The Daily Cyclists Research and Action Group (Gracq) pleaded, this Wednesday, April 29, 2020, to support the cycling momentum born during confinement and so avoid massive use of the car once the restriction measures are partially lifted.
To respect the strict social distancing in the fight against the coronavirus, the National Security Council recommends favoring individual modes of transport as soon as the confinement is gradually lifted. “But without taking concrete and effective measures to promote active mobility, this recommendation will inevitably lead to a strong comeback of solo driving,” said Gracq in a press release.
The association pleads for a more equitable redistribution of public space in favor of pedestrians and cyclists, “which must take place now, in an effective way” to avoid the return of traffic jams and a deterioration in the quality of the air, she adds.
Do you want to use this cycling momentum to get to work while avoiding public transport and possible traffic jams? Here is an overview of financing and insurance solutions.
For several years now, many banks have had a loan specially intended for the financing of a two-wheeler. On average, it takes at least 2,000 euros for a correct electric bike (VAE). Beyond 2,700 euros, you will already be dealing with a high-end bike.
Currently, the lowest rate (0.99%) can be found in the Axa and Belfius banks. However, the conditions are not the same. To obtain such a rate at Axa, you must borrow at least 2,500 euros, while at Belfius this amount is reduced to 1,000 euros.
If you need to borrow a smaller sum, KBC offers to finance for an amount of 500 euros (which is not the case with CBC). In this case, the loan rate rises to 1.09%. Does it make a big difference? Not really.
For example, to finance a bicycle at 3,000 euros over 30 months with an APR of 0.99%, the monthly payment amounts to a hundred euros (101.28 euros precisely). That is a total amount to be reimbursed of 3,038.40 euros (including 38.40 euros of interest for this loan).
With an APR of 1.09%, this amount increases to 3,042.23 euros (a difference of 3.83 euros).
Bank loans for the financing of all kinds of new bicycles
Rate as of 04/29/2020
except for Biobank, which reserves its credit for the financing of an electrically assisted bicycle. Otherwise, all these banks do not necessarily offer the same LTV.
The highest (120%) is at Biobank. This means that the consumer can borrow more than the amount of the bike to have the cash to finance, according to his needs, one or more insurances, equipment to increase his visibility or ensure better protection, a padlock, etc. Note that there are two ways to sweeten the final bill for your investment. First of all, depending on your place of residence, you may be eligible for a bonus
municipal, provincial or regional. Sometimes these bonuses, which range from 50 to 505 euros, can be combined. Secondly, if you use your bike to commute to work, your employer can reward you for each kilometer you travel. But it is not an obligation (unless a sectoral collective labor agreement decides otherwise). This bicycle allowance amounts to 24 cents per kilometer traveled (a sworn statement is authentic).
This is fiscally and socially exempt. “By cycling for example 20 km (round trip) to get to work (with an electric bike or a normal bike), you will receive an allowance of 4.80 euros per day”, according to the explanations of KBC. “Carried over an average of 220 days per year of work, that gives you a total of 1,056 euros.”
2. Theft insurance
On average, more than 35,000 bicycles vanish each year in Belgium, on the public highway, or at the owners’ homes! Therefore, do you have to take out theft insurance? Not necessarily! Let’s assume that your VAE is only used for commuting and that you can park it in a secure place with your employer. If a theft occurs at your home (including in the locked garden shed), you are covered by your home insurance “as long as the ‘theft’ guarantee is part of your contract”, specifies Laurence Gijs, spokesperson for AG Insurance. This same insurance covers the theft of your bike on public roads if it takes place with violence.
On the other hand, if your bike is parked on public roads, it may be worth taking out additional insurance with “Theft” and/or “Material damage” coverage. For example, AG Insurance offers Top vélo insurance, which provides compensation in the event of material damage and/or theft (even partial) or vandalism of the bicycle and its accessories. The amount of the premium depends on the type of bike, its price, and the guarantees desired. “For a bike worth 1,000 euros, the premium is 60 euros and also includes assistance insurance (see elsewhere)”, according to Laurence Gijs.
On the Ethias side, the insured has the choice between 4 covers via the “Ethias Bike&More” insurance product. “The prices of Theft and Material Damage cover depend on a segmentation criterion which is the insured value”, according to Serge Jacobs, the spokesperson for Ethias. To illustrate the price of these two guarantees, let’s take the example of a bicycle with electric assistance whose purchase value excluding VAT is 1,665 euros. In this case, the budget will be 62.48 euros/year for theft and 22.43 euros/year for material damage.
At AXA, “cycling comfort+” insurance is a solution that covers all types of bicycles and their accessories in the event of an accident causing material damage or theft. “Assistance in the event of a breakdown or accident with on-site repair and/or replacement bike is acquired for the whole family”, specifies Chloé Tillieux, its spokesperson. With this insurer, it is also possible to opt for “multi” coverage which insures up to 5 bicycles. “Practical to cover all the bikes in the family within the same contract! For example, for a family with 4 bikes to insure, including 2 electric bikes worth 1,500 euros each, it takes approximately 192 euros/year. A rider safety option that protects the customer or their entire family in the event of bodily injury or death is also possible.”
3. Liability Insurance
In case the assistance of your bike does not exceed 25 km/h, your civil liability (i.e. damage you may cause to third parties) is covered by your family RC. If you are not covered by such insurance, the victim may apply directly to the Common Fund for the Belgian Guarantee. In the time the assistance of your bike reaches 45 km/h and you are therefore equipped with a speed pedelec, then you must take out additional liability insurance of the “moped” type. This insurance is for 89.33 euros at the AP and Belfius for the RC (and 119.34 euros with legal assistance). On the other hand, at Argenta, this corresponds to “Motorcycle Insurance” whose annual premium is only 36 euros.
No one is safe from a breakdown or a puncture. If you are not already insured for breakdown assistance (see above and in the box below), additional assistance cover is probably worthwhile. For example, the price of the “Belgian repair” cover at Ethias is fixed and equal to 20 euros/year
(for at least one year) benefit from free bicycle assistance in Europe. •ING customers
holders of a MasterCard Gold credit card (at 48 euros/year) also benefit from bicycle assistance within a radius of 50 km around their home. •Belfius customers
holders of a MasterCard Platinum credit card, also benefit from bicycle assistance in Europe. • Axa policyholders in Private Life Liability and Auto Liability
All benefit from assistance services in the event of immobilization of the bicycle in Belgium (and up to 30 km beyond our borders) following a breakdown, a puncture, a fall, or an attempted theft.