I'm going on a bike ride today.
It's too beautiful outside not to.
One of the many, many benefits of warm weather lies in one's ability to make use of the sunshine and get out doors. As a result, activities like bicycling always increase in popularity in the spring and summer months; not only as a recreational activity but a means of transportation as well. Thanks to Lance Armstrong and a resurgence of fixie gangs, bikes can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars for a basic bike to thousands of dollars for specialized racing bikes. Whether you use your bicycle to commute to work or simply like to cycle around the block with your children, it is important to understand the rules of the road and protect your financial investment with the proper insurance.
Bicycles are covered under the personal property section of standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. This coverage will reimburse you (up to a limit), minus your deductible, if your bike is stolen or damaged in a fire, hurricane or other disaster listed in your policy.
There are two types of coverage for personal property:
- Actual Cash Value reimburses you for what the bicycle is actually worth given its age. A 10-year-old bicycle, for example, would be valued at the cost of a comparable bicycle minus 10 years depreciation.
- Replacement Cost Coverage reimburses you for what it would cost to replace your 10-year-old bicycle with one of like kind and quality at current cost. Replacement cost coverage costs about 10 percent more than actual cash value, but it is a good investment.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies also provide liability protection for harm you may cause to someone else or their property. If you injure someone in a bicycle accident and he or she decides to sue, you will be covered up to the limits of your policy. Your homeowners or renters insurance also includes no-fault medical coverage in the event you injure someone. This coverage usually ranges from $1,000 to $5,000.
Of course the best protection of all is to keep you and your bike safe. Try following these simple rules:
- Always lock up your bike, even if it is in your garage, an apartment stairwell, or a college dormitory.
- Lock your bicycle to a fixed, immovable object like a parking meter or permanent bike rack.
- Consider registering your bike with the National Bike Registry.
- Protect Your Head. Never ride a bike without a properly fitted helmet.
- Learn and Follow the Rules of the Road. Bicycles are considered vehicles on the road; therefore riders must follow the same traffic laws as drivers of motor vehicles.
- Be Visible. Always assume you are not seen by others and take responsibility for making yourself visible to motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists.
- Stay Focused and Stay Alert. Never wear headphones as they hinder your ability to hear traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.
If you're hopping on the fitness and/or "cool" train and purchasing a bike, keep the receipt and call your insurance agent or company representative immediately. If you own a particularly expensive bicycle, you may want to consider getting an endorsement that will provide additional coverage. The agents at Roger L. Stevens are exceptionally adept and going over all your options and making sure you have the coverage you need. We’ll take the time to truly understand your unique insurance needs so that we can create a customized California home insurance
package that’s not just right for you … but wallet appropriate.
Don't hesitate. Get your suped up Bianchi insured today!