Over the past few years biking has become more and more prevalent in the city of Grand Rapids. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in the amount of bikers on our roads. Whether you use your bicycle to commute to work, or for recreation, it’s important to understand the rules of the road and to protect your financial investment with the proper insurance.
Bicycles are typically covered under the personal property section of your standard renters or homeowners policies. This type of coverage will reimburse you, minus your deductible, if your bike is stolen or destroyed. If you’ve purchased a new bike, be sure to keep the receipt and call your insurance agent to advise of the new purchase. Much like any other high value item you may want to ask your agent to check into additional coverage available for your bicycle.
It’s important to distinguish between the types of coverage for personal property. Actual Cash Value coverage reimburses you for what the bicycle is actually worth taking into account age (depreciation). A 15-year-old bike, for example, would be valued at the cost of a similar bike minus 15 years depreciation. Replacement Cost coverage reimburses you for what it would cost to replace your 15-year-old bike with one of like kind and quality at current cost. Although Replacement Cost coverage does add a bit to your premium in most cases, it typically is worth the investment if you were to incur a loss.
Another aspect of your renters and homeowners insurance that can come into play while riding a bicycle is your liability coverage. Liability coverage provides protection for harm you may cause to someone else or their property. If you were to injure someone while riding your bike and they decided to sue, you should be covered up to the liability limits in your policy.
Of course the best protection is to keep your bike safe and to always be aware of your surroundings. Always lock your bike even if you have it in your own garage or stairwell. If you have your bike locked outside at night, be sure to keep in a well lit area. Always be focused and aware when you’re on the street.
To my bicycling friends, how do you stay safe when you’re on the road and do you have anything to add?
Have a great day!