Does Insurance Cover Bike Theft or Damage?

Learn the steps you should take to keep your bicycle covered.

Bicycle insurance basics: does homeowners or renters insurance cover theft?

Yes — bike theft is covered by home or renters insurance — with a few caveats. A bike falls under your personal property section of your home or renters policy and theft is a covered claim. However, depending on the value of your bike and your deductible, it might not make sense for you to file a claim. Let’s outline the best practices for bike theft and your property insurance.

  1. How to properly insure a bike
  2. How to make an insurance claim for bicycle theft
  3. FAQs and additional resources

 

Do you need bike insurance?

If your bike is worth upwards of the $700 to $1,000 range, it might be a good idea to purchase extra bicycle insurance through your renters or homeowners policy.

Items such as bicycles, jewelry, fine art, and firearms face limited coverage due to their high value. These items face liability sub-limits: when an insurance company may restrict financial compensation for valuable items. Below are some examples.

Sub-limit

Property

Limitations

$200

Money, gold, coins

 

$1,500

Jewelry, watches, furs

Theft-only

$1,500

Watercraft, trailers

Theft-only

$2,500

Firearms

 

$2,500

Silverware

 

$2,500

Business property

On-premises

$500

Business property

Off-premises

Varies

Electronics

 

Varies

Bicycles

 

 

One workaround is an endorsement (sometimes called a rider). An insurance endorsement boosts the total coverage you have for a particular item. If you own an expensive bike, consider a scheduled personal property endorsement. This will require you have the item appraised, but it's the best way to insure your property comprehensively.

A traditional bicycle insurance endorsement will only offer compensation if your bicycle is damaged in the event of a covered peril (vandalism or theft). If you use your bicycle for racing or competitions, consider a bike insurance-specific company such as Velosurance or Sundays Insurance. Your typical homeowners or renters insurance policy will not cover structural damage sustained while racing or competing. 

If you're in need of an insurance endorsement for your bike, consider The Zebra's partners, Lemonade (renters) and Hippo (homeowners). These insurers offer competitive rates for renters and homeowners insurance and easily allow you to customize coverage. Click below to get started.

 


How to file an insurance claim for bicycle theft

If your bike is damaged or stolen, follow these steps to start the process of recouping your losses. 


1. File a police report

Provide all the necessary information related to the theft: bike information, location and time of the theft, any noticeable damage, etc. Request a copy of the police report for your and your insurance company’s records. 


2. Take pictures

This could help streamline the claims process if parts were stolen from your bike, or if it was vandalized. This could include stolen wheels, pedals, or even a damaged or stolen lock.


3. Contact your insurance company

Call the claims department of your renters or homeowners company and begin filing an insurance claim. Your claims representative will walk you through the logistics.


4. Wait for a settlement

Wait times vary by company and circumstance. Your payout will vary based on your bike and your policy — its value, your insurer's approach to reimbursing personal property losses, and your deductible amount. The majority of unscheduled personal property is reimbursed on an actual cash value basis. Meaning, you are paid what your bike is worth today. 

For example, if you bought your bike five years ago for $900, you would not get $900 if it were stolen today. You would get the current value of a five-year-old bike, minus your deductible. This is the drawback of actual cash value reimbursement. We recommend insuring your personal property coverage on a replacement cost basis. Replacement cost will give you the funds necessary to buy a new bike today. Replacement cost factors into your deductible.

Learn more about the differences between insurance on replacement cost and actual cash value bases.


FAQs and additional resources

Below are some frequently asked questions related to bikes and insurance.


Is my bike covered if it’s damaged after a car accident?

This depends. If you were deemed not-at-fault (i.e., the other driver hit you), their car insurance would cover the damage through their property damage liability coverage. Your homeowners or renters would not cover this. 


Will my bicycle be insured if I didn’t secure it to a bike rack?

This depends. Insurance companies typically require you to take any and all means to protect your property. If the bike was not locked up, your insurance company might deny your claim.


Are bike accessories covered by renters or homeowners insurance?

If your accessories were stolen or damaged by a covered peril and are currently worth more than your deductible, they should be covered. For anything to be covered, the total value needs to be greater than your deductible. 

 

Will my insurance cover upgrades to a bicycle (wheels, pedals, etc.)?

If you've made significant improvements to your bike, update your insurance policy to reflect its current value. Without knowing the value of your upgrades, your actual cash value or replacement cost value will not reflect your payout. 

 

Additional resources