Bicycle Insurance: Is It a Thing and Do You Need It?

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  • Bicycle insurance offers unique protections for cyclists, including help paying for medical bills and bike repairs following a crash.
  • But cyclists' home or renters insurance policy may provide some of the same protections.

This up-and-coming insurance might be worth a closer look for serious cyclists.

Insurance is one of those things people don't like paying for until something happens, and then they're really grateful they have it. Most people have auto insurance if they own a car and renters or homeowners insurance to protect their personal belongings. But there are gaps in what these policies cover, and that's led to a rise in new types of insurance.

One of these is bicycle insurance, which pays for bicycle repairs or replacements, among other things. Here's a closer look at how it works and who may want to consider one of these policies.

What does bicycle insurance cover?

Bicycle insurance offers several protections for the policyholder and the bike itself. Some of the most common are:

  • Theft coverage: If a bike is stolen, whether at home or away from the home, the bike insurance policy will pay to replace the bike with a similar model.
  • Crash coverage: If a bike is damaged in an accident, this will pay to repair or replace it. However, it usually doesn't cover cosmetic issues, like scratches.
  • Transit coverage: This coverage protects the policyholder's bike while it's being transported from one place to another.
  • Medical coverage: If the policyholder is injured in a bicycle accident, this coverage will help them pay for their health insurance deductible.
  • Liability coverage: If the policyholder injures someone or damages property while riding their bike, this coverage helps them cover the cost of these damages.

Some bicycle insurance policies offer additional protections as well, like replacement bike rental coverage or coverage for cycling apparel. For a full list of what is and isn't covered, it's best to turn to the bicycle insurer directly. Most will list this information on their websites.

Is bicycle insurance worth it?

Cyclists may already have some of the protections listed above under either their renters or home insurance coverage. For example, homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover the theft of personal property. This includes bikes. However, there's usually a cap on how much insurers will pay for certain items, and it may not give the policyholder enough to replace their bike with a comparable model. This is especially true for costly racing bikes.

Home insurance coverage also offers some measure of liability protection, but limits vary from one policy to the next.

A typical homeowners or renters policy won't pay anything to repair bikes damaged in a crash, and they won't help the cyclist pay for their own medical bills. So those who are interested in this coverage may want to invest in a bicycle insurance policy.

How much does bicycle insurance cost?

Bicycle insurance usually costs between $100 and $300 per year, depending on the type of bike and the cyclist's location. Many bicycle insurers offer online quote tools, so cyclists can quickly estimate their annual costs.

Where can cyclists find bicycle insurance?

Bicycle insurance isn't available through most major home and auto insurers. But as mentioned above, it's possible that cyclists may already have some protection under their home or renters insurance policies. So it's worth a quick call to the insurance provider to see what protections it already offers and whether there's any optional endorsements available for bikes.

But those seeking a true bicycle insurance policy will have to look into specialty insurers that offer them. These companies usually don't sell many other types of insurance, so it may not be possible to score discounts for bundling coverage. But policies usually aren't too expensive, so this may not be a huge issue. 

Bicycle insurance may not make sense for everyone. Those with cheap bikes they drag out of the garage once or twice a year can probably get by without it. But those who participate in cycling races or who routinely use their bikes as a form of transportation may want to give one of these policies a closer look.

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