With the school season kicking off, parents are updating all of their insurance coverages. As your kids head off to their first rental property, it can save both you and them a lot of headache by double checking your coverages. Renter’s coverage is something many […]
No self-respecting Bicycle Advocacy blog would be complete without a nod to Casey Neistat’s “Bike Lanes” video that draw attention to the hazards that bike commuters face on a daily basis. Cyclists have to be defensive, and often the laws are not in our favor. […]
There are so many things in life that I just assume are insured. Sometimes I think I should take a closer look. My bicycle is one of those things.
Heck, my road bike alone is at least $1,600 to replace it. And my mountain bike is worth another $800.
If something happened to them, it could set me back both monetarily and fitness-wise.
Note: Your coverage may be different. This post is not legal advice and does not discuss any one particular coverage. Coverages change frequently, and this post makes no attempts to maintain accuracy. Check with your provider to get accurate details.
Most homeowners insurance only covers bicycles that are stolen or damaged on the property that is insured. So wrecking it in traffic or at a bicycle race won’t be covered. Additionally, if it is stolen from campus while you are in class, you might similarly be AWOL.
Theft, Not Damage
Sometimes there is more coverage for theft than there is for damage. In some cases, you might be covered if the bike is stolen from your car (auto insurance) or damaged during an accident.
Few homeowner policies will insure your bike when it is stolen off of the named property, such as while you are at the grocery store. But they might not cover someone running over the bike while you are inside grabbing a yogurt.
And coverage for crashes at bike races is out of the question.
But I Have A “Rider”
Not to confuse terms, but some home insurance policies offer you “riders” for additional, specific coverage. In many cases, this insurance only covers the “actual cash value” of the item and not the “replacement value.”
The result is that your 2-year-old bike is not worth $400 less than when you bought it. Then you subtract the $500 deductible, and there may no longer be any coverage value left to replace your bicycle.
The best thing you could consider doing for a high-value bicycle is to find specific coverage. Purchasing your bike on a credit card may provide coverage for 90-360 days from the date of purchase. Following that, you’ll want to invest in a more robust coverage.
For the most part, bikes are allowed on roadways. One of the large exceptions is the interstate. Cyclists are not allowed on the nation’s interstate. Safety There is always the question of whether you, the cyclist, wants to be on that particular stretch of road. […]
Space for bike lanes is always at a premium. At best, we are lucky to be allowed to ride on an unprotected shoulder. Occasionally, cities will gives us a lane we can share with the busses and turning cars.
Today, Philadelphia upped the ante for most bicycle friendly city by opening a 1.1 mile stretch of lane between 45th and 34th streets. This lane is protected by posts and is delineated for bike-only traffic.
The driving force in this change is Philadelphia’s vision 0 campaign. Philly has one of the highest rates of death per 100k drivers in the nation, with over 100 fatalities in their city every year. It is their goal to redesign the most troublesome spots to make them safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
This lane is not without its detractors. Philadelphia is still a vehicle-focused location, and drivers are frustrated by having to share the lane with cyclists. Which only underscores the need for more of these dedicated lanes, at least until cars get used to looking out for the cyclists.
I think Philly is onto something. If some of these thourghfares can be made bicycle-friendly, then maybe we can start encouraging more people to ride. Converting 5% of that commuting traffic to bikes could make a huge impact on their safety numbers.
And it is a proven fact that, at least in inner-city locations, cycling can offer a lot of relief to congestion.
New York has been a frustration to the electric bike industry for many years now. While electric bicycles are marketed to those living in large cities as a way to make larger distances and longer commutes a possibility, New York State’s ban on electric bikes […]
A shared-use path.
Often referred to as a “bike-path“, most shared use paths are for the use of all travelers not using motor vehicles. Strollers, skate boards, roller skates, wheelchairs, pedestrians, and sometimes even horses are permitted on these quiet roads where cars are restricted.
Unless it’s one of those sacred paths where pedestrians are prohibited, the multi use paths are made for people who are aware of their surroundings and expecting to share.
The general rule of such paths is that faster moving travelers use audible alerts to let those in front of them that they will be passing, and that everyone stay to the far right of their lane unless they are passing a slower traveler.
That doesn’t mean that the use of these pathways is always seamless and safe.
Accidents are uncommon, but not rare in these settings. As with all accidents involving more than one person, liability is determined by fault. No, the cyclist is not automatically assumed guilty if they hit a pedestrian any more than a driver is assumed guilty for hitting a cyclist.
It is possible for a cyclist to be struck by a pedestrian, as unlikely as that sounds. If a pedestrian steps into the pathway of a cyclist without warning and with too little room for the cyclist to stop, they are technically the one striking the cyclist, and not the other way around. Especially if the pedestrian was distracted when they moved into an obstructing position, they are very clearly at fault.
However, cyclists that move into a pedestrian cross walk or out of their designated lanes (often, when a high cycling use is predicted in a shared use pathway, cyclists and pedestrians/wheelchais will have different lanes within the pathway) will generally be considered at fault if they strike a pedestrian in that situation.
These accidents are uncommon, as I said before because cyclists tend to be hyper aware when sharing a pathway with pedestrians. Your own body is at high risk if you are in an accident, and while Hollywood enjoys depicting cyclists going over their handlebars, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywnS8sUYD6Q)I promise you that anyone on a bicycle is doing all they can to keep that from becoming their reality.
The biggest cause of fault being found in the cyclist seems to be distracted riding. Fitness apps, texting, riding with one hand to talk on the phone — all of these are causes for the cyclist to be held liable. Other reasons the cyclist would have fault is riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, riding the wrong way, using a sidewalk instead of a bike lane, not exercising prudence, not announcing your presence when coming behind, not signaling a turn, and etc.
If you were fully aware and were struck by a pedestrian, they will have liability, but if you are acting irresponsibly in a shared use pathway, expect to carry full liability if you harm another person.
Also, be aware of the rules of each specific pathway. It’s likely your pathway has speed limits (It’s pretty easy to speed in a 15mph zone) and know whether or not you have your own designated lane.
As always, wear your helmet and ride safely!
Sidewalk laws vary from state to state, and then again from county to county. San Antonio restricts bicycles from side walks as a city wide mandate, while Madison, WI allows them in non-commercial areas, providing cyclists yield to pedestrians and give audible warnings when they […]