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Bicycle Industry

Bike Industry Insurance and Risk Prevention Blog

MMA Offers Standard Insurance Coverage on e-Bike Retail
MMA is now offering the same coverage and its partner carriers are now using the same underwriting guidelines for e-bike retail shops as for traditional bike shops.
Bike Rental and Test Ride Liability - How to Protect Yourself and Your Bike Shop
Retail bike shops that rent out bicycles should use waivers to reduce their risk. Image used under Creative Commons from markhogan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhogan/6139613974/)Bike rentals and test rides are great ways to add revenue or help seal a deal on a bike, but they also deliver added risk to the retail bicycle shop owner. There are two primary procedures that should be followed to help protect yourself.
2016 Bicycle Industry & Shop Trends & Observations
Insurance and risk management services for the bicycle industryWhile looking ahead to what 2016 has in store, I found myself reflecting on the things I saw and learned last year about this great industry.
What Makes a Destination Trail System?
Copper Harbor is one of the best destination trail systems in the country for singletrack bicycling.Aug. 5, 2015--What is it that separates a few great local trails from a “destination trail system?” I was thinking about this while riding singletrack on the Makwa Trail near my home of Hayward, Wis.
Reducing Sponsorship Risk For Bike Shops
July 23, 2015--Many bike shops sponsor various kinds of events and some even sponsor athletes. While sponsorships can be effective for a bike retailer to promote and market itself, it can also present risks to the shop and the shop owner.
Unique Perspective Uncovers Trends in Bike Retailing Industry
There are many trends bike shop owners should watch including the growth of touring operations. (Image used under Creative Commons from Mike Juvrud - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikejuvrud.)April 1, 2015--Many of these trends recently became more clear to me, so I wrote an email commenting on six of my observations. Interestingly, it struck a chord with at least a few, including Fred Clements, executive director of NBDA.
Protecting Your Bike Shop and Yourself When Hosting Events
Reducing liability to yourself and your retail bike shop is important when hosting shop events to protect yourself, your business and your employees.Feb. 13, 2015--Bike shop events can be a great marketing and branding opportunity for your business. But there are risks associated with this kind of activity, and you should take measures to limit your liability.
Retail Bicycle Industry Observations
Jan. 8, 2015--To get 2015 started, I thought I’d summarize some of the trends I’ve been seeing over the past year while working with retail bike shop owners across the country. Most of these revolve around differentiating and branding.
The Importance of Getting Out There
A picture of Scott Chapin's foot following his 2014 accident that brought him a renewed love of bicycling.July 31, 2014--Many of you don't know a lot about me, other than I like bicycling and that, professionally, I support the bicycle industry with tailored insurance programs. Well, here's a very personal post, so if you want to know me more, read on.
Differences Between the European e-Bike Marketplace and the Emerging US Market
May 13, 2014--I recently attended the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, Calif. One of the more interesting seminars was titled “E-bikes: From Europe to America.” Here's an overview of what I learned.
IMBA Liability Insurance Program No Longer Available Through Marsh & McLennan Agency
Feb. 14, 2014--Marsh & McLennan Agency is no longer accepting applications for insurance coverage to member clubs, chapters and coaches under the IMBA liability insurance program.
Studying the Economic Impacts of Active Silent Sports Enthusiasts
Learn about the economic impact of bicycling and other silent sports in a recently-released study by the University of Wisconsin.January 20, 2014--A study I worked on with the University of Wisconsin called "The Economic Impacts of Active Silent Sports Enthusiasts: A Case Study from Northern Wisconsin" is now published.
Bike Industry Trade Show Season Begins
Marsh & McLennan will be exhibiting at Interbike 2013 and Trek World 2013.July 31, 2013--We will be traveling to a couple great trade-shows in the next 6 weeks: Trek World and Interbike. It is an exciting time for me because these shows are a lot of fun.
Why Insurance Companies Shy Away from the Exploding E-Bike Industry
 things are quickly changing.July 2, 2013--When we started our bike shop insurance program, we did not see a lot of e-bike dealers. Once they were introduced to us however, our insurance program underwriters really needed some lessons on what e-bike were and the risk involved.
The Importance of Bike Rental Waivers to Retailers
Retail bike shops that rent out bicycles should use waivers to reduce their risk. Image used under Creative Commons from markhogan (http://www.flickr.com/photos/markhogan/6139613974/)March 21, 2013--Since most bike shops rent bicycles, it isn’t surprising that I get asked a lot of questions pertaining to the importance of waivers. They are absolutely important for any bicycle retailer renting out bikes.
Eleven Used-Bike Selling Tips To Reduce Risk
Selling used bikes can be risky. Learn tips to reduce that risk.  Image used under Creative Commons from Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/3317979760)March 12, 2013--One thing many retailers are doing is selling used bikes. Although it seems like a good formula to increase sales, it comes with a lot of increased risk. Here's 11 tips to reduce the risk associated with selling used bicycles.
Protection for Shop Rides

Bicycle helmetNov. 21--Weekly shop rides are very common. They are a fantastic way to market your business. It can have a viral effect, and it's a great way to grow your clientele.

Discovering the Economic Impact of Silent Sports and Trails
Promoting silent sports and bike trails can have a tremendous economic impact on a region. Image used under Creative Commons from Patrick Rudolph (http://www.flickr.com/photos/prud_de/5100365147/)Jan. 9, 2013--I have been very involved with bicycle advocacy and have done dozens of presentations on the economic impact of bicycling. There are a lot of great data on what economic value an individual event provides to a local or regional economy.
Ladies Night at the Bike Shop
Dec. 14, 2012--Last Saturday I dropped off my girlfriend at a local bike and ski shop for its “ladies night” event. They seem to be a great way to increase bike and ski shop sales to women.
Bikes Beer Coffee Food and Pottery
Bicycle shops often appeal to buyers by offering coffee beer or other items bicyclists enjoy. Image used under Creative Commons from Roland Tanglao. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/2464979350)Nov. 8, 2012--Many bicycle retailers are adding services to help differentiate themselves. It’s interesting that many are serving coffee, beer and even some food. We all know that bicyclists love GOOD coffee and beer, but is this really a good idea?
Back From Interbike 2012
Oct. 4, 2012--Recently I attended and had a booth at the 2012 Interbike. I didn’t go last year, but was there in 2010. Things were a lot different this time, so I wanted to scribble down a few quick observations.
Upcoming Trade Shows--Trek World and Interbike
August 12, 2012--I will soon be attending Trek World and Interbike as an exhibitor. I’ve learned that this is a great way to talk to hundreds of bike dealers, and the opportunity is precious.
Waiver of Liability Forms--Do Courts Enforce Them?
Waiver of liability forms are an important part of effective risk management for bike shops. Image used under Creative Commons from KOMUnews--http://www.flickr.com/photos/komunews/3885998684July 3, 2012--Waivers fared well in 2011 court decisions. Out of the six reported decisions, the businesses with waivers "won" in five. Bike shop owners should consider these valuable risk management tools as the conduct their business activities.
Insurance For Bike Events And Bike Shop Activities
Bike tours and bike clinics sometimes are not covered with by the insurance policies help by many bike shops.  Image used under Creative Commons from Carlos Almendarez --http://www.flickr.com/photos/calmenda/6873779910May 24, 2012--When evaluating insurance needs, there are typically a few areas that are critical for bike shop owners including risks associated with events and shop activities not tied directly to selling products.
Why All Bike Shop Insurance Isn't Created Equal
April 18, 2012--Many bicycle retailers often buy a standard Business Owners Policy (BOP). While there’s nothing wrong with these, they just aren’t cut out for a bicycle shop.
Skiers & Bikers Mix It Up
March 15, 2012--Another idea: Perhaps a race between skiers and bikers…yeah! Check out the video we shot this past weekend of skiers and bikers mixing it up.
Private Labeling Risk
Private labeling bike frames and other bicycle parts and accessories can bring additional risk to a retail bike shop. Image used under Creative Commons from Alexander Baxevanis. http://www.flickr.com/photos/futureshape/7468820114/March 13, 2012--A lot of bicycle retailers have started selling privately labeled bicycle parts: Frames, wheels, components, etc. This brings additional risk and most shop owners' insurance policies likely won't provide protection.
Frostbike 2012 Ramblings
 MN. Image used under Creative Commons from Glory Cycles. http://www.flickr.com/photos/glorycycles/8499888587/Feb. 21, 2012--Last weekend I spoke to numerous bike dealers while working the MMA booth at Frostbike, the annual trade show at QBP's corporate headquarters. Given what I do for a living, many of these conversations were about bicycle shop insurance.
Fatbikes May Eliminate Off-Season
Fatbikes are a growing segment in the bicycle industry. Many retailer in norther climates hope they will ease the slowness common in the winter months.   Image used under Creative Commons from k.steudel. http://www.flickr.com/photos/snaks/4241825073/Jan. 25, 2012--Even just a few years ago, a retailer would possibly stock one fatbike to display. That's changed. The quality, technology, selection and weight all have improved greatly on these bikes in the past 12 months, and they are everywhere.
What's your elevator speech when promoting bicycling in your community?
Bicycle industry elevator speechJan. 12, 2012--The term "elevator speech" is used to describe the scenario where you want to sell something, but only have a short amount of time. So, when someone asks, "Why should we support bike trail building?" what will your response be?
Bike Club Fundraising

Dec. 12, 2011--No one will describe me as shy, so I am not afraid to share my ideas and the ideas of other successful clubs on how to raise funds.