Practice Insurance. What insurance do you need for your bike rack?

Transporting bicycles on your car is not illegal, but it is advisable to take all the necessary precautions so that they arrive safely. Until you take out insurance.

What happens in the event of an accident or theft? Auto insurance is there to cover the vehicle and its passengers. At the “third party”, you are insured for the damage you cause, but not your damage; in all risks, it is better, but sometimes not enough.


Installed on the bike rack, itself fixed to the vehicle, the bikes are not part of the standard accessories and equipment of a car. They are therefore not covered by conventional auto insurance contracts. Photo DR

Bike rack, covered or not?

First point, the bike rack. Depending on your car contract, it may be guaranteed as an accessory; this is particularly the case for “all risks” insurance, but it is not compulsory. You should of course ask your insurer or agent.

If your contract does not include this possibility, you will need to take out an “Accessories” guarantee, as for a roof box. In any case, be sure to buy a product that meets French and European standards (CE marking); otherwise the insurer may not cover.

In Switzerland, security is not taken lightly;  bike racks are tested in crash tests.  Photo TCS

In Switzerland, security is not taken lightly; bike racks are tested in crash tests. Photo TCS

Bikes, covered or not?

Now let’s move on to the bikes you carry. You will start by asking the question to your favorite insurer; Are they covered or do I need to take out an endorsement?

The other possibility is to insure the bikes separately, especially if they are relatively new and expensive. Be careful though; in the event of theft, for example, the insurer may refuse reimbursement if the bicycles were not secured by an approved lock or if you left your vehicle and its load unattended for a long time.

To be sure of being compensated in the event of the theft of a bicycle on a bicycle rack, it is good that each bicycle is secured with an approved lock.  Photo DR

To be sure of being compensated in the event of the theft of a bicycle on a bicycle rack, it is good that each bicycle is secured with an approved lock. Photo DR

Good to know

Bicycle insurance concerns the three main types of bicycle carrier: rear, roof and hitch. Specify what equipment you use to your insurer in order to cover it correctly.

Like any insurance contract, that concerning the theft of bicycles may be subject to an excess and/or exclusions; This should also be checked with the insurer. Also consider additional accessories such as protective covers.

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