Last week, my bike was stolen from my garage. Unfortunately, this is a sign of the times. According to the police, my garage was not the only one that got broken into; there were three other victims on the same street. Additionally, I’m pretty sure you all have heard about the recent burglaries to bike shops across Southern California in the past few weeks. It’s times like these that we must make sure we have adequate insurance coverage in place to make sure that our valuables are protected. Please, If you see or have seen my bike for sale on any platforms, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fortunately, I was protected with renter’s insurance. The reason for this blog is to prepare you in case you too suffer a loss or damage to your most valued possessions, including your bicycle and related gear.
Let’s face it, being quarantined stinks. If we all had it our way, we’d be outside riding our brains out right now. However, now is the time to make sure that you are properly insured and that your property is accurately inventoried. If you are not adequately insured with proper coverage, it can potentially cost you a lot of money if disaster strikes.
We recommend that you call your insurance broker/ company to find out if your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance will cover the FULL VALUE of your bike(s) in the event you suffer a loss. Be sure to ask your insurance company to verify that the entire value of your bike will be covered.
Once you have verified that the full value of your bike and related items will be covered, you want to take a complete and detailed inventory, along with photographs of your personal property. Prepare a file with the value of all components on your bike(s), such as the frame, handlebars, power meter, wheels, tires, bottle cages, computer, pedals, and any item of value that you have added to your bike. Taking a full inventory will make it much easier for you to recover the full value if disaster strikes.
Another type of claim that you may want to be prepared for is a property damage claim in the event that you are in a bike accident due to a collision with a vehicle, a roadway defect, or a collision with another cyclist. If there is a third party (someone other than you) that causes an accident, you are entitled to recover the value of your damaged property from the third party. Having all of your items inventoried, valued, and photographed will help expedite the recovery process.
There are specialty insurance programs that may specifically cover your bike. However, these policies are often very expensive, and many times, your items may be adequately covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, if they were properly appraised and accounted for prior to the loss.
In the event that your bike is stolen, here is what you should do immediately:
- Report the theft to your police department. Your insurance company will need the report to process your claim.
- If your home was burglarized, avoid disturbing anything so that the police can look for physical evidence.
- Call your insurance company to start the claims process.
- Submit all relevant information to your insurance company so that they can effectively process the claim.
Although we are a law firm that primarily handles cycling accidents where cyclists are injured, we’re also here to help guide you in the event that you need some direction recovering the value of any stolen items or if you need help determining if your insurance policy will cover the full value of your bike and other property. Please email us at email@example.com to see how we can help.
Gven Sariol, Case Manager and Cyclist