Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Advocacy & Safety
Reload this Page >

Liability insurance?

Notices
Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

Liability insurance?

Old 06-07-23, 10:15 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Posts: 25
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 7 Posts
Liability insurance?

I'm usually on dual-use trails with pedestrians present. I'm also quite heavy, and tend to go a bit faster than most do on these trails.

My concern is an elderly person who can't hear at all or a person with earbuds isn't going to hear me alerting them and zig in front of me one day, and that is likely to be a very bad experience for them. So I was thinking about having liability insurance for this nightmare scenario.

Does anybody have any experience with this kind of insurance, who offers it and what I should expect to pay? Thanks.
MagnaRota is offline  
Old 06-08-23, 01:16 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,174
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 381 Post(s)
Liked 145 Times in 93 Posts
Talk to your car/home insurance person. Wondering if just an umbrella policy might cover this. But, I always slow down when around people, give wide berth around them, signal I am there, etc. Kids are the most likely to zig in front, in my experience.
BikeLite is offline  
Likes For BikeLite:
Old 06-08-23, 07:34 AM
  #3  
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,844

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2132 Post(s)
Liked 1,642 Times in 824 Posts
It seems like there would be a market for such an insurance product. Liability to cover us if we screw up and damage another vehicle or a person. I would think that from the insurer's perspective it'd be about as low risk proposition as they could get into.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 06-08-23, 08:19 AM
  #4  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,900

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6148 Post(s)
Liked 4,771 Times in 3,291 Posts
It's something you really need to talk to your agent of your homeowner's policy or auto policy about. You may already be covered up to a certain amount and extent by one of those policies. But it varies from insurer to insurer.

While I don't carry insurance specifically for liability when on my bike, I am aware that I'm liable for injury and property damage. But that is with me anytime and anywhere no matter whether I'm riding or not. Possibly you should inquire about an umbrella policy, but make sure that your cycling will be covered. Some insurers possibly could have an exclusion.

Here's a interesting read about it I just pulled up....
Cover Yourself! Liability Insurance for the Cyclist | Bicycle Law
Iride01 is online now  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 06-08-23, 10:00 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
work4bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Atlantic Beach Florida
Posts: 1,935
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3764 Post(s)
Liked 1,031 Times in 780 Posts
That's an interesting question. I wonder if the world-famous cycling infrastructure locales in Europe have dealt with this? Is there special insurance just for these type of interactions, regardless if it's bike-on-bike or bike-pedestrian accidents.

BTW, I'm covered under my Homeowner's insurance if I cause damage.

.
work4bike is offline  
Likes For work4bike:
Old 06-08-23, 10:54 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 38,626

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5746 Post(s)
Liked 2,495 Times in 1,379 Posts
Before worrying about liability insurance, maybe consider focusing on reducing the actual risk. Slowing, and giving pedestrians a wider berth, aka courtesy on mixed use paths, might serve you better. As would avoiding mixed use paths entirely.

OTOH in most states the general liability coverage of either your home owners or auto policies might address this. For example, the "other vehicle" coversge in my auto policy covets me when I'm "drving" my bike. Talk to your agent for a specific answer, as regards either policy.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

Just because I'm tired of arguing, doesn't mean you're right.

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is online now  
Old 06-08-23, 11:34 AM
  #7  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
Agree with FBinNY here. You actually may already be covered without knowing it on either homeowners/renters or auto insurance policies, and stuff like that varies widely by state. There is a company that specifically sells bicycle insurance including liability coverage, but I don't really know anything about it, so I wouldn't be comfortable putting up a link or plugging the name. But yes, riding practices are a much more direct way to protect yourself from liability than insurance.

As to the scenario that worries you in the OP (elderly with headphones), I do a lot of fairly high speed riding on a MUP that has some fairly thick pedestrian traffic at some places, long stretches of nearly vacant in others. I always announce my passes, but I don't worry too much about the headphones scenario unless the person is near the center of the path. If I have plenty of room to pass, I have been able to avoid hitting anyone even on the rare occasions where a headphoned jogger has done a complete u-turn right in my face (happened maybe twice in 5 years).. If I can't give room on the pass, I need to wait until the opposing lane is sufficiently clear to provide this room. I also have a set of circumstances where I will slow way down no matter what--dogs on long leashes, children, people meandering in a directionless way. To me the big secret is to plan your passes in advance, and if you see multiple people/groups/animals ahead of you, work out the sequence of actions BEFORE you start passing the first one. The people I see who get themselves in the worst trouble are the ones that put themselves in the opposing lane to pass a stretched-out group of people, and they can't dive back into the lane when a bike going the other way suddenly rounds the bend or whatever.
livedarklions is offline  
Likes For livedarklions:
Old 06-08-23, 12:11 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 7,327

Bikes: RSO E-tire dropper fixie brifter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 2,929 Times in 1,894 Posts
I'd look into an umbrella policy.

It could cover more than just you on a bicycle.
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Old 06-08-23, 12:18 PM
  #9  
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 1,280
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 608 Post(s)
Liked 382 Times in 288 Posts
Your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy will include personal liabiltity coverage, usually for $25,000. If you have more insurance you are more likely to get sued as lawyers tend to target those with "deep pockets".

