Bicycle Safety and Insurance

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Bicycle Safety and Insurance
Do you remember riding your bike to the top of a hill and the exhilaration as you coasted down with the wind whipping at your hair? Bike riding today can be the same fun experience but it also has other benefits.
With the higher prices for fuel, riding a bike saves money. In this day and age, bicycling may be the only way a person can travel to work. Bicycles can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars for a basic bike to thousands of dollars for specialized racing bikes. Whether you use your bicycle to commute to work or simply like to cycle around the block with your children, it is important to understand the rules of the road and protect your financial investment with the proper insurance.

Bicycles are covered under the personal property section of standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. This coverage will reimburse you, minus your deductible, if your bike is stolen or damaged in a fire, hurricane or other disaster listed in your policy.

If you are purchasing a new bike, keep the receipt and call your insurance agent or company representative immediately. If you own a particularly expensive bicycle, you may want to consider getting an endorsement that will provide additional coverage. Your insurance agent or company representative can review your coverage options with you.
When you buy your bicycle you may also purchase expensive equipment to go with it, so make sure to save your receipts for everything. The cost of a helmet, patch kits, pumps, extra inner tubes and other essentials, not to mention that fancy new bike jersey, can add up quickly. If your bike and related items are stolen or destroyed, having receipts can help speed the claims process.

Everyone should have an up-to-date home inventory of all their personal possessions. An inventory can help you purchase the correct amount of insurance and make the claims filing process easier if there is a loss. You can create your inventory online at KnowYourStuff.org.
It is important to keep yourself and your family safe while you are riding. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that cyclists follow these seven rules:
1. Protect Your Head
Never ride a bike without a properly fitted helmet.
2. Assure Bicycle Readiness
Ride a bike that fits you and check all parts of the bicycle to make sure they are secure and working well.
3. Learn and Follow the Rules of the Road
Bicycles are considered vehicles on the road; therefore riders must follow the same traffic laws as drivers of motor vehicles.
4. Act Like a Driver of a Motor Vehicle
Always ride with the flow of traffic, on the right side of the road, and as far to the right of the road as is practicable and safe.
5. Be Visible
Always assume you are not seen by others and take responsibility for making yourself visible to motorists, pedestrians and other cyclists.
6. "Drive with Care"
When you ride, consider yourself the driver of a vehicle and always keep safety in mind. Ride in the bike lane, if available. Take extra care when riding on a roadway. Courtesy and predictability are key to safe cycling.
7. Stay Focused. Stay Alert
Never wear headphones as they hinder your ability to hear traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and ride defensively.
Take the time to enjoy your ride. It's good for your health too.

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