Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?

Bicycling is a fun recreational activity as well as a form of exercise and a great way to get around. Many people in cities and suburban areas ride their bicycles to work or around their neighborhoods. While bicycling can be healthy, fun, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible, no mode of transportation is entirely free from the risk of accidents. Sometimes, bicycle accidents may even happen in front of your house. Homeowners may be held responsible for bicycle accidents on or next to their property in some cases, depending on the circumstances. If an injured bicyclist files a claim, does homeowners insurance cover bicycle accidents? The answer depends on the type of coverage, the terms of the insurance policy, and the specifics of the accident. To learn more about bicycle accidents and homeowners’ insurance in Mississippi, please consider scheduling a consultation with Lott Law by calling (228) 215-2787 today.

What Is Liability in a Bicycle Accident, and Why Does It Matter?

Liability in a bicycle accident refers to the legal responsibility or fault attributed to one or more parties involved in the incident. A party found liable is held to be responsible for causing the accident or the resulting injuries and damage. Here are some reasons why liability matters in a bicycle accident:

Financial Responsibility

Liability determines which party is financially responsible for costs associated with the accident, such as

  • Medical bills for injuries sustained by the bicyclist
  • Repair or replacement costs for damaged bicycles
  • Reimbursement for property damage

The liable party or their insurance provider will likely be required to compensate the injured party for these expenses.

Insurance Coverage

Many insurance policies are designed to pay out when the policyholder is found to be liable, so liability and insurance protection may be connected. Does homeowners insurance cover bicycle accidents? If a person is found liable for a bicycle accident, their insurance policy may cover the costs associated with the accident. 

Legal Consequences

Liability is often one of the issues at stake in the legal proceedings that may follow a bicycle accident. If a dispute centers around assigning fault, or the parties involved cannot agree on compensation, the matter may escalate to legal action. According to the American Bar Association, liability can determine the outcome of a lawsuit or insurance claim.

Liability and Next Steps

In order to move forward with the claims process, often it is necessary to determine what caused the accident and who was responsible for the conditions under which the accident occurred. To learn more about bicycle accidents and automobile insurance policies and homeowners’ insurance policies, consider contacting the team at Lott Law to schedule a personalized consultation. 

Does Car Insurance Cover Hitting a Bicyclist?

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you may have to rely on your car insurance to help with the costs. When a driver is at fault for hitting a bicyclist, their auto liability insurance will generally handle the claim. Like homeowners’ insurance, these policies may help to pay for the other party’s medical expenses, bike repairs, and other associated damages.

Not everyone has insurance coverage, making compensation for injuries and losses difficult. If you have been injured by a vehicle and do not have insurance, you may have to file a claim with your insurance company. In many cases, these claims will fall under uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage. This coverage can help compensate for medical expenses and damages when the at-fault party lacks sufficient insurance.

Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents in Mississippi?

Homeowners’ insurance protects homeowners from potential losses related to their residences and personal belongings, per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. While these policies typically offer protection against fire, theft, vandalism, and specific natural disasters, some policies also offer coverage for personal property and liability protection.

Homeowners’ insurance may become relevant to a bicycle accident in either of two basic scenarios. The first of these belongs to the broad category of premises liability, and applies when a visitor is injured in a bicycle accident on a homeowner’s property. The second involves the homeowners’ liability in accidents that take place somewhere other than at the home they have insured. Both scenarios are described in greater detail below. 

Homeowners’ Insurance Premises Liability for Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle accidents caused by a homeowner’s failure to properly maintain their residential property may be more likely to arise in areas where houses commonly have substantial grounds attached for off-road biking and other outdoor recreation, as street cycling, for obvious reasons, does not generally occur on private property. Expansive grounds are of course a common feature of many weekend retreat and “summer house” residential properties, regardless of where the owners live during the ordinary working week; however, many residential properties in rural areas may include significant acreage even when the housing structure itself is relatively modest. The opportunity for outdoor activities, including off-road bicycling, comes with commensurate hazards and therefore the potential for liability. 

In other situations, including in urban or suburban settings, a homeowners’ use of their residential property may result in hazards that affect the safety of passersby along the right-of-way –– for instance, by allowing a hedge to overhang the sidewalk or street adjacent to the property. In these cases, a homeowner might be held liable for negligence in the upkeep of their property, even though the bicycle accident technically occurred on the public street or sidewalk.

Homeowners’ Insurance Personal Liability for Bicycle Accidents

Homeowners’ insurance may also sometimes cover bicycle accidents when the homeowner is personally liable for a bicycle accident that does not occur on their property. This scenario has less to do with the property owned in a home or the upkeep of the premises, and more to do with the specific terms included in some homeowners’ insurance policies. Some insurance policies for homeownership offer coverage for certain types of personal liability, even if the activity for which the policyholder is held liable does not actually occur on the premises of the residential property for which the homeowner holds a policy. This kind of coverage can be important in situations where the homeowner is liable for an accident that might not involve a motor vehicle and therefore would not be covered by an auto insurance policy. 

Personal liability coverage included as part of a homeowners’ insurance policy may sometimes be used to cover the costs of damages when a homeowner, while riding a bicycle somewhere other than on their own property, causes an accident in which another party is injured, or when the homeowner causes an accident, other than a motor vehicle accident, in which the other party is a bicyclist. In either of these scenarios, homeowners’ insurance may make it possible for the injured party to receive compensation for damages in an accident situation for which the more common accident coverage of auto insurance might not apply.

Are Bikes Covered by Insurance?

Many homeowners’ insurance policies include personal property coverage. These plans can reimburse the policyholder if any property, such as a bicycle, is stolen. Some policies will also replace the damaged bike if you are involved in an accident. These insurance plans can reimburse the insured party for the repair or replacement costs. While homeowners’ insurance may offer some bicycle coverage, additional insurance options can help to provide additional protection. These options include:

Renters’ Insurance

If you own a home, you already carry homeowners’ insurance. Those renting an apartment, condominium, or townhome have options as well. Renters may want to look into this insurance, which is similar in many respects to homeowners’ insurance. Renters’ insurance typically covers personal property and liability. Most renters’ insurance policies include bicycles as part of the coverage for personal belongings. 

Specialized Bicycle Insurance

For those avid cyclists who consider their bikes more than just a means of transportation but also a high-value investment, specialized bicycle insurance could be an option for you. These policies are designed to provide comprehensive coverage. This bicycle insurance goes beyond the basic coverage offered by homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. Since many bicycles are high value, these policies extend your coverage. In turn, you can make sure that your bike will be replaced in the event of theft, fire, or accidents. 

Reach Out to Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Mississippi

Does homeowners insurance cover bicycle accidents? The level of coverage varies depending on the terms of the insurance policy and the circumstances of the accident. No matter whether you are a bicyclist or a homeowner, you will want to carefully review your insurance policies to get the appropriate coverage to protect against unforeseen events on two wheels. If you have been injured while riding a bike, you have options. Schedule an appointment with the Mississippi bicycle accident lawyers at Lott Law by calling (228) 215-2787 today.