If you are a AAA member in Washington, your roadside assistance program now extends to your bicycling trips.
Just like when you need a tow, members experiencing a bad mechanical problem out on the road can call AAA to get someone to swing by and transport them and their bikes to a safe spot (distance they will take you depends on your member level).
On July 1, AAA Washington will begin providing its more than one million members in Washington and northern Idaho emergency bicycle service. AAA members now have membership benefits that cover them on their bicycle in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
AAA Washington’s new bicycle service works exactly like its emergency road service for vehicles. A member with a disabled bicycle due to mechanical failure calls the AAA hotline (800-AAA-HELP) and AAA will dispatch service. The member and their bicycle will be transported to a safe location within the distance their membership level allows: Classic – 5 miles, Plus – 100 miles, or Premier – 200 miles.
2012 is the year that comprehensive bicycle insurance finally arrives. Two companies (that we know of) have started offering coverage to people who want coverage comparable to comprehensive car insurance, but for biking.
Bike Portland has more on the significance of these plans:
Options for comprehensive bike insurance that is similar to auto insurance has long been lacking for folks who primarily ride and for the increasing number of Americans that don’t own a car at all. (Learn more about this issue in our post, A guide to bicycle insurance options from January 2010).
The optional theft and damage protection for your bike would be based on your bike’s value. Annual premiums, [Better World Club Marketing Director Lauri] Fish says, will likely be about $40 for bikes valued up to $1,500 and would go up incrementally each $1,000 in value. The new insurance policy will also come with $1 million in liability coverage if you are involved in a collision with someone else while bicycling and it’s proven to be your fault.
This is an exciting development for folks who use a bicycle as their primary vehicle. Since comprehensive bicycle insurance hasn’t existed (until now), people have had to rely on either their homeowner’s insurance policy (which might just cover property damage), their own auto insurance policy (if they owned a car), or the policy of the person driving the motor vehicle (if indeed they even had coverage or had enough coverage). But all of those options come with legal grey areas and gaps in coverage.
So, my question to you all is, would you buy bicycle insurance?