Am I Covered by Car Insurance in Colorado?
As Coloradoans we are often riding our bicycles year-round and especially when the weather warms up. As we take to Colorado’s streets and highways, unfortunately, most of us understand that there is a chance that we might get hit by a careless or inattentive driver. According to a 2017 report by the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), which includes the entire Denver metro area and Boulder and Broomfield counties, there are approximately 877 bicycle crashes each year, resulting in 96 serious injuries and 7 fatalities.
With the risk involved in riding bicycles on Colorado roads, our clients often ask us will my car insurance cover me if I’m in a bicycle accident? At Cook, Bradford & Levy, LLC, we are experienced Boulder bicycle accident attorneys and can help you answer this and other questions related to your bike accident. We invite you to reach out to us at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation to learn how we might be able to help you with your claim.The Short Answer
Generally speaking, uninsured/underinsured motorist (“UM/UIM”) coverage on your auto insurance policy covers you in the event you are involved in a bicycle accident with a car or truck on Colorado’s roads. This is because UM/UIM policies generally cover accidents involving the “use” of a motor vehicle, which applies to bicycle and pedestrian accidents as long as a motor vehicle caused the accident. UM/UIM coverage is also “portable,” meaning that it attaches to you whether you are on your bicycle, a pedestrian, or in someone else’s car.
Now, to be clear, if you have been in a bicycle accident with a car or truck, a Boulder bicycle accident lawyer will first seek compensation from the at-fault motorist’s liability policy. Your own UM/UIM coverage becomes critical, however, if the at-fault driver either is uninsured or does not have enough liability insurance to cover your damages. Notably, approximately 13% of Colorado motorists drive without auto insurance, and due to the serious injuries sustained in bicycle accidents and skyrocketing medical costs, even if the at-fault driver has insurance it is likely that it will not be enough to cover your harms and losses.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family when you are on your bicycle is to make sure that you have robust UM/UIM coverage on your car insurance policy, and if possible, a UM/UIM umbrella that is offered by some, but not all, major auto insurance carriers. Our experienced Boulder bicycle accident attorneys recommend that if you are a cyclist it is essential that you speak with your insurance agent to examine your policy and inquire specifically about whether you have UM/UIM coverage, and if so, how much. The general rule in the insurance industry is to purchase as much coverage as you can afford, and most cyclist accident lawyers would agree. Quite simply, UM/UIM coverage is as essential to Colorado cyclists as your bicycle, water, or a spare tube.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, or if you have questions about your auto policy and UM/UIM coverage, we invite you to call us today at 303-543-1000 for a free consultation with one of our experienced Boulder bicycle accident attorneys.