HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO INSURE MY BICYCLE? CAN MY CAR INSURANCE COVER ME WHILE I’M RIDING MY BICYCLE AS WELL? IF NOT, WHAT KIND OF INSURANCE WILL COVER MY BICYCLE?
There are a lot of questions when it comes to getting a bicycle insured. For avid cyclists, these questions take on even greater importance. According to Dragon Bicycles the newest high-end bicycles typically cost between $5,000 and $10,000, but some bikes can have retail prices up to $16,000.
To help answer these important bicycle insurance questions, our bicycle lawyers in Utah invite you to review these frequently asked questions.
What is bike insurance?
Bike insurance, like car insurance, is a type of insurance coverage that covers your bike against damages and theft. There is also coverage for personal liability and medical payments in the event of a serious accident.
Is it worth insuring my bicycle?
It depends on the value of the bike. If you only spent a few hundred dollars on a bike, probably not. However, once you start investing more than a few thousand dollars, then having bike insurance is a good idea.
Even if you do not have a high-end bike, you need to remember that no one is more vulnerable on the road than a cyclist, navigating streets filled with vehicles that weigh 100 times more than a bike. Even a minor accident can wreck a bicycle’s frame, which is easily the most expensive part. You can buy a specific bike insurance policy, but we have found that it is usually cheaper and better to just make sure your bike is covered with through your homeowners or renter’s insurance.
Unfortunately, auto insurance does not typically cover damages caused while riding, so additional insurance forms are often required. While some homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies cover theft and total losses for your bike, they do not cover injuries in serious accidents. If you spend a lot of time on busy streets with other vehicles, you should consider getting specific coverage for your bicycle.
Were you injured in a bicycle accident caused by someone else? Contact our bicycle accident attorneys in Utah for a free consultation today.
How do I insure my bicycle?
Insuring a bicycle can be problematic. Most major insurance companies don’t include bike-specific accident coverage in their standard insurance plans. However, it is possible to find a plan offered by an insurance company that covers a bicycle in a few situations.
Allstate car insurance, for example, does not specifically cover bicycles, but with their Personal Property Protection as a part of their Homeowner’s insurance, a policyholder will be covered against theft and some cases of accident damage.
Another way to insure a bicycle is through umbrella policies that many insurance companies offer. These policies come into effect after the coverage from a person’s other insurance plans is exhausted. This can be a sure way to guarantee coverage because most companies, like State Farm, offer umbrella coverage on personal items for up to as much as $1 million worth of damages.
These options are imperfect, however, because they either do not offer coverage in every situation or can only be added in the form of expensive, all-encompassing premium insurance policies.
An ideal form of bicycle coverage would be a policy that treats a bicycle like it does any other type of vehicle. The bike could be added to an existing car insurance policy for a minimal increase in the insurance premium while still guaranteeing full and fair compensation when a high-end bicycle needs to be replaced or repaired.
As more and more people have been cycling since the COVID pandemic, insurance companies are now starting to offer separate bicycle coverage. In addition, various bicycle-only insurance companies, like Veloinsurance and Markel, provide specialty coverage just for cyclists. Price them out, but typically a homeowner’s or renter’s policy is a better choice.
The amount of coverage you want will depend on many factors, including the value of your bike, the amount of time you spend riding it, and the cost of insurance. The best place to start is your local insurance agent, who will be able to explain whether or not they offer bicycle insurance coverage to suit your needs. If not, you can check out one of the bicycle specialty insurers to get the coverage you need.
How does bike insurance protect you?
Bike insurance protects you just like auto insurance. You can find similar coverage options, such as comprehensive and collision coverage, personal liability, property damage, uninsured motorists/cyclists, bike rental reimbursement, cycling apparel, and medical payments. You can also customize your bike insurance policy to fit your specific needs.
For example, you run into a parked vehicle and damage your bike and the parked vehicle. With “full coverage” bike insurance, your policy would provide payments to repair damage to the car and your bike, as well as any damages to your cycling apparel and equipment. In addition, if you were injured and required medical care, your bike insurance would also cover your medical expenses.
How do I transfer my secondhand bike insurance?
Suppose you purchase a new bike and are selling or trading in your secondhand bike. To transfer insurance to your new bike, you simply contact your bicycle insurance agent to have your policy transferred to the new bike. The new bike can also be another secondhand bike and does not have to be brand new.
Can I get bike insurance without a driver’s license?
Since a bicycle is not considered a motorized vehicle, you do not need a driver’s license to get bike insurance. However, you should be familiar with Utah bicycle laws since you will be sharing the road with other motorists.
Why is bicycle insurance so expensive?
Bicycle insurance is a specialty insurance product that is still relatively new. Therefore, there was no historical data for insurers to use when creating coverage and establishing insurance costs. Essentially, you have to look at the risks of bicycling and the costs associated if you do not have insurance. When you do, the cost of bike insurance makes sense.
For example, if you ride your bike in competitions, you do not intend to wipe out and crash, yet it happens. When it does, you can run up several thousands of dollars in damages to your high-end bike. So, it is nice to have coverage, but check your homeowner’s policy first and see if your bike is covered. Most policies do cover bikes, so you will not need a specific bike insurance policy if you are only worried about replacing your damaged bike.
In addition, bicycle theft is a big problem. Bicycles are much easier to steal than a motorcycle or an automobile. Most bikes do not have anti-theft protection or GPS location when they are stolen. Again, while you do not expect your bike to get stolen, it happens. Even though coverage may seem expensive, you will be glad you have it should your bike get stolen.
Why is it important to compare bike insurance plans?
