The lowdown on bicycles
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All about insurance and bikes
While your bike is most likely covered under your home insurance policy, you don’t want the hassle of having it stolen. This is particularly true because, in some cases, it may not be beneficial for you to claim a stolen bike.
Find out how to keep your bicycle safe from theft and whether you should make a claim if it is stolen.
Avoiding bicycle theft
- Your first defence against bicycle theft is locking your bike – and that means each and every time you leave it unattended, even for a short time. A surprisingly high number of bike thefts occur because the bike was locked improperly, or not at all – this is like an open invitation to a thief.
- Always park your bicycle in a secure, well-lit area. Bring it indoors whenever possible. If you leave it in an apartment building hallway or in your garage, always keep it locked.
- A good quality lock is a worthwhile investment. A reliable U-Lock is better than a lightweight cable or chain that can be easily cut.
- When locking your bike, remove your quick-release wheel and include it in your U-Lock. When more space is used in a U-Lock, it is more difficult to pry open. If there is a keyhole at the end of your U-Lock crossbar, position it facing the ground so it can’t be picked.
- Two locks are better than one. If you use two different types of locks at the same time, a thief may not have the time or the tools to break both.
- Register you bike. If you want to make sure your bike can be returned if it is stolen despite your precautions, register it with your local police station or with a national bicycle registration system. This can be done online by going to bikeregistrycanada.com
A stolen bike – to claim or not to claim?
While your home insurance covers your bike, it may not pay to make a claim if it’s stolen and worth less than your deductible. On the other hand, if you’ve just bought a brand new and very valuable two-wheeler that exceeds your policy limitations, it may be worth your while to buy additional coverage.
Consider the following when deciding whether to make a claim:
- Your deductible: Your policy’s deductible vs. the value of your bike.
- Limits for bicycles: Your policy may have a limit on the coverage provided for bicycles. This may mean that you are paid only a portion of what your bike cost you. For example, if your bike was worth $600, your policy limits bicycle coverage to $500 and you have a $300 deductible, you would only get $200 for your claim.
- Scheduling a higher value bike: If you own an expensive bicycle and you want to make sure it is fully covered, you can “schedule” the bike on your property insurance policy. You add a special clause to your policy that describes the bicycle, its accessories and its cost so that if it were to be stolen or destroyed, it could be replaced for the full value.
- Discounts: Keep in mind that we offer discounts on your property insurance if you have gone several years without making a claim. Losing this discount because of a small claim like the theft of a bicycle might mean that you end up paying more in the long run for your premiums than you would for a new bicycle.