Legal Brief – Get Better Coverage

Why every rider should care about what their auto and homeowner’s insurance policies can do for them.

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Legal Brief – US

Most riders won’t spend much time thinking about insurance. After all, what good could a car insurance policy do for you when you’ve been doored? And who cares about renter’s insurance when your bike was stolen off of the street?

Every rider should care and it’s important to be thinking about what your auto and homeowner’s insurance policies can do for you. As it turns out, these policies can mean the difference between getting slammed with medical bills or the cost of a new bike, and having those expenses paid in full.

If a driver crashes into you, their insurance policy should cover your expenses. But sometimes, the offending driver’s policy won’t cover everything. This is where your existing auto insurance policy comes into play. Your policy doesn’t just cover you when you’re driving, it can also apply when riding your bike. And that means any bike – including e-bikes and bike share systems.

Insurance companies in most states offer Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist coverage with standard auto policies. Underinsurance provides extra coverage if the driver’s policy is not enough to cover your injuries and medical bills. And if it turns out that the driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance, or if you were the victim of a hit and run, the Uninsured Motorist coverage from your auto policy can compensate you for your injuries.

To make sure that you are covered, it’s important to get at least $100,000 in Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist coverage. That might sound like a lot, but depending on where you live, adding Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist coverage to your auto policy can be incredibly inexpensive, sometimes running only $20 per year.

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is another frequently overlooked but beneficial option for everyday riders. This type of insurance covers any theft of your property – from anywhere. In other words, it’s not just stuff that’s stolen from your house that’s protected.

Homeowner’s insurance can also protect you if you find yourself on the offending end of a crash. These policies provide personal liability coverage – usually starting around $300,000. Having this protection means that if you cause a collision with a pedestrian or another cyclist while riding your bike, your insurance will pay for their injuries if you are found to be at-fault.

Like Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist coverage, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is often affordable – usually about $120 per year. So don’t wait, go get some insurance before you need it.


Josh Zisson is a bike lawyer in Boston, MA. He rides the safest bike on the road and writes about bike safety and the law at bikesafe.com@BikeSafeBoston

5 Comments

  • Mike Schwab

    http://www.betterworldclub.com/insurance/bicycle-insurance.cfm
    Several articles and two options. Better World started as a bicycle ?towing? service (ride to hotel or bicycle shop).

  • Mike Schwab

    Renters insurance only covers damage you might cause to the house, homeowners covers many other causes. Otherwise they cover your personal property and liability, including away from the home.

    • Paddy

      That makes sense Mike but I what I’m getting at is – what differences do these two policy types have as they relate to coverage of a policy owner on a bicycle outside of their residence.

  • niklas

    thanks — i didn’t know that auto insurance included biking. what if you don’ own a car? i dropped my state farm auto included when i got rid of my car and the company did not want to give me insurance without a car. i wouldn’t mind paying for some sort of occasional driving insurance to have coverage on the one or two days per month i drive a friend’s or rent a car. — and i still have renter’s insurance with them. do i have options?

  • Paddy

    Could anyone clarify how homeowners and renters insurance may be different in this regard?

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