PORTLAND - If you drive a car, you must have auto insurance. If you ride a bicycle, should you also have bike insurance?

A local company thinks it's more than necessary and after 14 years of research, is one of the first to offer it.

Most people believe that if they are in an bike accident, their health insurance will pick up the tab. Or if the bike is stolen, their homeowners policy will take care of it.

But, what if you don't have homeowners or renters insurance, or health insurance?

According to Jeffery Lang, an avid bike rider and an executive with Gales Creek Insurance, about half of all cyclists who commute don't have a homeowners policy.

Lang said the intent is to make the policy affordable. Cyclists pay for what they need, liability or accident or property damage. The cost ranges from $20 to $100 a year.

The insurance police is called Bike-on and is being sold through Better World Club, a cyclist roadside assistant membership company. It's also being offered through large cycling organizations.

Lang also says high deductibles and depreciation boil down to little payback, if the bike is stolen.

As far as health insurance is concerned, Lang said millions of people just don't have it. Other countries have had policies in place for years, he said.

The Brits have it, there's been programs in Australia since World War II, New Zealand, most industrialized countries, western industrialized countries have these sorts of plans, said Jeffery Lang, Executive Vice President, Gales Creek Insurance.

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