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Why Do Bike Commuters Need Auto Insurance?

November 4, 2020
Auto Insurance Bicycle

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I recently wrote a story about Adelaide Perr, a Boulder-based bicyclist who was hit by a car in 2014. Today, she is riding again (and recently released a book about her experience) but she is also on a mission to make bikers safer and to make them buy auto insurance.

Even if you ONLY ride a bike and you NEVER drive a car, you should purchase auto insurance. Why? Because if someone hits you, they likely won’t have enough insurance coverage to pay your medical bills, so you’d better protect yourself.

In fact, Adelaide won’t even go on rides with friends who don’t have auto insurance.

“I know a lot of friends who are bike commuters – they don’t have cars, so they don’t think they need insurance,” says Adelaide. “Just last week, I told a friend, ‘If I’m going to ride with you, I have to know you have insurance!’”

Her friends may not know it, but Adelaide might be saving them from financial ruin.


Why Bikers Need Auto Insurance

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Imagine you are on a ride, minding all the rules of the road, and a car pulls out in front of you. You T-bone the car, fly into the sky, and land many feet away. Your injuries, if not fatal, will be severe.

If that driver only carries the minimum car insurance required in the state of Colorado – which is what most drivers carry – you will only have access to their $25,000 policy. In most bicycle crashes that I see in the Denver metro area, that amount will hardly cover your first day of medical care.

I can hear you asking, “But what if I have health insurance?” Well, good for you! You should! But health insurance has co-pays, which can add up very quickly in a hospital stay. How will you pay for those?

And what about your lost work? And what if your injuries require years of treatment?

If you have auto insurance, you can access your own auto policy after a bicycle crash, even if you weren’t at fault. Therefore, you should buy as much insurance as you can afford, and you should also purchase Underinsured Motorist Coverage.


Why Bikers Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage

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As I explained before, most Colorado drivers only carry the minimum amount of insurance covered by law ($25,000) and far too many don’t carry any insurance at all, which is illegal but they do it anyway. If you add Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) to your policy, you will have yet another layer of coverage to access in the event of a bicycle accident.

So, you could access the following sources to help pay your bills after a bicycle crash:

  • The at-fault driver’s auto insurance
  • Your auto insurance
  • Your UIM coverage

And UIM covers a lot more than you might expect. UIM policies cover the following:

  • Lost wages
  • Future medical expenses
  • Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
  • All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering

Get Auto Insurance Before Your Next Bike Ride

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I strongly advise that you call your insurance agent today and purchase auto insurance. (If that agent tells you that you don’t need UIM, read this article and insist that they sell it to you.)

If you have any questions or have recently been involved in a bicycle accident, contact our Denver personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

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