Markel launches insurance for bikes

For racing or recreation, plans are customized for the rider

Markel American Insurance Company recently created a bicycle insurance program targeted at avid riders called Markel Cyclist. The program includes coverage for racing, and can be tailored to the types of riding each cyclist does.

The Markel Cyclist program came about after the company surveyed avid cyclists and found insurance options lacking for high-end bikes.

The Markel Cyclist insurance program is designed specifically to insure bicycles; no other policy (such as homeowners or auto) is required to  be purchased in conjunction with the stand-alone cyclist policy.

The cost can be as low as $100 a year, but vary based on the bike or bikes covered, how they’re used and what options are purchased.

“There are over 10 million bicycles sold each year,” said Ted Wentzel, Director of Marketing for Markel American. “Many of those cost thousands of dollars but most cyclists didn’t have an opportunity to protect their bicycle with adequate insurance coverage. Our survey respondents also told us they needed protection for themselves with medical payments coverage and coverage for injuries they suffer when hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.” 

The Markel Cyclist policies can include Bicycle Physical Damage coverage protection for damage to the bicycle caused by collision, fire, theft, vandalism or hitting another object. Other options include coverage for spare parts, clothing, and reimbursement for rentals and race fees.

“In most cases, if a cyclist has any coverage for their bicycle, it’s under their homeowner’s insurance which may have a high deductible,” Wentzel said. “Many cyclists also expressed reluctance to file a bicycle claim under their homeowner policy as they were afraid they’d see an increase in their homeowner’s insurance rates or even a non-renewal due to a bicycle claim. With Markel Cyclist, our customers will have the protection they need without jeopardizing their homeowner coverage.”

Markel Cyclist is available now in 35 states, with California, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri becoming available within the next two weeks.

The currently covered states include: AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, WA, WI and WY.

“Any remaining states are pending regulatory approval and will be implemented as soon as possible,” Markel’s Amanda Newmeister told BikeRadar.

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