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Old 10-23-05, 09:19 PM   #1
ifox
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Insurance for cyclist: your opinion

An interesting question came up during conversation with a friend of mine: what kind of insurance a cyclist should have? In case of an accident, for example. Should it be something car insuranse style or medical/disability insurance is enough?
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Old 10-23-05, 09:41 PM   #2
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Medical for SURE. Not sure what else you can get.

I got hit in August ... pelvis fractures ... long story ... bills are about $66k now. Out of pocket has been about $1K so far.

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Old 10-23-05, 09:41 PM   #3
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If you also own a car, you should already have the liability coverage, and possibly medical. Do you have medical through your employer?

Some kind of medical insurance is necessary, cyclist or not. Liability coverage would not generally be available to a cyclist. It's provided under most auto policies, and perhaps under some personal liability umbrella policies, but not by itself.
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Old 10-23-05, 10:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expatriate
If you also own a car, you should already have the liability coverage, and possibly medical. Do you have medical through your employer?

Some kind of medical insurance is necessary, cyclist or not. Liability coverage would not generally be available to a cyclist. It's provided under most auto policies, and perhaps under some personal liability umbrella policies, but not by itself.
hmm, does my car insurance cover me while I'm riding a bicycle? in other words, in case of an accident (I'm on a bike, not in my car), can I call my insurance and report it? something tells me that insurance may listen but won't do anything (unless I was at fault and they want some money ).

I do have medical through my employer.
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Old 10-23-05, 10:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifox
hmm, does my car insurance cover me while I'm riding a bicycle? in other words, in case of an accident (I'm on a bike, not in my car), can I call my insurance and report it? something tells me that insurance may listen but won't do anything (unless I was at fault and they want some money ).

I do have medical through my employer.
If you have medical coverage under your auto policy, the answer is yes. Your auto policy covers you in the event of an auto accident. The liability coverage protects you financially if you damage someone's property. It doesn't need to be their car, you can back over your neighbor's fence. That's liability.

Medical coverage works the same way, although there may be a variation in some states. You only need to be in an auto accident. You do not need to be driving your car. You do not need to be a passenger in your car. You can be on a bike, or even on foot. You just need to have a collision with a motor vehicle. Does that make sense?
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Old 10-23-05, 10:20 PM   #6
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yup, it does.
Thank you, Expatriate!
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Old 10-23-05, 10:31 PM   #7
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You're in Califiornia, so what I just explained applies to you. Some states are funny with "No fault". Make sure you have UMBI coverage on your policy. It's dirt cheap, and if you have an accident with an uninsured motorist, you can count on compensation for any pain and suffering. You do have to be able to ID the other party though. That means getting a name/phone number, license or vehicle registration. If someone hits you and takes off, and you can't provide even the license plate, coverage does not apply. Anything to ID him is good, it's up to the insurance company to track him down.
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Old 10-23-05, 11:06 PM   #8
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Actually, that's a big CALLYOUR AGENT!

Better make sure it covers u on a bike, some don't.
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Old 10-23-05, 11:28 PM   #9
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In California, it does. I suppose there could be some weird policy that explicitly excludes it, but I've never heard of such a thing.
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Old 10-24-05, 02:28 AM   #10
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I have automatic third party insurance through my membership of the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) for up to 1 million. (I'm still working on a way to destroy 1m of SUVs in one fell swoop and make it look like an accident in which no people were hurt. Not as easy as it might sound.)

I then have theft and accident insurance through a specialist broker for the LCC which is pretty good. I've not claimed for any of the bumps and nudges that I've had resulting in minor repairs but I have claimed for two bikes that were stolen. They paid up without too much quibble. Quite handy as bike thieves in London would be prepared to enter an active nuclear reactor on half a chance of nicking front wheel.
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Old 10-24-05, 03:03 AM   #11
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Insurance in countries other than the US is always more interesting.
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Old 10-24-05, 04:28 AM   #12
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Membership of the Cylists Touring Club also brings free 3rd party bike insurance.
In the UK we dont need private medical ensurance.
Bike damage insurance is often more expensive than it is worth, esp if you ride a second hand/beater style bike.
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Old 10-24-05, 04:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
In the UK we dont need private medical ensurance.
True, but you might want to consider a policy that includes provision for private care. Specialised physio can make quite a difference in terms of recovery speed.

I don't have it at the moment but would consider it for a future policy given some recent incidents.
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Old 10-24-05, 07:15 AM   #14
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I'd pay for a policy, or a rider on my auto insurance that would provide coverage for 1) me damaging another person or property while biking 2)theft of bike 3)medical coverage for injuries sustained while biking.

I know about medical attached to my auto insurance and property damage covered by my renters insurance, but it would be nice to have bike specific coverage.
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Old 10-24-05, 08:45 AM   #15
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Generally speaking, when someone worries about insurance claims, I find it's usually claims against them. Liability insurance. It's pretty rare that cyclists cause much damage to others, so liability insurance for cycing in specific is pretty rare. Much more common is liability insurance (like in an auto or home owners plan) sold as a blanket policy.
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Old 10-24-05, 02:16 PM   #16
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Just checked w/my insurance company... I live in Texas sothis only applies here... my bikes are covered by my homeowner's policy against theft (anywhere.. even off the back of my car) damage while in my house (fire, flood, etc..) and more importantly - damage to someone else's bike in an accident and injury claims due to an accident I cause are covered as well... no special riders required and even though cycles are considered motor vehicles under TX law... auto insurance doesn't apply...

better check with your agent as most states (here in the US) are different... of course.
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Old 10-24-05, 02:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xerocoma
...cycles are considered motor vehicles under TX law...
Under which law? Driving law says they are vehicles, but not motor-vehicles.

