Riding your bike is a great alternative to driving or walking; it’s faster than walking, environmentally friendly and it’s a great form of physical activity. Because bicyclists have to share the road with other vehicles, it’s important to know the specifics of bicycle insurance. Will your bike be covered in an accident?
As you'll see below, bicycle insurance is intertwined with multiple other types of insurance, so make sure you know the basics by checking out our car insurance guide and homeowners insurance guide.
What is bicycle insurance?
Bicycle insurance offers cyclists protection for their bike as well as themselves in the form of coverage for damage, loss, liability and injuries. Generally, bicycle insurance policies will cover your damage or loss of your bike from vandalism, theft and accidents. They may also offer liability protection if you injure someone else, roadside assistance, vehicle contact protection and medical payments coverage. Some bike insurance policies may also cover your bike if it’s used for racing.
In fact, some bicycle insurance policies even refund race fees, or the cost of travel and accommodations. Additional coverages will vary with different bicycle insurers.
Your bicycle may be covered under some of your existing insurance policies, but it often depends on the situation and there may be coverage restrictions. Cyclists have the option to purchase a bicycle insurance policy to have coverage that meets their unique needs if they’re looking for more coverage than their existing policies can offer. Below are 6 things you should know about insuring your bicycle.
1. You may want to purchase a separate bicycle insurance policy.
A bicycle insurance policy may be a good idea for cyclists who regularly ride their bike (such as people who ride their bike to work every day), people who don't have other forms of insurance (health, car, home, or renters), and people who have bicycles with a value over $1,000, rather than insuring your bike under your homeowner's insurance. There are a number of insurance companies that specialized in bicycle insurance. For example, Markel is a bicycle insurance company and Velosurance is an agency that offers bicycle insurance. Be sure to check with your company or agent, but bicycle insurance companies typically cover the full value of your bike rather than the depreciated value.
2. Homeowners or renters insurance may cover a damaged or stolen bike.
Bicycles are an easy target for thieves, especially when left unsecured. An estimated 1.5 million bikes are stolen each year. Bicycles may be covered by your homeowners or renters insurance policy if they're stolen. In some cases, you may need to add a rider to your policy to cover its full value. However, all policies are different so be sure to check with your policy to determine if you have enough coverage if your bike is stolen.
If your bike is damaged from an accident that doesn't involve a car, your homeowner's or renters' insurance may cover the cost of damages. Accidents that may be covered include collisions with another bike, pedestrian, or object.
Additionally, be aware that if you use your homeowners insurance to cover your bicycle, you’ll typically receive actual cash value for your bike meaning the depreciated value, likely less than what you paid for your bike. So, even if you have an expensive bike, you probably won't get the full amount back.
3. If you’re in an accident with another car, the driver’s car insurance should cover your bike’s damage and your medical expenses.
Car insurance can be utilized if you're in a bicycle accident with a vehicle. If your bike is damaged and/or you're injured, the at-fault driver's car insurance should cover the damage to your bike as well as your medical expenses.
However, there are cases when drivers don’t have enough coverage to cover your costs. If you have a car insurance policy, you may be able to use your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to cover your bicycle’s damage and your medical expenses, even if you’re on a bicycle and not your car.
You will need to check the details of your car insurance policy to be sure. If you don't have enough coverage, it's a good idea to get a bicycle insurance policy with uninsured motorist coverage. You don't want to be stuck paying medical bills after a bike accident.
Also, if you live in a no-fault state and have personal injury protection coverage (PIP) on your car insurance policy, you may be able to use this coverage for a bicycle accident involving a car.
While you may be able to use your coverage from your car insurance policy, these coverages are only available to those who own a car. To get these coverages if you don't have a car, you may need to buy a bicycle insurance policy.
4. Health insurance may cover you if you’re injured in a bicycle accident.
If you're injured in an accident while you were riding your bike, your health insurance will likely cover your medical expenses regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Using your health insurance means you're subject to paying your deductible and copays.
5. The liability portion of your renters or homeowners insurance may cover if you injure someone.
While it may seem unlikely, it's possible you may injure someone or cause property damage in a bicycle accident you're at fault for. In these cases, you may be able to utilize the liability protection from your homeowner's or renters' insurance policies. If you'd like extra liability coverage in case this happens, you can purchase umbrella coverage for your policy.
6. Disability insurance may cover you if you’re in an accident and unable to work.
If you're injured in a bicycle accident, you may be unable to work while you recover. Depending on your injuries and if you have short-term or long-term disability insurance, you may be able to utilize it for loss of work from a bicycle accident.
There are many ways you and your bicycle can be covered by a policy you already have. However, always be sure to check with your insurance company to ensure you have enough coverage in the event you're involved in a bicycle accident. Bicycle insurance may be the best option for coverage depending on your situation and your bike's worth. It will give you the most peace of mind that your bicycle is covered.
Have you made an auto or homeowners insurance claim after a bicycle accident or have you had a bike stolen? Use Clearsurance to write a review of your experience to help other consumers choose their insurance coverage and company.
Bicycle Insurance: What's the bottom line?
- You may want to purchase a separate bicycle insurance policy.
- Homeowners or renters insurance may cover a damaged or stolen bike.
- If you’re in an accident with another car, the driver’s car insurance should cover your bike’s damage and your medical expenses.
- Health insurance may cover you if you’re injured in a bicycle accident.
- The liability portion of your renters or homeowners insurance may cover if you injure someone.
- Disability insurance may cover you if you’re in an accident and unable to work.
It is important to ensure that your bike is covered by your insurance. Call your local insurance agent to double-check that your bike is protected from accidents and theft. Use our free tool to compare insurance quotes in your area, all you have to do is enter your zip code!
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