Bicycle Insurance

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by napacycling, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. napacycling

    napacycling New Member

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    I am reading Bob Mionske's cycling and law book. A chapter in there discusses a gap in uninsured/underinsured motorists...Does anyone know of this type of insurance for your bicycle?
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    You can obtain bicycle insurance from some companies but a lot of homeowners and renters policies will cover theft or damage to your bike and even a liability claim against you, furthermore some auto insurance policies have personal injury coverage even if you are on your bike. Policies vary so be sure and check with your agent. Most auto policies cover $1,000,000.00 per liability incident which is inadequate in some extreme personal injury or wrongful death claims seeing as how medicals and compensatory damages alone can run a million or more with severe injuries.
    That being said the odds of killing or paralysing someone with a bike is not impossible but I would rate it on the low risk end of the spectrum.
    You can even buy "excess umbrella" coveage that will cover larger claims that exceed your general liability limit. Too be honest to fully cover yourself for killing a bus load of people with a car, you probably can't afford it and it is better to risk being bankrupt than insuring that you will be trying to pay for insurance you will probably never need.
    Not sure if you are looking at property or liability coverage but I hope this helps.
     
  3. napacycling

    napacycling New Member

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    Thank you for your response! I googled bicycle insurance and came across Spoke Insurance. Their web-site states they offer uninsured and underinsured motorist $25K occurrence/$50K Aggregate. I was looking into this because a cyclist in San Francisco actually hit a pedestrian and killed her. I am getting into the cycling world and I am doing research on bicycle insurance.
     
  4. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Wow, that's an odd occurance. I hate to tell you but 50 k would not even pay the legal fees on a wrongful death suit. The last personal injuy claim(ski accident) that I went to court over was $156,000.00 in legal and expert witness fees. I personally am concerned a lot more about killing or injurying someone in a car as opposed to a bike. I guess the risk exposure varies according to where you ride.
     
  5. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    Wait just a minute. I read about a case [in SF]. As I remember it the cyclist recklessly rode onto the sidewalk [to avoid a traffic slow down] at high speed and struck a elderly man as he left a shop.

    That would be [and I believe it is] manslaughter. I don't think you can buy manslaughter insurance. If you commit manslaughter you lose everything you have and go to prison to boot. There will never be enough money to buy back the life of the person killed. A few bucks could help the persons family... but once lawyers are involved money dissipates.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Let's separate ciminal and civil law. Criminal is my brother-in-laws realm. He is prosecutor in a high profile murder trial right now but that is another story. You are correct you can't buy your way out of jail with insurance, except in monopoly. You might do it if you have the big bucks but that also is another story also.
    The problem is that you can't protect yourself against being stupid. If you don't have homeowner's or renters you might want to look at some kind of alternative liability covegage, otherwise I think it is a waste, just use good judgement. Manslaughter is one charge of many, negligent or reckless homicide, seccond degree murder,neglect to use reasonable care.... etc. State laws vary according the the interpretation of what is "reasonable care". The DA, files and the Grand Jury make a decision if there is enough evidence to bring a case to trial.
    We can go on and on about torts and individual responsibility. I can just tell you it's not like on TV (Black and White), there is always a lot of gray.
    Insurance language, liability and risk terminology, Latin terms are cool but they won't get you a date in a singles bar.:)
    If you have doubts consult an attorney if you can find a competent one.
     
  7. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I guess the idea that a bicycle at normal highway/road use speeds killing or seriously injuring a pedestrian isn't unimaginable... albeit unlikely. But I am not sure my insurance company will willfully write checks to cover any deliberate reckless or neglectful behavior ether. When cycling, just like in a car, my behavior is regulated. I can't drive or bicycle, or even jog without consideration for my actions.

    I feel confident... at some point in the future... bicyclist's will be required to carry a license and insurance. Bicycles will also need to be registered and tagged just like automobiles. The fee's, fines, and government control makes bicycles a temping target. But this isn't something I look forward to.
     
  8. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I believe New York for one is already pusing for this or has it. As far as your insurance company, none of them williningly write checks but some policies do have this coverage and it is a binding contract. You are correct that most everywhere laws require a duty owed to use reasonable care, but not strict liability. The one thing I have found in my years as a risk manager is that attorneys go after the deep pockets. Just isn't worth the time involved going after "Joe Nobody".
     
  9. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    I guess it's like what Willie Sutton [never actually] said, as to why he robbed banks "That's where the money is". Almost makes a person wonder.... did Willie ever practice law?
     
