Bike racks are usually attached to the rear or roof of a car. Cyclists use them to transport bikes around, although they’re securely attached to the vehicle. If you’re involved in an accident, and your bike rack is destroyed or stolen, your car insurance would likely pay for the damage. In these cases, you can file a claim for the stolen bike or damaged bike rack through your car’s property insurance.
In this article, we’ll go into detail about one of the most frequently asked questions.
How Are Bike Racks Affected by Auto Coverage?
Insurance is usually contextual and is governed not only by your car insurance but also by your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. If your policy includes uninsured motorist coverage and an uninsured motorist damages your bike rack or bike, your insurer will reimburse you for the damage by the actual cash value (ACV).
The ACV will be reimbursed if an insured motorist dismantles your bike or rack. It’s important to know that the ACV is the actual value of the bicycle or rack, minus age, wear and tear. Therefore, you’ll not receive full reimbursement for the rack or bike.
Is the Bike Rack on the Back of Your Vehicle Covered?
If your bike rack is stolen or damaged, your car insurance will almost certainly pay for the damage. This is true in most states. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing car insurance. Like any other legal instrument, car insurance is full of legal wording, often hidden in the fine print.
For example, if you add a roof rack for your bike, your car insurance company may consider that a modification to the vehicle and void your coverage altogether. Plus, it won’t be discovered until you need your car insurance, which is the worst possible time to miss it.
Almost all basic car insurance plans cover bike racks because they’re meant to be used with the car and are mounted on the vehicle. Since they don’t usually deal with the technical aspects of car insurance and coverage issues, your agent may not be the best advisor on the matter. The insurance claims team is the best source of information and should be willing to help you with this matter. Contact them through your agent.
Related reading: Best Rear Bike Rack Reviews & Buying Guide
Where the Coverage Varies
Bikes and racks are often covered by car insurance, but coverage varies depending on the terms. Look at the following cases. If the bike or rack is attached to your car, it gets damaged. In most states, damage can be claimed under the personal property clause of your renters or homeowners insurance policy. If your policy covers replacement cost value (RCV), the company will reimburse you for that cost minus your deductible. If your insurance covers actual cash value (ACV), the insurance company will only compensate for the existing loss in value.
If your rack or bike is attached to your car and it’s damaged by another vehicle. If the second driver is responsible for the damage, their insurance will cover the entire ACV. If the driver is uninsured, the car’s insurance company to which the rack or bike is attached will pay 100% of the ACV. This reimbursement will be made only if the car owner has insurance for uninsured motorist coverage.
If your rack or bicycle is attached to your car and a hit-and-run driver wrecks it, such damage will be covered by the renter’s or owner’s insurance. ACV will be reimbursed less than the deductible. If it’s attached to your car, the bike is wrecked by someone else. In this case, the ACV is paid to the bike owner by the liability department of the car insurance company. Your bike was stolen while it was attached to your car. The homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will pay the ACV less the deductible if the accident is reported to the police.
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What Kind of Insurance Does A Bike Rack Need?
If your bike was damaged by another person, their liability insurance would pay for the damage. Your property insurance might reimburse the damage through comprehensive insurance if the damage was to the rack and not the bike.
There’s also what’s called a floater policy. This type of insurance provides additional protection for personal possessions that traditional types of insurance don’t. Floaters insurance covers, for example, cutlery, wine collections, jewels, bicycle racks, photographic equipment, and other valuables.
It applies primarily to personal possessions that can be transported freely. However, if you mount a rack on your car and scratch the bodywork, the insurance won’t cover the repair.
It all depends entirely on your insurance plan. Some insurance plans include elements that relate to the use of your car as a means of transportation.
Check with your provider and see if your car or homeowners insurance covers it. And as a first step, talk to your car insurance agent or claims department about installing a bike rack on your vehicle before you attach it. That way, you can get an idea of what to look for when you claim this insurance.