Yes, You Can Insure Your Mountain Bike, But is it Worth the Cost?

We spoke with an insurance rep to learn the ins and outs of policies and find out if a policy covering crashes and theft is worth the money.

Last spring, I cracked the seat stay on my trail bike in the most uneventful way. Breaking my frame bummed me out, but I was hopeful about warranty coverage.

My hope turned to disappointment when I got the email rejecting my claim. They offered a crash replacement discount, but it was much more than I was willing to spend. I would have rather put that money toward a completely new frame, which I ultimately did.

I don’t fault the manufacturer for denying my warranty. Nearly all frame manufacturers have similar language in their warranties, which tends to favor the manufacturer rather than the customer. Whether you have a five-year, ten-year, or lifetime warranty, it likely only covers “manufacturer defects,” which have a large grary area.

My frame break fell in that gray area—I couldn’t prove a manufacturer defect, but it was certainly a situation where the frame shouldn’t have broken. Thus, the long back and forth with the warranty department. I learned that warranty claims are incredibly subjective and less dependable than we might assume. 

But what if we didn’t need to depend on warranties quite as much and claims were a last resort? Enter mountain bike insurance.

Covering your mountain bike

To be clear, I am talking about bicycle-specific insurance companies, not just adding bikes onto homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. 

Insurance is a tricky conversation. There are so many different options and coverage plans. There are also a lot of assumptions out there.

An assumption of mine was that my car insurance would cover my bike if someone rear-ended me while driving with it on the bike rack. Check your car insurance policy. In the case of an accident, my car insurance covers damages to my car and anything permanently attached. So, my bike isn’t covered. My bike rack: maybe.

Another assumption I had was that my renter’s insurance would take care of my bike. It does if my bike is stolen from my home or there is a fire. If I crash and break the frame, I’m out of luck. It also has a pretty steep deductible: $1,000. Don’t get me wrong, I’d gladly pay $1,000 to replace my bike, but the price still stings a little.

Many homeowner or renter policies, like mine, only cover items that are physically at the address you have listed. I doubt I will crash my bike hard enough to crack the frame in my garage.

My main concern was having my bike insured from damages occurring in a crash. So, I looked into mountain bike-specific insurance and contacted Sundays Insurance

To be clear, this is not a promotional article for Sundays Insurance. They don’t have a contract for any sort of advertising space or anything like that. In fact, Sundays Insurance didn’t contact Singletracks at all. I contacted them after Googling “mountain bike insurance” and getting a quote.

I plugged in my Specialized Stumpjumper Evo on their website, valuing the bike at $6,000. After adding all my information, including my bike’s serial number, I was offered full coverage for my Stumpy Evo for $34 per month with a $250 deductible. The next prompt on the screen was actually purchasing that insurance plan.

Surely, that premium had to have hidden fees, or at least would go up with filing a claim. Ultimately, I wanted to know if insuring my mountain bike would be worth it. 

Skeptical as I was, I didn’t click “buy,” responding instead to an email from Sundays that landed in my inbox. After a few emails back and forth, I was on a video call with Zach Canning, Sundays’ Insurance’s Program Manager for the U.S. 

Carnage at the BME Snowmass Enduro race. Thankfully, the rider was fine. Photo: Greg Heil.

Maybe it is worth it…

My first question for Canning was whether or not I would actually be paying $34 per month as Sundays Insurance had quoted me. What was the catch? Where and when would the additional costs surface?

“There are no hidden fees,” Canning told me. The offer of $6,000 of coverage on my Stumpy Evo for $34 per month was the genuine rate I would have paid if I continued the process.

Along with no hidden fees is the promise that rates will not increase upon filing a claim. If you have ever filed a claim with your car insurance after an accident, you are familiar with increased rates. Canning explained that premiums and deductibles won’t change with Sundays.

This $34 a month covers everything we may assume our homeowners/renters and car insurance covers. The policy I was one click away from covered theft at and away from our home, domestic travel and shipping, bike rack transport, medical expenses, etc.

