Yes, often your car insurance will cover a .
Before heading out for a drive most of us intuitively check our air, brakes, chains and cranks and do a once over of our bikes. We confirm our helmets are procure, our cell phones and Garmins are charged, and that we have lights if we think we ’ ll need them. If we are going any significant distance, we ensure our saddlebags have tools, fifth wheel tubes, CO2 cartridges and that our jersey pockets have got what we need to stay shielded from the elements and sufficiently fueled to go the distance .
How many of those among us, though, run through this checklist before heading off on our bikes ?
- life Insurance
- Health Insurance
- car insurance
- disability insurance
- Homeowners Insurance
besides, how many of those among us know our state minimum automobile indemnity coverage statutes or how our own car policy may apply in the consequence of a bicycle crash ? What about our cognition of our health indemnity plans, the setting of that coverage and how much in co-pays and deductibles we must pay before our insurance company is obligated to start making payments ?
Let ’ s be honest. We ’ vitamin d prefer to read race results and track KOMs on Strava than study the amendments and endorsements to our indemnity policies. At the beginning of each riding temper, we ’ five hundred quite think about the color and texture of our modern handlebar tape than about the size and oscilloscope of our uninsured and underinsured coverage. And, when there is money to spare, we ’ five hundred quite spend it on new cleats, a new wheelset or on a cool commuter bicycle than on policy .
While riding bikes makes us all feel like five-year-olds on our boastfully wheels, thinking about policy reminds us of our own deathrate. As a resultant role, many of us merely ignore it until it is besides belated .
The reality is that when we get injured in an car v. bicycle crash and suffer forcible and other damages, indemnity matters .
A Current Example:
The Kalamazoo Tragedy
Let ’ s take this calendar month ’ randomness hideous and impossible bicycle crash tragedy in Michigan as a current model of why we as bicyclists need to start caring more about indemnity. While I can not purport to even come close to understanding the losses and damages of the families of the five bicyclists who were killed in the crash and the four bicyclists who were injured in the crash, when I think about policy and remedies for these people and families, I can not help but think about the possibility that their across-the-board losses and damages might not be covered by Mr. Pickett ( the driver accused of negligently and recklessly causing the crash ) and his insurance company ( randomness ), if any .
If Mr. Pickett and his insurers can not cover these losses and damages, the losses and damages suffered by each of the nine bicyclists and/or his or her family will either covered by the cyclist ’ s own available indemnity or will become the liabilities of the injure cyclist or his/her estate. If these bicyclists are like many of their counterparts on the roadway, there will simply not be adequate indemnity coverage. And, while no sum of policy coverage that these bicyclists could have carried would ever be sufficient to make any of these people or their families whole, having policy funds available to pay checkup bills, cover lost wages and address the other needs of the people and families that survived this hideous event certain wouldn ’ triiodothyronine damage .
Hipsters and Doctors Are Not Immune
It isn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate good extreme catastrophes like the site in Kalamazoo that should give us pause and prompt us to think about indemnity. Over the years, my colleagues and I at Kelly, Remmel, and Zimmerman and the motorcycle crash lawyers within the Bike Law Network have represented thousands of people in cases where the setting and extent of their own indemnity coverage ( or lack thence ) have made a huge dispute to them and their families .
A few cases where there was not enough coverage haunt me and, in fact, have caused me to re-examine my own coverage for the benefit of myself, my conserve and my children. Among them is the subject I had several years ago involving “ James ” a bright, young, urban hippie who loved riding his motorcycle and elected to live a car-free life style. James chose an occupation he loved and that afforded him many hours a week on his bicycle on his days off. Although health caution coverage was an choice for him at oeuvre, it came with a hefty price tag, so he took a passing. When it came to car and early indemnity, James besides declined coverage. James was a accredited driver in good status, but he and his wife went everywhere by metrical foot, bicycle and public transportation system and, as such, they did not think there was any need for such coverage .
Life was capital, and all was well until it wasn ’ triiodothyronine .
