By Ryan Wood • Active.com
It’s a sobering truth, but one Stephen Schechter has accepted. “At some point, if you ride, you’re going to go down,” Schechter said. “You can’t avoid it. Hopefully, it’s not going to be a major accident. But you might break your collarbone, you might get a concussion, and you might damage your bike.” Making a 100 percent recovery from an accident is the ideal scenario, but what about your ride? If nobody else is liable, is your damaged bike a lost cause?
Schechter doesn’t think it should be. He’s the president of Clipp, Inc., which offers club memberships that include basic bike insurance. While many cyclists may be covered through homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for bike theft, it doesn’t always cover bike damage. Furthermore, not every cyclist owns a home or has renter’s insurance. That’s where Schechter feels Clipp can fill a void. A $99 annual membership fee for Clipp includes:
- Safety training by LAB-certified instructors.
- Club membership in Adventure Cycling Association.
- Registration with the National Bike Registry.
- $1,000 of accident medical insurance per occurrence (after all other medical insurance has been paid).
- $1,000 of property damage insurance per occurrence (after a $500 deductible).
- $1,000 of theft insurance (after a $500 deductible).
- $25,000 accidental death coverage.
“It’s the people who really have the higher-end bikes,” Schechter said. “The whole idea for this is to get the cyclist back on the road as soon as possible. It covers the damage to the bike if the bike is inoperable.”
Specifically, the coverage seems most appealing to cyclists who might crash their own bike and have an expensive ride that they would struggle financially to repair out-of-pocket. The additional medical coverage, accidental death coverage, theft insurance and other perks of a Clipp membership are a bonus–a very nice bonus if a cyclist doesn’t have other policies like homeowner’s or medical.
However, Clipp’s membership is not all-encompassing. It does not offer liability insurance and it does not offer UIM or UM protection if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured at-fault motorist.
Other countries have bike insurance options, but Clipp is the only known organization in the United States that offers cyclists specific protection.
If you don’t have bike insurance, or if Clipp isn’t offered in your state, your other coverage (if you have any) can fill in many of the voids depending on which state you live in. According to Seattle-based cycling attorney John Duggan:
- In a bike/car accident where the vehicle is at fault, the vehicle’s auto insurance should cover the cyclist’s medical costs and property damage. If the vehicle is uninsured or underinsured, your auto insurance’s UM or UIM coverage kicks in.
- In a bike/car accident where the cyclist is at fault, a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy could cover liability claims. An injury to the cyclist may be covered by the automobile’s personal injury protection coverage no matter who’s at fault. Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may or may not cover bike damage.
- In a solo bike accident, health insurance would cover your medical expenses. Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may or may not cover bike damage.
All in all, the different options that may or may not come through leaves some uncertainty. Clipp can fill that void with some protection for those who are frequently in the saddle.
If your bike is worth more than $1,000, you can up the coverage for an additional cost of $15 per extra $1,000 of coverage. A $3,000 bike, for example, would cost $129 a year. Currently, Clipp is only offered in Texas, Oregon, Washington and Virginia. But it plans on aggressively growing into most of the United States soon, including short-term plans to reach California and Colorado. The question is, what kind of cyclist would benefit most from bike-specific insurance like this?