Check out this article from the Sydney Morning Herald: "Make sure you're covered before you ride" - and the readers' comments are interesting too.
Some frequently asked questions:
What does my Bicycle Network member insurance cover?
By becoming a paidup member of Bicycle Network you receive Australia's premium bike rider insurance. This includes two types of insurance cover, a little bit like the MAIB insurance we receive when we register a motor vehicle. The first is Personal Accident insurance, which provides cover for personal injury when you have an accident while riding a bike. The second is Public Liability cover, important in case you injure someone else while riding, or damage third party property. This cover applies whenever you ride, in Australia and NZ.
See the "Membership" link on the Bicycle Network insurance page for full details of what you are covered for.
As Bicycle Network membership costs less than the price of a cup of coffee a week, this is a pretty good deal!
Note - this does not provide insurance for your bicycle against being damaged, lost or stolen (unless this happens when you are travelling away from home to attend a Bicycle Network event).
How can I insure my bike?
Home and content insurance will often provide cover for your bike when it is parked or stored at home. Read the Product Disclosure Statement of your policy to check the details. For example, you may need to specify your bike details for it to be covered, and (be warned) electric bikes may not be covered at all.
If your current home and content insurance does not provide the cover you would like, you could purchase some additional "bike only" cover. Here are a couple of options:
Or you can consider switching your home and contents insurance to a provider who will cover bikes. Here are some examples:
- Bicycle Network recommends Cyclesafe Home Insurance to ensure coverage of your bike/s. This includes cover for your bikes and accessories for their full value whether at home or away from home, including overseas, for theft or damage caused in use or transit, including racing.
- Cyclecover Gold is a home and contents insurance policy specifically designed for cyclists. Michael O'Reilly (SMH journalist) has noted: "Cyclecover sees the world from a two-wheeled perspective, including business and travel insurance. Ideal for families or households with a shedload of bikes".
- QBE offers a home and contents insurance policy which can cover bikes and e-bikes (as specified items).
Can you please advise the cost of Cyclist Insurance?
Bicycle Network's no-fault cyclist personal accident and third party insurance is included in the cost of membership. It cannot be purchased separately, it is part of the Bicycle Network membership package. The large membership base of Bicycle Network ensures a low cost premium per member.
What help can I expect when I have an accident or want to claim?
As soon as you have an accident or are aware of a potential claim, you should contact Bicycle Network on 03 83768849. Don't delay on this, in case you are advised you need to make a report to the Police. You will receive some quick initial advice.
Note: If you are not a member at the time of your collision and join afterwards, you are still eligible for free legal advice.
A phone appointment will be booked to discuss your potential claim in more detail. If you are a current member and the phone appointment indicates that you should claim under this cover, you will be sent a claim form by email.
Then your case will be assessed and taken on by Bicycle Network's insurer. Your case will be fought if necessary by Bicycle Network's specialist compensation legal firm, Maurice Blackburn.
Does Bicycle Network's insurance cover when you are riding electric bikes as well?
Yes, because "street-legal" e-bikes are regarded as bicycles. Tasmanian Road Rules 2009 definition:
"Bicycle" means a vehicle with 2 or more wheels that is built to be propelled by human power through a belt, chain or gears (whether or not it has an auxiliary motor), and,
(a) includes a pedicab, penny-farthing and tricycle; but
(b) does not include a wheelchair, wheeled recreational device, wheeled toy, or any vehicle with an auxiliary motor capable of generating a power output over 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating);
Under these rules, pedicabs, penny farthings, and tricycles are all considered to be bicycles. However, vehicles such as wheelchairs, wheeled toys and scooters are not considered to be bicycles.
Bicycles may be fitted with an auxiliary source of power (i.e. the primary motive force comes from pedalling) provided the motor is not capable of generating a power output of more than 200 watts. If the motor is not an auxiliary source of power, or the motor’s power output exceeds 200 watts, then the bicycle is a motor vehicle. The rider will be required to hold a motorcycle license and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network, including footpaths and bicycle paths.
Some electric powered two-wheeled vehicles with floor boards are described as bicycles because they have pedals and sometimes belts, chains, or gears. However it is usually fairly obvious that the primary source of power for these vehicles is the electric motor, and the vehicle has not been built to be propelled primarily by human power. These vehicles are actually legally regarded as electric scooters or mopeds. The rider, therefore, will be required to hold a motorcycle license and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network, including footpaths and bicycle paths.
I am going to South Australia for two weeks ... Regarding the insurance cover members of Bike Tas get, is there anything I need to carry, to present in the event of an incident/accident?
Just have your membership number handy, and take the Bicycle Network contact details (see above).
Is a bicycle legally classed as a vehicle in Tasmania?
Yes - the Road Rules 2009 state:
"15. What is a vehicle A vehicle includes -
(a) a motor vehicle, trailer and tram; and
(b) a bicycle; and
(c) an animal-drawn vehicle, and an animal that is being ridden or drawing a vehicle; and
(d) a combination; and
(e) a motorised wheelchair that can travel at over 10 kilometres per hour (on level ground)"
How can I get cover for loss or damage to my electric bike?
Velosure have advised re their "bike only" cover:
We do cover electric bikes. When quoting, you will need to select HYBRID BIKE as the bike type. We cover electric bikes when they have been manufactured as such, but will exclude cover to bikes which have been modified after purchase to add pedal assistance.
Cyclecover advise that their bike friendly home and contents package Cyclecover Gold does cover electric bikes:
"on the proviso they do not exceed 250W & are still a classic bicycle. eg with pedals as as opposed to foot rests and still have the same functionality to a standard bicycle."
Update July 2014: Cover for electric bikes within home and contents insurance can be obtained via an insurance broker. For example, Bicycle Network was advised a broker that cover may be available via CGU, Allianz, Wesfarmers and QBE. Typical conditions are: the e-bike is not covered whilst "in use", which means when you are actually riding it, but it is covered when it is parked, presumably locked securely. And when stored at home, the bike should be in a secure lockable area.
Bicycle Network has requested RACT Insurance to include cover for electric bikes (several years ago) but no positive response has yet been received.
If you come across any other alternatives, we would be glad to hear about it. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.