If you are crazy about cycling, you will know that it is not uncommon to spend $10,000 or more to buy a bike and its associated equipment. For Bike Wise day, IAG is encouraging keen cyclists to make sure their prized possessions are protected should the worst happen.
Given the high price tag for many bikes these days, IAG recommends you check your policy to see if you need to specify your bikes just as you would any other items that have a policy limit such as jewellery, watches or camera gear.
Specifying items with your insurer means they may also want to know more about how you use those items. In the case of bikes, this would normally relate to how often you use your bike, your previous bike claims, and whether you use it for racing or not.
Making your insurer aware of “specified items” on your policy means cover for these items can be increased above policy limits, but it is better than being under insured if you lose your expensive bikes. By having that conversation you can better understand what you are covered for.
Nearly all of IAG’s contents policies cover you whilst you are riding your bike, even if you are racing, but there are exclusions for some cyclists. “If you’ve only had one claim, say if a car hit you whilst you were riding your bike or an accident in a racing event, it’s unlikely that the bike cover under your contents policy will be affected; but if you’ve had two or three claims whilst racing or mountain biking, then it is more likely that your insurer may look at changing your cover for bikes,” said IAG Personal Lines Underwriter Steve Jordan.
Mr Jordan encourages all cyclists and especially those who have made previous claims to read their policy wording to see what cover automatically applies and to check their policy schedule to see if any additional terms such as the following are applied:
– A higher than standard excess.
– An exclusion for off-road riding or in paid entry organised events
– An exclusion for theft if left unsecured and unattended
– An exclusion for theft, unless it follows violent and forced entry to locked building or room within a locked building
– Policy limits and any other restrictions
Also, it’s important to understand whether your policy provides “market value” or “replacement value” in the event of a claim. If your policy covers bikes for market value then the most the insurer pays will be based on the cost of a bike of the same age, condition and specification, even if it is specified for a higher value. If it is covered for replacement and cannot be repaired they will pay the cost of a brand new bike of similar specification to the one you are claiming on.
When it comes to protecting your expensive “summer sports buddy”, it is important to understand your cover so you can have the peace of mind this biking season. IAG NZ also recommends you take the following steps to prevent your bike from being stolen:
- Get a good lock: It’s all about the lock. With the exception of motorbike chains, most cable locks are useless against tools many thieves carry. A D-lock will deter most thieves. You can also use a heavy-duty chain and padlock. These are stronger than a cable lock.
- Use two locks: Using more than one lock means any thief will have to work twice as hard to free your bike.
- Lock it right: The right way to lock a bike is to lock the frame and both wheels to the bike stand. To do that you pass your D-lock around the rear triangle, the rear wheel and the object you are locking to. This works two ways – it makes it tough to remove and it makes it hard to get to the lock to attack it, without damaging the bike.
- Keep your bike out of sight: The best place to keep your bike is inside or under cover. If you must lock it up outside then leave it in a well lit area, preferably somewhere with CCTV and don’t leave it for too long.