If your bike was an inexpensive purchase at a local mass retailer, you might not be worried about insurance to cover bicycle damage or theft. But if you have invested thousands of dollars in a bicycle that contributes to your livelihood, it is important to have it insured. The best bicycle insurance plans provide full coverage for your bike, even if it is stolen. But plans vary greatly, so it’s important to know the facts before you make a purchase. The information listed below is intended to help you better be able to compare bicycle insurance plans.
1. What is the value of my bike insurance?
If your bike is damaged in a crash or has been stolen, you want to know that you can get another bike. After all, that is why you purchased bike insurance. Many insurance companies use a “stated value” insurance policy, in which you can state either the current value of your bike, or the value it would cost to replace it. This allows you some flexibility in both premium price and also the amount your policy would pay out.
2. Does my insurance cover off-road conditions?
Whether you need road bike insurance or mountain bike insurance, you can likely find coverage under the same policy. Many policies do provide coverage for off-road riding conditions, however it is important to ask your insurance provider about the specifics of your plan.
3. Can I get roadside assistance with my policy?
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Some policies have additional roadside assistance that can be purchased for an additional fee. This assistance will provide help with flat tires, lockout service, and transportation service for both you and your bike. Again, it’s important to ask if your cycling insurance has this added benefit.
4. What is my deductible?
Just like auto insurance policies, road bike insurance policies have deductibles that must be met in the case of damage or theft. Be sure to ask what your deductible is before signing for your policy. In some cases, you can lower the deductible by paying a higher insurance premium.
5. Where am I covered?
The best bicycle insurance policies provide coverage that extends to cover all 50 states. Some plans even cover Canada. Be sure to ask and ensure that your coverage extends beyond your state or region.
6. Are medical bills covered by my cycling insurance?
Generally cycling insurance covers the bicycle for damages or theft. If you would like additional coverage for medical payments, that can be added as an option to some policies. Ask your insurance provider about adding optional medical coverage to your policy.
7. Can my personal property insurance cover my bike?
Often, you will find that your personal property coverage that you carry as part of your homeowner’s insurance will cover your bicycle. It’s always good to check this route first, as it can save you a lot of money. If the coverage is not clear, you may be able to add your bike with a rider to your policy. In addition, if you are struck by a car, either their car insurance or your car insurance may cover your medical bills. Speak with your insurance agent about what coverage may be included under your present plan.
8. How much does bicycle rider insurance cost?
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The cost of bike insurance ranges from about $100 a year to several hundred dollars a year. The coverage ranges, as well. Some policies will only cover theft or damage. Some have lower deductibles. Some cover bicycle accessories as well as the bike, and some provide coverage for medical payments. Be sure you understand the entirety of your policy before accepting it.
9. Is there an age requirement? Some policies have age requirements that may limit the coverage to children or older adults. If you fall into either category, check to ensure that your policy does not have an age requirement.
10. How long will it take to receive the money if my bike is damaged or stolen? As any biker knows, time off your bike is dreadful. Most policies will provide payment within a month, but it’s always good to know going in how long you can expect to wait.
11. Is theft covered by my policy?
Some policies include bicycle theft insurance, while other cycling insurance policies do not. If you live in a high-crime area, you should find a policy that insurance against bicycle theft.
12. Are bike accessories covered?
Many cyclists spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on bike accessories. Some plans cover these if they are damaged or stolen, while others do not.
13. Does my policy include helmet replacement?
If you have been in a crash, you should replace your helmet. Even if the helmet does not show any outer signs of damage, they are only tested and designed to withstand the forces of a single crash. Helmets can be expensive, so it is good to have a policy that will cover your helmet, as well.
14. Will I receive a rental bike or reimbursement for a rental?
The weeks waiting to receive the reimbursement amount for your bike means that you may require use of a rental. Some companies provide a rental or provide reimbursement for your rental. Check to see if this is part of your pedal bike insurance policy.
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The simple answer is that the best bicycle insurance is that one that best meets your needs. There are so many variables to consider that there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter policy that works for everyone. Study the above list of considerations and decide which are important to you. If you would like, print off this page as a checklist of questions to ask your insurance agent. Most agents will be happy to customize a policy that best meets your needs.
Bicycle rider insurance is one of the best ways to be protected in the event of a bicycle crash. Another great way is to have an experience bicycle attorney on your side, like Andrew Kass at Kass & Moses. Mr. Kass is a biker himself, as well as an instructor. He is available to answer any questions you might have regarding your bicycle crash.