Philippe Cholette, CPA, C.I.B., RIBO

Cyclists and Triathletes - Are You Fully Protected?

This year, winter seemed like it would never end, and your bike was probably in storage or attached to your indoor bike trainer to race on platforms like Zwift. Believe me, we’re in the same boat!

Cheer up because the warm weather is here, and so is the biking and triathlon season! Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, this blog will help you determine if you are fully protected for the season. 

Is Your Bike Covered?

It would be fair to say that most of you have bikes worth several thousand dollars. If a disaster (fire, theft, collision, etc.) were to occur, would your insurer reimburse you for your bike’s full value? That remains to be seen.

Let me explain the logic behind that question. First, you should know that your bike is covered by your home insurance policy, and not your auto insurance policy (and yes, even though your bike is on wheels, it is not covered by your auto insurance policy). Depending on the type of home policy you have (comprehensive, basic or named perils) and on your insurer, the answer will vary.

Broadly speaking, in the event of a fire or collision (when you are riding your bike), no limits apply, in contrast to cases of theft, where limits do apply. In general, for basic insurance with named perils, the amount paid by the insurer in the event of theft varies between $1500 and $2000. For comprehensive insurance, the amount paid by the insurer varies between $3000 and $4000. It is important to note that this amount includes equipment and accessories that are both attached and not attached to the bicycle, such as your carbon wheels, pedals, bike computer, and cadence sensor. If the value of your bike is higher than the amounts listed above, it is recommended that you purchase insurance specifically for your bike that accounts for its total value, since there is no limit on that value. While the costs of doing so are considerably high, at the end of the day, you will avoid further expenditures if theft occurs. Keep in mind that the SPVM reports over 2000 bike thefts each year in Montréal.

Here are some tips to prevent the theft of your bike:

  • If possible, get into the habit of bringing your bike into your home or storing it in a locked shed.
  • Buy a bike rack so you can lock your bike to it.
  • Never leave your bike unattended, even if it is only for a few minutes to pick up some groceries.

Are You Covered for Damages to Others?

As an example, let’s say you go for a bike ride, but you lose control of the bike and damage your neighbour’s vehicle. The resulting property damage caused to others is above $5000. What happens?

In such a situation, the civil liability coverage in your home insurance policy will come into play. In your home insurance policy, you generally have civil liability coverage of $1 million to $2 million. It will cover your legal costs and third-party indemnity.

In addition, if you are a member of Triathlon Québec, you are automatically provided with civil liability and accident coverage when you train for triathlons (individual, group, competitive training, and transportation to training sessions and competitions). You should know that this insurance is only valid for your training sessions and competitions that are part of the Triathlon Québec network.

Therefore, if you occasionally participate in competitions outside of Quebec, it would be best to purchase umbrella insurance, which can increase your civil liability limit. This insurance will also be useful, for example, if you are in a competition and you accidentally crash into another participant, who sustains multiple fractures and whose bike is severely damaged. At first glance, $1 million or $2 million may seem sufficient, but when it comes to lawsuits, particularly those for bodily injury caused to others, the amounts can quickly add up, especially in the United States.

If you have any questions or simply wish to obtain quotes for auto or home insurance, don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish you a great season, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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Philippe Cholette, CPA, C.I.B., RIBO Damage Insurance Broker See the profile

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