Replacement cost insurance for my bicycle - US
May 19, 2009 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Is bicycle insurance available in the US?

I just discovered that my bicycle, particularly the frame (Tommasini Sintesi), is worth much more than I thought. I bought the frame 10 years ago and it went unused for about eight years so it's nearly like new. A friend was curious and looked it up on the net. Turns out the frame I paid $700 for now goes for appox. $1,800. It's outfitted with Ultegra so I'm guessing replacement would be in the neighborhood of $3,000. I'm not worried about theft because that would be covered by my by my homeowners.

My concern is if I'm rear ended, I have a rack that attaches to the receiver hitch on the rear of my car, or if I crash. I carry only liability on my auto so it won't cover the bike. I'm looking for a policy that would cover replacement cost in those situations. Searching the net I can find such policies available in Europe but none in the US. A policy was once available through USA cycling but no longer.
posted by Carbolic to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total)
Just a thought but if I by a used car and it gets totaled, my insurance doesn't reimburse me for the cost of a new car. It is expensive for a bike but getting extra insurance doesn't make too much sense. Also consider that if you get rear-ended by a car on your bike, replacing that bike will be the least of your worries.
posted by JJ86 at 9:07 AM on May 19, 2009

@JJ86: The bike is on a bike rack on his car, it would get damaged in a car-on-car accident.

This situation sounds like a rider on a homeowners or renters insurance. I'd go to them first, as far as I can tell, they act as the catch all for insuring your stuff that isn't covered elsewhere.

Also, if that doesn't pan out, ask the car insurance company, it's quite possible that in the case of an accident, stuff you're carrying is covered.

I'm sure your local state farm agent (or whatever) can work out a plan to get it covered, just go ask.
posted by cschneid at 9:14 AM on May 19, 2009

My tenant's insurance covers replacing my goods when I'm traveling. I'm 100% positive that this covers situations like "I'm biking down the road, crash, and break the accordion on my back" - because I've asked the policy people a few times to confirm it.

Your scenario is fundamentally the same thing. Call up your homeowners group and give them the scenario. If they say no, call up your car insurance and try them. If not them either, call up your homeowners again and attach a rider.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:18 AM on May 19, 2009

You can get a rider on your homeowners that covers specific things like this. I got a policy for $70/yr for my digital camera gear (in 2000, when a digial SLR setup was $3000), and it had extra coverages (like dropping it) with no deductible, so long as it wasn't used for business purposes.

I would strongly suggest that route. Otherwise, your bike is mostly covered by your homeowners, with your standard deductible.
posted by bensherman at 10:12 AM on May 19, 2009

renters' or homeowners' insurance. also, uh, consider a roof rack?
posted by beefetish at 11:08 AM on May 19, 2009

Insure yourself: put $50 per month aside till you've saved up $3000.
posted by aquafortis at 12:41 PM on May 19, 2009

Carbolic, your profile says you live in Memphis. I assume that's in Tenessee, which has a "traditional tort" liability system for auto insurance.

This means that if you get rear-ended, the guy who hits you has to pay for it. Whether he pays out-of-pocket or through his insurance is not your concern.
posted by randomstriker at 1:07 PM on May 19, 2009

I've checked with both my homeowners and car insurance. If I'm riding the bike and crash or it is stolen homeowner's covers it at replacement cost. If I'm rear-ended I'd have to depend upon the "rear-ender" being insured. (I'd never do it of course but, sounds like the only option for replacement cost coverage if I'm rear-ended is to throw the bike in a near by ditch and claim it was stolen.)

Randomstricker: The problem is with those who are "judgment proof" (sue them all you want but they don't have anything to begin with) and depreciated value vs. replacement cost. TN requires all drivers to have liability insurance but it is only typically enforced after the driver has had their first accident.

aquafortis: I think you have it. Self insurance is really the only honest choice I have to either pay for replacement or make up the difference between depreciated value and replacement cost.

I've also come to realize that a lot of my concern is related as much to sentimental value. I probably ought to see someone about my excessive attachment to an inanimate object.

But, ain't it pretty? Mine is blue.
posted by Carbolic at 12:16 PM on May 20, 2009

Carbolic: someone who hits you with a car isn't someone who "doesn't have anything to begin with". If the other driver is found at-fault and responsible for your costs, you can put a lien on the car, which in most cases should be worth more than your bike. And hopefully you can demonstrate that your bike is a collectible item whose value appreciates, if you have enough documentation. Start building that paper trail now.
posted by randomstriker at 3:55 PM on May 20, 2009

Randomstriker: Obtaining a judgment and collecting on a judgment are two completely different things. Ask anyone who has ever tried to collect a judgment against someone whose only asset is their auto or possibly a home. Also, the are a great number of cars moving on the streets of Memphis that are worth less than the bike (I have a 95 BMW 540i and it isn't worth much more than the bike). If one of these same cars rear ends mine they would also be damaged and worth even less. Depending upon collecting from the "rear-ender" is nearly the same as being uninsured.

I'm only making this comment because you seem to have a skewed impression on how much you can depend upon collecting from the other driver when they are at fault. In many cases you can but you seem to underestimate the percentage of individuals who are, what I call, "judgment proof". Suing and winning is one thing. Suing, winning and collecting is another. (IAAL).
posted by Carbolic at 10:17 AM on June 1, 2009

« Older Can I keep some of the money?   |   Book Recommendations: Mercenaries, Security... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.