Insure Your Bike

Bike theft happens so frequently that we highly recommend insuring your bike. There are several options for insuring your bike from theft or damage, and it’s possible that you’re bike is already covered.  In addition, some of these insurance options will cover other potential bike-related liabilities, such as roadside assistance and personal injury to yourself or others.

Potential Insurance Options:

  • Credit Card Purchase Protection
  • Renters & Homeowner Insurance
  • Auto Insurance
  • Personal Property Insurance
  • Bicyclist-specific Insurance

This page is not meant to provide any insurance, legal, or financial advice, but merely inform you of your potential options.  Do your own research.

Credit Card Purchase Protection

American Express, Visa Signature, Mastercard a few other credit cards provide “purchase protection” that covers loss and damage to items within 90 days of purchase with the credit card. Typically these protections cover losses up to either $500 or $1,000 per instance, with an annual cap of $50,000.  In addition, if your renters, home, or vehicle insurance covers only a portion of the loss, the credit card purchase protection may cover the remainder. Read this MarketWatch article.

Renters & Homeowner Insurance

Many renters insurance policies and most homeowner insurance policies cover theft of personal goods while you are away from you home, such as commuting around the city or while on vacation.  However, this isn’t universal and the terms can vary widely, so you will want to carefully read your policy statement and talk with your insurance agent. Some bicyclists ask for the insurance agent’s assertions of coverage to be put in writing in case there’s ever a disagreement in coverage.

In addition, you will want to make sure that the insurance policy makes sense for you and your bike.

  • First, you must make sure your renters insurance policy covers the total value of your bike, especially if it’s an expensive bike.
  • Second, pay attention to whether your policy covers the market-value of your bike (also known as “actual cost value,” accounting for wear & tear and depreciation), or whether it covers the “replacement cost value” of your bike.  The “replacement value” is preferable as you’ll get full value to buy a new equivalent bike.
  • Finally, often there is a $500 deductible or more. So if you own a bike worth $500 and you’re paying a monthly premium of $14 (the national average), even if you had your bike stolen and replaced every year, you’d be a net financial loser.  Of course, homeowners and renters insurance covers much more than your bike, so it’s still typically worthwhile to have.

Auto Insurance

If your bike is stolen while attached to your car’s bike rack, it is possible that your auto insurance will cover the theft if the insurance policy covers thefts from your car (“comprehensive coverage”).  However, this is not always the case and you will probably find better luck with your renters or homeowners insurance policy.

Personal Property Insurance

If you have an expensive bike worth $3,000 or more, you should consider purchasing a specific insurance policy for your bike, especially if your renters or homeowners insurance provides insufficient coverage.

Bicyclist-Specific Insurance

There are a few insurance companies that specialize in bicyclist-specific insurance, including Markel Insurance, Velosurance, and Big Ring Bike Insurance (Transamerica).  These policies attempt to provide comprehensive coverage for the needs of bicyclists, including things such as theft, crash damage, personal liability, event fee returns, medical payments, racing, and roadside assistance.