BORING! Yeah, I know. Shopping around for insurance isn’t exciting. Even just thinking about it send me into a blank stare of boredom. There are SO many other things I’d rather be doing. Like even mowing the lawn. Or watching the grass grow back afterwards…
But it’s important. Not only can it save you a fair chunk of cash each year, but reading Product Disclosures, asking the right questions and updating your policy to reflect recent changes will mean you’re actually covered correctly! I will admit to not doing it often enough.
How does this apply to us road cyclists? For most Home and Contents Insurance policies, bicycles are covered under general contents or sporting goods. This is fine for your “average” household where a bike is not exactly a high value asset. But for us road cyclists with four figure price tag bikes (eBike riders and mountain bikers as well) it can be a very different story.
You are very likely sitting on several thousands of dollars worth of carbon fibre, possibly with more than one high value bike under your roof! In the unfortunate event that something untoward did happen (eg: theft or fire) you want to be damn sure you’re covered for the full value. This is where reading the fine print and seeking clarification from your insurer is VERY important. Here’s a few key points to look out for:
Total amount covered: Many insurance companies will have a cap on how much any one item can be claimed for, or even a group of items (eg: total for all sporting goods). This may be as little as $1000. That’s not going to go very far, especially if you also need to pay an excess in the event that your bike or bikes are stolen. It’s worth knowing about these limits and also…
Separate listing of high value items: Find out if you need to list your bikes separately as high value items! As an example, one company required every item over $2000 in the house to be listed separately on the policy, with each item listed putting the premium up. Not just bikes, but EVERY item worth over $2000. Another insurance company I contacted didn’t require listing of any item apart from high value jewellery.
Security: Always double check with your insurer if they have any regulations around how your bikes must be stored when at home. Do they need to be secured? Having them in your spare room might not be secure enough. Even a locked garage may not suffice. A few insurance companies stipulate that all bikes must be locked a certain way (eg: using an approved ground anchor).
Theft and damage cover away from home: Some insurance companies offer cover for accidental damage or theft when items are taken away from your place of residence. Usually there is a dollar value cap on this unless items are listed separately. Certain items (possibly bicycles) may also be excluded from this cover. If not included as standard, adding this type of cover to your policy will in most cased increase your premium, so consider whether if it’s worth it for your particular circumstances. Crashing your bike in a race is generally not covered.
If your home and contents insurance is coming up for renewal – or you pay monthly – and you haven’t shopped around for a couple of years, get on it! Sure, it’ll probably burn a few hours of your life away, but the results can be well worth it. I recently switched insurance companies and not only did I get better cover, but I locked it in for a lower price!
For any Australian based readers, here’s a few facts I uncovered:
YOUI: They will cover the full value of all your bikes under your total contents cover amount. No need to list separately unless a single item is valued at over $15,000 (one bike, not combined value).
CGU: Bikes are automatically covered up to a total of $20,000. No need to list.
BUDGET DIRECT: Cheap on the surface, but high value bikes need to be listed separately and MUST be “locked to a fixed object with a device designed specifically for bicycles.”