Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?

June 2, 2024

By Promoting Justice

Bicycling is a popular recreational activity enjoyed by many, offering a healthy and cost-effective means of transportation; however, accidents can sometimes mar the joy of cycling, raising questions about liability and insurance coverage. In the event of a bicycle accident, understanding whether homeowners’ insurance provides coverage can be helpful for both cyclists and property owners. Discover the answer to “Does homeowners’ insurance cover bicycle accidents?”, and find out how a Vermont personal injury attorney can aid those looking to make a bike accident legal claim; call Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer at (802) 457-4848 for assistance today.

What Is Homeowners’ Insurance?

Homeowners’ insurance is an insurance policy that provides financial protection against damages to a home and the assets within it. Typically, it covers losses or damages to the physical structure of the home, personal belongings, liability for injuries or property damage to others, and additional living expenses if a covered event takes place, such as a burglary or fire. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) states that while homeowners’ insurance often does not cover damage from some unforeseen events like floods or earthquakes, it could be possible to add this type of coverage for an additional fee, depending on the provider.

What Are Bicycle Accidents?

Bicycle accidents can occur in various settings, from busy city streets to quiet suburban neighborhoods. They can involve collisions with vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary objects, leading to injuries and property damage.

These accidents may result from factors such as distracted drivers, poor road conditions, or a lack of visibility. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2021, just under 1,000 cyclists died in traffic collisions in the United States.

What Is Liability in a Bicycle Accident, and Why Does It Matter?

In a bicycle accident, liability determines the fault or legal responsibility assigned to one or several parties involved in the event. Below are several key points regarding bicycle accidents and liability.

Financial Responsibility

Liability in a bicycle accident establishes which party is financially responsible for the various costs related to the incident, including the cyclist’s medical bills concerning any injuries sustained, replacement or repair expenses for damaged bicycles, and property damage reimbursement. The responsible party or their insurer usually compensates the injured person for these costs.

Insurance Coverage

Several insurance policies have a structure in place resulting in payouts when the policyholder is liable for an accident. This connectivity between insurance protection and liability means that if an individual is responsible for a bicycle-related accident, their insurance policy might cover the related costs. Homeowners’ insurance could potentially offer coverage for bicycle accidents if the policyholder caused the incident.

Legal Consequences

In legal proceedings following a bicycle accident, liability is often a central issue. When disputes arise regarding fault assignment or the parties cannot agree on compensation, this issue might escalate to litigation. Liability can significantly impact the insurance claim or lawsuit’s end result, emphasizing the importance of determining causation and responsibility for the accident.

Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?

Homeowners’ insurance coverage can help address bicycle accidents that occur on or near a property. In some cases, homeowners may be liable for accidents involving cyclists. If this happens, homeowners’ insurance policies may provide coverage for bicycle accidents under certain conditions, with the eligibility dictated by the terms of the insurance policy and the details of the accident.

For example, homeowners’ insurance may offer coverage for the medical expenses resulting from the injuries sustained by the cyclist. Additionally, it may extend to property damage, such as repair or replacement costs for the bicycle. Since the extent of this coverage can vary, the recommended approach is to consider consulting with insurance providers to clarify what the insurance policy precisely covers.

What To Do After a Bicycle Accident To Help Your Bicycle Insurance Claim

When involved in a bicycle accident, taking certain steps can significantly impact a person’s insurance claim and help them navigate the claims process more effectively. Here are some noteworthy actions to consider:

  • Ensure safety first: After an accident, prioritize the safety and well-being of those involved by moving to a safe location and assessing any injuries sustained.
  • Seek medical attention: Even if no injuries are apparent, it is advisable to seek medical evaluation as soon as possible, particularly as some injuries may not have immediate symptoms.
  • Document the scene: Gather relevant information such as the other party’s contact details, insurance particulars, and any witnesses’ contact information.
  • Notify the insurance company: Inform the insurance provider about the accident promptly and provide them with a factual account of the events.
  • Consult an attorney: If there are complexities in the accident or potential disputes, consider seeking legal advice for guidance on a suitable course of action.
  • Preserve evidence: Keep records of medical reports, repair estimates, and any correspondence related to the accident since this documentation can support an insurance claim.
  • Understand the insurance policy: Review the homeowners’ insurance policy to understand what coverage it may provide for bicycle accidents.

How an Insurance Company Covers Bicycle Accidents

Insurance companies approach coverage for bicycle accidents differently, depending on the policy terms and incident specifics. Below is more information concerning how insurers cover various types of bicycle accidents.

Accident Between Two Bikes

When a bicycle accident occurs between two cyclists, the insurance coverage provided by a homeowners’ policy may not apply directly. In such cases, specialized bicycle insurance from third-party insurers could offer more tailored coverage, including third-party liability, personal accident coverage, legal defense costs, and coverage for medical expenses, loss of income, and bike replacement. Policy costs for this specialized coverage typically range from $45 to $100 per year, depending on the insurer and the level of coverage selected.

Acquire a more detailed response to “Does homeowners’ insurance cover bicycle accidents?”, and consider reaching out to an experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorney for assistance with these legal claims. Contact Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer today by completing an online form.

