How to Insure your Bike and Save Money
Sigh. Travel insurance. A necessary evil that many of us – me included – have gotten at the last minute and overpaid for. You just can't go without it though, especially if travelling with an expensive bike. It's best to know and plan How to Insure your bike before you go.
Most of us hate dealing with it, we feel ripped off, so wouldn't it be great to have our bikes covered year-round?
Previously, I've discussed the benefits (in terms of travel insurance) of booking your trip on your credit card (usually on Gold or Platinum cards) – read more here and here.
When travelling overseas you have a few options to make sure your bike is insured:
- Include your bike and other expensive items on your traditional house insurance – a good option but can be expensive or limited by per-item limits
- Get bike-only insurance additional to your house/contents insurance – expensive, but usually pretty thorough
- Use your credit card insurance – usually good but check the fine print for item limits
- Traditional travel insurance – can be hard and expensive to get a bike covered (especially if you're doing Etape)
- Get no insurance (good luck!)
The CycleCover Hack
However, I'm always on the lookout for clever travel hacks that lower your costs and make your life easier.
So, it was nice to receive this email from David J from Oz. Basically the hack is to get your house/contents insurance including your specified bike stuff through a bike insurance provider, making sure it's covered overseas. This little hack got his bike covered, AND lowered his overall house insurance costs!
CycleCover…initially I discarded them from my decision because I didn't want their home or contents insurance (being very happy with my current home and content insurer).
… but somehow I thought to ask CycleCover to quote on contents-only at the bare minimum they offer which is $35k…the quote came in at AUD$800 which I think was about $150 more than Velo or Swann's bike only cover…
…but here's the kicker – Cyclecover provide cover for other contents up to 25% of the policy value per item ($7250 on $35k) whereas my current home and contents pays only $1000 per unspecified item… thus I've been able to cancel a few jewellery items I had as specified items on my home insurance which reduced that premium by almost $1000….
The net cost to me of CycleCover on my bike has been ~$150 in my pocket!
It's kinda complicated I know but I reckon any way of taking out bike insurance that gives me money rather than costs me money is a decent deal!
Obviously, this cost saving hack won't work for everyone as it depends what level of insurance you're paying for now as well as how much insurance you get for your bike.
I can confirm that this is a great tip though. We recently changed our insurance from Vero (which was excellent cover for bike both domestically and overseas) and switched to CycleCover (who resell Allianz). Our premium went up 10% but our cover level went up 50% and we were able to pay monthly (something Vero doesn't allow).
Additionally my bike is now covered during races (including events like Etape).
Got an Insurance Tip?
I'd love to hear it, drop your insurance tip/hack below in the comments.
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I signed up with Velosure just for my trip to France last year. As long as you apply more than 30 days before you leave you can pay by the month and be covered overseas. Then can look at cancelling when you return…
Just note the Excess is double when overseas.
Great tip Martin!
I didn’t even think excess would be double! Platinum/Gold credit card insurance is usually around $250 excess overseas (I think this is reasonable).
I am going to France this year to do a lot of riding and maybe a race or 2. I looked long and hard for comprehensive travel insurance that will cover me while riding and racing. In the end I went with Velosure for my personal travel and took a policy for my bicycle as well. The guys there know their stuff!
Good insight Zaibs. My Vero insurance got too expensive, plus CycleCover allows monthly payments.
I paid for my plane ticket with a Platinum Visa card for the free travel insurance, but they only had a max limit of $2,000 per luggage item – hence using Velosure for the bike.
One thing I missed reading the PDS before travelling is they cover up to $5,000 for rental vehicle excess. So I could have saved a bit by not paying extra to reduce my excess for the Peugeot Partner I hired from Europcar…
Another good point, Martin. I think we need another post collating all these. Which ccard provider did you use?
Card I used was NAB Platinum visa.
I definitely need to look into some of these options for my insurance – I’ve gotten a bit lazy and haven’t really updated my cover for a while now
Great post! What I do when I travel is uncheck the insurance boxes while booking online. I don’t know how it works in the US but that’s how it works in the Philippines.
In Australia, we do the same thing, although typically people will book a trip to Europe via an agent and thus will buy insurance on the spot (e.g. Covermore) or get aftermarket insurance (house insurance, credit card insurance).
How do you get your bike insured?
Hi Tim, I’m an Aussie living in France at present. I moved here and took out travel insurance (as usual) with the plan to buy a bike whilst here. I should have read the fine print though – I’m covered, but the bike’s not if it gets stolen. So now I’m hastily trying to organise insurance. I’ll get back to you with how iget on.
Thanks Derek, that’d be awesome. Where’re you living? Tim