One day, while James was on one of his long rides, he was hit from behind by a motive vehicle traveling at a high speed after he legitimately took control of the change of location lane to make a left turning. Among early things, he suffered a serious genius injury, permanent damage, and significant aesculapian bills. The driver that hit him, however, only carried Maine ’ s $ 50,000 minimum limits in automobile liability insurance and had no assets or sweetheart employment from which any judgment against him, if obtained, could be satisfied. Likewise, because James and his wife carried no health, disability, automobile or other indemnity, they were left with no seat to turn to fill the opening between the driver ’ s indemnity and their needs .
Although insufficient indemnity coverage greatly impacts the twenty-something-year-olds who are injured early in their lives as they are attempting to build their homes, careers, and communities, it is not just a trouble impacting car-fee millennials. Often, well-paid professionals who have sufficient capacity to purchase adequate indemnity find themselves in the same type of dilemma as James and his wife. surprisingly, many professionals carry only the minimum car insurance limits ( or something close to them ) and find themselves and their families struggling precisely like James to make ends meet after they are seriously injured in bicycle crashes.
Read more: The 7 Best Car Insurance Companies (2022)
While many of these smart and knowing professionals believed that their health and disability policy would cover them if anything ever went amiss, and if anyone else responsible for their losses couldn ’ thyroxine pay, what they didn ’ thymine gain or understand until it was excessively late were the limitations of their coverage .
While health and disability insurance are crucial, they are often not enough to comprehensively and in full address all of a person ’ second or a family ’ s post-crash losses—which frequently include lost wages, lost opportunities, permanent impairment, emotional distress, years of trouble and miserable, a loss of consortium and other damages. This is why bicyclists may want to think more cautiously about their insurance coverage, including their car indemnity coverage .
Yes, Your Automobile Insurance Policy May Cover Your Bike Crash
When it comes to automobile indemnity, it is significant for all riders to know and understand that it is not equitable the driver ’ randomness automobile policy coverage that matters, but our own. When I tell people this, the most common response is for people to think they misheard me. then, when I tell them that I did indeed country that their car policy may apply to their bicycle crash, they often ask something like : “ Why on earth would my own automobile policy company ever pay for my injuries from bicycle crash caused by person else ? ”
The answer is actually quite bare and coherent. When we buy car insurance, we are often purchasing insurance protection not only for the harm we may cause to other people with our automobiles but also for automobile-related harms that we may suffer. Our car policy policies not alone have liability provisions and property damage provisions that cover us in the event that caused injury to person else or their vehicle and/or in the event our vehicle is damaged, but they besides frequently contain provisions addressing uninsured/underinsured coverage ( “ UM coverage ” ) and medical payment indemnity ( “ medpay coverage ” ). These provisions become authoritative to us as bicyclists in the event of a crash .
Let me explain .
UM Coverage: What It Is and How It Can Protect Against More than Just “Hit and Runs”
UM Coverage is precisely what its diagnose purports it to be. It is automobile indemnity coverage that by and large kicks in and covers an insure person when the motorist primarily responsible for a crash : ( 1 ) can not be identified ; ( 2 ) has been identified, but unlawfully does not carry any policy ( i.e. is uninsured ) ; or ( 3 ) has been identified, has tendered his/her policy policy limits, but does not carry adequate indemnity to amply compensate you and your family members for your losses and damages ( i.e. is underinsured ) .
While many people rightfully associate UM Coverage with “ hit and run ” automobile v. car crashes, it is besides important to know that UM Coverage besides can apply when the “ hit and run ” involves injury to a cyclist .
