Riding a bicycle, like driving a car, truck, or SUV, carries a degree of risk. Accidents happen and crashes can cause damage to you, your bicycle, or another person and/or vehicle. To cover such a contingency it’s important to have insurance in place. There are three basic types that will work: 1) insurance that protects you if you’re at fault while riding your bicycle 2) insurance that protects you if you’re riding your bicycle and are hit by a vehicle 3) insurance that protects your bicycle.
If You Are at Fault While Riding Your Bike
The first type of accident—if you are at fault in a collision—would be covered by either a homeowner’s or a renter’s insurance policy with general liability protection as occupant of the home. For example, if you or a family member living with you (a spouse or a child) hits a pedestrian while riding a bicycle and that person breaks a hip or is injured in some other way, generally the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance protects you, your spouse, or your child.
If You Are Hit by a Vehicle While Riding
The second type of accident—if you are hit by a vehicle while bike riding— would be covered by the driver’s insurance if the driver has liability insurance. Remember that, in Florida, drivers are not required to buy liability insurance on their auto policy, and an estimated 40 percent of the drivers in the state do not have liability insurance. So you must protect yourself by purchasing auto insurance on your own vehicle and adding uninsured motorist coverage that will protect you if you’re hit by a vehicle while riding your bike. Another factor to consider is that some motorists will be underinsured, so if their policy only covers a small amount of the total damages and you have a larger claim, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will protect you by filling in the gap. (Uninsured and underinsured are terms used interchangeably on policies in Florida.)
An example might be if a driver has $10,000 on a liability policy and you have $90,000 worth of medical bills as a result of the collision. In that case your $100,000 uninsured motorist policy amount would fully pay your claim.
How to Protect Your Bike from Damage
The third type of insurance covers how to protect your bike from damage. This is where it gets a little tricky. Your bike is generally covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, but this type of insurance refers to specific risks like fire, theft, and loss. Some policies, however, allow you to buy extra insurance for an item such as a bicycle but that would mean first applying the deductible to the value of your bike. And homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will also depreciate your bike before applying its value to the deductible amount. For example, if your bike is three years old, it may be depreciated by 30 percent. So, when the calculation is done, there may be little incentive to file this type of claim.
An Alternative Type of Bicycle Insurance
There is a product here in Florida called Velosurance that writes insurance policies for bicycles in which you can choose the deductible you wish to pay, say of $150 or $250. If there’s a claim, that would be all you would pay, and the bike would not be depreciated either. With the cost of premium bicycles these days, it’s worth looking into paying a small deductible rather than a cost of $3000 to $8000 to replace your high-end bike. Velosurance is an all-risk coverage that protects against theft, accident damage, and being hit by a car. Specific requirements under various situations have to be met under their policies, so it’s important to investigate those details and conditions. But Velosurance does have the advantage of eliminating depreciation and deductibles that the typical homeowner’s or renter’s policies stipulate.