Boosted by the coronavirus crisis, the practice of cycling is experiencing an unprecedented craze. Popular for everyday and professional journeys, this ecological mode of transport is increasingly appealing to urbanites. But like any means of transportation, it exposes people to risks.
Accident, theft, material damage … The bicycle can suffer the same hazards as a car or a motorcycle. While taking out specific bicycle insurance is not compulsory, other guarantees can protect you.
In the event of an accident
Just like with a car or a two-wheeler, you can be the victim of a bicycle accident. When this mishap occurs with a land motor vehicle, the cyclist is fully compensated by the motorist’s insurer for his bodily injury. Unless, of course, if he committed an inexcusable fault. Material damage, caused to the cycle for example, is also compensated by the insurance of the driver at fault. The guarantee of legal protection of your multi-risk home contract can also cover recourse to possible officials.
On the other hand, when the cyclist is responsible for the accident, it is the civil liability guarantee, generally also included in the home contract, which plays in the compensation for the damage caused. It is the same if the collision takes place with another cyclist or a pedestrian. In this case, certain contracts, like the guarantee of the accidents of the life (GAV), can give right to additional compensation for the bodily injuries.
Finally, if you fall off your bike on your own, that is to say an accident without liability, it is Social Security and your complementary health insurance which will reimburse or advance medical services. Here again, the GAV can provide additional indemnities to compensate for a loss of salary or a disability, for example.
In case of theft
If the bicycle is more and more popular, it is also a delight for thieves. Every year, no less than 500,000 of these two-wheelers are stolen. If your bike is stolen after breaking into your home or in insured outbuildings (garage, cellar, etc.), you may be compensated by your home insurance.
However, you are not covered for a theft that takes place outside your home. You must take out special insurance for this. It can be an optional guarantee of your home contract, specific insurance for the theft and breakage of your two-wheeler, or even insurance linked to a sports license. But be careful, to be sure you are well covered in the event of a problem, you must follow the instructions imposed by the insurer. You should, for example, invest in a specific anti-theft device. Indeed, your bike must be connected to a fixed point by the frame and the rear wheel. Some contracts also place limits on their guarantees: insurance from 7 am to 9 pm only, limit on the number of flights per insurance period, guarantee ceilings, discount …
What mandatory security measures?
The use of the bicycle requires special equipment, sometimes even compulsory. Helmets have been required to wear a helmet in particular for children under the age of 12 since 2017 and remain highly recommended for older children. Likewise, if you drive at night, outside built-up areas, you must wear a reflective vest. Finally, your two-wheeler must be equipped at least with a braking and lighting system at the front and at the rear, with an audible warning device which makes it possible to be heard at least 50 m away and to reflective devices.