BikePortland.org

A guide to bicycle insurance options

Problems arise when an uninsured motor vehicle operator and a person on a bike without auto insurance collide… Lack of insurance is also a problem in the case of single vehicle crashes, such as when you hit the light rail tracks at the wrong angle and go down.

As I reported in my first piece on bicycle insurance, there is currently no alternative form of automobile insurance for people who do not own cars. If you ride a bicycle and are not covered by car insurance, you should know your options in case of a single-vehicle crash, a hit and run, or a crash with an uninsured motorist.

At-fault motor vehicle operators who have their own auto insurance should be liable for any damages to you and your bike. If you have auto insurance it will most likely cover a crash that you cause, even if you are on your bike.

Problems arise when an uninsured motor vehicle operator and a person on a bike without auto insurance collide, or worse, in the case of a hit-and-run. Lack of insurance is also a problem in the case of single vehicle crashes, such as when you hit the light rail tracks at the wrong angle and go down.

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Though health insurance if you have it will (in theory) cover your injuries, it will not cover liability (the damage you do to another’s property), lost wages, pain and suffering, or damage to your bicycle.

So what’s a car-free, health insurance free, cycle-commuter to do? There is no outright equivalent to car insurance offered to those who don’t own cars, but here are some ways our sources have found to fill in the holes:

None of these solutions is ideal, but they’ll have to suffice until a true bicycle insurance option emerges. Stay tuned for our third article (of three) of special coverage on The Bicycle Insurance Gap.

For more on this topic, see Ms. Caron’s story, Bicycle insurance: Coming to America in 2010?

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