It is obvious that no mountain bike lock is unbreakable, and at the same time, no mountain bike cannot be stolen. As if that is not enough, according to several sources 50% of cyclists risk have or have had their mountain bikes stolen at some point in life. If you have a mountain bike, then you should understand how costly they are, losing one can be a daunting experience. Good mountain bike insurance can mitigate this risk. But mountain biking has also a health-related risk. Both beginners and experienced riders can have an accident, and good insurance can help you get the proper care.
Insurance can be expensive. So how can you pay less and still have a good mountain bike insurance?
- Step 1: What is your usage? Do you use your mountain bike for commuting, or only during the weekend?
- Step 2: What are your insurance needs? Are you most worried about theft? Or do you want to have a Personal Injury cover and Personal Liability coverage?
- Step 3: Select the type of insurance that fits your need:
- Option One: Self-Insurance
- Option Two: Bike Lock Anti-theft Protection
- Option Three: Homeowners / Renters / Vehicle Insurance
- Option Four: Specialist Mountain Bike Insurance
- Step 4: Depending on your choice, ask several companies for a quote.
Let us be honest here, there is little knowledge about mountain bike insurance, and sometimes the terms used are a bit complicated for an ordinary cyclist to understand. Besides, paying monthly premiums for something that may not even happen is depressing. That is not to add that you have to compare various insurance policies. So, to start with, I’d like to break down this concept to you in bits that you can easily understand.
What is Insurance?
Yes, this is going to be more basic than you imagined. You can jump to the next section if you already have some knowledge about insurance. But if you find it hard to understand the concepts and terminologies of insurance as I do, then keep reading.
Taking an insurance cover means; you agree to pay an insurance company some small amount of money in exchange for a guarantee. This guarantee will cover any cost of damage or financial loss you suffer if the mountain bike is stolen or damaged in an accident. This small amount of money is paid monthly and is called a premium. The agreement between you and the insurance company details everything that is covered and what is not, it is called an insurance policy.
Things you can Insure
In the case of a mountain bike, you are expected to insure against theft, damage, or medical bills if you are injured while riding. This concept means that if your bicycle is stolen or crushed, the insurance company compensates you for the financial loss you have incurred. The payment can be in the form of a new mountain bike or by paying for your medical bills.
Isn’t that simple? Maybe, but the real task lies in the details or at least in the insurance policy. This is where you will have to go through documentation and the language of insurance. You have to be aware of all the terms of the coverage to determine if it is worth insuring your mountain bike.
Before we delve too deep into that topic, let us look at some ways in which you can pay less to insure your mountain bike. There are four ways in which you can get your mountain bike insured. You just need to look at the cost of each and how suitable it is for your needs.
Option 1: Self-Insurance
This option is the most affordable one you can get. However, you have to understand that this option means not having any mountain bike insurance. You are therefore left to cover all the costs in case of theft or damage caused to the bike. On one side, this idea has an advantage it means that you are free and do not need to pay any monthly premiums. The problem with this option is that if you have an expensive mountain bike and it gets stolen, you may not be in a position to cover all the financial loss, and that can be depressing.
You can cover up for that shortcoming by saving the amount you could have paid as monthly premiums. This trick gives you peace of mind, especially if you save enough to get a new mountain bike if anything happens to the old one. On the other hand, if nothing goes wrong, you will end up with an impressive chunk of money in your account.
– Pros of self-insurance
- Cheap if nothing happens to your mountain bike.
– Cons of self-insurance
- You may not be in a position to recover the loss that may occur if the bike is stolen.
Option 2: Bike Lock Anti-theft Protection
The second most affordable option is going for mountain bike locks. Some manufacturers like OnGuard and Kryptonite offer exceptional anti-theft protection as some sort of guarantee for the safety of their bike locks. This option, however, comes at an extra cost of between $1 and $30 for three years.
The idea behind this plan is that if you have a mountain bike lock from either of these two companies and a thief breaks the lock and your mountain bike is stolen, the company compensates you for the loss.
