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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 02-19-08, 01:57 PM   #1
GreenGrasshoppr
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Insurance

I was discussing the pros and cons of winter cycling with a co-worker, from both the point of view of cyclists and that of motorists.

To make a long story short, he said that insurance companies would not pay life insurance in case an insured winter cyclist died as a result of a winter-conditions related crash, since riding a bike in those conditions would be construed as negligence.

Does anyone here with life insurance know if this is the case or not?
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Old 02-19-08, 02:32 PM   #2
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- read your policy (it depends) and/or call your agent (it depends)...
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Old 02-19-08, 05:29 PM   #3
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There is an interesting potential court case, if I have ever heard one.

I would think that if the cyclist were riding following the trafic laws with the correct equipment (studded tires?), they would have a hard time proving negligence. But with that said, I am NOT a lawyer or an insurance company.

You could argue that driving a car in those conditions is negligent. They'll still pay if you die in a car wreck.

Good question though!
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Old 02-19-08, 05:53 PM   #4
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With proper equipment and no confirmed record of "negligient behaviour", I think an insurance company would be hard-pressed to dispute that claim.
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Old 02-19-08, 10:05 PM   #5
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Hmm. Dubious.

Do they reject you if you don't have snow tires on your car?
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Old 02-19-08, 10:53 PM   #6
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Call me cynical... Insurance company lawyers job is to find ANY reason.
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Old 02-20-08, 09:10 AM   #7
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My coworker's argument why cyclists should not ride in winter (ie snow/slush/ice conditions) is that motorcyclists dont ride either, and if a motorcyclist did ride and crashed, he would not be covered.

By the same token, a winter cyclist should not expect to be covered either.

I havent talked to my insurer, but it seems common sense, especially if I have dependents.

For single people with little or no family, it wouldnt matter... otherwise, it's worth looking into before riding into a blizzard.
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Old 02-20-08, 11:57 AM   #8
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There is a motorcyclist that lives north of me that rides all winter long. He has a side car on.

I would assume that his motorcycle insurance is rated accordingly.

I am surprised no one in the industry has commented on this yet...
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Old 02-20-08, 12:08 PM   #9
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I also know of motorcyclists who ride during winter, though most switch to snow machines. You'd have to check your policy to see if there is any exclusion for death due to negligent behavior. It would strike me as very odd, since most accidental deaths involve some measure of negligence by definition. He may be thinking of a preclusion for RECKLESS behavior, though again I don't think anyone can claim cycling is per se reckless during the winter. It's possible to cycle recklessly at any time of the year, but it's also possible to cycle with due care on a properly equipped vehicle. My winter bicycle is equipped with Nokian studs and rides better on the ice than any human could walk. It has never slipped once.
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Old 02-20-08, 02:53 PM   #10
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What is a winnable legal case also varies as to which country you are in. Some countries have a real sue 'em all mentality and every thing regarding personal liability ends up in court. What may be winnable for an insurance company in Michigan, may not fly in an Ontario court. Variations between states may come into play.
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Old 02-20-08, 03:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomSpaceKnight View Post
What is a winnable legal case also varies as to which country you are in. Some countries have a real sue 'em all mentality and every thing regarding personal liability ends up in court.
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Old 02-21-08, 10:52 PM   #12
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In New York State, motorcycles are insured in the following manner:

1. Fully covered from April-September.
2. Insurance is extended during the other six months of the year as weather and road conditions justify the use of the bike.

Translated: If you ride in conditions that you shouldn't be out in, they won't cover you. But If you find a nice clear dry warm day in the middle of February and you want to ride, they'll cover you.

It also makes it so the motorcycles are technically covered year round so motorcycles do not have to turn in their plates every september and then reregister every spring when you want to ride again.


I am not a lawyer. I am not an insurance agent. If you need your policy interpretted, use a professional.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:00 PM   #13
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Bogus;;; after 2 years of coverage, you can commit suicide and your family still gets the life insurance proceeds. There would be no issue if riding a bike on winter roads.
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