UM Coverage may besides be available to an injured cyclist in “ no touch ” situations ( i.e. situations where an nameless negligent driver leaves the scene of a crash after negligently causing a cyclist to crash but without always making contact with the cyclist or the bicycle ). For example, if a motorist acts negligently by violating the minimal three-foot travel by police and causes a cyclist to swerve and crash, and if that motorist intentionally or unintentionally leaves the setting of the crash, the cyclist should be able to successfully make a UM claim under his or her own car policy for the sum of his or her damages up to the come of the buy UM Coverage .
far, UM Coverage normally extends to bicyclists in cases where a number of the damages suffered by the injured cyclist exceeds the total of the motorist ’ s policy coverage. For exercise, had the Kalamazoo tragedy occurred in Maine, and had Mr. Pickett only carried the minimum amount of indemnity required by Maine jurisprudence ( up to $ 50,000 per person and improving to $ 100,000 sum per crash ), the bicyclists ’ own UM coverages would all come into looseness. If each of the nine bicyclists received $ 11,111.11 under the driver ’ second policy and if one of the surviving nine bicyclists carried a UIM policy in the lapp sum of the driver, the most in UIM coverage that the cyclist would likely be entitled to would be $ 38,888.89 ( the difference between the $ 50,000 she purchased in coverage and the $ 11,111.11 he already received from the driver ). In line, if one of the other surviving bicyclists purchased and carried $ 500,000 in UIM Coverage, that cyclist would probably be entitled to receive up to $ 488,888.89 for damages arising out of the very lapp crash .
In Maine, what a cyclist may be entitled to in the way of UM Coverage can often be very complicated and requires interpretation of a combination of your insurance contract, the UM legislative act, and case law. foster, there are requirements that must be satisfied before you can reach your UM coverage. As such, working with an lawyer who not only understands bicycle and personal injury law, but insurance law is key .
What It Is and Why It Matters Even If You Are Already Have Health Insurance
Medpay insurance is one of the other types of indemnity found under our automobile indemnity policies that should matter to us. When we buy medpay indemnity we are normally buying protection for aesculapian expenses incurred by us and others in the event of an automobile-related crash. In Maine, the checkup policy requital coverage minimum limit is $ 2,000 and our aesculapian requital indemnity generally covers us and others in our car if we or our car ’ south occupants are injured and incur checkup bills. Most people don ’ metric ton understand, however, that our aesculapian requital automobile insurance besides much applies in the event of a bicycle crash caused by an car .
Knowing how and when your car medical payment insurance applies in the event of a bicycle crash becomes significant for a number of reasons. First, your medical requital coverage much applies and offers you money for checkup expenses incurred by you regardless of whether you or the driver involved in a crash is to blame. Second, even if it is clear that the driver is completely at fault for the crash, it may take years for you to settle your case with the driver and/or to get a judgment against the driver and, in the meanwhile, your medical bills need to be paid. Third, evening if you carry health insurance and your health insurance company is covering many of your aesculapian bills, much there are co-pays, deductibles, and other health worry expenses that are uncovered by health policy. As such, many bicyclists involved in crashes can benefit from having extensive automobile medical payment policy coverage .
Of path, as was the case with UM Coverage, accessing, addressing and understanding master of education pay up coverage in a bicycle crash encase and relate subrogation issues later on in the case much require interpretation of a combination of your insurance abridge, the applicable checkup requital and subrogation laws and subject law. Again, having an lawyer who amply understands all of these issues is important .
Check Your Insurance Options
then, the boastful lease away—don ’ triiodothyronine wait until calamity strikes to do your policy tune up. barely as you wouldn ’ metric ton ride with exhausted brakes or flimsy tires, don ’ thyroxine drive without sufficient UM and medical payment coverage. Make indisputable you and your families have the necessary coverage in the event that anything happens to you. then, after you take care of all of this paperwork, go back to riding safely and gleefully on the road with the energetic passion of a five-year-old on a big rack and the wisdom of your collective years, cognition and experiences.
Author ’ randomness notes :
I am a bicycle and pedestrian lawyer and not an policy broker or agent. For information about the best policy coverage for your individual needs, you should talk to a stipulate indemnity example .
Although the story about “ James ” is actual, “ James ” is a fabricated identify and the facts of his case have been left sufficiently obscure so as to protect the privacy of “ James ” and his wife .