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Bicycle Safety and How Can Bicycles Be Insured?

Being Summertime, many bike owners hit the road on a daily basis

Whether bike owners plan to participate in competitions, ride for exercise, or just take a ride around the block with the family, it is important for them to understand the rules of the road. It is also important to be adequately insured.

Insuring A Bicycle

I recently have gotten into cycling and know first hand that bicycles vary greatly in price these days. A simple model may cost several hundred dollars, and a racing bike, like a Litespeed, Trek or Felt, could cost several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.  I have talked to a young lady where I bought my bike at the  Bike Doctor in Crofton, Maryland who was looking to buy a $15,000 bike.  Although that is probably one incredible bike, it was not the bike for me at this time…..  Which leads to the question,

How do you properly insure these bicycles?

Personal property provisions in a homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy do cover bicycles. This means bikes that are damaged by a covered peril or stolen are usually covered. Bikes stolen from cars are also covered under many policies. For personal property coverage, there are two options: Replacement cost coverage and actual cash value.

Replacement Cost Coverage
This type of insurance provides reimbursement for the cost of replacing a bicycle with a similar one at the current cost. Replacement cost coverage usually costs about 10 percent more than its alternative. However, it is still a wise investment.

Actual Cash Value
This option provides reimbursement for the actual value of the bicycle at its current age. This means a bicycle that is five years old would be valued at the cost of a comparable product. However, depreciation for the bike’s age would be calculated and deducted from that value.

Liability insurance protection is also granted in a homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy, so harm caused to others on their property will be covered. For example, if an insured crashes into a person on that person’s property and causes injuries, the policyholder’s insurance company will cover up to a specific dollar amount. It is important for all policyholders to know what their maximum coverage amount per incident is.

Most people are insured for an amount between $300,000 and $500,000. However, some people purchase umbrella insurance policies to expand that amount. The umbrella insurance policy’s benefits kick in when the homeowners insurance policy is maxed out. There is also no-fault medical coverage on a homeowners policy. This coverage usually ranges between $1,000 and $5,000. In the event of an injury, the injured party can simply submit a medical claim to the policyholder’s insurance company for hospital bills. Keeping a policy updated is the best way to avoid an expensive lawsuit.

If you purchase an expensive new bicycle, save the receipt and call your local Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent to notify him or her about the new purchase. Keep in mind that helmets, pumps, saddle bags, lights and special clothing should be included on insurance. People who own very expensive bicycles should purchase endorsements for their renters insurance or homeowners insurance policies to specifically schedule the bicycles.  Many insurers have special endorsements for sporting equipment, and some even have specific endorsements for bicycles.

Insurance is certainly an important aspects of bicycle ownership. However, bicycle safety is crucial. As a bicyclist myself, i find that sharing the roads with motor vehicles can be dangerous.  To stay safe on the road this year, consider the following cycling safety tips:

– Always wear a helmet.
– Make sure the bike fits properly and does not have any unsecured parts.
– Ride on the correct side of the road, watch (and listen) for traffic and use hand signals.
– Learn and follow all the rules of the road.
– Always stay alert, and be aware of surroundings at all times.
– Avoid wearing headphones or a cellular headset while riding.
– If necessary, take safety classes before hitting the road.
– Be more visible by wearing bright colors, using lights and wearing reflective gear after dark. (Pictured is Jerry Nicklow, CFO, Huff Insurance)

 

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