Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Cyclists

Jerry Bowman, Owner and Managing Attorney

Bicycle Accidents
September 8, 2014
Uninsured Motorist Coverage for Cyclists

A bike accident is serious enough to send a cyclist to the hospital can result in enormous hospital bills. In a serious bike accident, what options do cyclists have to cover medical expenses and other damages? Unfortunately, the only way cyclists can ensure they are compensated for injuries is through the option of uninsured motorist coverage for cyclists.

Our Denver bicycle accident lawyers understand the enormous impact a bike accident can have on victims and their families. In some countries, insurance policies are available for cyclists, providing comprehensive and all-encompassing insurance coverage for cyclists. These amazing policies can cover liability, personal injury, property damage, and even theft. Unfortunately, no insurance company in America offers insurance just for cyclists.

The reality is that most states require motorists to carry $25,000.00 in bodily injury coverage. Notwithstanding this legal requirement, some drivers continue to operate their vehicle without insurance because they cannot afford the premiums or they have a poor driving record. Alternatively, a cyclist could be the victim of a hit-and-run. Under each scenario, cyclists may experience difficulty making ends meet because there is no insurance to cover their injuries. Moreover, even if a driver carries the state minimum, hospital bills can add up quickly, oftentimes far surpassing the available coverage.

What Insurance Options Do I Have?

Very few people realize automobile insurance will also cover cyclists. Through a policyholder’s Uninsured Motorist coverage (“UM”), cyclists can use their auto policy to get medical treatment. UM coverage kicks in when an at-fault driver does not have insurance. By way of example, if a cyclist has $100,000.00 in UM coverage on their auto policy, and suffers $100,000.00 in damages in an accident caused by the negligence of a motorist with no insurance or in a hit-and-run, the cyclist’s auto insurance steps into the shoes of the at-fault driver’s insurance.

Similarly, Underinsured Motorist coverage (“UIM”) would make up the difference when an at-fault driver had insurance, but the limits were insufficient. Essentially, UIM coverage is designed to fill the gap between damages following an accident and the insurance limits of the at-fault driver. For example, if a cyclist was struck by a motorist who carried $25,000.00 in insurance but incurred $50,000.00 in medical bills, the cyclist could still be fully compensated through a combination of the two policies.

Finally, cyclists can use Medical Payments Coverage (“Med Pay”) in the event of an accident with an automobile.  Med Pay is a form of insurance that covers medical bills resulting from a motor vehicle collision, regardless of who is at fault. Med Pay will also pay a cyclists’ deductibles and co-pays. Med Pay is inexpensive and can prove to be extremely helpful in the unfortunate event of a bicycle accident.

The good news is that all three forms of insurance are relatively inexpensive to purchase. In fact, all three are by far the least expensive components of auto insurance coverage. Our Denver bicycle accident lawyers advise our clients to purchase the highest UM, UIM, and Med Pay limits they can afford because they very well could be the only insurance available in the event of an accident with a vehicle. One final point worthy of highlighting is that all three aforementioned forms of insurance cover relatives living in the same household as a policyholder.

What if I Do Not Own a Car?

At the present time, the only way to obtain bike accident insurance is to purchase an inexpensive vehicle. This is unfortunate because some riders in Denver have sworn off vehicles entirely and use bikes as the sole means of transportation. While it may seem like an idiot step for bike zealots to purchase a vehicle in order to protect themselves from a catastrophic accident, it may be the only solution.

While insurance companies have done a great job calculating accident frequency for car usage, there are no accurate figures for cyclists. In the future, perhaps this information will be made available to underwriters in order to provide insurance for those who depend exclusively on the bicycle for transportation. There certainly would be many potential customers in Denver who would purchase uninsured motorist coverage for cyclists. In the meantime, our Denver bicycle accident lawyers urge all cyclists to update their insurance to ensure they are covered in the event of an accident.

Denver Bicycle Accident Lawyers

For more information or if you have been in a bike accident, you can contact our Denver bicycle accident lawyers today at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle AccidentsBicycle AccidentsPedestrian AccidentsSlip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.