How your car insurance can help you with a bicycle crash.

Most people are unaware that a standard car insurance policy will provide some coverage for the insured even when they are not in a car. Most car insurance policies will provide medical payments coverage for an insured while they are a “pedestrian”. Good news for cyclists is that the definition of “pedestrian” includes cyclists. 


Bike accidents happen, sometimes they are self induced, sometimes they occur when we get tangled up with another cyclists, and all too often they occur when a road cyclists is struck by a car. Any bicycle crash can be painful, some can take months to years to recover from. Health insurance should step in for some medical bills, but as we all know there are many co-pays, deductibles and other expenses that are not covered. This is where your car insurance policy can help. The following coverages are available on Idaho car insurance policies and should be taken advantage of by any road cyclist.


Medical Payments: This coverage ranges from $1,000 to $25,000 for most insurance companies. This coverage is designed to pay for medical bills that health insurance doesn’t fully cover and applies to you and everyone in your vehicle. It also applies to you while you are on your bicycle if you are struck by a car. I always recommend to max this coverage out at $25,000. The coverage is very inexpensive and well worth it.


Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: There continues to be an unfortunate trend of more and more drivers driving without insurance. Yes it is illegal, but the other driver receiving a citation for no insurance does nothing to help with your medical expenses. Uninsured motorist bodily injury is meant to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. after you suffer a collision with a vehicle. Again this applies to cyclists as well. This coverage is often provided in a “split limit” of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. The next option is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. What this means is that if you are out riding and hit by an uninsured vehicle, your insurance policy will provide $50-100k for your medical and recovery expenses. A combined single limit coverage of $300,000 is even better. 


Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Like the uninsured coverage, this coverage is designed to make up for a lack in the other driver’s insurance. Idaho state minimum liability limits for drivers is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. If you are hit by a driver who has state minimum limits you will only get $25,000 for your medical and recovery expenses. As anyone who has recovered from a bad bicycle accident can tell you, that $25,000 won’t go very far. Underinsured motorist coverage pays above the limits of the at fault driver to the limits of your coverage. So if the at fault coverage only provides $25,000 and you have $100/300 limits on your policy, your policy will provide another $75,000 toward your recovery. 


For road cyclists I recommend a minimum of $25,000 for medical payments coverage and $100/300 for uninsured and underinsured bodily injury coverage. Combined single limit coverage of $300-500k is even better. Increases in liability coverage are relatively inexpensive and well worth the slight increase in cost if you ever need it. 


If you have questions about these important coverages please give us a call. We would be happy to go over your current insurance coverage and provide recommendations on any changes that might be necessary. 


We hope you never have need of these insurance coverages but if you do, knowing you have good coverage limits can provide peace of mind for you and your family. Keep the shiny side up and happy riding!