicle Contact Protection
· $250 Rental Reimbursement
· $500 Spare Parts Reimbursement
· $500 Competitive Event Fee Reimbursement
· $500 Cycling Apparel
This policy is great because it covers racing as well as casual riding. You canyou’re your additional bikes to the policy at a discounted price. You can find out more or sign up for their insurance at www.velosurance.com.
If you are a member of USAC, you can purchase Spot insurance. Spot insurance costs $40 per year for members and reimburses you up to $25,000 in medical costs per accident on your bike. It does not cover non-USAC racing, but it does cover you when you’re racing with USAC or just out for a ride. It works whether or not you have health insurance and there is no deductible. You just send in pictures of your medical bills with some additional information. It also provides $5000 in the event of accidental death. You can find more information here: https://usacycling.getspot.com.
Club membership Insurance
If you are a member of a cycling club, part of your yearly dues may go to cycling insurance. This will cover you while you are on an official, club ride. For example, your club’s insurance may include:
· Accidental Medical Coverage $10,000 per person with $500 deductible
· Death and Dismemberment: $5000 per person per accident
This insurance will not cover the bike, just the people involved in an accident. However, you need to check with your local club to find out the details. And of course, you must be a member and on a group ride for the coverage to be in effect.
Technically, you are not required by law to have any sort of cycling insurance in most states. However, while this saves you money in the short run, it could be a costly mistake in the long run. If you are injured, your bike is stolen, or if you somehow injure someone else, you could end up losing thousands of dollars.
This guide will help you choose the insurance coverage that is right for you, whether you want to depend on your home and car insurance or you feel you need a cycling-specific policy. If you are unsure of what you need, speak to your local agent and they can help you figure out what’s best for you and your family.
Bicycle insurance is not an excuse for unsafe behavior or negligent actions with your bike. Always obey traffic laws, be aware of your circumstances, wear a helmet, and lock up your bike. It’s better to be safe than to have to file a claim, no matter how great your insurance coverage is.