Bicycle insurance

FitzChivalry

Active Member
So I looked into bicycle insurance. Markel Insurance quoted me $27/month for coverage for a $3K bike for theft & damage with a $100 deductible. It was $22 and change for a $500 deductible. This didn't include liability, medical coverage, roadside assistance, or other coverages, though those were available.

I'd sure like some peace of mind when locking my bike up and walking away (with the battery in my panniers that I would take with me). Has anyone else had any experience with insurance? Thoughts on its value vs. its cost?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Dave from Velosurance sent me this and I am yet to decide as my Neo Jumper hasn't arrived:

Ten questions to ask your homeowners/renters insurance agent.

IS MY BIKE REALLY INSURED?

The most asked question about bicycle insurance is “isn’t my bike covered by my home insurance” and the answer is “possibly, but not very effectively”. Home or renter insurance is not a good deal when you are trying to insure a bicycle.

With over 15 years experience in general insurance we found that homeowner and renters policies do a terrible job insuring high-value bikes. We knew there had to be a better way. We founded Velosurance to fill the void in the market. All we do now is insure bicycles.

Here are the important questions to ask when insuring a bicycle.
  • What is the max value my bike is insured for?
  • Is the bike value depreciated year by year?
  • Is the bike insured for racing or riding in organized events?
  • Is the bike insured away from my home (when traveling)?
  • How much would I get if my bike was stolen? What is the deductible and depreciation on my bike?
  • Is the bike insured if I lend it to a friend?
  • Is my bike insured when transported by an airline, or in shipping or if it falls off a car?
  • Are all the bikes accessories such as expensive wheels, power meters, GPS, etc. also covered?
  • What if only my expensive wheels are stolen? Is that a covered loss? What is the deductible?
The answer to these questions should allow you to make an informed decision.

A Velosurance policy covers all these situations and almost anything else that can happen to your bike. We built the company to address concerns that we heard from fellow cyclists. We we are a cyclist-owned, client centric company. We work for you.

Typical claim: A 5 year old $3,100 bicycle is stolen and a claim placed with the insurance company.

Here’s the home insurance math: $3,100 x 50% depreciation = $1,550 less $1,000 deductible = $550 payment to replace the bike. Out of pocket expense = $2,550

Here’s the Velosurance math: $3,100 less $300 deductible = $2800 payment. Out of pocket expense $300.

That’s a $2,250 difference of out of pocket expense, or 12 years of Velosurance premiums at $186 a year.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the help Ravi, I've always been curious about how bicycle insurance worked, especially for electric bikes which cost so much more. I tend to always lock my bike with a u-lock and two cables so I can secure everything... but that doesn't cover everything that could happen so insurance could be a great tool, especially for a bike like the Specialized Turbo or one of the Optibikes valued at over $10K. That's more than my car is worth - though I suppose a bike won't inflict the same kind of damage to property, it might inflict >= the same physical damage as pedestrians and other cyclists don't usually have air bags or seatbelts to protect them. It's a whole new world out there :rolleyes:
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
Yeah, the liability thing is definitely something to think about. People aren't used to bicycles traveling at 20MPH+, and could conceivably step off a curb in front of you. A heavier-than-average bicycle with a rider on it hitting someone at 20MPH? Yikes! I don't want to think of that happening with no liability insurance in place. And, like a coworker put it, at what point is the law going to look at it as a motor vehicle accident rather than a bike vs. pedestrian accident? Will we have a perceived greater responsibility because there's a motor on the bike?

@Ravi, thanks for posting the follow-up. That's really good information to have from Velosurance. They make a very convincing argument!
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hey guys! I thought this was a really interesting subject so I did a Google Hangout with the CEO and co-founder of Velosurance, Dave Williams, yesterday. We ended up talking for 30 minutes so I edited the video down quite a bit. Based on his feedback and some of my own research I put together an article on ebike insurance with the interview about half way down.

dave-williams-founder-ceo-velosurance.jpg

Open to your input! Especially if you end up buying some insurance from these guys. It actually seems pretty reasonable and Dave had some great points and products around liability coverage if you don't already have it for your car (which seems to also cover bike accidents).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Great Info, thank you Dave and Court.
Initially, I was thinking that may be I will restrain my use of ebike if I am going to a busy place but then it defeats the whole purpose of using ebikes for frequent short-commuting. With an insurance in place, I just don't have to bother about it.

Dave, I have a question for you.
What happens to the premium if someone files a claim? just like auto insurance is it going to increase?
Many times, it so happens on bikes that derailleur or suspension fork gives away and the replacement cost could be ~$200 for a high-end shimano XT or $400 Magura suspension. So, what is the effect of claim on the premium?

Thanks
 

DAVE WILLIAMS

New Member
Accidents happen, and you shouldn't be faced with increased premiums for the occasional claim. There may be future premium increases based on regional claims frequency but at this time there are no individual occasional claim increases anticipated. The policy covers accidental loss/damage and theft. A derailleur or fork having a mechanical failure can not be considered an accident however if the bike were to suffer a crash (accident) and the derailleur or fork take an impact that causes it not to function then that would be an insured loss. Think of it like this...if your battery will no longer hold a charge that is not an accident, but if the battery is damaged in a crash that is an insured accident. Normal wear and tear = not insured. Accidental damage = insured.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Dave.
It is good to know these details. Since ebike insurance is such a new thing, many of us here are not familiar with the fine print.
 

DAVE WILLIAMS

New Member
With 15+ years in general insurance I am happy to answer any general insurance questions, not just questions relating to e-bikes. Ask away.
 

DAVE WILLIAMS

New Member
It is the same concept. When you and your bike are stranded out on the road call our Roadside Assitance 800# and the service company will send a vehicle to take you and your bike up to 35 miles where ever you need to go. Clients who have used this tell me the service vehicle arrived within 30 minutes. You can use the service up to 5 times a year for an annual fee of $10.
 

FitzChivalry

Active Member
Within ten minutes (on a Sunday, no less), I had received my policy! Yowza! I spent more than ten minutes on hold with my credit card company last week. They need to take a page from Velosurance's playbook.
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
Interesting - I tried to get a quote for Velosurance and (no the site did not blow up :) but ... ) the reply I received was "Sorry We Don't Sell Insurance In Your State" with a link to a different company.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting Brambor... I think that if Velosurance can't help you they refer on to their partner Markel. Is that who they recommended? I've heard the company is very close to covering all states, where are you at again?
 

Brambor

Well-Known Member
yes. I got a Markel quote but I wasn't totally satisfied with it. When the time comes I will call them direct. I want only theft and replacement insurance. Their quote covered events, races and liability toward others. I will never race and I live in sticks ... kind of...I really only want insurance in case someone steals my bike. I'm in Southern Maine, near Portland.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Dave, quick question for you regarding Velosurance. If I have a car, does the uninsured motorist coverage I have with my car insurance policy cover my bicycle accident first or does my Velosurance vehicle contact protection benefit cover me first in the event that an uninsured motorist hit me? I'm asking because I'd like to avoid excess coverage and in the video interview it sounds like you guys try to identify and avoid these situations. Thanks!