Last week I received an inquiry from a blog subscriber who had discovered that the medical payments coverage on the auto policies they sell in two states allegedly does not extend to someone injured while riding a bicycle. Most auto insurance medical payments coverage extends to insureds as pedestrians if struck by a vehicle designed for use on public roads. The $64,000 question is, what is a “pedestrian.”

This question has come up on several occasions via questions submitted to the Big “I” Virtual University’s “Ask an Expert” service. As a result, the Big “I” national Technical Affairs Committee asked ISO to consider changing it’s personal and business auto policies to define whether “pedestrian” was limited solely to someone on foot or if the term was also applicable to someone simply moving under human power such as in a wheel chair or on a scooter. I blogged about this last year:

What is a ‘Pedestrian’ for Auto Medical Payments and UM/UIM Coverage?

One of the concerns expressed by committee members was differentiating insurance coverage for the handicapped whereby someone in a wheelchair or similar mobility vehicle would not have the same coverage as someone on foot. Would this violate any laws regarding discrimination? This issue still hasn’t been addressed to my knowledge in the marketplace and it doesn’t make a lot of sense that someone is covered while in a motor vehicle or on foot, but not otherwise..

I don’t know the position other insurers have taken. Do YOU know how your carriers treat injuries to “pedestrians” under medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorists, or other coverages?

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Bill Wilson

Founder at InsuranceCommentary.com
One of the premier insurance educators in America on form, coverage, and technical issues; Founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University; Retired Assoc. VP of Education and Research from Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. Reprint Request Information

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