You enjoy bike riding in Ft. Lauderdale, where there are more than 29 bike trails covering 142 miles. Maybe you prefer riding the beach areas of West Palm Beach or take to the open roads in Miami.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the United States during 2018.
Miami is known to have some of the deadliest roads in the United States. This includes areas like Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, and Crandon Park. As a bicyclist, you need to be aware of high danger zones where auto-bike accidents are more likely.
If you are involved in a bike accident one of the first things you need do is call a bike accident attorney. They can advise you on filing your insurance claim and make sure you receive compensation for losses.
Let’s take a look at what to do immediately following an accident and what is available in bicycle insurance coverage.
Gather Important Information
There are several steps to take when an accident happens. To satisfy your insurance you need to file an accident report with the police. While waiting for officers to arrive gather as much information as possible, including names and phone numbers of witnesses.
Take photos of the accident scene. This includes an overview of the area, your bike, the automobile that collided with you, and road conditions.
Do not make any statements that can be used against you in the future. This includes apologizing for the incident. Do not state you are okay and do not refuse medical treatment.
Preserve the Evidence
When filing a claim your insurance company will require evidence that an accident happened. Do not have your bike repaired and keep clothing with stains or damage. These may be necessary to prove your claim.
Do not sign any settlement offers the insurance company sends you. Their job is to collect premiums and make money. They will act like your friend while trying to get you to accept a low settlement.
Have a bike accident lawyer review any settlement offers prior to signing. The attorney will gather information from you about the incident and review the police report. They will know if any laws were violated, such as the requirement for 3 feet of space between an automobile and bicyclist.
Insurance Coverage on Bikes
What insurance you have for your home and automobile and the type of bike riding you do are relevant to bike insurance coverage. There are more than 40,000 bike accidents every year, and of those 13,300 are bikers hit by an automobile. Make sure you have the proper coverage in case an accident occurs.
Auto Insurance Coverage
Florida provides protection for bicyclists on their auto insurance. If a rider is hit by a motor vehicle the bicyclist’s auto insurance provides medical benefits. This is handled under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefit.
The coverage under PIP is usually about $10,000 for medical bills and/or lost wages. This only applies if the crash involved an automobile. It does not apply if you were in a solo accident or you were in a bike crash with another rider or a pedestrian.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance Coverage
The insurance you have on your residence generally includes personal property coverage up to a specific amount. Your bicycle is considered personal property. Depending on the cost of your bike and other valuables, you might exceed the threshold and need a rider to guarantee coverage.
When purchasing extra coverage make sure the cost of your bike is correct. The bike will be repaired or replaced at the insurance company’s discretion. A bike insurance rider will usually cover the cost of any bike accessories damaged in an accident.
Professional riders, such as a delivery service on a bike, will not be covered by a homeowner’s policy. When using your bike professionally you need to purchase biker’s insurance. Insurance policies created specifically for bicycles offer more comprehensive coverage.
Bicycle Insurance Policies
Insurance policies that are designed specifically for bicycle riders have more options. As a frequent rider, these extras will be beneficial if you are in an auto-bike collision.
Bike and Accessories
Having your bike repaired or replaced, including all accessories such as your GPS and HR monitors can be costly. Your bike will be covered if it is damaged in a collision, if you hit an object, or if you suffer a loss due to vandalism, theft, or fire. The coverage will most likely have a deductible somewhere between $100 to $500.
If you participate in bike events and your bike is damaged during the event you may be able to have bike rental up to $250 covered by bike insurance.
If you are no longer able to participate in an event because of damage to your bike, your insurance may reimburse you for the non-refundable portion of your entry fee. This coverage usually has a maximum of $500 coverage.
Serious bikers may have coverage for their kit of spare parts if they are damaged during an accident. Cycling apparel damaged during the accident is also covered. Coverage is usually $500 per accident, and a yearly total of $1,000 for spare parts and/or clothing.
Roadside assistance is a good option if you bike long distances. Coverage for only about $12 per year to have 24-hour emergency coverage is a bargain. This coverage usually includes transportation for you and your bike up to 35 miles.
Depending on your riding habits, you may want to look into specialty policies. This includes triathlon bike insurance for those who spend a lot of time on the road training. There is also commuter bike insurance for people that use their bikes to commute to their workplace.
Electric bikes are usually not covered by homeowners and renters insurance contracts. You will need to purchase a special policy.
Cycling liability insurance provides coverage for damage or injury you cause to other people or property. The insurance covers costs you may be liable for including sickness, injury, death, or property damage. The levels of coverage available are $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000.
Liability insurance does not cover your personal medical needs or equipment damage. You can purchase medical payment coverage to pay your own medical bills. This works as a supplement to your personal medical insurance and has limits that range between $1,000 to $10,000.
Register with Bike Index
In addition to accident coverage, most insurance policies cover theft. For a little extra protection consider using a bike index. This is a service where you register your bike information with Bike Index in case of theft. Out of the 382,807 bikes registered, they were able to recover 7,273 stolen bikes.
Hire a Bike Accident Attorney
If you are in a bike accident, you deserve the compensation you are entitled to. Schedule a consultation with an experienced bike accident attorney.
The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Vivo specializes in bike accidents. They know how to seek coverage for property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today (561) 665-1130 for a free consultation.