Are Bicycles & Bicycle Racks Covered by Auto Insurance?

Bicycles auto insurance

What you might not know about your auto insurance and bike coverage.

By: Torr Leonard at Answer Financial

It’s spring time which means great bicycling weather upon us! May is also National Bike Month, which means we’ll be seeing a lot more bike racks out on the road. Have you ever wondered what happens when a bicycle is stolen or damaged
while on your car’s bike rack? Do you know if your insurance will cover possessions that are inside (or outside) of your car? Well we have good news, in many cases, a bicycle or bike rack will still be covered, but there are circumstances in which your coverage may vary. Google_LabeledForReuse_Specialized_s-works_enduro[1]

Here are five common scenarios with bicycles and bicycle racks and the most important steps to take in each one:

  1. Your bike is damaged while it is secured to your vehicle – In most states, a claim can be filed under the personal property provision of one’s own home insurance or renters insurance policy. If the policy includes a provision for replacement cost value (RCV) coverage, the insurer will pay the replacement cost of the bicycle, less any deductible. However, if the policy provides for actual cash value (ACV) coverage, the insurer will only pay the current depreciated value of the bicycle.
  2. A different vehicle damages your bike while it is secured to your vehicle – If the liability of the other motorist is clear, then his or her insurer will pay the full ACV of the bicycle. If the motorist is uninsured, that same 100 percent ACV payment will be paid by the insurer of the owner of the vehicle to which the bike is attached. However, this payment occurs only if the owner has uninsured motorist coverage.
  3. A hit-and-run motorist damages your bike while it is attached to your vehicle – This claim would be paid under the owner’s homeowners or renters policy. The RCV would be paid, less the deductible.
  4. Another person’s bike is damaged while it is secured to your vehicle – In this scenario, the liability portion of the auto insurance will pay the ACV to the owner of the bike.
  5. A bike attached to your vehicle is stolen – As long as an incident report is filed with the police, one’s renters or homeowners policy will pay the RCV, less the deductible.

It is important to realize that the typical deductible in a homeowners or renters policy is commonly $250 or $500. Therefore, in many instances where a claim is made under the provisions of such a policy, a relatively significant portion of the bike’s value will not be covered.

Fortunately, there is another option. A so-called “floater” can be purchased that specifically covers the full cost of repairs, or the full RCV if the bicycle is not repairable. If one has a very valuable bike, perhaps for racing, it can also be insured via its own policy.

So while you’re giving your bike a Spring tune-up, be sure to also check and see if your current insurance policy covers bicycle theft and other damages.

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