Bicyclists are often severely injured when invovled in a collision with a heavy car or truck. Oftentimes, drivers have no insurance or the minimum amount of coverage.
Bicyclists who buy minimum car insurance coverage (which includes under and uninsured motorist coverage) are at risk of getting hit by a driver and then having to pay for medical bills out of their own pocket even if they were not at fault.
Although the minimum coverage is currently $50,000 for death or injury of one person, it is expected to drop to $25,000 under the new insurance law proposal. Bicyclists can protect themselves by purchasing high amounts of underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. This insurance often applies to bicyclists when they are hit by a driver with no insurnce or not enough.
Example of the effect of the new law proposal: You are biking and get hit by a driver with the proposed minimum $25,000. Your medical bills are $100,000. The driver’s insurance company gives you $25,000 and says sorry about the extra $75,000. Good luck. The hospital wants its $75,000 and the driver who hit you has no money. Fortunately for you, you bought car insurance that included underinsured motorist coverage. Unfortunately for you, the limit of your minimum coverage is $50,000. Your insurance company gives you $50,000 and you are still on the hook to the hospital for $25,000! This is in addition to your injuries, lost work, and other damages including any future medical care you need.
The new law proposal also seeks to get rid of "stacking." This means that if a person buys three insurance policies for three separate cars, the person can only use one of the three when they are injured-they cannot combine the policies. Unlike life insurance where if a person buys three policies, they get the benefit of each policy, if the new law passes, it doesn't matter how many policies a person pays for, they will only benefit from one.