When you riding your bicycle, do you need insurance? Do you need a cyclist policy? Or does your auto policy cover you? These are the questions I will happily puzzle over so you don’t have to. Turns out the answer isn’t quite so simple.
What Coverage Do I Need?
Consider the coverage that you traditionally have while you are operating a motor vehicle.
- Liability – the coverage all vehicles are required to have (often listed in split limits).
- Comprehensive/Collision – Used to repair damage to your vehicle
- Uninsured Motorist – An opt-in coverage to cover your injury during a hit-and-run or if the at-fault party is not carrying insurance.
So… Do Those Coverages Actually Apply?
That’s where things get interesting. Short answer: we need to look at the home/renter policy and the auto policy.
So, when we drive, we are required to carry liability insurance in order to help people recover when an accident is our fault. Your auto policy “follows the car.” so your liability coverage only applies while you are in or operating your vehicle. However, there are some coverages that do protect you while cycling. We just need to know where to look.
And Your Cycling Coverages Are…
If you damage property or cause injury, then injured party can recover via the Personal Liability coverage on your home/auto/condo policy.
When you are hurt and the at-fault party is a driver who flees the scene or is not carrying insurance, then it is likely that you may make a claim using your Uninsured Motorist coverage.
And further, If your bicycle is damaged, what to do will depend on who is at fault. If it was someone else, then you can claim against their liability insurance. If it was your fault, you might claim on homeowners policy (Personal Property Coverage), but your deductible may be greater than the cost of the damage.
There you have it! Bicyclists may not carry insurance explicitly for biking, but the systems are in place to help you when you need. If you do rent and ride your bike to school or work, consider purchasing renters insurance. Doing so discounts your auto insurance like a home policy would, and the cost of renters insurance tends to be less than $1 a day and serves as a perfect segue into homeowners insurance purchasing and savings.