One of the more significant ways Sundays Insurance differs from the insurance you likely already have is that it also covers your bike in the event of a crash. “Manufacturer defect” doesn’t come into play as it would in your warranty. “A crash is a crash,” Canning said. No gray area exists; Sundays will take care of your claim, minus your deductible.

Filing a claim is relatively easy, according to Canning. “I’ve seen some resolved in as little as a week.” However, Canning acknowledged that every claim is different, making it hard to put a solid time frame on them.

Like any other insurance claim, the more documentation and “proof” you have, the better. “If you tell us your new bike just blew up on the trail, but it looks like it has been run over by a car, we’re going to have to investigate,” Canning said.

Add-ons for a little extra

Sundays Insurance offers a few different additional options to their primary insurance. One box you can check if you feel so inclined is racing insurance. And, as Canning told me, it is very affordable. “On a $5,000 bike, racing coverage is only $2 [per month]. But what that all includes is nuts.”

Racing coverage includes reimbursement of race fees if you crash and can’t race. It also covers bike rental fees if your bike is damaged and you must rent to race.

And if you just can’t swing the extra $2 a month, race coverage can be monthly. $6 can cover you for an entire summer of racing.

Along with racing coverage, Sundays also offers the option to purchase international travel insurance. International coverage, however, cannot extend beyond 90 days with Sundays, so if you plan on traveling longer, it may not be the best option for you.

Sundays also has additional coverage that can be purchased, helping with depreciation and the often rising cost of bike models from year to year. This box to check for this coverage is their “lifetime new for old” option.

To purchase the additional new for old coverage, you must be the original owner and insure the bike within 60 days of its purchase.

“If you insure your bike within 60 days, your bike is insured for its full value, regardless of price changes,” Canning said. If the bike you have insured increases in price by $2,000 two years later, Sundays will cover the increased cost. “It’s really not that much more a month—I think a couple of bucks.”

Photo: Velosurance

About a year ago, we published a piece of sponsored content by Velosurance, another bike insurance provider, which provides similar coverage. This wasn’t a review or interview, so Velosurance’s information was advertorial in nature, but the brand said they even provide an additional $500 for apparel, gear, and bike accessories that may have been lost as well, and an additional $500 for other components.

With mountain bike insurance, Velosurance also wrote that they provide medical coverage for crashes and racing insurance too. One reader mentioned the cost could be as much as $820 a year however.

Ultimately, is bicycle insurance worth the cost?

Sundays’ mountain bike insurance for $34 per month offer seems like a good deal, but let’s consider everything.

$34 gives me $6,000 of coverage on my Stumpy Evo with a $250 deductible. Paying a bit extra for the lifetime new to old isn’t an option since I’ve had the bike longer than 60 days. So, like all insurance policies, the deductible is the “major” expense we need to consider.

Of course, warranties and other insurance policies can be factored in. But the bottom line is that if Sundays insured me and broke my frame tomorrow, $250 would get me a new frame.

$250 may indeed be wasted money, as perhaps the frame manufacturer’s warranty would have covered it. But, warranty claims aren’t always granted.

Plus, the items that you need covered on your bike are the more expensive things, like your frame. But what if you are someone who doesn’t break frames? That $34 a month may feel like $408 wasted by the end of the year. Let’s face it: you’re not going to file a claim and pay a $250 deductible for a damaged brake rotor or a shredded tire. 

But you might for that new set of carbon rims you just dropped $1,800 on. When you upgrade your bike, like new wheels or suspension, you can specifically add those items to your coverage. 

Sundays also covers theft, as long as the theft isn’t a result of negligence. Canning said an example of “negligence” that wouldn’t be covered would be leaving your bike unlocked outside of a coffee shop.

And, yes, you may have some coverage from your homeowner or renter’s policy. Your car insurance might have you covered, too. But make sure you check your policies. That “bike coverage” you thought you had may vanish every time you roll your bike out of the garage. 

You need to realize what makes sense and works for you. Some may see the insurance as unnecessary, while others feel like they are buying peace of mind.