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Insurance, Bicycles, and Bodily Injury by Justin Husman

Submitted by on August 5, 2010 – 9:49 pm5 Comments

Stolen bike

We were recently talking about stolen bikes with Justin and it turns out he’s in the insurance field so we asked him to pass on some of his knowledge on the subject.If you need to talk insurance you can contact him at Phoenix Insurance  214-253-0570.  And note that Bike Friendly Oak Cliff has a page dedicated to stolen bikes.  Click here for more.

Bicycles, and Bodily Injury by Justin Husman

Even though most of us are bicycle riding zealots, we do live in Dallas, and so we are used to driving all over Hellenbach to do some of the stuff we want to do. As long as you must have a car, here are some things you should understand about bicycling and insurance coverage. I am an independent insurance agent and a cyclist, so I know a thing or two about a thing or two, and I’m happy to share that knowledge with you.

1 . Covering your body – the most important part. Unless you only ride your bicycle on trails exclusively, you are going to have to share the road with vehicles. Unfortunately, many vehicle drivers are not paying attention, don’t expect to see you, blah blah blah. Being hit by a car is a possibility, so you should consider adding Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to your auto policy. PIP can be used to cover lost wages and medical expenses when the insured is in an accident with a motor vehicle, regardless of fault,  including when you are on a bicycle.

The minimum amount of coverage that can be purchased is $2500, with stolen bike signincremental options available up to $10,000. The key to this being such a worthwhile coverage is in the “lost wages” part; while medical bills can wait, food bills can’t, and PIP helps to cover the days you are laid up on the couch, watching le Tour. But I hear you out there, smugly saying to yourself, “But I have no car so I can’t purchase PIP coverage, though I suppose I need it the most.” Needless to say I can also hear how quickly you veered from smug to sad as you understood what you were saying. Be not afraid! You can purchase what is called a “non-owned” policy and get liability and PIP alone. It won’t cost much, and will give you a little peace of mind when you are riding, and when you are borrowing someone’s car to run to Costco.

2 . Covering your noble steed – the second most important part. Bicycles are expensive – whether you have Red equipped carbon wonderbike, or you have a classic unobtainum steel steed created by some mad Italian, or some quadruple suspended mountain bike, or any bike, really. Bikes are  expensive, and we take our expensive bikes and hopefully ride the heck out of them. As such, our large investments are out on the street, racing down hills, locked to benches, or any number of places where they are exposed to damage or theft. Bicycles are covered for theft on a home owner’s policy or a renter’s policy. A sub – $500 bike would be covered under standard “personal property” coverage, but once bikes get much more expensive than that, it’s time to start scheduling them separately. Scheduling a bike insures it against both theft and breakage, which comes in handy if you go down hard and damage your bike. If you do not own a home, you can purchase a renter’s policy very inexpensively and schedule your bicycle (s).

If you are like Hubbard, and have a garage full of “collectible” Schwinns, you can also schedule that collection, just as you would an individual bike. In that case, it is generally up to you to prove the value of the scheduled items, so be prepared. If you can get an appraisal or estimated value from a bike shop to support your requested coverage, do so and file it somewhere safe. At the very least, even if you do not schedule anything, be sure and take plenty of photos of your collection (and send a copy to the blog so we can see it). In the event of a claim, an adjuster might find it very hard to believe that you had 5 bicycles – or more (like me).

If you are going to ride a bike, whether for transportation or sport, you should plan ahead. There is no bicycle specific insurance policy, but you can use the coverage available to you on a policy you already have, and protect both your property and yourself. Talk to your agent about the coverage available to you on your policies, or feel free to give me a call and I’ll try and answer your questions.

-Justin

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