Insurance Options For Florida Bicyclists
The last thing you may want to think about when getting on your bike for a pleasure ride or to commute to work is the possibility of an accident, but we all know that accidents do happen. Even the most careful cyclists may fall, or be involved in a collision with a vehicle, pedestrian, or another cyclist. Before an accident happens, make sure you are protected for the three types of the expense that may result from an accident:
- Injuries to yourself: You will want to make sure you are covered for your own injuries, whether from a fall, or if you are struck by a car, or if you injure someone else.
- Injuries to others: If you are in an accident on your bike and the accident is your fault, liability insurance will protect you if you are sued for damages from injuries to another person.
- Property damage: Your bike is a valuable asset. You want to know that you can repair or replace it if it is damaged or destroyed in an accident.
There are several types of insurance that may cover you in a bicycle accident. Knowing what options are available with different types of insurance policies will allow you to purchase the coverage you need before an accident. Don’t assume you are covered; do your homework before you ride.
Florida Auto Insurance
If you own a car in the state of Florida, you are required to carry PIP insurance. PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, is a no-fault insurance system that covers medical expenses up to a limit of $10,000, regardless of who was at fault in an accident. Your PIP insurance will cover you if you are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle while on your bike. Even if you do not own a car, if you live in a household with someone who does own a car, their PIP insurance may cover you. Since PIP coverage for household members is optional, ask your family member if they have PIP for household members on their policy.
PIP insurance will cover your medical bills and lost wages up to the $10,000 limit, but will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your bike. The amount of coverage is also limited: PIP will pay 80% of your medical expenses, and 60% of your lost wages, up to the $10,000 limit.
PIP is also limited to motor vehicle accidents, so it will not cover you if you fall.
If you own a car, you will have the option of adding MedPay benefits to your policy. MedPay may cover your medical expenses over the PIP limit if you are hit by a car.
Florida Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you are in an accident with a motor vehicle, the owner of that vehicle is required by law to carry PIP insurance, and $10,000 property damage coverage. The property damage limit should cover the cost of repairing or replacing your bike, but the $10,000 PIP coverage may not be enough.
Car owners in Florida are not required to carry liability insurance above the $10,000 PIP limit. You may have the right to sue the driver, but if he is not insured, chances are that you will be unable to actually collect any damages. Uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy will protect you if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver. You may purchase any amount of coverage, limited only by the price you are willing to pay.
Your uninsured motorist coverage will compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you own more than one vehicle, you may purchase “stackable” UM coverage. Stackable coverage means that you can use both policies to cover you. For example, if you have $100,000 worth of UM coverage on each vehicle, with “stackable” coverage, you may collect up to $200,000 for one accident.
Florida Homeowner’s Insurance
Your auto insurance will not cover you in a bicycle accident unless a motor vehicle was involved. If you own a home, you may use your homeowner’s insurance to cover you and your bicycle.
The most obvious way in which homeowner’s insurance can help is in the event of theft or damage from fire, floods, or other covered hazards. There will be a deductible, which may render the insurance almost useless if your bike was fairly inexpensive, or if the deductible is high enough. Homeowner’s policies may also limit the amount of coverage for bicycles and other sports equipment, so if your bike is very valuable, make sure you have an endorsement to your policy to cover its full replacement value.
The main limit to homeowner’s insurance is that it will not cover you if your bicycle is damaged or destroyed in a fall or accident. It will also not cover you if you injure someone while riding your bike.
Florida Bicycle Insurance
Yes, bicycle insurance does exist, and it may be a good investment if you ride a lot, and if your bicycle is particularly valuable. Bicycle insurance works the same way as car insurance and can cover theft, repair or replacement of your bicycle after a crash, and liability if you are at fault in an accident.
Stand-alone bicycle insurance is the only type of insurance that will cover your medical bills and property damage if you fall. Keep in mind that the medical coverage will only supplement your existing health insurance, but it may help you pay co-pays or deductibles. Bicycle insurance is also the only type of insurance that will provide liability coverage if you are at fault in an accident that does not involve a motor vehicle. Bicycle insurance policies may also offer optional coverage for roadside assistance and bicycle rental while your bike is being repaired.
Choose the Best Florida Insurance For You
For casual riders, a combination of homeowner’s and auto insurance is probably sufficient to cover you and your bicycle. Commuters and more serious riders may decide to purchase stand-alone bicycle insurance for an extra layer of protection. Make sure to talk to your agent to make sure that your homeowner’s auto or bicycle insurance policies provide the coverage you need, and that the level of coverage you choose is cost-effective.