The only problem with this type of arrangement is that the company expects you to produce the broken lock to verify your claim. This requirement can be a bit problematic if the thief decides to dispose of the lock not to leave traces of evidence. Additionally, this kind of scheme is never offered to people who live in areas with high rates of mountain bike theft, and other conditions also determine if you get the offer or not.
– Pros of Anti-theft Protection
- Relatively cheap considering the amount of payment you make to get covered.
– Cons of Anti-theft protection
- Making a claim is difficult in case of theft.
Option 3: Homeowners / Renters / Vehicle Insurance
Reports have it that more than 50% of lost bikes are often taken from the owners’ premises. This policy means that you can have your mountain bike covered under one of the insurance policies you have for your home. You only need to check the fine print.
The chances are that the homeowner or renters insurance will cover the theft for your mountain bike from your premises or a vehicle associated with your home. In most cases, the insurance policy will only cover your bike if the financial loss is suffered within your property. The insurance company will not compensate you for any loss if the bike is stolen or destroyed on the streets.
Additionally, homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover the full value of some stuff like a mountain bike, at the same time, the policy will have a high deductible. This idea means that you may have to cover the more substantial part of the loss by yourself. A deductible is the amount of money that you pay for the insurance claim before the insurer compensates you for the loss. It looks bizarre, but that is precisely how it works.
There is always a way round of this scenario. You can have your mountain bike listed as a valuable item under the insurance policy to increase the limit of the amount you will receive if something happens to the bike. But you need to understand that every insurance company has a different process for scheduling valuable items. However, the added protection means that you do not pay a deductible to receive compensation upon the loss of your mountain bike. The only way to be sure of this is by reading the insurance policy to see how the coverage for personal property is done. You can also speak to an adviser to help you schedule your mountain bike.
The main advantage of using a homeowner’s or rented insurance for you mountain bike coverage is that you are already paying for the cover under some policies that may include personal liability cover.
Personal liability cover means that your insurance gets to cover other people if you cause harm to them or damage their property. In other words, you are not held financially responsible for scratching someone’s car with your bike. The insurance company pays for the loss. When it comes to getting your mountain bike covered under homeowner’s or renters’ insurance, you have to understand that every policy is different. You must check the details to see if your bicycle is duly covered and to what extent.
– Homeowners / Renters Insurance Pros
- There is no additional cost for getting your mountain bike covered.
– Homeowners / Renters Insurance Cons
- The insurance policy only covers theft and damage suffered from your house or vehicle.
- You may have to pay high deductibles to get compensated.
Option 4: Specialist Mountain Bike Insurance
This option is the best bet for you if you want to have all eventualities relating to the theft of the bike and resulting injuries from accidents covered. Let us take a quick look at what is covered under specialist bike insurance.
– What Specialist Bike Insurance Covers
- All losses related to the bike and its accessories
- Personal injuries and loss of income
- Personal liability.
Now, let us look into details on what each of these categories entails:
– Your mountain bicycle
Under normal circumstances, the specialist bike insurance policy should cover the full value of your mountain bike in case of theft or damage caused by accident. Additionally, you are given a chance to talk to experts who deal with cycling incidents to help in making your insurance claim as smooth as possible. This means that should anything happen to your mountain bike anywhere, you are likely to get compensated for the loss you have suffered. However, there are some exemptions that you need to understand.
Some situations are referred to as “invited events”, and they may lead to you not being compensated for the financial loss. These situations include the following:
- If you leave your mountain bike unattended at home with the doors open
- If you leave your mountain bike unlocked or tied with some sorts of string
- Any careless situation that invites harm or theft to the bike.
Under all these circumstances, you will not be compensated by either specialist of homeowners’ insurance cover. Additionally, specialist bike insurance requires that you use some of the locks that they approve for your claim to be valid.
– Personal Injury cover
The most crucial part of a mountain bike insurance is often personal injury cover. You can find out from your cycling friends if they have ever come out on top after a collision with a vehicle or any accident. You may have some form of health insurance that may include deductibles.
However, having specialist bike insurance gives you extensive coverage compared to medical insurance in such situations. You may also be eligible for lost income compensation for the period that you are not able to work due to injuries caused.
