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Will my car insurance pay for my bicycle damage in a rear-end car accident?

October 8, 2014 by Steven M. Gursten

During the fourth of July holiday, I blogged about what happens when there’s a rear-end car accident involving vehicles that are hauling things like jet skis, trailers or boats.

I’ve received quite a bit of follow-up questions, but the point to remember is the Michigan mini tort is mostly limited to motor vehicle accidents and won’t cover damage to items you’re hauling if you’re rear ended. You must have individual insurance policies for any item that is being hauled.

For instance, a boat isn’t considered a motor vehicle, so it’s not covered under your No Fault insurance. And you would need an individual insurance policy to cover the boat damage if you’re rear ended while towing a boat.

This week, I received a related question regarding bicycle damage. Hope my answer helps:

Q. I was recently rear ended, the other driver was 100% responsible. Unfortunately, I had a $500 bike rack and bicycle on my van that was destroyed in the accident. My insurance company didn’t cover the cost of replacement since it wasn’t permanently affixed to the van. Can I recover replacement cost via mini tort or some other means?

A. Sorry to say, but the answer for bicycle damage and a crushed bike rack is that it is not covered upon the Michigan mini tort. Vehicle contents, including a bike rack and a bike that you have on your car when you are rear-ended, are also not covered under the Michigan mini tort provision. Because it is not covered, you cannot recover your replacement costs from the mini tort.

You would need an insurance policy for your bicycle in case it is stolen or damaged. Call your insurance agent for the specifics.

But what if you are hit by a car while riding your bicycle? Take a look at my blog post, which outlines your potential cases and legal rights.

Related information:

6 most common bicycle accidents

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