Yes. Homeowners insurance covers your personal property, such as bicycles, from theft and damages caused by covered perils. If you accidentally hit someone with your bicycle, note that the personal liability coverage of your homeowners’ insurance can help pay for their medical expenses or legal fees if they file a lawsuit against you.
In recent times, bicycling has become a popular mode of transportation as well as a form of exercise and sport. Bicycles are known to cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars for a basic bike to thousands of dollars for specialized racing bikes.
The increase in bike ownership and theft has motivated more Americans to consider insurance coverage for bicycles. According to reports, over 2 million bikes are stolen each year in North America. Depending on the type of bicycle you own and your insurance company, the coverage sublimit for your bike may be capped at a price lower than what the bike is worth.
Note that homeowners insurance only protects your bike if it is stolen or damaged by a covered peril. Your insurance company reserves the right to reject your claim if they find out you were negligent, especially if you failed to safely protect your bicycle in a public setting. Your homeowners’ policies will also stipulate exclusions when your bike would never be covered.
Homeowners Insurance vs Bike Insurance
You need to first realize that homeowners insurance doesn’t adequately provide security or coverage for serious cyclists. Homeowners’ insurance policies are known to vary from one provider to another, but most often they sparsely cover the value of the bike from theft, theft away from home, and sometimes medical payments.
According to experts, if you own an expensive bike, then you must consider an add-on to your homeowners’ insurance known as an endorsement to boost your coverage. However, purchasing a standalone bike insurance policy is most suitable to ensure you are adequately covered.
This type of insurance offers the same options as homeowners insurance, but with more complete coverage. Standalone bike insurance policies tend to offer a more comprehensive and deeper coverage than homeowners insurance policies.
They are known to include crash damage, theft coverage, vehicle contact, personal liability, replacement bike rental, event fee return, cycling apparel, medical payments, racing coverage, electric-assist bicycles, and bicycle airline shipping coverage.
With standalone bike insurance, if you get in a crash and require financial assistance, your coverage will supplement your health insurance and account for your contribution (up to the policy limit, of course).
Also note bike insurance offers theft coverage in case your bike is stolen, not recovered, or is damaged while being stolen or returned. Crash protection is another very enviable component of bike insurance, and all bike insurance companies offer some form of this coverage.
Tips and Steps to Make Insurance Claims Easier
No one wants their personal properties tempered with, but you never can be too careful. Owing to that, you must understand ways to minimize the stress that comes with your bicycle getting stolen or damaged by being prepared in the event of an insurance claim. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.
Table of Contents
Add Your Bicycle To Your Home Inventory
Not just your bicycles, it is also recommended you add any related items, such as a helmet, patch kits, pumps, extra inner tubes, and other accessories, including your new bike Jersey to your home inventory. Note that if for any reason your bike and related items are stolen or damaged, having an inventory can help hasten the claims process.
Save Your Receipts
When you purchase a new bicycle, you should save your receipts. You will be expected to show proof of what you paid for the bike especially if you are looking to hasten the claims process.
Use a U-Lock
Your insurance company reserves the right to reject your claim if they find out you were negligent, especially if you failed to safely protect your bicycle in a public setting. Owing to that, consider getting a u-lock to protect your bicycle.
When using this lock, remember to position the bike frame and wheels so that they take up as much of the open space within the U-portion of the lock as possible. You should never position the lock close to the ground as this makes it easier for a thief to break it.
In the United States, bicycles are considered vehicles once it is being used on the road; owing to that, riders are expected to adhere to the same traffic laws as drivers of motor vehicles.
It is always advisable you ride with the flow of traffic, on the right side of the road, and as far to the right of the road as is practicable and safe. You should never wear headphones or be distracted. Always stay focused and alert so that you can hear everything around you, and also try to be vigilant and aware of the surroundings.
Bicycles are covered under the personal property section of standard homeowners insurance. Note that this coverage will reimburse you, minus your deductible, if your bike gets stolen or damaged in a fire, hurricane, or other disaster outlined in your policy.
However, it is recommended that you consult an experienced insurance agent about obtaining adequate coverage for your bicycle. These experts will help you find out the most suitable way to get more coverage, whether it is purchasing standalone bike insurance, or increasing your existing homeowners’ policy’s limit.