Cycling is not only a great way to save money on transportation costs, but it's also a great way to get some much-needed exercise. But, your bicycle should have protection, especially against something as serious as bike theft.
If you rent, it's essential to have some renters insurance, to cover the value of the things inside your home, including your bike. Many people don't know if their renter's insurance covers their bicycle or if they need extra protection to make sure their property is safe.
The good news is that renters insurance will cover your bike against theft if you get into an accident and other types of incidents where you would need coverage. But, if something happens with your bicycle, then you need to contact your renter's insurance right away.
In the article, we are going to talk about how renters insurance can protect you from incidents such as bike theft, and what you need to do in case the unthinkable happens.
Bike Theft Is on the Rise
Did you know that bike theft can happen in only eight seconds? Thousands of people are victims of bike thefts every year across Canada, and according to police data in Toronto, only 1 percent of stolen bikes were recovered in 2016. Unfortunately, many people will not report that someone took their bike to local authorities, because finding it is quite low.
Many incidents of bicycle theft happen in broad daylight and are usually committed because a thief did another crime. Some people who steal bikes, may have drug habits or are homeless, so they take bikes to either buy food or get drug money.
Bike thieves know that the crime they are committing is a low risk one, meaning that it is easier to get away with taking what is not theirs. Though bikes are not worth as much as a car, if you sell enough of them, then you can make a lot of profits from what you've offloaded.
Ametuer thieves offload their good to places like pawn shops, flea markets, sell them on the street or trade their stolen goods for things that they want. Professional thieves will target more expensive bikes and resell them for a lot more than the amount amateurs will seek.
The above reasons are why you should take the necessary steps to get protection against bike theft, including buying renters insurance, so you can at least understand what you paid for back. Let's learn what renters insurance is and what it can do to protect you.
What Is Renter's Insurance and Why Is It Important?
Renters insurance is a type of coverage which covers a tenants belongings, from several situations. Whether it's theft, fire or acts of God, your valuables are safe, and if something happens, then you will be covered for the value of your things.
Most people who rent a house or apartment are under the impression that all their belongings are covered under whichever plan their landlord has. But the truth is, the only thing insurance covers in that situation is the actual building and not your belongings. Renters insurance also protects you from liability in case someone has an injury inside of your home.
So having renters insurance is essential, because life is unpredictable. You never know when something is going to happen to where you need the coverage the most.
Does My Insurance Cover Bike Theft?
In short, the answer is yes; there is some coverage for bike theft under your homeowners' insurance. But, depending on the plan you have an insurance company, the amount of protection will vary. Most home and renters insurance has limited insurance coverage on sports equipment, so depending on how much it costs to buy your bicycle before someone tries to steal it.
If you run into a situation like that, insurance experts suggest that you speak to the company where your renter's insurance is through and see about getting a separate endorsement. Also, it is essential to know that if something happens with your bike, that filing a claim against your policy can lead to an increase in the premium or cancel your coverage.
Your insurance policy can also cover your bike if someone steals your bicycle from a friends apartment. Also, it is an excellent idea to add-on a replacement cost policy, to make sure the cost of your bike is covered in case of damage or theft. Just remember to file a claim as soon as the incident happens, so there aren't any delays.
What Is the Cost of Renter's Insurance?
Now that you know why having tenant insurance is essential if you are renting your home, the question you're wondering is how much does renter's insurance cost? The annual fees for renters insurance is a few hundred dollars per year depending on the amount of coverage you get. But, as we mentioned earlier, it is good to make sure you get both liability and a replacement cost policy, to cover all your bases.
Although having renters insurance is not mandatory, it makes a lot of sense to get some coverage. But, if you're worried about the costs of tenant insurance, then add your policy to your car insurance, and you can save even more money!
Another type of insurance you can invest in to protect your bicycle on top of your renter's insurance is a bicycle insurance policy. This kind of system can benefit you, especially if your bike is worth more than $1000. We will go over this a little bit in the article.
What's Bicycle Insurance?
Bicycle insurance is a type of policy that specializes in coverage for theft, liability, damage, loss and even medical bills, as well as protection during transit. Having bicycle insurance can also lessen the chance that your renter's insurance rates will go up in rates or get canceled unexpectedly. You also save money, because your deductibles are much less than with renter's insurance.
How Can I File a Claim If I'm a Victim of Bike Theft?
If something happens to your bicycle, insurance companies suggest that you document everything. Keep a written list of all serial numbers, and take either video or photos to show them everything you have in your home, as well as copies of all receipts. This way, the insurance company has proof that you own these things and you can get reimbursed on time.
Every renter's insurance company has a policy when it comes to filing a claim, including bike theft. Most deadlines fall within 24 to 72 hours after the incident happened, to make sure that you get coverage without any delays. Because every insurance company is different when it comes to deadlines, it is always best to contact your local agent to find out.
Most importantly, to always file a bike theft to your local police and have a copy of the report ready to show your insurance company. Filing a statement with the police will prevent anything from looking suspicious. Making a police report protects you and the insurance company from the possibility of fraud.
Insurance fraud had been on the rise, and several companies will not let you file a claim without a police report.
How to Prevent Bike Your Bike From Getting Stolen
While having renters insurance to help cover a possible bike theft, there are some steps that you can take to prevent the opportunity for someone to steal your property. We will talk about these down below:
- Make sure to keep your bike locked, even if it's in a garage.
- Register your bike with the National Bike Registry.
- When parking your bike, make sure it's on a rack with other bicycles.
- Be wary of cable locks; they are easier to cut through.
- Never lock your bike to a tree.
- Always use more than one lock with your bike for extra protection.
- Never leave your bike outside at night.
- When locking your bike, make sure to secure your wheel and saddle.
- If your bike is in a garage, make sure to find a point to lock it up such as a pipe or beam.
- Sign up for 529 Garage Shield to get extra help in keeping your bike safe.
- Use a steel U-Lock to keep thieves from stealing your bicycle.
- Use a fitness platform like Strava or other social fitness social media sites to block your exact location from strangers.
- Invest in a GPS service to track your bike before it gets stolen.
There are several other tips that we couldn't list because it is quite extensive that you can use to protect you and your bicycle.
How We Can Help You
If you're ready to protect yourself from being a victim of bike theft, then let the experts at Insurdinary help you find the right renters insurance for your needs. We have several options and will help you navigate the process of getting cheap rental insurance without skimping on any of the benefits. We also help you by answering any of your questions.
Get the ultimate protection you deserve and contact us today. We are here to give you that extra assurance that you need so you can worry about the things that matter most.