« When it comes to new homes, bigger is again better. The median size of new homes built for sale peaked in 2007 at 2,295 square feet, then fell to 2,159 two years later, after the housing crisis hit. | Main | McMansion is logical progression »

Important type of insurance coverage that cyclists should have, besides their own health insurance, is the UM/UIM coverage on their automobile insurance policy.

The most important type of coverage that cyclists should have, besides their own health insurance, is the UM/UIM coverage on their automobile insurance policy. Yep, that's right, your auto policy provides protection for YOU in case you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, including a hit and run driver.

This protection, called "UM/UIM" coverage, protects you if you are hit by another driver who is uninsured (that's the "UM" in the coverage). Your UM coverage also means you're covered in a hit and run. You're also covered if you're hit by an underinsured driver (that's the "UIM" in the coverage). This part of your policy covers you if the driver who hit you is insured, but for less than is necessary to cover payment for your injuries.

For example, in some states, "contact" may be required for your UM/UIM coverage to kick in. So if you were actually hit by the driver who left crossed you, your UM/UIM coverage can kick in as needed. If the driver caused you to crash without actually making contact, you're not going to be able to use your UM/UIM coverage. Again, this is not the law in every state, but it's something you should ask your insurance agent about.

And even if your state does allow you to use your UM/UIM coverage, your battle may not be over. When an uninsured driver hits you, your own insurance company will stand in the shoes of the driver and will have all the same defenses against you that the driver would have. For example, your own insurance company can argue that you are partially to blame for the crash. In that way, they become your adversary, even though you paid for this coverage in your premium charges.

Property damage may not be covered by your UM/UIM coverage. So if your bike got destroyed when that uninsured or underinsured driver hit you, your UM/UIM policy may not cover you for the loss. To find out exactly what your policy covers, and what it doesn't cover, you need to check with your agent. And if you don't like the exclusions on your policy, shop around to find a policy that you do like.

Bob Mionske is a former competitive cyclist.

See also the New York bike lawyer Daniel-Flanzig an Bike Law Network.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)