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Bicycle Insurance

Bicycling has so many benefits such as enhanced health, decreased pollution and auto emissions. It helps in reducing obesity. Cycling also has positive economic impacts on the community. However, having bicycle insurance is very important.

However, there are certain risks you face when you share the road with automobiles.

1.  818 bicyclists were involved in fatal accidents in the US in 2016.
2. The above figures accounted for 2 percent of all auto/cyclist traffic fatalities.
3. 52,000 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle accidents.
4. 72 percent of all bicycling fatalities occurred in urban areas.  67 percent occurred somewhere other than an intersection.
5. In 2016, California and Florida ranked as the top 2 states in terms of cyclist casualties, with 99 and 83 respectively.

Bikes and other sporting equipment are fully covered under their Homeowner’s or Renter’s policies. Bicycle owners who fall victim to theft may be faced with much of the replacement cost of their bikes because of low coverage limits and high deductibles. A bicycle claim could cause a person’s Homeowner’s rates to go up. With a separate bicycle insurance policy, cyclists can protect their homeowner’s rates and protect their bikes from worst-case scenarios.

A Homeowner’s policy provides some bicycle insurance in the form of personal property coverage. The policy will cover damage to your bike to a certain extent. However, your bike’s replacement value may be much higher than the amount provided in a standard policy. As a general rule, you can expect to pay $7 – $20 per $1000 value of your bike per annum.

Under the following circumstances, it would be wise to purchase a bicycle insurance policy.

  1.  While the average bike costs a few hundred dollars, some enthusiasts do not think twice about spending $5, 000 – $10, 000 for top-of-the-line bikes. If you have a very expensive model, you may want to seriously consider buying comprehensive bicycle insurance.
  2. You regularly ride off road and want Mountain Bike insurance to cover you and your bike for damages and medical costs.
  3. Perhaps you participate in BMX Competitions or do stunt riding. Therefore you need bike insurance to cover your bike for damage and for your own medical costs.

In response to the insurance needs of bicycle riders nationwide, a company called Velosurance was formed by two avid cyclists. It provides multi-risk insurance policies for all types of cyclists. They have partnered up with an A.M. Best “A” rated Insurance Company, and have agreements with bike shops in most States, who can provide repair and/or replacement to a damaged bike. The locations of these bike shops is well presented on the Velosurance website.

When taking out a bike policy through Velosurance, you have the option of supplementing additional coverage to protect against multiple losses.  Your policy is customised to meet your individual needs. The bike will be insured for the value that you that you give them.  If the bike is damaged or lost, Velosurance will replace the old bike with a new one and they guarantee “no bike value depreciation”. Velosurance undertake to complete the whole process from claim to you being back pedalling on your bike in the shortest time possible.

Spoke Insurance is an insurance program designed exclusively for cyclists.  It covers:

Liability insurance up to $100, 000; uninsured and underinsured motorist liability with a limit of $25, 000 per occurrence $50, 000 Aggregate;  the value in the case of damage needing repair; roadside assistance (up to twice a year) within a 30 mile radius of your residence.  Spoke Insurance give members of the California Bicycle Coalition or affiliates discounts on cover.

Markel Insurance:  Their coverage includes all 50 states for those that bicycle tour and covers Canada, as well as offering coverage when your bike is in transit by land/air.

Factors to consider when searching for bike insurance quotes:

Value: The value of the bike is the main determinant when calculating the amount of coverage required. Additional items like tools, speedometers and panniers must be included. It is advisable to keep all receipts in case of a claim.

Type of Bike: A stunt bike is considered a bigger risk than a regular bike and will thus cost more to insure.

Use of bike: A bike used for commuting to work will not cost as much to ensure as a bike you use on mountain trails. Daily use needs more coverage than occasional riding.

Depreciation: Ascertain the insurance company’s policy on bike depreciation.

Limits and deductibles: With nearly all insurance plans, paying higher deductibles lowers your premium. However, a high deductible increases your out-of-pocket costs in the event of a loss.

Insurance – Ride share drivers

Ride share services are increasing in popularity. As a result,  insurance policies  to cover these drivers are beginning to hit the market.

A ride share driver has major stress. You have to find your way around town. You deal with drunk passengers. Furthermore, the work hours are not ideal. Being in an accident could cause a loss of income.

Ride share policies can assist in reducing stress. A  driver’s mind can be put at rest by having full insurance coverage while out on the streets.

However, these policies are not available in all states. There is a lack of competition amongst insurance providers. In several states,  drivers have little choice but to accept the price of coverage levels on offer.

Ride sharing is divided into timelines.

Period 1: The app is off. This is the driver’s personal driving time.
Period 2: Driver accepts bid, en route to pickup location.
Period 3: Passenger in vehicle.

Ride share drivers receive significant liability coverage from Uber or Lyft as long as a passenger has been assigned.

However, low limits and coverage gaps are applicable during the rest of the drive.

Collision and Comprehensive are offered during periods 2 and 3, but the coverage is contingent. Therefore these should be covered by a personal policy. Furthermore, the deductible can be very high. $2500 if you drive for Lyft.

The policies vary in price, covered periods and even ride share company. An endorsement is the only way to ensure that you are fully covered while working as a ride share driver.

Some insurance companies offer ride share policies that cover all phases of the driving. Companies like Farmers, offer only a Period 1 endorsement. In comparison to commercial policies for taxis, ride sharing policies are less expensive. However, taxi coverage is usually more comprehensive.

5 Top insurance companies for Uber and Lyft drivers:

Geico :  You have a uniform policy whether you are driving for personal or business reasons.

Erie Insurance:  This policy covers you for the entire trip.

Farmers:  This policy has a constraint on the extent of your personal coverage.  For example, if you logged into the app at 10.00 am but did not accept a ride until 10.30 am, for that half hour you would still be covered under personal insurance.

Allstate:  You are NOT guaranteed continuous coverage when signed into the app.

State Farm:  They do not cover the driver for liabilities while signed into the app.