A guide to bicycle insurance options

A three part series about bike commuters that don’t have car insurance.  from bikeportland.org

Here is an excerpt from Part two

So what’s a car-free, health insurance free, cycle-commuter to do? There is no outright equivalent to car insurance offered to those who don’t own cars, but here are some ways our sources have found to fill in the holes:

  • Home owners or renters insurance will cover theft or severe damage of your bicycle (usually, varies by policy). These sorts of insurance are often packaged with auto insurance; home owners with auto insurance have an option of an additional $1,000,000 liability coverage. Renters insurance is extremely cheap (often under $15 a month) and may include personal liability coverage as well.
  • USA Cycling and Adventure Advocates offer emergency medical coverage for their members. The insurance is intended as a supplement to basic health insurance to cover gaps left by high deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance, but it can be purchased by a member having no insurance. The most comprehensive plan is $46 dollars a month and has a $500 deductible and a $10,000 benefit.
  • TriBike Insurance offers accident insurance specifically for triathletes. Their insurance plan has a benefit amount of $20,000, offers optional “excess liability” coverage for damage done to others’ property, and also covers damage to your bicycle. To sign up, your bike must cost at least $3,000.
  • Although there is nothing preventing the non-competitive average Joe or Jane with a fancy bike from signing up for either TriBike Insurance or Adventure Advocates, representatives from both assured me their plans are not appropriate for commuters.
  • Bike lawyer Ray Thomas recommends purchasing a cheap clunker car, insuring it to cover potential collisions, and parking it permanently in your driveway.
  • Another suggestion from Ray Thomas is to pay a friend, family member, or housemate to add you as a “driver” to their auto insurance policy.
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