About Insurance

Check out this recent 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 Tasmania insurance cover?
By becoming a member of Bicycle Tasmania you receive Australia's premium bike rider insurance.  This includes two types of insurance cover. The first is Personal Accident insurance, which is a little bit like the MAIB insurance we receive when we register a motor vehicle. It provides cover for personal injury, loss of income, etc 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.

See the Bicycle Network insurance page for full details of what you are covered for.

As BT membership costs less than the price of a cup of coffee a week, this is a pretty good deal! Join here.
But 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 Tasmania 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 to be covered, and 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.  Some good information for Australia is available in the SMH article above.  Here are a couple of options:
Or you can consider switching your home and contents insurance to a policy which covers bikes.  Here's a couple of 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. 
  • Michael O'Reilly in the above article notes: "Cyclecover sees the world from a two-wheeled perspective, including business and travel insurance. Ideal for families or households with a shedload of bikes".
Can you please advise the cost of Cyclist Insurance?
BT's no-fault cyclist personal accident insurance is included in the cost of membership. It cannot be purchased separately, it is part of the Bicycle Tasmania membership package.  We combine our membership base with Bicycle Network to achieve a relatively low cost premium per member.

You can join BT by post or on-line.

Where can I get more information on insurance and how to reduce my risks?
BT members can access more detailed information through the Bicycle Network Blink member services area.  Here you can find the sorts of questions you should ask yourself and your insurer to make sure your bike is covered to the extent you feel is required.

You'll also find a list of other options to consider, such as Travel insurance which would cover you when over 100km from home.

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 a claim is indicated, 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 Tasmania insurance cover when riding electric bikes as well?

Yes.    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 provided the motor is not capable of generating a power output of more than 200 watts. If the motor is not the 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 vehicles with floor boards are described as bicycles because they have pedals and sometimes belts, chains, or gears. The primary source of power for these vehicles may be the electric motor, and the vehicle not built to be propelled primarily by human power. These vehicles are actually electric scooters. 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 taking your membership card would be a good idea. In the event of an incident or accident, get details of the other party's insurance, just like you would if in a car. As our BT member insurance is now via Bicycle Network (BN) you could take their contact details as well (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 & still have the same functionality to a standard 

If you come across any other alternatives, we would be glad to hear about it.  Contact vpc@biketas.org.au.