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the *liability* issue of bikes on a trunk rack in the event of a car accident

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the *liability* issue of bikes on a trunk rack in the event of a car accident

Old 03-12-13, 04:41 AM
  #1  
techman
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the *liability* issue of bikes on a trunk rack in the event of a car accident

I frequently drive with my bike on a trunk rack mounted on a car. I'm fully insured. I have a somewhat inexpensive bicycle, so I'm not worried
about the bicycle getting totaled. I'm concerned about what happens in the event I have to make a sharp evasive manuever
or if I'm in a car accident, the bike or rack could dislodge from the trunk. It could hit a pedestrian on the road side, it could hit another car.
It could also fly up and severely damage my own car, causing far more damage than the impact to another vehicle.
I'm concerned that my car insurance company would not cover this additional liability and I'm reluctant to discuss this issue with them.
Before you dismiss my fear, understand that last year, I had a bike come loose off of my rack. It went flying.
I had a lapse in thinking and didn't secure it well enough. It only took 1 time out of a several hundred successful mounts over the years
The bike was totaled but luckily the car behind me had ample time and space to move lanes.
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Old 03-12-13, 06:54 AM
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mrt2you
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talk to your insurance agent.
every state has different laws and different insurance companies have different policies.
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Old 03-12-13, 06:57 AM
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I'm pretty sure anything attached to your car is coveredbut, since you are in doubt, here's what I would do.

Call an independent insurance agent who doesn't know you. Ask for a quote, then ask your question.
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Old 03-12-13, 04:31 PM
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tpolley
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my bike rack was stolen from my driveway last summer along with a bunch of other stuff. the insurance company paid for it but only because it was not attached to the car at the time. it was considered personal property or something. the agent said that if the bicycle rack had been attached to a vehicle it would be considered an accessory and they wouldn't cover it.

check with your agent

edit: you could try saying the bike and bike rack were technically not attached to a vehicle when they broke away from the vehicle and flew across the road. they were functional when they left the vehicle. but I doubt that would work.

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Old 03-12-13, 04:45 PM
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Wil Davis
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Originally Posted by techman View Post

Before you dismiss my fear, understand that last year, I had a bike come loose off of my rack. It went flying.
I had a lapse in thinking and didn't secure it well enough. It only took 1 time out of a several hundred successful mounts over the years
The bike was totaled but luckily the car behind me had ample time and space to move lanes.
For that very reason I hesitate to follow any vehicle loaded to the gills with bikes etc. on racks outside the passenger space! More often than not, they're being driven so erratically and it makes me worry that if their driver's skill at fastening straps and knot tying is anything like their driving skills, then the safest thing is to keep well clear! My bikes travel with me inside the car, the only time they're outside is when they're being ridden.

- Wil
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Old 03-13-13, 04:59 AM
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I only travil with a folding bike under the hood/bonnet. Having a bike on top or in back of your car just says STEAL me! Apart from that yes you are response able for your load if it falls off and hits something or someone.
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Old 03-14-13, 08:22 PM
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If your bike or bike rack fell off, it would be failure to secure a load, and you could be ticketed and responsible. If you are hit, then the person at fault in the accident caused the load to come loose, it is their responsibility. If you caused the accident, then it is your responsibility.
Rod
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Old 03-14-13, 08:57 PM
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Most auto policies read that they will pay for accidents where the insured is legally liable due to the use of their covered auto. Using your auto to transport your bike is no different than using a truck to carry a ladder. If it flies off, you are liable for your load. It most likely will not pay for the bike or rack as most policies require a wreck to cover personal effects and those are usually small amounts of coverage ($100-$200).


Drag out your policy and read the insuring agreement and the exclusions in the Liability coverage section, usually the first part of the policy.
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Old 03-14-13, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I'm pretty sure anything attached to your car is coveredbut, since you are in doubt, here's what I would do.

Call an independent insurance agent who doesn't know you. Ask for a quote, then ask your question.
Nice! lol!
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