Do I Need Bicycle Insurance in Canada?

What is Bicycle Insurance?

Bicycle insurance is meant to protect your bicycle against various perils.

These may include theft, vandalism, damages, and other threats.

However, bicycle values can vary greatly and so can usage.

Some ride occasionally, others use their bicycle as their primary means of transportation, and some love the thrill of competition.

While bicycle insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it is a good idea in some cases.

Cyclists may have some coverage through their homeowner’s policy, but don’t assume your homeowner’s policy offers sufficient protection.

If you own a valuable bike or multiple bikes, you may want to consider a standalone, bicycle-specific insurance policy.

It offers more comprehensive coverage and addresses many risks that home insurance does not cover.

Home Insurance Coverage Extending to Bicycles

Most homeowner’s policies do offer some basic coverages for bicycles under personal property.

You may be partially reimbursed if your bike is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by any peril listed in your policy such as fire.

Since coverage is within your homeowner’s policy, you must pay your deductible if you file a claim.

If you have an actual cash value policy, your claim will also include depreciation.

Additionally, all homeowner’s policies include a maximum limit for specific items, such as sporting goods equipment.

The personal property limit for bicycles within most policies is typically between $1,000 and $1,500.

While this coverage may suffice for an inexpensive bicycle, it will definitely fall short if you’re a serious cyclist.

Plus, this limit applies to all bicycles.

If you own multiple bikes, the personal property limit applies to your total loss.

Some insurers allow you to increase this coverage limit.

However, these policies usually don’t cover many common cyclist risks.

For instance, it may not protect you if you’re at-fault for the injuries or property damage of others.

It may not cover your injuries either.

Guy on his bike in Vancouver
Pros
  • Simple – coverage within a single policy
  • No additional cost – already included in home insurance premiums
  • Protection against theft, vandalism, and other covered perils such as fire, up to the specific limit in your policy
  • May be able to add an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy for a reasonable cost to raise the coverage limit for bicycles
  • May be able to add “away from home” coverage for a fee
Cons
  • Repair or replacement of bicycles is often insufficient – the specific personal property limit for bicycles is quite low
  • Reimbursement may include depreciation if you have an actual cash value homeowner’s policy
  • Many policies only provide coverage if the bicycle is properly secured in a garage, shed, but not when you’re away from home
  • May not provide third-party liability coverage
  • Often does not cover damage to your bicycle due to your own actions
  • Must pay deductible
  • Claim could lead to higher premiums
  • May not provide coverage if someone else uses bicycle
  • May not cover mass participation events
  • May not cover accessories, such as a bike computer or panniers

Did You Know?

Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers. If you cause damage or injury to others, you could be held liable.

Bicycle-Specific Policy

Cyclists should consider a bicycle-specific policy when it makes economic and practical sense.

First, check your homeowner’s insurance policy’s coverage limit for bicycles, usually included under sporting goods equipment within your policy.

Then, tack on your deductible amount.

If the total value of all bicycles and bicycle equipment, including accessories, exceeds the deductible and homeowner policy limit, you may want to consider a standalone policy.

You may also want a bicycle-specific policy if you travel or race, as it may provide coverage for many other risks.

Policies may offer personal accident coverage, third-party liability, damage incurred during a race, loss of cycling clothing or accessories, and more.

Some policies even offer roadside assistance.

Pros
  • Higher coverage limits – policy cost tied to the value of your equipment
  • Replacement cost coverage – claims do not include depreciation
  • Low or no deductible
  • Third-party liability coverage for at-fault accidents
  • May include personal accident insurance – weekly indemnity payments, partial or total disability coverage, death benefits, medical expenses, ambulance expenses, and more
  • Discounts for multiple bicycles or if you belong to a cycling club
  • May offer away from home coverage, even if you travel abroad
  • May provide protection for cycling accessories and clothing
  • Could cover other riders
  • May offer roadside assistance
Cons
  • Cost – expensive bicycles may have steep premiums, because they’re based on bicycle value
  • Complex policy options – these vary greatly between insurer
  • Limited number of insurers – less competition and less policy choices

How Much Does Bicycle Insurance Cost?

This depends on the insurer and policy you choose.

However, a ballpark estimate is between 3 and 4 percent of the bicycle value, for a year of basic coverage.

If you race, you can expect premiums to increase to between 7 and 8 percent of the bicycle value annually.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I get bicycle coverage if I participate in bike related races or competitions?
  • Can you get insurance for a bicycle?
  • Which companies offer bicycle-specific insurance policies?
  • Can you ride a bicycle without insurance?

Charlene Royston has written extensively for the private, public, and non-profit sectors for over ten years. Her experience working with a trust company led to a special interest in personal finance, including mortgages, investments, and retirement options. By simplifying the complex, she hopes to empower others to make more informed decisions.