But I do think, with the way things are going and the amount of people choosing bicycles over cars now, they need to have bicycle insurance the same as car insurance: theft, accident, etc., without the hassle of trying to figure out if you should call your homeowner's insurance co. or your car insurance or your boss.
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Old 10-24-05, 02:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasted
Under which law? Driving law says they are vehicles, but not motor-vehicles.

But I do think, with the way things are going and the amount of people choosing bicycles over cars now, they need to have bicycle insurance the same as car insurance: theft, accident, etc., without the hassle of trying to figure out if you should call your homeowner's insurance co. or your car insurance or your boss.

Oooops.. you're qute right.. sorry for the fox paws
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Old 10-24-05, 02:54 PM   #19
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I work in insurance in the US. If you check your auto policies, you will likely see that you MAY be covered under MED or PIP, but that you are almost certainly EXCLUDED coverage under the liability (Bodily Injury & Property Damage) and Physical damage (Collision and Comprehensive) coverages. You will also note that if you check your Homeowner's policy or your renter's policy that there is an exclusion for auto liability, but not bicycle liability, and that your bike is covered against theft in that policy as well. Every company has similar rules but some differ so the only way to answer the question is to READ YOUR POLICY! Don't bother asking the agent, they likely don't know.

There is no reason to have specific bicycle insurance since it is already covered under a renters or homeowners policy. That is unless you want to pay more for bike insurance.... I would fight any attempt to require specific cycling insurance for as long as possible because it would cost us more $$$ for no more coverage.
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Old 10-24-05, 05:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogBoy
There is no reason to have specific bicycle insurance since it is already covered under a renters or homeowners policy. That is unless you want to pay more for bike insurance.... I would fight any attempt to require specific cycling insurance for as long as possible because it would cost us more $$$ for no more coverage.
I totally disagree with you on that. Your bicycle is only covered against theft if you have renters insurance or homeowners insurance. Your bicycle is only covered against damage if you have renters or homeowners or an auto policy covering damage, or if the motorist has a policy covering damage. Your body is only covered if you have accident coverage or health insurance. If you don't own a car, and you don't have health insurance, you're not covered, unless the car that hits you is insured.

In short, there are plenty of reasons that a cyclist may have for wanting bicycle-specific insurance.

For the original poster, here are some links to articles:

Accidents and Insurance

Covering Your Assets

Verbal Threshold

A Question of Value

Last edited by Blue Order; 10-24-05 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 10-24-05, 05:27 PM   #21
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Here's another article:

Biker, Interrupted

Quote:

"Days later, we were still dealing with the uncertainty when we had our first meeting with my attorney, Ray Thomas. We learned that my legal battle with the insurance company of the driver who hit me would take at least a year. And once Thomas secures for me the proceeds of Myrick's liability insurance, most of the check will go toward legal fees and reimbursing my health insurance for more than $30,000 in medical bills."

Last edited by Blue Order; 10-24-05 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 10-24-05, 11:36 PM   #22
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Auto insurance won't cover in most cases.

And for some good reasons.
Would you need liability to ride street, sidewalk or trail? What about roller blades? Or walking? Not much car damage caused by bikes after all.

At some point we have to give up on the concept that insurance will protect us. It dosn't. If i crash and die no insurance is going to change that. If i bust a leg, insurance may pay for the hospital bill but won't change the nature of the fracture.
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Old 10-25-05, 01:27 AM   #23
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What happens when medical bills exceeds the coverage of the policy (either yours or the person that hit you)?
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Old 10-25-05, 01:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
What happens when medical bills exceeds the coverage of the policy (either yours or the person that hit you)?
Let's hope that never happens. Most med pay limits are pretty decent. When limits are exceeded, things get messy. Generally, someone goes to court. Either the liable party gets sued, or you may find yourself filing bankruptcy.
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Old 10-25-05, 02:34 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifox
hmm, does my car insurance cover me while I'm riding a bicycle? in other words, in case of an accident (I'm on a bike, not in my car), can I call my insurance and report it? something tells me that insurance may listen but won't do anything (unless I was at fault and they want some money ).

I do have medical through my employer.
Not true. If you were involved in an incident with a car, hit & run, you can make a claim on your UM/UIM coverage. That is Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Insured Motorist in insurance lingo. Your carrier might balk but it is in the coverage. I just sat through 8 hours of CE on that one. You are covered up to the limits of your policy. This is the best reason NOT to get rid of the UM/UIM coverage.

The best part about it is that once your insurance company finds out who hit you they'll go after them with a vengance to recover, subrogate, their money. Their attornies will spare no money or ruthlessness trying to recover.

Tim
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