Bicycle Insurance – The Basics
If you asked most cyclists if they had “bike insurance” they would assume you were talking about property damage coverage, and most would say no. However, the reality is that most cyclists are covered, not by bike insurance, but by their auto insurance policies.
In the event a cyclist is hit by a motorist that was negligent in causing the accident, the insurance company covering the motorist will be responsible for any injuries sustained by the cyclist, as well as for any property damage. However, what is the motorist has insufficient insurance, or no insurance at all? In that scenario, the cyclist’s own auto insurance policy will be responsible for the injuries and for providing fair compensation.
In Connecticut, many people purchase auto insurance with the goal of having coverage in the event they are sued for injuring another person. This type of coverage is called “liability coverage.” Connecticut law provides that such policies must also provide an equal amount of underinsured motorist coverage (UM), unless the policy holder request lower UM rates in writing.
Thus, if you have $300,000.00 in liability coverage, you should also have the same amount – $300,000.00 in UM coverage. The premiums are not much different for $500,000.00 in coverage, and if you can afford more, you should get it. Auto insurance not only insures you against any claims made against you – it protects you if you are hit by someone with insufficient coverage of their own.
Finally, you should also purchase what is known as a “conversion coverage” rider. Most auto policies provide that the amount of underinsured motorist coverage you have is reduced by the amount of coverage the negligent motorist had at the time of the accident. For instance, if you had $300,000.00 in UM coverage, and the person who hit you had $20,000.00 in coverage on their car, your UM coverage would be reduced by $20,000.00, and you would only have $280,000.00 left. For a very small premium, you can purchase conversion coverage, which simply does away with this credit. If you had conversion coverage in the scenario just described, you would collect the $20,000.00 policy limits from the negligent driver’s insurance company, and still have the full $300,000.00 in UM coverage to compensate you for your injuries.
At Mills Law Firm, LLC we handle both plaintiff’s cases and defense cases for major insurance companies; we understand both sides of any case. In addition, we also have a passion for cycling, and we represent cyclists throughout Connecticut. If you have any questions about a potential claim, or bike law in general, please call us at any time at 866-603-7532. We have someone available 24/7 to help you get the answers you need.