Bike crash - can I claim insurance?

Bike crash - insurance claims

If you crash your bicycle can you claim it on insurance? Like every insurance question, there is more than one answer.

The first thing you need to determine is the value of your bike. If this is a couple of hundred dollars family-type bike then you probably will not bother adding it under it's own special insurance. If this is a high-end bike worth significant dollars then it is likely you have scheduled it on your insurance policy.

Most insurance companies exclude claims for sporting equipment when the damage is a direct result of the use of the item. So if you are riding your bike and you crash then your bike coverage under your home insurance is not going to pay to replace the bike.

Most insurance companies will show a limit, commonly $1,000 in payout for any loss of a bicycle. This would include fire, theft, vandalism, hail or other type of damage. If you have specifically insured your bike then your limit is higher.

What if when you crash your bike you hit a parked car? It is possible that you have damaged that vehicle with a scratch to the paint or worse. Is this insured? Yes, your unintentional and accidental injury to persons or property is covered by your home insurance. What if it is your child on his bicycle? Again, yes, this extends to your children. It does not pay to repair your bike.

What if you are injured? When you had your accident did you break an arm or a leg? If you have a 24/7 disability policy then you will be able to present a claim. Your work group plan insurance will step up for medical bills and possibly a short-term disability claim. If you only have Workers Compensation Board (WCB) insurance then you are out of luck. For WCB to payout the injury has to happen on the job.

What if you have built some BMX ramps for your child to do some stunts? If neighbourhood children come over to use the equipment then you are liable if there is an injury. You can have the parents sign a waiver but it will not stand up in court. There has been recent court activity where it was established that a parent cannot sign away a child's right to sue for injury.

Check what limits your insurance company has on your bike. Consider adding extra insurance if your bike is of high value as they are easily stolen. Be aware of your responsibility for the children on your property and the actions of your child while on another's property. Both are liable.

There was a time when you didn't have to worry about all of this. Now our society is very litigious and you have to think about protecting yourself from a court situation. Talk to your agent or broker if you have any specific concerns.