Let’s face it. Getting anything insured can feel like paying for a premium subscription service or gym membership that you never get to use. That is… Until you need it. Because trust me, coming from my share of injuries and losses – when it rains (and you’re uninsured), it pours.
Now, if you’ve been lucky, bike insurance might still not seem like a necessity. But imagine getting run over by a car, having your beloved bike snap in half, and never regaining full range of motion within your right hand.
This is precisely what happened to cyclist Ben Bollinger, whose high-profile case had struck a nerve with the cycling community. He took to Twitter following the accident last July:
“So essentially, I get to pay $3700 for the privilege of being hit by a teenager driving a Mercedes Benz because, as ICBC points out, I was “driving an uninsured vehicle” at the time of the collision. I was on my bike!”
According to ICBC, he was responsible for the damages and injuries of the insured party since he did not have bicycle insurance coverage. With more and more cases like Ben’s shedding light on this issue, it’s no surprise the demand for liability/bike insurance has gone up in recent years.
This further begs the following questions: How can cyclists in BC protect themselves in an accident? And do they really need bike insurance?
Do pedal bike owners need bicycle insurance?
I highly recommend cyclists review their current policies and determine potential exposures with the help of a licensed insurance broker. If you have a typical home or renters insurance policy, most of them have limited coverage for your bike. Especially if you have an expensive bike, it would be worth considering extra coverage as some policies may limit your claim to $1,000.
Even with a simple pedal bike, bicycle insurance costs are always worth the investment. It will protect you against damages, injuries, and liability in event of a collision.
Do e-bike owners need bike insurance?
Yes, coverage is just as important, if not more, for e-bike owners. Although you may not need a driver’s license and registration for your e-bike… If you get into a collision while you’re riding one, you will be subject to the same rules and regulations as a driver of a motor vehicle.
For limited-speed motorcycles like scooters and mopeds, different rules may apply.
Why should I get bike Insurance?
Getting the right type of comprehensive coverage for your cycling lifestyle and bike(s) can protect you from paying exorbitant damage costs, injuries, and liability in case an accident arises.
It’s best to consult with providers who are experienced in bicycle insurance. They can either help you optimize your current policy or assist you in purchasing a separate bicycle insurance policy. For example, if you’re involved in bike racing and you get into an accident with another cyclist, your legal defense costs will be covered in the event they sue you.
Comprehensive fees can also protect you against damages to their bike/bike replacement, loss of income, and medical expenses. What’s more, the right type of coverage can also protect you from fire and theft in the event these situations occur.
What will happen if I’m in a collision and I’m uninsured?
According to section 178 of the Insurance Vehicle Act, the ICBC can recover the cost of the insured party’s claim and bill you for this if you are uninsured. (Case in point: Ben Bollinger’s experience.)
Moreover, if you fail to pay the bill, the ICBC can take legal action against you. If this is the lay of the land, then private insurance for cyclists is the only viable option.
How much does bicycle insurance cost?
Is your bike valued at over $3,000, or do you participate in weekend races? Comprehensive coverage policies for avid cycling enthusiasts can start at as little as $20 per month.
The standard one million dollar personal liability protection for cyclists can range from just $30 to $60 annually. Definitely value for money if you ask me.
Do most cyclists in BC have insurance?
There’s definitely been an influx of Canadian cyclists who’ve gotten coverage over the years. I started Bicycle Broker to cater to the growing and varied demands of individual cyclists and their specific needs.
I realized the opportunity to expand the insurance offerings for cyclists like myself when I started traveling for mountain bike races several years ago. I could not find a comprehensive option for my own emergency medical and bike insurance.
The realization of this coverage gap, combined with a series of injuries and property losses, motivated me to build a brokerage that could provide solutions catering to the outdoor sports industry and all types of cyclists.
What other things can I do to protect myself in an accident?
Aside from securing the right coverage, I suggest investing in a GoPro style dash camera for your bike in the event of a collision. Our policyholders also receive access to our Legal Hotline which is connected to The Biking Lawyer, Virtual Physio with a global network of recovery professionals and the mobile app Flare which sends out an emergency call in the event of a bicycle crash.
Paving the safe and secure trail ahead
As British Columbia’s leading source for insurance policies to aid the cycling industry and its enthusiasts, Bicycle Broker can help you find the right policy for you! We can craft flexible packages or optimize your current one to ensure your cycling life is covered on and off the road.