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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 03-02-12, 05:57 PM   #1
Kjkc
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How do you insure your tandem?

I just took delivery of a new calfee tandem and was looking for insurance options for our bike. My homeowners would cover it with a 1000$ deductible for 1200 annually. I can find little on the net for insurers in the US. I did find one that will pick you up and offer 30mi of road service transportation, but not the theft, damage insurance I was looking for- as the bike costs more than some new cars, what options have others followed?
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Old 03-02-12, 06:38 PM   #2
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Looks like they don't have NY yet, but visit http://getclipp.com/ and contact them to get on the list. They told me to contact them directly, as their website only goes up to a certain value (but they can do higher offline).
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Old 03-02-12, 07:08 PM   #3
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I had a single bike destroyed in a wind storm (ripped off the roof of the car along with the bike/roof rack). My homeowners insurance wrote me a check for over $7k without batting an eye. I had very good documentation on the value of the bike for them though. I don't pay anything extra for the bike from my regular insurance. The only thing different about my insurance is that it is technically ranch insurance, not home owners.
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Old 03-02-12, 07:42 PM   #4
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First principal of insurance: do not insure against risks you can afford to absorb

Given that you shouldn't buy a bike that you could not afford to replace or do without, you shouldn't pay extra to insure it.

I could elaborate, but it's all covered in discussions in the road forum.
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Old 03-02-12, 07:47 PM   #5
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I was wondering about insurance coverage on our bikes and called my insurance man. We have American Family insurance and live in Illinois. According to him and he checked with the home office our bikes are covered under our home owners policy, with $500 deductible. I think he did a jaw drop when I told them what they were worth, but confirmed that we are covered. My main question was concerning a wild animal running out and causing us to spill, we are covered.

You can write a thing called a schedule that will reduce the deductible but we choose not to do that.

Wayne
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Old 03-03-12, 04:29 PM   #6
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Covered by homeowners insurance.
On the road been hit by car and truck; covered by their car insurance.
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Old 03-03-12, 04:47 PM   #7
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Fireman's Fund... interestingly enough, while things like jewelry, antiques and musical instruments need to be individually scheduled, all of the bikes are covered. As someone else noted, according to my independent agent there's no value issues but good documentation is needed to substantiate the original cost.
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Old 03-03-12, 09:16 PM   #8
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We currently have in place only our normal homeowners policy.

However when we were flying the bikes to Europe I opted to buy a separate rider which had more comprehensive coverage.

It ran about $60 to cover $10,000 worth of bikes for a year.

A good agent is worth his/her weight in gold.
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Old 03-03-12, 09:20 PM   #9
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First principal of insurance: do not insure against risks you can afford to absorb.
Given that you shouldn't buy a bike that you could not afford to replace or do without, you shouldn't pay extra to insure it.
Disposable bikes? I don't think so.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:08 AM   #10
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First principal of insurance: do not insure against risks you can afford to absorb

Given that you shouldn't buy a bike that you could not afford to replace or do without, you shouldn't pay extra to insure it.
Easier for some than for others...

Sure it's a risk buying/riding/owing an expensive tandem, that we probably would not be able to buy again for another year or so, but it's a risk I am willing to take.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:31 AM   #11
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Easier for some than for others...

Sure it's a risk buying/riding/owing an expensive tandem, that we probably would not be able to buy again for another year or so, but it's a risk I am willing to take.

This points to an underlying factor in prior discussions in this forum. Members have differing priorities of consuming vs saving as well as differing financial resources.

Wayne
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Old 03-05-12, 09:41 AM   #12
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$100/month with $1000 deductible for one bike? That sounds outrageous. I agree w/Merlin. If you can't afford to take some loss on a bike, it may be too expensive for you. I would think that your standard homeowner's insurance should cover it if it is at your home and your auto insurance should cover it if it is on your car. The rest of the time, be watchful and careful.

A friend of mine carries "full coverage" on his 2 cars that are each more than 15 years old. Not fancy cars - just old cars. I tried to argue the economics of this but he is just comfortable with full coverage.

This is how insurance companies make money. You transfer the risk to them but they charge you (plenty) for it.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:23 PM   #13
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$100/month with $1000 deductible for one bike? That sounds outrageous. I agree w/Merlin. If you can't afford to take some loss on a bike, it may be too expensive for you. ...
Would you be willing to absorb a $15,000 loss on your bike? Most homeowers policies will cover them without extra cost, just ask your insurance agent to make sure.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:17 PM   #14
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If your homeowner's insurance policy covers your bike without a rider, that's good. But then you have to consider whehter you want to be making small claims against your homeowner's policy. It can definitely affect your rates, and if you have a run of bad luck can even affect your ability to get insurance.

