Does Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
Many people expect their car insurance to cover an accident involving other cars or motorcycles, but most would be surprised to find out that many coverages include bicycle accidents, too. Your coverage may also include injuries to the rider. If bicycles are a common sight where you drive, make sure you understand how your insurance will help you in the event of an accident with a cyclist. Your own insurance can help you if you are hit while riding a bicycle, if you hit a cyclist, and cover damages in a variety of situations.
An Accident Involving a Cyclist
Cyclists are injured every day across the U.S. Though generally, the burden of care is on the driver, cyclists may bear some responsibility in an accident with a car. For instance, if they were distracted, not following the rules of the road, or were impaired, they may share some, if not all, the blame. In the event of an accident caused by the driver, liability insurance will cover injuries to the cyclist and coverage to replace the bike and any damaged protective wear. If the driver is not at fault, the cyclist will be responsible for all costs.
Hit While Riding Your Bicycle
If you are a cyclist and are in an accident, your insurance may cover your injuries even if you are at fault. While a standard bicycle insurance policy doesn’t exist, any coverage that includes personal injury protection or medical coverage will pay for injuries to pedestrians and cyclists if they are on the policy. This includes drivers and family members.
If someone else is at fault, his or her insurance will be liable for covering injuries and damages. However, if you are the guilty party, your coverage may not include repairs to the bicycle. The claim will likely go to your homeowner’s/renter’s insurance.
What Is Covered
Most companies default toward paying Actual Cash Value (ACV) for property, the value of an object when considering its age and use. If you simply require a replacement, the company pays out the cost to replace the bicycle. However, a company usually does not pay full value for a loss because of deductibles, which you chose when you set up coverage. Be sure to talk to your insurance company so you understand how they define ACV and replacement costs.
Some people have bicycle racks attached to their cars to carry their bicycles. If you are in an accident while doing this, your insurance company will most likely not cover the damages to the rack or bicycles because the rack was not factory installed. You can buy additional coverage for some after-market items you’ve had added, but this would only cover the rack – not the bicycles in it.
If you are a cyclist or drive a vehicle in areas where cyclists are common, you need to be aware of how insurance and bicycles interact. Understanding what is covered can help you plan accordingly with other types of insurance or determine what to do in the event of an accident. Additional protection may be needed, so be sure to contact your insurance provider to find out what your options are.