When most people think of a bicycle it takes them back to their childhood when they happily pedaled along on their shiny new Schwinn or a hand-me-down Huffy. Bicycles are the first real form of freedom for a kid and at least in my day was a most prized possession. But in the last 10-20 years a new breed of cyclist has emerged, often referred to as a MAMIL or Middle Aged Man in Lycra, adults both male and female are increasingly getting involved in road and mountain cycling. Most of us will never be competitive on the world stage, or any stage for that matter, but we ride similar bikes and put a lot of time and money into our hobby/sport.
As any good cyclist knows, you need a good bike and you definitely need more than one bike. While it may seem extreme to some, most cyclists can lament that their current bike is worth more than their first car. And as every good cyclist’s spouse knows, the number of bikes needed is N+1, N being the amount of bikes currently owned. Or as is the case in my house N-1, N being the number where my wife will decide to leave me. With these requirements in mind it is not uncommon for a cyclist to spend between $2,000 and $5,000 on a bicycle. Some even take it up into the $10,000 range. This inevitably leads to the question of how to protect such a valuable, fragile investment. Carbon bikes are like bones, they both tend to break or shatter in a good wreck.
There are a few bicycle specific insurance plans available online, but they tend to be on the expensive side. It can be difficult to justify a $20-50 per month expenditure for insurance on a $2k bike. But what if you could insure that $2 bike for $20-30 per year? Most cyclists (and especially their spouses) are very interested in that sort of arrangement.
Well lycra fans, there is just such an option available! It is called a “Valuable Articles Schedule” and it is available on select homeowners and renters insurance policies. Scheduling your bike on your homeowners policy changes many of the limitations your policy would otherwise have for bicycles. For instance some policies have an “internal limit” for bicycles, often in the $500 range. While that might cover your kid’s Huffy, it won’t help much for most road bikes. Scheduling also changes the perils that the bike is covered for. Instead of naming specific perils that are covered such as fire, theft, falling objects, etc. It changes the insurance form to an “all risk” form. So now any accidental direct physical loss to the bike is covered unless it is specifically excluded. What is specifically excluded you ask? Depends on the policy, but common exclusions are wear and tear, an act of war, or nuclear disaster. My bike will be the last thing on my mind in the event of a nuclear war, so I am okay with the limitations. The benefit here is any other accident is covered. Anything from the bike falling off my car rack on the freeway, to crashing, to snapping a carbon fork on some unforgiving railroad tracks is now covered by my home insurance. Another great benefit of scheduling is it most often removes the deductible.
Bicycles are generally covered for replacement value, so you schedule the bike for the amount it would take to replace it and when a loss occurs, the insurance company writes you a check for a replacement bike and you don’t even pay a deductible. Sounds great right? Must be expensive right? It’s not! I insure my $4,000 road bike, $2,500 time trial bike and my $2,700 race wheels for a total of $37 for the year. Yes you read that right, $37 FOR THE YEAR! Hard to turn down at that price.
Now I do have to include a disclaimer. Not every home or renters insurance company will allow you to schedule bicycles, so you have to do your homework and shop around. One of the easiest ways to do this is to contact an Independent Insurance Agent. An Independent Agent is not tied down to one company and their rules, they work with multiple companies and can find a company that will be a good fit for your home and your bicycles.
So if your bicycles are not currently insured or you are not sure if they are insured, and you are interested in protecting your shiny carbon investment, check with your insurance company and see what they can do for you. Or give us a call at Shaffer Buck Insurance, we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your current coverage or help you find a company that provides the coverage you need. Your bicycle, your spouse, and especially your wallet will be glad you did!