  10. napacycling

    napacycling New Member

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    Thanks for the pointers....What do you think about bicycle insurance for cyclists who race?
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Great info. I recently up'd my liability and un/under-insured motorist (UM) coverage on advice of an attorney neighbor. Went for the highest liability limit I can get in AL from Safeco is $300/$500K, with matching UM coverage. The high UM is there to cover me in the event I'm hit on my bike (or in the car) by an un-insured or under-insured motorist. I also took out an umbrella policy to provide additional coverage for personal liability. My understanding is that this umbrella policy extends my UM coverage also. The cost wasn't really that high to extend the limits.

    An old friend once told me you never want to be worth more dead that alive, and now I fear I may have gone there!
     
  12. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    The cost depends of course on your coverage limit and your exposure.Just like a roofer has a higher risk exposure than an office worker with workers comp. The same applies in liabilty coverage. The really unfair part to me is that underwritters also base policy costs on revenue which doesn't always mean greater exposure
    .I know some people that would be over insured with a $500.00 life insurance policy. :)
     
  13. napacycling

    napacycling New Member

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    Was thinking back to your accident. Defense cost are outside the limits. $50K is for the uninsured or underinsured Motorist coverage. $100K for Third party. Would that of been helpful?
     
  14. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I hope I never hit anyone hard enough to do any damage but ...

    When I was hit by a car ---

    Home owner's policy paid $2500 for my bicycle less deductable. They never questioned the cost. I had receipts for the bike and various upgrades. I got to keep the parts most of which I used on my replacement bike.

    Personal health insurance paid $100,000+ with the only issue being the errors that docotors and hospitals made in the forms. It appears doctors have different federal IDs for different networks and hospitals. Policy limit was $8 million. With $10,000 family deductable. We had paid $7000 already for cataract surgery for my wife.

    Auto medical paid the the limit - $5000.

    Auto uninsured motorist paid $100,000 in compensitory damages policy limit to me.

    State crime vicitims law paid $25,000 in damages to me. DUI, no license, no insurance.

    I was well taken care of.

    ---

    After the accident I increased my liability limits to the maximum offered. The additional cost was not significant. It does show good intent. I would hate to tell someone I injured that I could not make them whole. (I hope I have enough assets to make accident victims whole.)
     
  15. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Thanks for the detailed accounting. Sounds like you were taken care of after being hit by a DUI loser with nothing to lose. This is the reason my friend attorney recommended I go for maximum uninsured motorist coverage, to receive compensatory damages in event I'm injured or killed by a "judgement-proof" driver. The added cost for me also wasn't that high vs the coverage. Actually the rates are probably a bargain for us road cyclists, since we don't pay any more than the typical non-cyclist who faces a lot less risk of injury from un/underinsured motorists.

    For those outside the US reading this, our states do have laws "requiring" liability insurance for drivers, but in many states they aren't rigorous. EG, in my state of Alabama, drivers aren't required to show proof of insurance to register their cars each year; we are just asked if we have insurance before getting the new license tag......as if someone w/o insurance would admit that. We are required to keep proof of insurance in our vehicles in case of traffic stop or accident....but that's after the fact of course.
     
  16. Chris Burns Esq

    Chris Burns Esq New Member

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    Specific Bicycle Insurance Very recently, certain insurance companies have begun offering insurance to individual bicyclists. This is great news. Not all cyclists own a car or a house, and can receive the coverage listed above that could benefit them. A combination of auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance can still leave you with gaps. You may wish to consider purchasing bicycling insurance. One of the insurance companies that offers insurance for Florida Bicyclists is “Spoke Bicycle Insurance”. One of its supporters is Bill Walton, the famous basketball player, who also loves to ride bikes. There are several options for coverage. You can select “Bicycle Liability Coverage” that would provide you with liability coverage of $100,000 to cover another cyclist you injured while riding. This would also provide you with $25,000 of UM insurance to benefit yourself, if another cyclist injured you and did not have insurance coverage. You can select “Bicycle Theft Coverage”. This would be very important if you do not have homeowner’s insurance, or your insurance does not cover theft. You can select “Bicycle Damage Coverage” to protect your property damage if in a crash with another cyclist. Ordinarily, without this coverage, none of the other policies listed above would cover this. Please note: there appears to be a $100 deductible on any claim. You must also specifically list the bicycles that you wish to cover under the insurance. If the bicycle is not listed, it is not covered. This coverage is available to professional cyclists and recreational bicyclists alike.
    It is worth your time to check what insurance you have, the gaps in your coverage, and what you may need. It is tempting to put the decision off to buy insurance for bicycle accidents. But it is incredibly important to protect yourself for the future. Here is an article that discusses bicycle insurance in much more detail: http://floridacyclinglaw.com/blog/archives/bicycle-insurance-recommendations/
    Christopher G. Burns, Attorney
    Jacksonville, Fl
    website: floridacyclinglaw.com
    email: [email protected]
     
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