Bicycle Insurance: How Home Insurance can Protect Cyclists

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Insurance to Protect Bicyclists


Given that it's a form of transportation, many Albertans may be under the assumption that when they purchase a bicycle for their everyday use, that it will be covered by their car insurance policy. However, in reality, this mode of travel is actually provided for under an home insurance policy.

It's estimated that each year, about 100,000 bicycles are reported stolen in Canada alone. This fact in and of itself makes having the proper home or tenant insurance policy crucial because policyholders can be compensated for their loss based on the value of the bicycle at the time it was stolen.

Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the U.S.-based Insurance Information Institute, notes that one of the smartest moves any bicycle rider can make is having it insured as soon as it's purchased.

"It's terrible when someone spends months picking out their perfect bike only to have it stolen," said Salvatore.“ Fortunately, with the proper insurance you can at least replace the bicycle and get back out on the road quickly."

Insure Based on Cash Value or Replacement Cost

Similar to what policyholders do when insuring their personal belongings under their Alberta tenant insurance policy, bicyclists can decide how they'd like to be compensated for the loss of a bike. For instance, they may want to go the actual cash value route. Through this alternative, someone who has had their bicycle stolen will be given remuneration based on the depreciated value of the bike. Or, the replacement cost option may prove more suitable. This one differs slightly, in that the bicycle owner is paid what it costs to purchase the same bike minus the deductible.

Something else that an Alberta home insurance policy provides for is liability costs. There may be occasions in which a bicycle rider runs into a pedestrian walking or running on the side of the road. The resulting accident may have resulted not only in an injury for the rider but also for the other person involved in the crash. Because medical treatments can be extremely costly, this individual may decide to sue the cyclist, alleging that they were at fault for the incident. However, with the proper policy in place, a bicycle rider will be able to pay for any court costs and settlements that are ultimately decided in the legal proceeding.

That said, there are limits to these policies. In other words, if medical costs exceed the amount that's on the plan, the bicycle rider will have to come up with the difference. For this reason, it's imperative that policyholders take the appropriate precautions and insure their bicycle at a rate that's equitable with their level of risk.

When Car Insurance Policies are used

But Alberta car insurance policies factor into bicycle riding as well. Whether it's due to someone who didn't see them on the side of the road or driver inattention, thousands of bicycle-vehicle collisions occur in Canada on an annual basis. In some cases, cyclists who have been hit have been injured critically. With the proper car insurance policy, motorists can rest assured that they'll have the financial protection they need to reconcile with the bicycle rider and their family based on any medical injuries, court costs and which party, ultimately, is at fault.

According to a 2003 provincial government study, most car-bike collisions occur at intersections. Other common accidents between a motorist and cyclist happen when the driver is taking a left turn facing the cyclist and when opening a car door just as a cyclist is approaching. This is often referred to as "dooring."