One of the growing areas of insurance are those who cover bike riders. Whether commuting or participating in races, bike insurance has become as much a part of some people’s lives as their car insurance. In the US, bike riding is not quite a widespread as many other nations, but the sheer number of people on the road or participating in events is such that bike insurance is now a common feature.
Although most bike accidents do not cause injury, many will cause damage to the bike itself. Considering the investment that some people make in their bicycles, getting insurance is a prudent move. However, you want to avoid paying too much. This is why getting the right policy is so important.
Choosing the Right (and Best) Insurance Policy in the USA
The best type of policy is one that is suited for your needs. Keep in mind that accidents are only part of what that U.S. bike insurance may cover. The more you add to your policy, the more you will pay. Therefore, you will need to decide if having a policy is right for you.
Accident: Most bike accidents do not involve injury or damage to the bike. While only a small portion do cause damage, you will be appreciative of having coverage instead of having to pay for repairs all out of your pocket. The question will be if you need coverage and how much if you choose to get an accident policy.
For those that ride inexpensive bikes occasionally, the answer is most likely no. Also, if you have a bike that is so affordable it falls under the deductible, then not getting this type of insurance is a wise decision. However, if you invested a great deal in your bike and you ride it frequently, then you will need some type of accident policy.
Liability: This is the coverage of the other person that was injured or had their bike damaged which was your fault. It is possible that your home insurance may cover either damage to injuries in their personal liability section. But doing that will almost certainly raise your rates and arguably is not worth doing.
Theft: Far and away the biggest concern for bicyclists is having their bikes stolen. This is especially true for the more expensive bicycles used in competitions. If you compete or have spent a considerable amount on your bike, then having insurance from theft is a must. Just like having theft insurance on your vehicle, the cost of having to replace your bike will be considerable. So, getting theft insurance is a no-brainer.
However, if you have a less expensive bike that you only ride around occasionally, then theft insurance may not be for you. This is true if you keep the bike secure inside your home or garage and never park it outside of a location. For example, if you take the bike to a bike trail, ride the trail, load it back to your vehicle and take it home, then the chances of your bike being stolen are minimal.
A side note. Your homeowner’s insurance may cover the loss of your bike if it is damaged in a fire or other disaster that also covers the rest on of the items in your home.
Event: If you participate in events, then you should check out this type of insurance. Some will have reimbursement if the event is cancelled which is a nice feature, although there may be some caveats such as weather-related cancellations.
Health: If you already have health insurance, then that should cover any injury to you when riding a bike. It is handled the same way as an injury that was not bicycle-related. Paying for injuries with bike insurance are usually limited and carry deductibles that may be quite high. You are arguably better off with standard health insurance.
Customize Your Bike Insurance
There are insurance companies that offer customizable plans where you choose from several packages that covers your bike riding activities. This means that you can choose plans best suited for commuters, travelers, event participants, and more. By working with an insurance company that offers policies for bicycles, you can get the right one for your needs.
Cost: The most important aspect of getting bike insurance is the cost. If it does not fit your budget, then do not get that plan. Many plans, even those that are customized to your needs, may have additional features that drive up the cost. You will want to compare rates from different insurance companies, so shop around before you settle on one. Be sure that what you get fits your lifestyle and pocketbook.
Deductible: This means that some costs will be out of pocket, so be prepared for that. This means that you might raise the deductible and pay less, which is an option to consider.
Time: One big factor in the cost of insurance is how often you ride your bike. Just like motorcycle insurance has lower rates if you only drive it certain times of the year, so too does bicycle insurance have lower rates if you only ride it occasionally.
If you only ride it for events, then event coverage is generally the best because you are usually only charged a fee per event. Otherwise, you will need to gauge how much you ride and see where that fits in the policy.
A final note. Be sure to carry proof of your insurance on the bike if possible. Such as under the seat where it is protected from the elements. Store another copy in your home as well. Having the information at the ready will help you know what to do in case of an accident that causes damage to your bicycle.
Conclusion: Finding the Best Bicycle Insurance in the USA
Before making the final decision, be sure that you have considered all the options of bike insurance. If you only ride occasionally and at events, then temporary policies may be the best. However, if you ride more frequently, then you should consider a low-cost plan that covers your bike and provides medical treatment in case of an accident.