In some countries, comprehensive insurance policies are available for cyclists., often covering liability, personal injury, uninsured cyclists, property damage, and theft.  Unfortunately, similar coverage is not available in America.  For now, cyclists who are injured in an accident caused by a negligent motorist are required to piece together coverage from various policies.  While cyclists are not required to be insured in America, it would be a good idea to consider at least one type of insurance coverage: Uninsured Motorist ("UM")/ Underinsured Motorist ("UIM") Coverage.

Colorado requires motorists to carry $25,000.00 in bodily injury insurance coverage.  While this may seem sufficient, it is really only enough money to cover minor collisions.  Any collision that is serious enough to send a cyclist to the hospital will quickly run over the policy limits. Nevertheless, as long as the motorist carries this minimum level of coverage, the motorist is meeting his legal obligation in Colorado.  Because the minimum level of insurance is insufficient to cover anything more than a minor collision, it is important to be able to access another avenue of compensation. UIM coverage is insurance that helps make up the difference when an at-fault motorist had insurance, but the policy limits were insufficient to compensate the injured cyclist for all of the damages.

Notwithstanding the fact that Colorado requires motorists to carry $25,000.00 in coverage, some motorists choose to drive without insurance.  Perhaps it is the case that they cannot afford the premiums or they have a poor driving record.  Regardless of the reason, these motorists operate a vehicle in the streets of Denver and surrounding cities without insurance.  When a cyclist is hit by an uninsured driver, there may be no insurance policy to cover their injuries.  UM coverage is a type of policy that pays damages when an at-fault motorist does not have any insurance.

UM/UIM coverage is so important for cyclists that it should be considered essential coverage.  Unfortunately, a cyclist must own an automobile in order to purchase UM/UIM coverage.  If a cyclist does not own a vehicle, this type of coverage will not be available.  For the cyclists who do own a vehicle, it is advisable to purchase the maximum amount of UM/ UIM coverage available.  There is a minor price difference between minimum and maximum levels of UM/ UIM coverage.    

Cyclists want UM/ UIM coverage to be protected. In the event of an accident with someone who is driving without insurance or does not have enough of it, cyclists will most likely not get just compensation. With UM/ UIM in place, they will have a means to collect damages for injuries and other expenses incurred.

Finally, it is important not to assume "full coverage" means $1,000,000 worth of UM/UIM coverage. Full coverage only means the minimum required by Colorado to be fully covered. That is simply not enough. All cyclists should take action and insist on getting higher limits for coverage.

Negotiating with insurance companies can raise complicated issues that pose potential pitfalls for an injured cyclist.  Before a cyclist agrees to any settlement, they should be absolutely certain they understand the settlement and all of its implications.  It would be wise to consult an experienced bike injury lawyer in Denver for a free consultation.  

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