In the state of Florida, you are not required to have insurance on your bicycle. But what happens if you are involved in an accident? Do cyclists need it? The answer is yes, you should have coverage on your bike, especially if it is an expensive bike. There are several factors you should consider, but the fact is you might have insurance and not even know it.
What happens when a car hits a bicycle?
When a vehicle collides with a bike, no matter who is at fault, they turn to their own insurance company to cover medical expenses. The insurance policies in Florida have what they call PIP built into the policy, which stands for Personal Injury Protection. It must be noted that Florida law requires drivers to have car insurance. If you are in an accident in Florida with an automobile, your automobile insurance will be used to pay a degree of your medical bills.
PIP coverage (yours and theirs) pays 80% of related medical expenses up to a maximum of $10,000. After you have used these benefits, your health insurance company begins to pay as your secondary insurance. When you are admitted to the hospital, you should give them your car insurance information and your health insurance information, so you can keep up with who is paying and for what. Your health insurance should pay for copays and the balance of the bill.
What about my bicycle?
The medical part of accidents in Florida is relatively clear. Where it becomes confusing is when you begin to ask about pain and suffering, bike replacement, time off work, and additional expenses. Florida is a state that says both parties have a hand in the accident. They may rule that the car driver was 90% to blame and you were 10% to blame.
The two insurance companies will try to come to an agreement on the dollar amount to make you whole. Then they will reduce the amount by the 10% that they judged to be your fault. If you agree to the settlement, you are finished. If you or your attorney feels that it is not enough, prepare to go to court.
What about bikes that are stolen?
Many people believe that their home insurance or renter’s insurance will cover the cost of their bike if it is stolen. This is true to a certain degree. The fact is they do not have to give you what you paid for the bike. They give you the depreciated value of the bike. They take the age of the bike into consideration and how often it was used. This is also true for a standard renter’s insurance policy. They will pay you a depreciated value of what they consider the bike is worth today.
You will need to file a police report showing the bike theft was reported, and you will have to pay your deductible. If you spent a lot of money on the bike, it is worth filing the claim on. However, be aware, they will not pay for any accessories you added to the bike.
Read your policy and know your coverage because an accident can be costly. If you are injured in an accident, call an attorney help review your policy and discuss your legal options.