insurance

Walk or roll on Portland streets? You need more personal injury insurance protection

by on January 23rd, 2018 at 1:42 pm

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This post was written by Portland lawyer Cynthia Newton. She previously shared her concerns about commercial truck operators. Today’s post is about the insurance gap faced by bicycle users. It’s an issue we’ve covered previously here on BikePortland, but it’s so important we felt it was worth re-upping.

This is one of those things that’s not pleasant to think about, but important to know.

Bicycle riders and walkers who are involved in a collision with the driver of a motor vehicle often suffer serious injuries, requiring emergency medical care, surgery, hospitalization and short or long-term disability. Many Oregon drivers carry the minimal automobile insurance limits of $25,000. Serious injuries combined with this minimal amount of coverage combine to create a gap between the funds needed to pay medical expenses and to be fully compensated for lost income and non-economic damages. Put more simply: The injured’s damages exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage.

As lawyers who work with bicycle riders, we see the consequences of this situation far too often.
[Read more…]

Uber’s illegal Portland launch raises question: What if an Uber driver hits you?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 5th, 2014 at 6:58 pm

Riding Portland's urban highways-8

Uber inside?
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

If you get hit on a Portland street by a commercially operated vehicle, you don’t want it to be an UberX on its way to its next fare.

On the other hand, you’ll be better off than if you had been hit by one of many normal private cars.

As the ride-hailing mobile app unexpectedly lauched Friday night in defiance of a city where the possible penalties for operating an unlicensed taxi can include jail time (but are reportedly more likely to involve up to $2,250 in fines), it raised a side issue for other users of the city’s roads.

It’s one we discussed briefly in our September Q&A with Uber’s regional manager, but Friday’s development gives it fresh urgency.

[Read more…]

Reinventing taxis, part 1: A Q&A with Uber’s Northwest regional manager

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on September 16th, 2014 at 9:19 am

Brooke Steiger, Uber’s Washington general manager.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

Portland is now one of just two major U.S. cities where you can’t hail a ride with either Uber or Lyft — and that’s something the car-summoning companies would, of course, love to change.

The services essentially let anyone who passes their background checks become a paid cab driver using a personal car. But Uber has balked at expanding illegally into Portland, where you can be thrown in jail for six months for operating an unlicensed taxi.

We’ve been watching these trends closely because services like Uber are already having a huge impact on low-car life in other cities. Last week, I met a young Chicagoan who gets around by bicycle in nice weather but said she’s spent $2,000 on Uber this year for foul-weather commuting and late-night rides home; two years ago, she probably would have bought her own car by now and started using it for most trips.

[Read more…]

Get Legal: Auto insurance, biking, walking, and you

by on June 4th, 2014 at 11:58 am

Charley Gee helps us work through the
wonk on insurance.

Welcome to our Get Legal column. This is usually written by noted local bike lawyer Ray Thomas. But this time we’ve got one of Mr. Thomas’s co-workers Charley Gee filling in. Gee, an attorney at Swanson, Thomas, Coon & Newton is also an expert on how bicycles fit into the legal fine print. Today he’ll unravel confusion that often exists around insurance. Specifically, how auto insurance policies impacts those of us who don’t drive much (or at all).

Q. I have an Oregon automobile insurance policy. What does that mean?

A. In Oregon, every automobile insurance policy has four areas of coverage: Liability, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Property Damage, and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM).

Q. What is PIP?

A. PIP covers medical expenses and lost wages if you are injured in a collision. In Oregon, the minimum amount of coverage is $15,000. PIP is (usually) “first party” coverage which means your automobile insurance covers your medical bills and wage loss despite the collision being the fault of another road user.

Q. I ride a bicycle and walk places sometimes, do I need to buy an additional insurance policy that covers me when I ride?
[Read more…]

Editorial: The bicycle insurance gap and what we can do about it

by on January 5th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Russ Willis
(Photo © Elly Blue)

Before moving to Portland and ditching his car, Russ Willis was a founding board member of the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation. Russ is the author of the blog, Taking the Lane and this is his first editorial for BikePortland. This is the third article in a three-part series on The Bicycle Insurance Gap. See all three articles here.


Not very long ago, when I used to drive a car, I carried liability insurance against the possibility that I might injure or kill someone.[Read more…]

A guide to bicycle insurance options

by on January 5th, 2010 at 8:43 am

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.
[Read more…]

Bicycle insurance: Coming to America in 2010?

by on January 5th, 2010 at 8:28 am

Lindsay Caron

This story was written by contributing reporter Lindsay Caron. Ms. Caron took a break from working on a documentary about Canadian health insurance to focus on the issue of bicycling insurance. This is her first story for BikePortland. She has also compiled a list of existing insurance options as part of a three-part series on The Bicycle Insurance Gap.


It’s not an uncommon scenario: You’re riding down the street and are in a collision resulting in a trip to the hospital and a totaled bike. The person driving the car does not have insurance, and may suffer the legal penalty.

Either way, you are stuck with medical bills, a broken bike, time off work, and little recourse — unless you have your own car and auto insurance.[Read more…]