Suppose you need motorcycle or car insurance coverage. You would shop different insurers to determine which one offered the best coverage at the lowest premiums. The same is true with bicycle insurance plans. You need to ensure you get the coverage you need based on your cycling habits at the lowest premiums.
Can I buy my bike insurance online?
Yes, you can purchase bike insurance online, just like motorcycle or auto insurance. However, before you make your purchase, it is highly recommended to review what your policy covers, deductible amounts, and the type of replacement coverage offered if your bike is stolen or totaled in an accident. You can often chat online or call the insurer directly to go over these things to verify you have the right coverage.
Utah bicycle laws are covered under Utah Code Title 41 Motor Vehicles, Chapter 6a Traffic Code. Some of the more important bike laws you need to know are as follows.
1) “BICYCLE” DEFINED
- A “bicycle” is defined as any device, a wheeled vehicle propelled by human power; by feet or hands acting upon pedals or cranks, with a seat or saddle, designed to be used on the ground for the use of the operator, and whose wheels are not less than 14 inches in diameter. Upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, except “Bicycle” includes an electric assisted bicycle, but not scooters and similar devices.
- “Electric assisted bicycle” means a moped powered solely by the electric motor, has fully operable pedals on permanently affixed cranks, and weighs less than 75 pounds (41-6a-102).
- A bicycle is considered a vehicle, and a cyclist has the same rights and is subject to the same provisions as the operator of any other vehicle (1102). This includes obeying traffic signals (305), stop and yield signs (902), and all other official traffic control devices (208).
2) DIRECTION OF TRAFFIC
- Being considered a vehicle, a bicycle must ride with the flow or direction of traffic (1105).
3) SHOULDER/BICYCLE LANE TRAVEL
- If the traveling is slower than the flow of traffic, a cyclist must ride as close to the right-hand edge of the roadway as practicable, except when:
- Passing another bicycle or vehicle;
- Preparing to make a left turn;
- Riding straight through an intersection just to the left of vehicles turning right; or
- Necessarily avoiding unsafe conditions along the right-hand edge of the road, such as fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, other bicycles, or pedestrians
- If a useable pathway alongside the road is available, a traffic-control device may direct bicyclers to use it and not the road (1105).
4) 3-FOOT RULE
- Motorists may not pass within 3 feet of a moving bicycle unless they can do so at a reasonable and safe distance (706.5).
- Motorists may pass a cyclist who is moving less than the reasonable speed of traffic that is present, on the left, by entering the center lane only and when it is on a roadway that is divided into three or more lanes that provide the movement of two-way traffic, is clear of traffic, and within a safe distance (801).
- Motorists may not pass a cyclist in the following conditions:
- when approaching or upon the crest of a grade or upon a curve in the highway where the operator’s view is in any way obstructed;
- when approaching within 100 feet of, or traversing, any intersection or railroad grade crossing unless otherwise indicated by an official traffic control device;
- when the view is obstructed upon approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.
5) INTERSECTION PROCEDURES
- Remember, a bicycle has all the rights – and all the obligations – that a vehicle has when it comes to intersection procedures. So the following rules apply to motorists and cyclists alike:
- After an operator of a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle, who is 16 years of age or older, has brought their vehicle to a complete stop at a red light, and after waiting 90 seconds for an unchanged red light, may cautiously proceed through the intersection.
- If there is no traffic light (or the traffic light is not working), any driver/cyclist approaching the intersection white line must yield the right-of-way to other drivers/cyclists already at the intersection, no matter the direction from which they are coming.
- If two vehicles arrive simultaneously at an intersection, and there is no traffic light signal, the vehicle on the left must yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on the right.
- If the roadway does not continue through the intersection, the vehicle must yield the right-of-way to the intersecting highway.
- A vehicle on a road that is not paved yields the right-of-way to the vehicle on a paved road.
- A vehicle must stop, when directed by a traffic light or stop sign, before the designated white stop line (unless otherwise directed by a police officer).
- A vehicle approaching a stop sign must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within an adjacent crosswalk.
- A bicycle may ride straight through an intersection on the left side of a right-hand turning lane.
- A vehicle turning left in an intersection yields the right-of-way to oncoming traffic
6) STOP LIGHT AND STOP SIGN
- Cyclists must obey all traffic lights, stop and yield signs, and must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within an adjacent crosswalk (305/902/208).
7) PASSING ON THE RIGHT
- Except for bicycles, passing on the right is only lawful where there is a specific lane to do so, when safe. If for any reason a vehicle leaves the paved roadway in order to pass, it is considered illegal (705).
What should I do if I am in a bicycle accident?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you should follow the same steps as you would for a motor vehicle accident as follows:
- Call the police and file a police report.
- Seek medical treatment for any injuries.
- Retain any evidence, including your bike, cycling gear, and equipment that was damaged.
- Schedule a consultation with Utah personal injury lawyers if your injuries were serious and you were not at fault for causing the accident.
In the unfortunate event a loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, you could still seek damages against the responsible party by speaking to our Salt Lake City wrongful death attorneys.
If you have further questions about filing a personal injury claim after a bicycle accident, please schedule a free consultation with one of our bicycle injury lawyers in Utah
What Goes Into the Cost of a Bicycle?.
41 U.C.A. 6a.
41 U.C.A. 6a-102.
41 U.C.A. 6a-208.
41 U.C.A. 6a-305.
41 U.C.A. 6a-705.
41 U.C.A. 6a-706.5.
41 U.C.A. 6a-801.
41 U.C.A. 6a-901.
41 U.C.A. 6a-902.
41 U.C.A. 6a-1102.
41 U.C.A. 6a-1105.