Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Are Drunken Cyclists Dangerous? Maybe!

The exercise benefits and environmental friendliness are among the many reasons why cycling is growing in popularity. But cycling can be dangerous, and not just for the cyclist. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway safety, deaths of intoxicated cyclists are a significant problem. While the fatalities from drunken driving have declined over the years, the same is not true in the case of drunken cyclists. Drivers are often berated for the impatience they show cyclists who they think, are getting in their way and change the flow of traffic.  While that may be true, cyclists pose a danger to motorists, especially if drink or drugs have impaired them.

A Case Study

John was a health fanatic who cycled to work every day. One Friday evening, he and some colleagues went out to celebrate the completion of a major project. After a few drinks, he got on his cycle to head home. At a crossing, he jumped the red light and rode out in front of Karen. She swerved to avoid him and in the process hit another car. Not only were both vehicles severely damaged, she sustained major injuries. She was unable to return to work for several months. Her medical bills quickly exhausted John’s meager insurance coverage leaving her with no choice but to sue him for reimbursement. The legal costs were another huge financial burden on her. Since John did not have any significant assets, he had to declare bankruptcy. Karen was left with nothing, so she too had to declare bankruptcy.

John caused the accident, but Karen paid the price! If she had taken an umbrella insurance policy to cover such situations, she would have been well protected. To put it simply, umbrella insurance is extra liability coverage, which is designed to give you additional protection from lawsuits and claims and to protect your assets. It does this in 2 ways. You get additional liability coverage over the limits of your auto, boat and homeowners policies. The protection starts when the coverage on the other policies has been exhausted. It also provides coverage against claims that may be excluded from other liability policies you may have.

Protect Yourself

A drunken cyclist or other factors beyond your control could get you into an accident to result in serious injury and loss. Your auto insurance coverage may not be adequate to protect you. This is where a personal umbrella policy will fill the gap and give you the coverage you need to take care of medical bills, lost wages and legal expenses. An insurance professional will be able to work with you to determine if there are gaps in your insurance that need to be filled and provide you with the options that best suit your needs and budget.

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