No one expects to have an accident or to have their bicycle stolen but we buy insurance for the unexpected which is the very definition of an accident “an unfortunate incident that...
Everything you need to know about bicycle insurance before buying it.
When we think about insurance we have a good general idea what each policy is for. Auto insurance covers your auto, home owner insurance covers your home, and renter’s insurance covers your personal items inside your rented location, but what insurance policy covers your high value bicycle?
It’s almost guaranteed that your auto policy is not insuring your bicycle, so what’s next? Homeowner and renters insurance? Well, maybe, but exactly how is the bike insured? There are more questions than answers when homeowner or renter’s insurance is invoked for a bicycle damage or theft claim.
Consider bicycle damage. The homeowner or renter policy insures bikes for fire and theft loss when the bike is located at the insured location, your home. Damage away from your home is not an insured risk. Theft of the bicycle away from your home is a very likely possibility and yet might not be covered by your home insurance.
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance companies just do not understand high value bikes and making a claim with your home insurance company will certainly increase your home insurance premiums and you will only be paid a depreciated value for stolen or damaged bicycles.
The better option is a stand alone bicycle insurance policy.
While there are more than enough auto insurance companies options are limited if you want to insure your high valued bicycle. We already discounted homeowner’s and renter’s insurance as a poor alternative to insure your bike leaving the bicycle insurance marketplace to only a few dedicated companies.
Here are the best available options to insure your bike.
Markel American Insurance Company is a direct writer of bicycle insurance as part of their recreational vehicle products offering. Markel is a leader in the niche marketplace of recreational vehicle insurance such as motorcycles, boats, ATVs, Jet Skis, and snowmobiles. The Markel website at markelinsuresfun.com allows you to quote and purchase a policy online without talking to an agent. If you have questions about policy options or need to know how to value your bike you have to call during business hours and hope you are connected to someone who knows what you are talking about. They know basic insurance but are no experts in high value bicycles.
When buying insurance it is a smart idea to involve a qualified insurance agent in the policy buying process. The agent acts as a filter between you and the insurance company and will customize a policy to suit your needs without allowing coverage gaps or overlapping policy limits. You do not pay the agent for his professional services and in a claim situation an agent will prove invaluable by smoothing out the process and guide you to a satisfactory resolution.
Two bicycle insurance specialty agencies that offer stand alone bicycle insurance policies are Spoke Insurance and Velosurance.
Velosurance is a “bicycle only” insurance agency located in Fort Lauderdale Florida and Velosurance is owned and staffed by cyclists. All they do is insure bicycles. Velosurance is licensed in 40 states and is a strategic partner with Markel American Insurance Company. This is the perfect combination of a highly rated USA insurance company and a cyclist owned agency.
The “Velosurance Bicycle Insurance“ offers free “quick bicycle insurance quotes” and easy online purchase options. Policies can be purchased 7 days a week. Testimonials on the website are complimentary about claims and customer service. A bicycle insurance agent is available from 9am to 9pm EDT- 7 days a week @ 888-663-9948 to discuss your bicycle insurance request. According to what we found out, if you call on the weekend the agent might be riding when they answer but you will be talking to someone who can take care of you.
One advantage that is unique to Velosurance is their Trusted Partner network of local bike shops nationwide that are charged with estimating bicycle damage or replacement costs. There is an easily searched data base of Trusted Partner shops on Velosurance.com that points the customer to the nearest Trusted Partner shop. Look them up on Velosurance Wikipedia Page for more information on their business.
Spoke Insurance is a division of R.E. Chaix & Associates Insurance Brokers in Irvine California. This company offers a variety of personal and commercial insurance in some western states and a few other states.
The Spoke policy covers a bicycle quite well and they have an easy quote process
online at http://rechaixinsurance.com/cx/. It is noted that the online quote does not include various fees and taxes that are only disclosed when you request a more detailed quote. It is not easily understood from the website how and why these taxes and fees are generated. The office hours are 8:00 to 4:30 M-F California time.
The best choices for bicycle insurance are:
Direct with the insurance company, Markel
Velosurance, a cyclist owned company issuing a Markel Cyclist policy
Spoke Insurance division of a general insurance agency
The worst choices for bicycle insurance are:
Renters personal property insurance