Happy Trails….

Bicycle Insurance

Warmer weather is finally here…. well for today at least. This is YYC after all.  For many of us it’s finally time to pull our bicycle out of storage and hit the trails and pathways.  Calgary is one of the best cities in Canada for “bikeability” according to CBC

For a lot of people this means that they don’t have to drive their car, wait for a bus, or stand in a packed c-train to get to work. Pedaling to work is becoming more popular each year in Calgary.  The freedom of being out in nature, getting fresh air, and enjoying the peaceful pathways sounds very attractive. Whether you’re thinking about starting to ride to work, or have already taken that step, one of the first things you need to think about is protecting your bike while it’s parked at work.

It’s not uncommon for people to spend $3,000 or more on a bicycle. So investing in a quality bike lock is usually the first thing people think of.  Our friends at MEC wrote a great post on choosing the right bike lock.  The important thing to remember here is that a bike lock is a good deterrent, but if a thief really wants your bike, they will probably find a way to get it.

So what if your bike gets stolen… you have insurance, so you’ll be fine right? Maybe, what many people don’t know is that there may be limitations on their home policy for bicycle coverage.  Most home policies will give you coverage for at least $1,000 towards bicycles & their equipment. If you have a $3,000+ bike that’s a problem. You’ll need to check your policy wordings, or contact your broker, to see if your policy has limitation.

If you have a limitation on your policy, and you own a bicycle that’s valued above the limit of coverage, it’s time to contact your broker and talk about adding a bicycle floater to your policy. A bicycle floater will specifically list the bicycle (year, make, model, serial number) on the policy and what its value is.  The floater cost will vary depending on the insurance company but plan to spend around $5 for every $100 of bicycle value.   So a $3,000 bicycle would cost you around $150 a year to insure, which is a lot less than having to replace your bike yourself.

In addition, a bicycle floater will also either reduce or eliminate the deductible on the bike that’s listed. Most home policies have a $1,000 deductible.  A bicycle floater will reduce that deductible.  Again, this will vary depending on the insurer but a deductible ranging from $25 to $100 would be a reasonable expectation.

Happy trails!


What you can’t see, can hurt you…


The cold weather has finally returned to Calgary. This means that our furnaces will be running more to keep our homes warm. Make sure your family is safe this winter by having all your fuel burning appliances inspected and your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are all working properly.  Barry from our office recently had a carbon monoxide fright; here’s what he had to say about it:

“The other night I was woken up by the ear piercing sound of our carbon monoxide detector going off at around 2am. Needless to say, that is a sound you do not want to ever hear in your life, let alone in the middle of the night in winter.

It was the alarm right outside of the bedroom. I grabbed it out of the wall and did the exact opposite thing that a person in this situation should do, and assumed it was a false alarm. I pulled the battery out and it shut off. As soon as I put the battery back in, it started beeping again so I gathered my wife, our dog, and my in-laws (staying with us for the holidays) and moved everyone outside to fresh air. My wife called 911 and the fire department was dispatched to our house. They advised us not to go back in, and of course it was cold and we were all in pajamas, so my wife drove the whole gang a few blocks away to my parent’s house to stay warm while I waited for the fire department to show up.

Minutes later two Calgary City fire trucks showed up. I found out later that one was a Hazmat team. They were all business when they arrived and I directed them to where the alarm was plugged in and where it was now. They checked the entire house, starting in the basement (as that is where most carbon monoxide leaks originate) but had no sign of anything on their meters. Hazmat followed up and they couldn’t get a reading anywhere either so…. Good news!!! False alarm!

We had been doing some renovations and there was a lot of dust in the air for a few days which they said could have triggered the alarm… either that or it was just a faulty alarm. We have since replaced that one and still have 4 in the house, two in the basement and two on the main floor. It was quite an experience and I was relieved to hear that we did the right thing by finding fresh air and calling 911. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! “

Remember carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no color, smell or taste. If your detector goes off get your family outside and call 911 right away.

This brings me to the next point. When did you last replace your carbon monoxide detector and smoke detectors?  We are all told to make sure to replace the batteries every time we change the clocks in spring and fall, but that may not be enough.  Both smoke & carbon monoxide detectors have expiry dates.  The average lifespan of these detectors is only 7 years!   If you can’t remember the last time you replaced these units it’s probably time to do it now.   New detectors are not very expensive and you can get combo units that monitor both smoke and carbon monoxide. When you do replace them put a sticker on them with the date you installed them so you know how old they are in the future.