Yes, there is such a thing as cycling insurance. Here’s what you need to know—and why you might need it.
For years, I’ve advised bike riders to piece together cycling insurance through a combination of other types of policies, such as auto or homeowner’s. Problem is, that can leave gaps in coverage, especially if you don’t own a car. Comprehensive insurance policies for cyclists have never been available in this country—until now.
About a year ago, I was contacted by a cyclist who also happened to be in the insurance business. He wanted to do something about the unmet need for bicycle insurance. We exchanged ideas, and he consulted members of the bike industry as well as national and regional cycling clubs and organizations. The result is Spoke Bicycle Insurance. It’s currently available in eight states: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Here’s what it covers.
Damage from Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists
This is the most important piece of insurance for any cyclist. It protects you in the event of a collision with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. In the past, you needed to own an insured auto in order to be covered. If you are a car-free cyclist, bike insurance is the only way to get this coverage.
You’ll be protected if you hurt someone while riding your bike, the same way an auto-insurance policy covers you if you harm someone while driving a car. (Worth knowing: You may already be covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.)
Bicycle insurance will cover your medical bills in the event of a crash, reimburse you for the value of your bike if it is stolen, and provide assistance if your bicycle breaks down during a ride. Racers may opt to add trip-interruption coverage.
Research and assistance by Rick Bernardi, J.D.
This article, Just In Case, was originally published on Bicycling on August 21, 2012.
Now read the fine print:
Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist who represented the U.S. at the 1988 Olympic games (where he finished fourth in the road race), the 1992 Olympics, as well as winning the 1990 national championship road race.
After retiring from racing in 1993, he coached the Saturn Professional Cycling team for one year before heading off to law school. Mionske’s practice is now split between personal-injury work, representing professional athletes as an agent and other legal issues facing endurance athletes (traffic violations, contract, criminal charges, intellectual property, etc).
Mionske is also the author of Bicycling and the Law, designed to be the primary resource for cyclists to consult when faced with a legal question. It provides readers with the knowledge to avoid many legal problems in the first place, and informs them of their rights, their responsibilities, and what steps they can take if they do encounter a legal problem.
If you have a cycling-related legal question, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Bob will answer as many of these questions privately as he can. He will also select a few questions each week to answer in this column. General bicycle-accident advice can be found at bicyclelaw2.wpengine.com.
The information provided in the “Road Rights” column is not legal advice. The information provided on this public web site is provided solely for the general interest of the visitors to this web site. The information contained in the column applies to general principles of American jurisprudence and may not reflect current legal developments or statutory changes in the various jurisdictions and therefore should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal advice. Understand that reading the information contained in this column does not mean you have established an attorney-client relationship with attorney Bob Mionske. Readers of this column should not act upon any information contained in the web site without first seeking the advice of legal counsel.