You’ve just purchased your very own bicycle and you are about to embark upon a hobby that will help you to relax and unwind while you keep your body fit and healthy. But then you get your insurance bill. You are utterly shocked to see that the figure exceeds that of your vehicle cover and cannot fathom why you have to pay more to have your bike insured when it costs substantially less than your car!
There is sound reasoning behind this, however, and a monthly insurance fee is calculated not only according to the worth of the bicycle in question but also takes other outlying aspects and situations into consideration.
Reasons Why Your Bicycle Insurance Could Cost The Same As, Or More Than Your Vehicle Insurance
When an insurance company calculates a fee for an item that you want to ensure, they take many factors into consideration. They not only look at the worth of the item in question, but they also consider the insured’s age, experience, location and a plethora of other factors.
Let’s look at a few factors that could influence the insurance cost of a bicycle:
- The value of the bicycle. Believe it or not, but there are ranges of bicycles on the market that cost more than your standard vehicle! This is because cycling is becoming a more competitive sport by the day and the demand for top of the range cycling equipment is increasing. In this case, your premium has to reflect the fact that your bicycle could possibly be as costly to fix or replace as your vehicle.
- Some bicycle parts and accessories are expensive to replace. Some parts of a bike will cost more than others. That is, the two tyres could cost substantially more than the frame, for instance. The value of the tyres can be compared to those of your average vehicle, but what’s more important to consider is that these tyres can be more easily stolen or damaged than the bulkier tyres of a car. The same goes for most bike accessories which are often not as securely installed when compared to how they are secured to a vehicle.
- Cyclists are more likely to make a claim than motorists. Picture a scenario where a vehicle bumps into your mode of transport from behind. If you are driving a car, you might get away with a small dent in your back-bumper. If you are on a bicycle, however, it’s quite possible that this slight bump could do extensive damage to your wheels and frame. You can still drive around with a little dent in your vehicle, but not with a buckled bike. This means that cyclists will likely claim more frequently than motorists.
- Bicycles are stolen more often than cars. It’s quite ironic that while there are still more cars on the road than bicycles, statistics show that the latter is more likely to be stolen and has a higher theft rate. This is mostly because of the fact that they are easier to steal than cars, especially when they are not locked up or secured properly. Cyclists are also vulnerable when it comes to hijackings because there’s not much protection between them and the perpetrators.
- It’s harder to recover a stolen bike than a car. Firstly, unlike bicycles, cars have licensed registration plates, which make them easier to track down when stolen. Secondly, it’s also easier to hide a bike than a car, since they can be hidden in smaller shelters or transported by different means. While these days you can protect your bicycles with GPS trackers and DNA coding kits which can leave evidence for police forces to work with, these devices and tools are often pricey and need to be insured as well.
- Accidental risk is higher when on a bicycle. Cars come with protective metal barriers, seatbelts, and airbags. Bicycles, on the other hand, offer no such safety features (apart from your helmet which we hope you wear at all times). This means that a cyclist is more exposed to dangers on the road and the consequences of an accident are likely to be more detrimental. If the likelihood of having an accident is higher, the insurer bears more risk since the pay-out will possibly be quite large. This affects the final monthly premium on a bike.
- What will the bicycle be used for? Will you be using your bike as a mode of transport to get from work and back? Or will you be using it to take up cycling as a side hobby? Perhaps you intend to participate in races or mountain biking competitions? Some insurance companies might take the bike’s use into account when settling on a premium. This is because professional and competitive cyclists are likely to lay claims more often for accidents and wear and tear when compared to the cyclists who just needs to ride around town.
- Ever heard the phrase “think bike”? There’s an ongoing dispute on the road between motorists and cyclists, each with an opinion of entitlement. The general perception, however, is that cyclists are more prone to cause accidents than motorists. This perception, although there is no solid evidence to support the claim, generally determines an increase in one’s premium when insuring a bicycle.
Apart from the above listed, factors like the crime rate in the area you live in and your claim history will also determine the final premium you are quoted for. Not to mention your age. Like with most insurable items, the younger you are or the closer you are to retirement, the higher your premium is likely to be than when you are at your prime age.
While the insurance fee might come as a surprise and at an additional cost to a hobby you are already forking out quite a bit for, you have to ask yourself, can you do without the insurance? The answer, for the most part, should be a big no. If your brand-spanking new bicycle does happen to fall into the hands of thieves or perhaps finds itself in the midst of a nasty accident, then you are going to want to have the cover so that your prized possession can easily be replaced.