I had my bike stolen from my apartment. My renter's insurance covers "cost of replacement" for my bike. However, my bike was 8 years old and the model is no longer made. Bike costs in general have gone way up. I payed $270 for a mid-range new hybrid bike in 2006, but I couldn't actually get a new bike for that much now and I don't feel comfortable getting a used one. How do insurance companies determine the "cost of replacement"? I think I would need more like $400 to get an analogous new bike now, but do they account for that, or would they just pay the original cost of the bike (maybe plus inflation)? If anyone has any knowledge about this or experience with calculations like that, I'd greatly appreciate any insight. I use my bike to commute and need to estimate how much I'll have to spend on a new bike before I can wait for their assessment.


  • Remember that the insurance company will probably depreciate for wear during normal use... they will value this at what it would cost to buy something equivalent of the same age, if you are lucky.
    – keshlam
    Oct 11, 2015 at 23:19
  • So, my insurance company states that "Actual cash value​ is replacement cost​ less depreciation​," and there are options in the insurance policy to be insured for actual cash value or replacement cost. I chose replacement cost when I bought my policy, so I think this does not factor in depreciation. That is my understanding anyway.
    – pjshap
    Oct 11, 2015 at 23:22
  • 2
    Ok, then it will be valued at what a bike of similar features, quality, age and and condition would cost. Not the cost of a new one, but the cost of giving you essentially what you had.
    – keshlam
    Oct 12, 2015 at 1:45
  • Do you recall or have documentation what component set your bicycle had (eg, Shimano Tiagra, Shimano Deore, Sram Rival; if it had a hydraulic brake system, etc)? Usually, the component set is a good shorthand for the price point of the bicycle, and consistent over time, and your equivalent replacement would be a bike from the same manufacturer with the same component set.
    – user662852
    Oct 12, 2015 at 14:46
  • Yes, I was able to find the details of the model online. It has Shimano EF50, and linear-pull brakes. It seems like there is a similar model now made by the same company, which is about $350. I checked what $270 in 2006 would be now with inflation, and that's about $320. So I guess those numbers aren't as far off as I thought they'd be. I'll update when I talk to the insurance agent.
    – pjshap
    Oct 12, 2015 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


My insurance company ended up just accepting my suggestion that it was comparable to the new model by the same brand. I bought that model and sent them the receipt, and they're sending me a reimbursement. The version of the bike that was available ended up being more like $400, and they paid the full price (minus my deductible). The price of a new bike has increased more than inflation, and it seems at least by this company's definition, replacement cost factors that in.

  • Correct -- if you have "replacement cost" insurance, you need to find a comparable "level" bike and they should cover it. What you can't do with "replacement cost" coverage is get an "upgrade" -- caliper brakes for disc, steel or aluminum for carbon fiber. Glad to hear things worked out! May 2, 2019 at 18:21

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