Calgary has one of the most amazing pathway systems in the world, with about 1,000 km of regional pathways and 96 km of trails that take you to every part of the city and to all major destinations. On top of that is 290 km of on-street bikeways and cycle tracks, and the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway, a 138 km loop around with lots to see and do along the way. Calgary has always been a great place to be a cyclist, and keeps getting better and better.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began and as people look for a safe way to spend time outdoors and with each other, bike sales in Calgary have exploded. A June CBC article reported “phenomenal” sales this year, something that wasn’t expected by shop owners. Cycling has become so popular in 2020 that bicycle shops are having trouble finding inventory, and even have waiting lists for the more popular sizes and types. Some are even calling it a bike shortage, and it’s being felt across North America.
Bikes are in short supply and more sought after than ever, which the Calgary Police Service (CPS) says has led to an uptick in theft. Stolen bikes have always been a problem in Calgary, and have been becoming more so recently. An experienced thief can take a bike in just seconds, then disappear. They may use it themselves, or try to resell it on a site such as Kijiji. Bikes are not cheap these days, so just a few stolen bikes can turn a tidy profit.
Stolen Bike Statistics in Calgary
Between the years of 2015 and 2018, an average of 2,900 bikes were reported stolen annually. The CPS reports a rather dismal return rate of 12%, which means that 88% of people who have their bikes stolen never see them again. Bike owners are strongly encouraged to save both their receipt and their bike’s serial number in a safe place, and to register their bike with the Bike Index. The CPS partnered with this non-profit bike return agency last year, which has 441, 296 bikes registered, and has recovered 7,829 bikes worth $11,502,047 to their rightful owners. In May of this year, the CPS was able to return more than $12,000 worth of stolen bikes to Calgarians with the help of the Bike Index.
How Bike Insurance Works
Bike insurance exists as part of your home or renters insurance package. Those who love to explore on two wheels should take care to check their policy and ensure their bike is properly covered. Bikes and sports equipment are generally subject to special limits on their coverage, which are caps on the amount an insurance company will pay for lost property. An average special limit for bicycles is $1,000 for every bike you own. So, if your bike is stolen and you file a claim, you would have to pay the amount of your deductible (often $500) to receive $1,000 for a new bike.
If your bike is worth more than $1,000 and that is the special limit on your policy, consider adding an endorsement, just as you would for jewelry, collections, and art pieces. This will add just a little extra to your monthly premiums, but is more than likely worth it.
The average home or renters insurance policy covers for theft and accidental or unintentional damage to property or persons, except for exclusions mentioned in your policy. If you are an avid cyclist who pedals long distance and in races, you should let your insurance provider know. There may be exclusions in your policy for people who engage in what underwriters would consider risky activities.
You can always consider shopping around through a brokerage such as us at Lane’s. As insurance brokers, we have access to a number of policies from Canada’s most respected insurance companies, and can cross-compare their comprehensiveness and cost to find you the best coverage at the lowest rates.
Third-Party Bike Insurance in Canada
Owners of extremely high-end bicycles and/or those who race can also consider third-party bike insurance, which can be customized to meet your needs and also include enhanced liability and collision insurance. Third-party bike insurance providers in Canada include:
How to Protect Your Bike from Theft
Bike Calgary advises that to protect your bike, a U-lock is best. Cable locks can be easily cut through with cable cutters. They recommend that you do your research and only purchase reputable brands endorsed by experts. When you purchase your lock at your local bike shop, have the salesperson walk you through how to use it properly.
- Never leave your bike locked up for more than a few hours.
- Lock your bike at official bike racks firmly attached to the ground.
- Lock your bike where there are cameras in the area.
- Do not lock your bike to a pole or a tree.
- Lock your back tire and the frame together. Either lock your front tire separately or remove it and lock it to the back and frame.
- Store your bike in a locked, secure area.
- Identify your bike as yours somehow, so that it cannot be as easily resold (some engrave an insignia, others place a unique code somewhere on the bike.
- Install a bike anti-theft device, such as GPS tracker.
Lane’s Provides Excellent Coverage, Great Rates, and Outstanding Service
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering a complete range of insurance products for bike owners, homeowners, businesses owners, drivers, tenants and everyone else. As brokers, Lane’s Insurance representatives work for you, not the insurance companies.
We are pleased to serve homeowners and business owners throughout Alberta. Contact us at: