Does Bike Insurance Cover Personal Accident?
According to estimates, over 2 million bicycles are stolen in North America. Unfortunately, that number is anticipated to increase in the coming years with the growing popularity of cycling. Purchasing a bike can be a significant investment, particularly for the serious cyclist.
Many homeowners, renters, and condo insurance policies have personal property coverage that may provide financial compensation if your bike is vandalized or stolen. However, a stand-alone insurance policy may be necessary to protect you in case you are involved in a personal accident such as a crash with a vehicle or pedestrian.
What Is Bike Insurance?
There are many third-party insurance companies that offer bicycle-specific policies. For example, Veloinsurance is an insurance agency that specializes in providing coverage to cyclists in the U.S. Markel is another specialty insurance provider that offers bicycle insurance to professional and recreational cyclists.
Should I Purchase Bicycle Insurance?
Bicycle insurance is typically not necessary if you own an inexpensive or mid-range bicycle. However, if you own an expensive bike or you compete professionally in road races, you should consider purchasing a standalone bike policy. Many homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies offer personal property coverage, but many will not cover the total replacement cost of the bike if it is stolen or destroyed.
Many companies place a limit of $1,500 on bicycles. If you own an expensive mountain or road bike, it could be worth significantly more than $1,500. You will be left paying the difference between your policy’s limit and the cost of your bike if you rely on your home or renters insurance for coverage. Thus, it is likely worth the extra cost to purchase bike insurance if you are a serious bicyclist.
Also, keep in mind that most home, renters, and condo policies have deductibles. Compare your deductible with the cost to replace your bicycle. If this cost is less than your deductible, your bicycle will not be eligible for coverage.
How Bike Insurance Coverage Works
Depending on whether you purchase a standalone policy or you rely on your home, renters, or condo insurance, the coverage you receive will vary depending on the type of accident and who is responsible.
Most home, renters, and condo policies provide coverage if your bicycle is stolen. Most policies will provide funds pursuant to the actual cash value or the replacement cost. You need to select which amount you prefer when you file the claim. Cash value only pays for your bike’s depreciated value, while replacement cost will allow you to buy a new bike.
Most home, renters, and condo policies provide coverage if your bike is vandalized. However, an insurance deductible will apply in such instances. Unless the vandalism damage is significant, the cost will likely be under your deductible amount.
Home, condo, or renters insurance coverage depends on the situation if your bicycle suffers damage in an accident. For example, your policy will cover up to your policy limits if your bike suffers damage if you are in a vehicle collision while transporting it. If a vehicle crashes into your bike and causes damage, the driver’s liability car insurance will provide coverage.
Suppose you damage your bike by crashing it into a stationary object such as a fence or tree. Your homeowners or renters policy is unlikely to pay for bike damage in these types of accidents. If your bike is damaged or destroyed in a house fire, your home or renters insurance will pay for a replacement up to your policy limits.
You may have certain coverage in the following instances:
- You collide with a vehicle: If you are injured in the collision, the other driver’s liability car insurance will pay for your medical expenses. Your health insurance will be on the hook for your medical bills if the driver is uninsured. Some states also offer medical payments coverage under the personal injury protection clause of your car insurance.
- You crash into a stationary object: Your health insurance pays for your medical costs if you hit a fence, mailbox, tree, or another stationary object.
Injury to Other Individuals
Your home, condo, or renters insurance policy will cover medical expenses if you crash into someone while on your bike. The liability portion of your policy will pay the injured party’s medical costs, up to your policy limit.
If you damage someone else’s personal property with your bike, your home or renters insurance may provide coverage. You will be responsible for the costs if the liability section of your policy does not provide any coverage.
Bike Insurance Coverage
Standalone bicycle insurance policies typically offer higher coverage limits and more specialized options to meet the needs of cyclists. Purchasing a bike insurance policy from a specialized insurance carrier is a good idea if you have a high-cost bike or you regularly engage in long road races. Depending on your carrier, your policy may include coverage including:
- Medical payments or reimbursements for hospital stays or doctor’s visits if you’re injured in a bike accident.
- Financial assistance to replace or fix your bicycle if it is stolen or damaged.
- Medical payment liability coverage for injuries you cause to other individuals while riding.
- Uninsured driver coverage to provide property replacement and medical payments if you’re in an accident with someone who does not have insurance.
- Event registration costs if you are injured in an accident during a bicycle competition and cannot finish the race.
The cost of bicycle insurance varies depending on your coverage limits and the carrier. On average, premiums for bike insurance are significantly cheaper than car insurance.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident
There are things you should do immediately after a bicycle accident to ensure you get the help you need. Follow these steps:
- Call for help immediately if you are injured and need medical assistance. If you are unable to call 911, ask someone nearby for help.
- Wait for the police to arrive and collect information for the police report. The police report should detail the circumstances of the accident, including statements from witnesses if available.
- Obtain contact information from anyone else involved in the accident including other cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, witnesses, and the police officer.
- Snap some photos of your bicycle and your injuries with a camera.
- Seek proper medical attention based on the severity of your injuries. Describe your injuries and the incident of the accident thoroughly so that there is sufficient medical documentation available.
- Refrain from negotiating with other cyclists, the driver of automobiles, or pedestrians. Get the name of the other drivers and their insurance information, if applicable.
- Avoid making statements to any insurance company or adjuster before you consult with a lawyer.
- Follow up with your doctor to get copies of medical documents.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations thoroughly and attend all necessary medical appointments.
It is also advisable to seek the help of an attorney after you have received proper medical attention.
Work With Mike Morse Law Firm
Were you injured in a bicycle accident? Seek the help of an experienced lawyer. Call Mike Morse Law Firm today to discuss your case. A member of our legal team will work with you to get you the compensation you deserve.