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For many triathletes, gear and equipment isn’t just a “purchase”—it’s an investment. As such, the loss or damage of expensive gear can be disastrous and costly. Specialty insurance companies have cropped up recently, offering standalone insurance policies for cyclists and triathletes. However, it might not be necessary to purchase a separate policy, says Justin Herndon, spokesman for Allstate Insurance Company. Instead, he suggests small adjustments to your home and auto policies.
Your homeowner’s, renter’s or condo policy typically covers “contents” like bikes, wetsuits and other sports equipment. If you have a high-end bike, consider purchasing an endorsement. Endorsements provide open peril coverage, broadening the types of losses that would be covered, such as a bike crash or accident.
The liability coverage under your homeowner’s, renter’s or condo policy typically covers bodily injury or property damage and legal defense if you cause a loss while engaged in athletic pursuits. Check the specifics of your policy and make sure you have sufficient limits to cover liability costs, especially legal fees, if you are accused of causing an accident while riding.
If you have an auto policy with medical pay and are injured while riding a bike, your medical bills may be covered up to your applicable limits. Get Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage with your policy. If you are injured in a hit and run, or if the driver does not have insurance, this coverage will pay for medical bills and replacement of property.
If you get hit …
“If you’re hit while riding or running, safety is our primary concern,” says Robert Villegas, spokesman for State Farm Insurance. “Once safe, there are steps to take to make sure you have what you need to file a claim with your insurance company.”
– Stay calm. Breathe deeply, count to 10—whatever helps you slow your heart rate and focus.
– Check for injuries. Your adrenaline rush can mask symptoms. If you or anyone might be injured, call an ambulance immediately.
– Get out of traffic. If the accident seems minor and there aren’t any injuries, move out of the way and to the closest safe place.
– Call the police. They’ll sort through the scene and talk to all the parties.
– Take notes. Things happen so quickly that it’s easy to forget details. Try to get contact information of any witnesses.
– Take pictures. Take photos of the accident scene and any damage.
– Exchange insurance information. If the name on the auto registration and/or insurance policy is different from the name of the driver, establish the relationship and note it.
– Stick with the facts. Stay objective and be truthful.
– Stay. It may seem to take forever, but don’t leave the scene of the accident until everything is taken care of (unless you’re in urgent need of medical attention, of course).
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