For dedicated bicycle insurance there are only a few true options available. Here's what we know.
Disclaimer: We're sure that the details of coverage change from time to time so it's wise to confirm these points prior to purchasing insurance.
First, why get bike insurance if renters-homeowners-condo insurance covers bikes? Read the fine print on your policy. Many policies offer very limited coverage for high-end bikes. Also, your premium may go up if you have to replace a bike. And, most policies don't cover parts damage. Learn the details of your specific policy before getting separate bike specific coverage.
Second, what are you looking to insure against? There are lots of considerations: Loss, damage, theft, fire, racing, product failure, bodily injury, liability, bike clothing and other gear that gets damaged in an accident? There are too many situations to insure against.
Third, there are only three primary bike-specific insurance companies so it's not too complicated.
Fourth: Overland Base Camp's focus on bike insurance is on mitigating travel loss or damage.
Why think about bike specific insurance?
Some of the primary reasons include:
- You can get full coverage for your expensive bike; most policies cover bikes up to $20,000.
- The deductibles are very low, typically between $200-$400 on a high-end bike.
- Making a claim on a bike specific policy does not affect your homeowners-renters-condo insurance premiums.
- No-fault medical coverage is usually so small it doesn't really help much. Check the fine print.
- Increasing the coverage for your high-end bikes can be costly.
Bike Insurance Comparison
Most of the bike-specific company's policy details are fairly similar. Here are the elements that seem consistent across all three insurers:
- Maximum bike value: They all cover bikes up to @20,000.
- Deductible: Low; typically between $200-$400 on a high-end bike.
- Premium cost: Typically between $200-$500 on a high-end bike.
- Replacement valuation: All three companies seem to reimburse based on "actual cash value" rather than "replacement cost coverage."
- Actual Cash Value: Reimburses you for what the bicycle is worth, given its age. For example, a 5-year-old bicycle would be valued at the cost of a comparable bicycle minus 5 years depreciation.
- Replacement Cost Coverage: Reimburses you for what it would cost to replace your, for example, 5-year-old bicycle with one of like kind and quality at current pricing. "Replacement cost coverage" generally costs about 10 percent more than "actual cash value," but can be a wise investment for a high-end bike.
- Damage covered? Yes. If you destroy a wheel, this can be covered.
- Lots of coverage: These carriers offer a lot for bike racing, liability insurance, and other situations that have nothing to do with loosing your bike or having an airline damage the bike. So, you're paying for a lot of coverage you probably won't use - unless you race, too.
In the specific case of theft, loss, or damage, here's what we know:
- They cover every kind of bike including custom bikes.
- They cover the bike for "Full Value." It's unclear what this really is.
- Velosurance cannot do business in every state. In these state Velosurance is not an option: AK, ME, ND, SD, MT, DE, NV, WY, DC, KS, VT, NH, HI, & WV.
- Offers coverage in every state.
- They do not cover custom bikes. It's a bit unclear how they define "custom."
- Markel provides insurance through Velosurance. Supposedly the price from both companies will be identical.
- Offers a roadside assistance package, too.
- Coverage while abroad.
- May cost more because of road side assistance. [Confirm]
That's a very high level overview of the current bike insurance policies. If you have any experience with these or know of other options, please let us know. Ride safe!