Bikes and eBikes are fun to ride and great for cleaning up the planet, but there is one little problem: homeowners and renters insurance does not adequately cover your bike or eBike...
Bikes and eBikes are fun to ride and great for cleaning up the planet. But there is one little problem: homeowners and renters insurance does not adequately cover your bike or eBike. Are you protected if that two-wheeler you got for sale falls prey to a thief or if you are in an accident riding your electric bike?
Bicycle theft is a blight on our society. There are over 2 million bicycles stolen every year in the US, which costs communities over $1 billion. This is equivalent to a bike being stolen every 30 seconds. Sadly, only one-fifth of bicycle thefts are reported to the police, so the actual figures are likely to be much higher.
In addition to the growing risk of theft, accidents and damage are common—especially if you ride your bike regularly. And as we see an increasing number of cyclists on the roads and the shift to more sustainable modes of transport, the chances of collisions and accidents are likely to increase further.
People often ask, “isn’t my bike covered by my homeowners or renters insurance?” The answer to this is “maybe,” but the devil is in the detail. As with many personal belongings, home policies may provide some protection for bikes, but these are often quite limited and leave you exposed to a wide range of risks.
Home and renter policies often limit the coverage of any single item to under $1,000. Many bikes and eBikes cost more than this, often considerably so, which means there might not be cover for the full value of your bike.
Many home and renter policies pay out claims based on "actual cash value", which means they depreciate the bike's value over time rather than paying out replacement cost.
Home and renter policies often cover theft from your home but exclude theft away from home. This means your bike is not covered if it is locked up at work or in storage garages..
No crash damage
There might not be any coverage on your home/renter policy for damages caused by any collision or crash.
No bicycle-specific coverage
Home and renter policies often lack important bicycle-specific coverage, such as medical payments, damage or loss of the bike in transit, and protection when participating in races, or when you lend the bike to a friend.
Homeowner policies often have high deductibles that limit the payout on a claim. A typical homeowner deductible is usually $1,000+ and can rise significantly based on the property's value. Therefore, any claim made for a bicycle will often have a large deductible, considerably eroding the total payout. In addition, any claim on a home or renter policy risks the premium increasing the following year or, worse, being rejected outright.
The growth of eBikes has been swift. We can expect this trend to continue as more cities invest in cycling infrastructure, people look for ways to commute without cars, and see eBikes as an alternative to driving or public transportation. As the popularity of electric bikes and eBikes has increased, so has the confusion about whether or not they're covered under homeowners or renters insurance policies. This is a critical topic for eBikes considering their high price.
Coverage varies by the insurance company but for many, eBikes are considered "motorized" vehicles and, therefore, excluded from any coverage on homeowners or renters policies.
In addition, most standard homeowners and renters insurance policies provide liability protection for incidents arising from using standard bicycles. Yet there is often no liability coverage for eBikes with either homeowners or auto insurance. Therefore, you could be left with a large bill to pay if you injure somebody or cause damage when using your eBike.
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the ins and outs of bike insurance. As with all things insurance-related, it’s important to research and ensure you have the right coverage for your needs. To learn more about how Oyster can help you stay protected, check out our bike insurance for details.
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