On bike trails and bike paths there are times of day and days of the week when the use by hikers is much higher and I avoid these areas when that is the case. I worry the most about people with dogs that are seldom being controlled by their owners.

There is also the often overlooked aspect of ones line of sight. I want to see far enough that if there is an obstacle I can slow down enough to avoid it. The less my line of sight on a bike (or in an automobile) the slower I go. I may be able to negotiate a curve at a given speed that is too high to be able to stop if I suddenly see something or someone in front of me. It is a concept that escapes most people and results in unnecessary collisions with other vehicles or people or animals.
Calsun is offline  
Old 06-08-23, 12:38 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
work4bike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Atlantic Beach Florida
Posts: 1,935
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3764 Post(s)
Liked 1,031 Times in 780 Posts
Originally Posted by Calsun
There is also the often overlooked aspect of ones line of sight. I want to see far enough that if there is an obstacle I can slow down enough to avoid it. The less my line of sight on a bike (or in an automobile) the slower I go. I may be able to negotiate a curve at a given speed that is too high to be able to stop if I suddenly see something or someone in front of me. It is a concept that escapes most people and results in unnecessary collisions with other vehicles or people or animals.
I ride on roads and away from MUPs, because I don't want to be slowed down by kids, dogs and idiots on bikes. However, I do have a fair level of experience on MUPs around the DC area when I cycle with friends/family during my visits up north.

And it's been my observation that, besides being packed with traffic, I've noticed that the paths are generally narrow and, as mentioned above, there are many blind turns and I've seen many people come zooming around them, which is why I've witnessed a fair amount of accidents (and many more near misses) on those MUPs, despite my relative little riding on them.



.
work4bike is offline  
Old 06-08-23, 08:10 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 38,626

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 140 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5746 Post(s)
Liked 2,495 Times in 1,379 Posts
The OP might keep in mind that there may be issues bigger than civil liability, which BTW are not insurable.

The first is a personal sense of guilt, along with the notoriety that a crash with injuries can bring. Doubly so, should he kill an older person or child.

Then there's the small but very real of a criminal charge. MUPs often have speed limits and/or signage giving pedestrians the right of way. A fast cyclist tends to ruffle feathers even in the best of conditions. One therefore, who causes death while doing so, may end up charged criminally for his "reckless infifference...", especially if a child, or other "vulnerable" person is injured. These can be serious charges, and legal fees will be steep.

Keep in mind, that liability policies typically cover legal fees for a civil case, but NOT for a criminal case.

So be smart and talk to your insurance agent. But be smarter and ride with due care on the MUP, or stick to roads which may be safer.

Last edited by FBinNY; 06-08-23 at 08:35 PM.
FBinNY is online now  
Likes For FBinNY:
Old 06-09-23, 04:50 AM
  #12  
For The Fun of It
 
Paul Barnard's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 5,844

Bikes: Lynskey GR300, Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2132 Post(s)
Liked 1,642 Times in 824 Posts
In coastal states, homeowners insurance can be very high, with insurers dropping customers regularly. I'd think long and hard about making a bicycle related claim under a homeowners policy.

I know nothing about this insurer. They offer comprehensive bicycle insurance. I wouldn't want anything other than liability. I can absorb the loss of a bike.

https://velosurance.com/
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 07:17 AM
  #13  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
I think we need to be careful about over-generalizing about MUPs. There are some where it's perfectly reasonable to ride as fast as you like, and there are others where it's completely inappropriate. Some of these are speed limited, but not all. The paved rail trails tend to be suitable for speed as the curves are usually very easy to see around as trains do not like sharp turns. Obviously, when those lines go through the center of a town, you will likely find so much pedestrian traffic on that stretch that you will want to slow down, but often between towns, one can ride for miles without encountering any pedestrians and having lots of visual warning before approaching those that you do encounter. Locally, however, I find that anything labelled a "greenway" or something similar will not be suitable at all for high speed riding. They are often meandering curvy narrow paths with lots of vegetation obscuring your sightlines, and I generally do not ride on those because I really don't enjoy capping my speed low enough to feel safe riding on them.

Generally, if you're even reasonably careful, I don't think MUPs are anywhere as near as dangerous for pedestrians or cyclists as even the best roads. If somebody has statistics to the contrary, I'll be happy to be corrected on that, but I can't find any.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 10:22 AM
  #14  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
Originally Posted by MagnaRota

My concern is an elderly person who can't hear at all or a person with earbuds isn't going to hear me alerting them and zig in front of me one day, and that is likely to be a very bad experience for them. So I was thinking about having liability insurance for this nightmare scenario.
.
When approaching and passing pedestrians on multi use paths you should be giving them enough room so that even if they do step sideways there is no danger of hitting them. Pedestrians have the right of way on multi use paths and it's your responsibility as a cyclists to respect that and make sure that you don't hit them. Insurance is not the solution, the solution is to slow down and pass safely with plenty of room between you and them. You should not be riding fast on crowded MUPs, if you want to ride fast go ride on the roads.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 06-09-23, 10:28 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
blacknbluebikes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 1,278

Bikes: two blacks, a blue and a white.