– Personal Liability coverage
This cover means that you are not held liable for losses and damages you cause other people in case of an incident with your mountain bike. For instance, if you hit someone with the bike, their medical bill is covered by the insurer instead of you paying for it. To clarify more, the insurance policy covers any third-party injury or damage. This arrangement would save you the headache of having to pay for the losses you cause with your mountain bike.
Is Specialist Bike Insurance the Right Choice for you?
Two situations might make going for specialist bike insurance worth the investment.
- If you are a regular mountain bike racer
- If you own a costly mountain bike, which would be hard to replace if it is lost or damaged
Regular mountain bike racers, be it on road, trail, or up the mountains, always have a higher risk compared to other cyclists. This category of people are most likely to crash, and the extents of their injuries close to severe. Additionally, their mountain bikes are likely to get more damage in case of accidents compared to standard cyclists. All these scenarios mean that paying that extra cost to get a specialist bike cover is a worthwhile investment.
On the other hand, if your mountain bike is quite expensive and you depend on it for daily routines, you may find it difficult to replace the exact one in case of loss or damage caused by accidents. Paying the monthly premium for specialist bike insurance cover will give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered in case anything happens to your mountain bike.
People that do not fall under the two categories still need specialist bike insurance.
– Pros of Specialist Bike Insurance
- The policy is often extensive and covers almost all eventualities.
The policy covers a wide range of losses and damages, including third-party liability
– Cons of Specialist bike Insurance
- The most expensive of all the insurance options in this list
– Homeowners or Renters’ Vs. Specialist Bike Insurance
These two options can be a bit confusing to someone who wants to choose the right insurance for a mountain bike. So let us break it down to see which one offers more affordable and practical mountain bike insurance.
Homeowners’ or renters’ insurance covers theft or damage caused to your mountain bike within your personal property. Some policies may also include your car. However, this option does not cover theft or damage caused to your bike while in public places, such as on the street, and it doesn’t include third parties. To some extent, you may find homeowners’ insurance policies that cover personal liability, even though the coverage will not be as extensive as in specialist bike policy.
On the other hand, specialist bike insurance offers decent personal liability coverage to protect you against third party claims. Additionally, the policy will cover the full value of your mountain bike, including all related damages and injuries. As much as this option is costly, it is the most effective mountain bike insurance that guarantees full compensation in case anything happens to the bike or yourself in the course of using your mountain bike.
The Best Specialist Mountain Bike Insurance Policies
The leading insurance companies in the mountain bike insurance industry are Markel and Velosurance. These two insurance policy providers offer protection against theft and damage to your mountain bike and also cover related incidences like third party liability.
Additionally, the two insurers have an excellent customer service reputation, and they provide customized policies that will match your exact needs. So, which company is perfect in which area?
– Markel Insurance: Perfect for Mountain Bike Racers
Markel insurance is a perfect fit for racers who are at risk of regular crashes. The company offers cover against theft and injuries and also provides kit replacements in case they are damaged in a race. Additionally, Markel will refund you the money you pay to participate in a competition in case you fail to compete because your mountain bike is stolen or damaged.
However, it is essential to note that the company requires policyholders to pay deductible worth somewhere around $100, and this may be more than the cost of the items you want to replace. So, if the sum of your claim is lower than $100, you may not have an option but to forego making a claim altogether.
– Velosurance: Perfect for Other Regular Cyclists
This company is a subsidiary of Markel. However, they have an excellent reputation for offering decent insurance cover at the most affordable prices. Additionally, they are known to pay out full value when a claim is brought forward. This option is best for ordinary cyclists who have minimal chances of accidents and damages but are exposed to mountain bike theft.
– Other Available Options
The best alternative and also a more affordable option of getting your mountain bike insured is creating a social insurance group with other mountain bike owners around your locality. For instance, there is a group in the United Kingdom that calls itself Bike Protection, fuelled by friendship. The primary idea here is that the group members decide to help you buy a new mountain bike in case yours is stolen or damaged. This option is most affordable because you do not have to pay any monthly premiums, and at the same time, you have an assurance that you will get compensated if anything happens to your mountain bike.
