Cyclists have unique needs for injury and income protection and most cyclists are not fully protected through their existing auto insurance policies. Cyclists are more vulnerable to personal injury, resulting in medical cost and lost time at work than non-cyclists. As a member of the Portland cycling community I understand.
What is Bicycle Insurance?
Although there is no specific insurance product designed solely for cyclists there is insurance coverage available that protects the specific needs of cyclists and you may already be partially covered. As a cyclist, you should have insurance that is tailored to your needs. Cyclists are at greater risk of lost or stolen property, accidents involving automobiles, bodily injury, crashes and damaged property.
Covering My Bicycle
“What happens if my bicycle is stolen or damaged?” is a common question. Bicycles are considered personal property and are covered against some perils by Homeowners insurance and Renters insurance.
Bicycle theft is the most common loss. Many policies state that in order for a loss to be covered reasonable measures must be taken to protect your property. Always properly lock your bike. Below are important facts for cyclists to know about insuring bicycles and other personal property.
- Did you know that some lock manufacturers will pay the deductible if your bike is stolen while using their product?
- Make sure your Homeowners or Renters policy includes a replacement cost endorsement not actual cash value on personal property. Depreciation can leave a bike owner in an unfair situation.
- Cyclist accidents involving automobiles is the second most common cause of loss.
A quick and free evaluation of your current homeowners/renters insurance policy can make sure your bicycles and gear is properly protected. As a cyclist, I know the risks we take and can help make sure you are properly protected in the event of an accident or theft. Call me at (503) 808-1546 for a free quote.
Bodily Injury Protection
The most important part of the bicycle insurance is protecting your self from personal injury. All of us have had close calls on the road. Many of us have made contact with a car and managed to survive with minimal injury; and unfortunately many of us have been seriously injured. Fortunately, there is coverage when we sustain bodily injury. Oregon law protects cyclists the same as pedestrians.
Oregon auto insurance has two types of coverage that are required by law that protect you. The first coverage is Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The state minimum is $15,000. PIP coverage pays your medical bills and up to $3000 per month in lost wages. I recommend that you raise your PIP limit. This makes sense to do specifically if you don’t have health insurance or if you are a high income earner. There are some waiting periods for collecting loss of income but your medical bills will be paid directly to your provider. I am always happy to talk about how to insure yourself as a cyclist, give me a call (503) 808-1546.
The second coverage that will cover you as a cyclist is the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UI/UIM). Policies offer 25/50, 50/100, 100/300, 250/500, and 500/500. The numbers that are shown are x1000 and represent the limits of your insurance. The first number is how much coverage you have for medical bills and personal injury if you are injured by a driver who is underinsured or uninsured. An example of underinsured protection is when a car crashes into you. The driver is clearly at fault but he only has the state minimum coverage of 25/50. You have $125,000 in medical bills and are out of work for three months. The driver’s insurance company will only give you $25,000 because they are only obligated to pay up to the limits of the policy. He is clearly underinsured; you now either have to hire an attorney to sue him or you can make a claim against your own insurance policy. UI/UIM coverage is a cyclist best protection.
All personal injury attorneys that specialize in bicycle cases recommend umbrella policies that provide UI/UIM coverage. Make sure your policy has UI/UIM coverage. Umbrella policies give you an extra $1 million in coverage. An Umbrella policy will cost you about $16 per month if you have a clean driving record. If you own 2 cars the price will be $23.92 per month. Please feel free to call me with any questions (503) 808-1546. I love talking to cyclist about how to protect themselves.
How Can I Cover Myself?
I cover my self with a $1,000,000 umbrella, and my underlying auto limits are 250/500. This means I carry $1,250,000 million in UI/UIM coverage. Umbrella policies will require you to carry higher underlying limits. Raising your limits on your auto insurance is cheap. I also carry a $15,000 accident policy because I have a high deductible on my health insurance plan. The accident policy covers in case of any accident bike related or not.