Accident Between a Bicycle and a Motor Vehicle

In scenarios where a bicycle accident involves a motor vehicle, homeowners’ insurance may not always suffice to cover all related expenses; here, the automobile insurance policy of the driver involved in the accident may determine coverage. Various elements of the auto insurance policy, such as bodily injury liability, personal injury protection (PIP), or MedPay coverage, could cover the medical expenses and other costs resulting from the accident. Policyholders might consider reviewing their auto insurance coverage to understand the extent of protection available for bicycle-related accidents.

Accident Between a Bicycle and a Pedestrian

If a bicycle accident involves a pedestrian, homeowners’ insurance may offer coverage under personal liability provisions. While the terms of coverage can vary, some homeowners’ insurance policies include provisions for personal liability situations that occur outside the insured property. This coverage may help cover damages resulting from accidents where the homeowner is liable even if the incident does not directly involve the homeowner’s property.

Accident Between a Bicycle and a Stationary Object

In cases where a bicycle collides with a stationary object, coverage for property damage or personal injury under a homeowners’ insurance policy may apply, depending on the policy terms. Homeowners’ insurance can sometimes extend coverage to bicycle accidents that occur near the insured property, covering the costs associated with property damage or injuries caused by the accident. Reviewing the specific terms of the policy and consulting with the insurance company can clarify the extent of coverage available for accidents involving bicycles and stationary objects.

When Do I Need Separate Bicycle Insurance?

When considering whether to secure separate bicycle insurance, individuals may want to evaluate their usage and the risks involved in their biking activities, alongside the value of their biking equipment and the potential coverage gaps in their existing insurance policies. Here are some scenarios where obtaining specialized bicycle insurance may be beneficial:

  • High-value bicycles: For cyclists owning expensive bikes, especially those with high-end components or custom features, a standard homeowners’ insurance policy may not provide adequate coverage in the event of theft or damage. In such cases, opting for scheduled personal property endorsements specifically tailored for valuable items can ensure comprehensive protection.
  • Racing or competitive cycling: If an individual actively participates in racing or competitive cycling events, a traditional homeowners’ insurance policy may not cover structural damage sustained during these activities. To safeguard against such risks, seeking coverage from bike insurance specialists, such as Velosurance or Sundays Insurance, known for their expertise in bike-related coverage, is advisable.
  • Greater liability concerns: Cyclists who frequently ride in high-traffic or densely populated areas may face greater liability risks in the event of an accident. Separate bicycle insurance can offer extensive liability coverage, including coverage for third-party property damage or bodily injuries, beyond the limits of a standard homeowners’ policy.
  • Additional medical payments coverage: Injuries sustained in bicycle accidents can result in substantial medical expenses. Supplementing existing insurance with specialized bicycle insurance can provide additional coverage for medical payments, ensuring financial protection in case of accidents resulting in bodily harm.
  • Customized coverage: Unlike homeowners’ insurance, which may have limitations on coverage for specialized bicycle equipment or accessories, separate bicycle insurance policies can offer customized coverage options tailored to the unique needs of cyclists. This can include coverage for racing gear, upgraded components, or accessories that may not be fully protected under a standard homeowners’ policy.

How Much Does Bike Insurance Cost?

When considering bike insurance, the cost can vary based on several factors. At the time of writing, the expenditure for a standalone bike insurance policy typically ranges from $100 to $300 per year. These costs may differ depending on the type of bike owned and the individual’s specific insurance needs; for people who own a high-value bike, engage in off-road cycling, participate in competitive events, or have made significant modifications to their bike, a more comprehensive insurance policy might be necessary.

Worth noting is that any upgrades to a bike can increase its value, and the insurance coverage for the bike should reflect this updated value to ensure adequate protection. While sometimes costly, keep in mind that the cost of bike insurance is a worthwhile investment to safeguard this valuable asset and provide vital protection in case of accidents or theft.

Can I Make a Claim for a Bike Collision if the Driver Had No Insurance?

In situations where an uninsured driver is at fault for a bicycle collision, certain insurance options may still provide coverage for the cyclist. If the driver responsible for the collision does not have insurance, the cyclist may still be able to seek coverage through their own insurance policies. In cases where the uninsured driver causes the accident, the cyclist’s underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage could take effect; this type of coverage is specifically designed to protect individuals when they experience an accident with a motorist lacking sufficient coverage or insurance.

Contact a Vermont, New Hampshire, and Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today

Liability helps determine financial responsibility for the costs arising from bicycle accidents, including medical bills, bike repairs, and property damage, and homeowners who find themselves in situations where a bicycle accident occurs on or near their property may wonder about the extent of coverage their insurance offers. Exploring the connection between liability, insurance protection, and homeowners’ policies can shed light on the potential outcomes for both cyclists and property owners in such unfortunate incidents. Gain a more detailed answer to “Does homeowners’ insurance cover bicycle accidents?”, and learn how a seasoned Florida personal injury attorney from Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer can aid injured cyclists; contact the firm by calling (802) 457-4848.