How to protect your bike from theft, and yourself — from crash? 10 important questions and answers about insurance

EVERY SIXTH DANE stole a bike at least once in his life! Perhaps because there are a lot of them there, and they are often left without a lock.

In Belarus, the scale is different, but bicycles are also frequently stolen. And bikers sometimes get into accidents, hurt themselves and others. But this doesn’t mean that you should switch to a car or a bus!

On the contrary, it is possible and necessary to ride bicycles or electric kick scooters if you pre-insure health and property.

Together with Belgosstrakh, we explain how it works.

Bikers insurance – does it even exist?What could you insure against?What do the statistics say? How often bikes are stolen? How many bikers crashed?I’m just thinking of buying a bike. I want to ride it to workI have a good bike lock. It seems a good enough insurance to me. And I ride carefullyWhat is possible insurance amount for my bike and health? And how much I will get as an insurance reimbursement?What happens if an insurable event occurs?Are you insuring other vehicles? I drive an electric kick scooterWhat cases are not covered by the insurance?Is it needed something else besides the insurance?

Bikers insurance – does it even exist?

Yes, Belgosstrakh has been insuring bikers for 4 years now. The demand for the service is steadily growing — in 2018, security was chosen by 1,100 Belarusian bikers. This is a normal international practice — in many countries of the world there are similar insurance programs.

Belgosstrakh insures city, highway, tourist, mountain, teenage, electric and other bicycles, with the exception of children’s.

What could you insure against?

"Bikers' safety insurance" includes three following major risks:

  1. If your bike is stolen.

  2. If you crashed while riding a bike.

  3. If you have caused damage to property or health of other road users.

The insurance also extends to those situations in which you have suffered due to your carelessness while breaking the traffic rules.

What do the statistics say? How often bikes are stolen? How many bikers crashed?

In the first half of 2018, the police received more than 160 allegations of bicycles theft only in Minsk. According to the Police Department of the Minsk City Executive Committee, the city’s law enforcement officers, on average, reveal about 40% of the total number of bicycle thefts.

The quality of roads and lighting are improving, but there are still victims of accidents. In 2017, 42 bikers died on the country’s roads; hundreds were crashed — due to the fault of other road users or their own.

I’m just thinking of buying a bike. I want to ride it to work

This is a very good idea! It’s useful for health, for ecology, and for your working capacity. Pedaling is much more useful than sitting in a car in a traffic jam or shaking in a stuffy subway.

About 50% of all European car rides are shorter than 5 km. Bicycle is the best option for short movements around the city.

Riding it helps to “disconnect” from work issues and cope with a large mental load. After the morning ride, you don’t need to “wake up” with the help of coffee — you’ll have enough vigour for a day. Only 20 minutes riding a bike per week reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 50%.

Even in cold Finland, 60,5% of the population has bicycles. In the Netherlands, this indicator is >99%, 27% of all rides are bicycle rides. The climate of Belarus allows you to ride a two-wheeled vehicle at least from April to October.

There are BikeToWork communities all around the world. Look for Instagram posts with the hashtag #biketowork and be inspired by 237,000 photos!

I have a good bike lock. It seems a good enough insurance to me. And I ride carefully

No bike lock guarantees complete protection. Armed with reinforcing scissors or a battery grinder, a thief can cut the chain in just a few seconds. Even three locks don’t guarantee 100% protection — the thief will just have to tinker with them longer.

Even if you are the most careful biker in the country, you’re not insured from meeting reckless drivers and inattentive pedestrians.

Or, maybe, you are insured? The insurable events of the “Cyclists’ safety insurance” package include accidents involving a third party.

What is possible insurance amount for my bike and health? And how much I will get as an insurance reimbursement?

You could insure your vehicle for the amount your bike costs (taking into account wear and tear) on the day the contract is signed. The exact amount is determined by a specialist from Belgosstrakh.

The insurance contract also establishes:

• the insured amount for damage to the life and health of the insured person in the amount of 2,000 rubles;

• limit of liability for damage to the life, health, and property of the victim in the amount of 2,000 rubles for each victim.

The annual insurance premium is 10% of the amount insured. If your bike costs 400 rubles, you need to pay 40 rubles a year. Belgosstrakh has a discount system.

What happens if an insurable event occurs?

Immediately call an ambulance, traffic police, or police — depending on the situation. Take a picture of the scene of the accident, damage to the bike and other vehicles, visible injuries. Within 3 working days (no later!) notify the insurer of the damage caused. The insurer will request documents from the ambulance/police and will make a decision on their basis within 7 working days.

If your case is recognized as insurable, you will receive an insurance compensation.

Your bike is stolen? → You will receive the entire amount for which it is insured.

You have been injured or injured the health of third parties? → Victims will receive compensations in the amount of from 500 to 2,000 rubles, depending on the severity of the injury and the degree of damage. When causing damage to property payment is determined by the cost of its repair.

Are you insuring other vehicles? I drive an electric kick scooter

Yes, since April 20, Belgosstrakh has been insuring vehicles and the health of owners of electric kick scooters. A person on a scooter is less noticeable than a biker — it may not be seen by passersby or automobilists. At the electric kick scooter you could accelerate to 25 km/h — this is more than the average speed of urban transport.

Not everyone knows that you can ride an electric kick scooter so fast. Therefore, car drivers and pedestrians can choose the wrong speed and provoke an accident.

Electric kick scooter owners are subject to the same insurance conditions as bikers.

What cases are not covered by the insurance?

Insurance payments are not provided if you were riding a bicycle while you were intoxicated with drugs or alcohol. You can’t get an insurance compensation if the bike was stolen, but you didn’t go to the police, and the fact of the theft was not documented.

Also, the case is not recognized as insured if:

• the bike was in public accomodations (for example, an entrance hall, a bicycle parking in front of the store) and wasn’t attached to a stationary object (pillar, parking construction, railing) with a special lock;

• the bike (even attached with a lock!) Was from midnight to 6 am outside the house, cottage and other buildings on your land plot.

If the bike computer was removed from the steering wheel, this is also not considered an insured event. Take the bike computer with you when you leave the bike in a public place. It’s a small and light device.

Is it needed something else besides the insurance?

Yes, that’s what will protect you:

1. Take a picture of the entire bike, its main components, and factory stickers/markings. Write down the serial number of the frame. Most often, the manufacturer indicates it at the bottom of the frame, under the carriage. The number can also be engraved on the headtube. If there is nothing in these places, look for markings on other parts of the frame. Sometimes the serial number is on the forks or wheel bushings.

2. Make hidden marks. This may be a drop of paint on the underside of the frame or a sticker under the seat. Marks will help identify your bike if the thief destroys the factory marking.

3. Use good bike locks. The ideal option is two locks, one of which fastens the bicycle by the frame, and the second by the wheel. If you have one lock, fasten the frame — an expensive bike can be stolen without one wheel.

4. Check the reliability of the rack, to which you fasten the bike. It should be strong and motionless. To fix transport to a small tree is a bad idea — the trunk can be cut almost silently.

5. Constantly check if the vehicle is in place if it is stored in the basement/garage/pram, etc. Fasten it with two locks even there.

6. Label yourself on the road with rear lights, reflectors, and flickers. At night, be sure to use a bicycle lamp. Most accidents involving cyclists occur in the evening and at night, in poorly lit areas, when the bike and the person were not well marked.