Five Common Mountain Bike Insurance Myths
Many mountain bike owners and cyclists are perhaps familiar with conventional bike equipment like lights helmet, and mirrors. However, not everyone knows so much about mountain bike insurance. As discussed above, bike insurance can be a specific stand-alone insurance policy meant to cover just your mountain bike against theft, damage, and also cover your medical bills in case of injuries. Markel bike insurance fielded some questions to bike owners. It derived some of the top misconceptions about bike insurance to help impart more knowledge about the concept of having mountain bikes insured and protected from the worst-case scenarios. Here are the five fallacies mountain bike owners have about bike insurance.
– I do not need separate bike insurance if I already have a homeowners’ insurance policy.
It may be true that other policies may also cover your mountain bike. However, you have to understand that the terms of agreements in the policies may be limited, and sometimes your mountain bike may not be fully covered. Additionally, there are some circumstances in which you cannot be compensated if your bicycle is stolen or damaged. For instance, homeowners’ policy does not cover your mountain bike if it is taken away from home. Additionally, you may have to pay high amounts of deductibles to validate your claim, and by this, you meet the most cost of repairing or replacing the bike.
On the other hand, having a separate insurance policy for your mountain bike will give you peace of mind knowing that your mountain bike is fully covered. Additionally, the bike policy does not require payments of deductibles, therefore, the other insurance rates are not affected by a claim you made on your mountain bike.
– I do not need a stand-alone bike policy for my mountain bike because my homeowners’ insurance company wrote an insurance rider for my bike’s value.
Just because your homeowners’ policy has an exclusive coverage does not mean that your mountain bike will be compensated if it is stolen and damaged anywhere. Even with the insurance riders, your mountain bike still might fall victim to one of the restrictions and limitations in the policy. For instance, you can be 100% sure that you won’t be covered for loss or damage you incur while racing on the streets.
On the other hand, having a specialist bike insurance cover protects your mountain bike from all forms of loss, including the parts of the bicycle. Besides, the policies are customized to offer you an opportunity to choose what is best for you and your mountain bike.
– I have the best mountain bike lock, plus I also store my bike in safe spots only, so I do not need any insurance cover.
It is true that having the right bike lock and being cautious about where you leave your mountain bike can keep it safe. However, you need to understand that even the most prepared cyclists can have a stroke of bad luck, plus there is no unbreakable lock. You still need to get your mountain bike insured against other eventualities like accidents that may cause damage and injuries to yourself.
Additionally, you may cause damages to third parties and are forced to pay vast amounts of money to cover the loss. With specialized bike insurance, you do not have to worry about all that.
– Insuring a mountain bike is expensive.
First, go back to the title of this article. Yes, there are ways of paying less for mountain bike insurance. Besides, Markel offers bike insurance for as low as $100. Considering the amounts you put into purchasing your mountain bike, paying to get it covered is not that expensive. Additionally, we have explored other alternatives like joining a social insurance drive with other cyclists, which is one of the most affordable ways of getting your mountain bike insured.
– Mountain bike insurance is only for professional cyclists.
Professional cyclists indeed need bike insurance. But so do other people that love their mountain bikes. If the value of your mountain bike is high, you may require some help replacing it if it is damaged or stolen, and that is where specialized bike insurance comes in handy. Besides, other unforeseeable situations require insurance policies. For instance, you may get involved in a collision and require specialized treatment that is costly. With your mountain bike insured, you do not have to worry about all that stuff because you are always covered.
Wrapping it up
The most important take away here is that mountain bike insurance offers plenty of options, and the best one depends on your requirements. If you are a serious mountain bike lover and cyclist who enjoy mountain bike racing, throwing yourself around trails, and down the mountains, you are likely to crash your bike. Best case scenario, nothing happens to the bike and you, worst-case scenario, you get injured, and the bike is damaged. This is where you will need a helping hand to sort the medical bills and repair or replace your mountain bike.