I suspect that like many cyclists, I’ve never really spent much time thinking about how, or what, insurance would cover an incident should something serious happen to me on the bike. But a friend of mine, who happens to be a bike attorney here in Chicago, dropped some useful information in our cycling group chat the other day. All of which, was news to me.
While I haven’t spent energy on the insurance aspect, it’s hard not to contemplate how vulnerable we are on the road, and how quickly a great day out could become something life changing. So while I try not to take myself too seriously here, or contemplate my mortality [out-loud]. Given that youthful invincibility fades quickly, and is usually indirectly proportional to our assets, skill (in the workplace, not on the bike ;)), and responsibilities. I thought it would be worth sharing his advice more broadly.
Many cyclists, even very experienced ones, are unaware that the insurance they have on their car may actually be used if they are involved in a bicycle crash. In fact, any family member that lives in the household may use this policy as well. This coverage is called Uninsured Motorist (UM), if the at-fault party has no insurance or Underinsured Motorist (UIM) if the at-fault party has a policy amount less than yours. This is the only way you can control, prior to a crash, how much coverage is available to fully compensate you for your injuries and lost wages if you are involved in a crash. I highly recommend you talk to your auto insurance carrier to be sure you have UM/UIM coverage. You should price out the cost of increasing the coverage because if you are hit while riding, you want to be sure you are covered, regardless of the insurance of the negligent driver.