Thus another approach is to raise the deductible on your Homeowners to the point that it is higher than the value of most bikes, such as $5,000 or more. Then you save or invest what you save in premium.

And if you can't afford to suffer a $5,000 loss, you really do need to consider whether you spend $5,000 or more on a bicycle.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:45 PM   #15
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Self insurance.

In the event of a total loss (theft? very unlikely) I might look into making an insurance claim but my objective with home insurance is to make sure that we will always have a roof over our heads. I hope to keep premiums as low as possible and consider the tradeoff between making claims and impact on premiums.
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Old 03-05-12, 04:47 PM   #16
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Thanks for the varying approaches- I appreciate the view that insurances role in covering the items in life "we cannot afford do without" (home, car, health, life...) or when high risk exists a high premium is payed to cover the higher risk. My question was really to get an idea of what others premiums were, the one quoted from my agent seemed excessive. I likely will accept risk and cover when the risk is higher (travel).
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Old 03-06-12, 08:49 AM   #17
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I've been riding bikes most of my life. I have had 2 stolen. One when I was about 8 Y.O. and another when I just got out of college. In a relative sense, the one after college probably represented a bigger relative loss than getting one of my newer, more expensive bikes stolen now.

I don't think you said what you think the most likely loss would be - theft? Around here, theft seems pretty unlikely. I think the most likley loss is when someone drives into the garage with a bike on the roof. This damages the bike, the car and the house. I'm not sure which policy covers in this instance. The worst case might be if some of it is covered by the auto and some by the home policy with deductibles applying for both.
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Old 03-17-12, 07:05 PM   #18
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I'm surpised no one has said they insure with Smith & Wesson.

We insure with Aqueous & Vitreous Humor.

The "moral hazard" with insurance (the real kind, I'm talking about now) is that you are joining the pool of the careless and the feckless and most of your premium dollars will go to reimbursing "those people" for their losses, not yours. This is the basis for the advice to insure only against those catastrophic losses that you really couldn't afford to replace from your own savings. It's not really a question of how well off you are: if you've already spent $5-10K on a bike, that money is gone whether or not the bike is ever stolen. If you can't afford to replace it, it doesn't mean you don't have a roof over your head like with fire insurance, it just means you do without a tandem until you can.
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Old 03-17-12, 07:14 PM   #19
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I'm surpised no one has said they insure with Smith & Wesson.

We insure with Aqueous & Vitreous Humor.

The "moral hazard" with insurance (the real kind, I'm talking about now) is that you are joining the pool of the careless and the feckless and most of your premium dollars will go to reimbursing "those people" for their losses, not yours. This is the basis for the advice to insure only against those catastrophic losses that you really couldn't afford to replace from your own savings. It's not really a question of how well off you are: if you've already spent $5-10K on a bike, that money is gone whether or not the bike is ever stolen. If you can't afford to replace it, it doesn't mean you don't have a roof over your head like with fire insurance, it just means you do without a tandem until you can.
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Old 03-18-12, 06:00 PM   #20
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After seeing this thread, I spoke with my insurance agent, and was told that the bicycles were covered under the homeowners policy, with the standard deductible. They said that a special rider was not required, but did suggest having photos and receipts for verification
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Old 04-30-12, 03:53 PM   #21
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Saying that if you can't afford to lose your tandem (many now in the $8-10k range) you shouldn't travel with it seems nieve. Most people can't afford to replace a tandem out of pocket change. You may as well say if you can't afford to rebuild your house yourself you should not own one. We only travel occassionally and only require special insurance for lost property during those trips, so carrying that coverage for the other 50 weeks of the year is not needed.

As far as insurance policies goes, finding a defacto statement depends who you talk to and for what specific peril you are wanting to insure against. For example, we are currently looking for insurance to cover travel by air to France in the fall. We placed 4 calls to our current insurer Allstate - Head office, and 3 agents in our region (NW) and got a different response EVERY time. While homeowner insurance will cover our bikes under personal property with the normal "named perils" listed (theft, fire, etc), there is no "mysterious disappearance" included - a peril that tyically falls into All Perils category. Head office said if we specifically scheduled (took out a "rider") our bike then it would be covered ("all perils") if it never showed up during the trip, one agent said "no problem it is always covered" regardless of scheduling, another said "can't cover it for All Perils even if it is a scheduled item", and the other said "can't schedule bikes, period".

It appears other insurers such as State Farm are better known to provide full coverage for scheduled ("rider") items.

Then, we looked at basic trip insurance but that is a dead end due to the relatively low dollar limits and deferals to airline policies & coverages (only a few hundred dollars per bag).

We are still working to sort this out and find some means of coverage while flying to out of country locations.
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