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 443 Post(s)
Liked 844 Times in 408 Posts
I tend to tell myself: If I really slow down, then crank back up to speed, that adds to my workout. Think of it as a "win win" even though I don't like it.
blacknbluebikes is offline  
Likes For blacknbluebikes:
Old 06-09-23, 10:40 AM
  #16  
I'm good to go!
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 14,900

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6148 Post(s)
Liked 4,771 Times in 3,291 Posts
Interesting how that some seem to think all MUP's are crowded. And base their responses on that premise. Or they assume those of us that ride fast on MUP's that don't have a speed limit don't slow down when we come near areas on the MUP that pose a traffic congestion even if it's just one other person whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or others.
Iride01 is online now  
Old 06-09-23, 11:29 AM
  #17  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes
I tend to tell myself: If I really slow down, then crank back up to speed, that adds to my workout. Think of it as a "win win" even though I don't like it.

This has always been my attitude. Sometimes, depending on how people are spaced apart, I'll run it as a kind of drill, speed up really fast to get to the next damn near track stand situation, pass slowly, then repeat.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 11:38 AM
  #18  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
When approaching and passing pedestrians on multi use paths you should be giving them enough room so that even if they do step sideways there is no danger of hitting them. Pedestrians have the right of way on multi use paths and it's your responsibility as a cyclists to respect that and make sure that you don't hit them. Insurance is not the solution, the solution is to slow down and pass safely with plenty of room between you and them. You should not be riding fast on crowded MUPs, if you want to ride fast go ride on the roads.
Or less crowded MUPs.

The two times I've had problems with this have been situations where the relatively fast jogger suddenly did a full U-turn right on front of me. I managed to swerve onto the grass, but it was close. I've never had a close call with an elderly person because I give them room as you describe.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 12:35 PM
  #19  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01
Or they assume those of us that ride fast on MUP's that don't have a speed limit don't slow down when we come near areas on the MUP that pose a traffic congestion even if it's just one other person whether they are pedestrians, cyclists or others.
That's what OP said. They ride faster than average and are looking for insurance to protect them in case they hit a pedestrian. There is no mention of slowing down, giving room and passing safely...I think OP needs to adjust their riding style and ride according to conditions, instead of looking for insurance to protect them from liability in case they injure somebody.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:
Old 06-09-23, 01:01 PM
  #20  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
That's what OP said. They ride faster than average and are looking for insurance to protect them in case they hit a pedestrian. There is no mention of slowing down, giving room and passing safely...I think OP needs to adjust their riding style and ride according to conditions, instead of looking for insurance to protect them from liability in case they injure somebody.

If you're going to nitpick like this, the OP doesn't even mention pedestrians. For all we know, OP might be referring to people on bikes.

There's nothing incompatible between riding carefully AND having insurance, BTW.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 01:06 PM
  #21  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions
If you're going to nitpick like this, the OP doesn't even mention pedestrians.
They do in their very first sentence.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 01:31 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,810
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1591 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1,017 Times in 571 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions

There's nothing incompatible between riding carefully AND having insurance, BTW.
No different than driving a car. Of course we try to avoid accidents but of course we also carry insurance in case an accident happens.

The OPs question was perfectly reasonable. Some of the responses ..... are something else.
jon c. is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 01:53 PM
  #23  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
Originally Posted by wolfchild
They do in their very first sentence.
You're right, in the first paragraph.
But the second paragraph where they're describing an elderly person doing a quick zag sure sounds like the elderly person is on a bike. On foot, elderly people's zags are not of the sudden variety. And it certainly didn't specify being crowded.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 02:19 PM
  #24  
Tragically Ignorant
 
livedarklions's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
Posts: 15,613

Bikes: Serotta Atlanta; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Giant OCR A1; SOMA Double Cross Disc; 2022 Allez Elite mit der SRAM

Mentioned: 62 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8186 Post(s)
Liked 9,094 Times in 5,053 Posts
Originally Posted by jon c.
No different than driving a car. Of course we try to avoid accidents but of course we also carry insurance in case an accident happens.

The OPs question was perfectly reasonable. Some of the responses ..... are something else.
Agreed. I have to laugh when people start indicating it's never appropriate to go fast on a MUP. That's true on some of them, but others might as well be closed racing courses. There's a couple I ride on that have long straights though marshy areas. Pedestrians avoid those areas because of the bugs, so it's all bikes zipping around.
livedarklions is offline  
Old 06-09-23, 02:58 PM
  #25  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 8,721

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 30 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4227 Post(s)
Liked 2,488 Times in 1,286 Posts
Originally Posted by livedarklions
You're right, in the first paragraph.
But the second paragraph where they're describing an elderly person doing a quick zag sure sounds like the elderly person is on a bike. On foot, elderly people's zags are not of the sudden variety. And it certainly didn't specify being crowded.
It doesn't matter if it's a pedestrian or an elderly cyclist. The same thing applies to both scenarios. Slow down and give plenty of room when passing.
wolfchild is offline  
Likes For wolfchild:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.