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Hangzhou Bike Share Provides Medical Insurance

June 28, 2011 By: Peter Smith Category: Advocacy

Update: Joan Valls Fantova, president of, lets us know that Barcelona’s Bicing Bicycle Share System also provides insurance — not only to the rider and property, but also covers any third party person/property involved in a collision/accident. A Google translation of the FAQ page says:

Bizi has some kind of insurance?

Yes, there is liability insurance for damage to any item, equipment or user Bicing could lead to a third party, and the damage can be done by the same user.

Thanks Joan!
Hangzhou’s massive bike sharing system provides medical insurance in case of accident or collision:

In fact, the Public Bicycle System in one of China’s wealthiest cities, Hangzhou, has surpassed Paris’ Velib as the world’s largest bike-share program, with 60,600 low-cost, low-tech bikes and more than 2,400 stations spaced out about every 200 meters, [Susan] Shaheen said. Since Hangzhou opened the floodgates in 2008, more than a dozen other cities in China have launched cycle-hire schemes. Uniquely, China provides insurance if an accident happens during a trip. “No other place has bundled that in,” said Shaheen.

I think it’s ridiculous that we ‘rich’ Americans don’t have universal health care, but health insurance is a legitimate concern for anyone without it, or with sub-optimal health insurance (which is pretty much everyone, except Congress, to my understanding).

I know for sure that I have avoided certain risky activities, like playing soccer, biking, etc., when I had a lapse in my health insurance, and I know other people do it, too. We have good reason — in 2007, 62% of all bankruptcies were tied to medical bills. That’s insane. But what’s more insane is that 80% of those people had health insurance.

It’s one thing to risk your personal safety by riding a bike — it’s another thing to risk bankrupting your family.

Need bike insurance?

I’m skeptical that this concern is actually a reason significant numbers of people don’t ride, but I do believe it prevents at least a small percentage of people from riding. Maybe bike-sharing in Vermont will take off? Time will tell.

1 Comments to “Hangzhou Bike Share Provides Medical Insurance”

  1. I can see Michael Moore taking a film crew and a bunch of uninsured Americans to Hangzhou, hopping on bikes, then having little crashes so they can all get free health care. Still cheaper than an hour in any American hospital if you don’t have insurance.

    I was in Hangzhou this year. The bike system is amazing. Everyone uses it-Chinese tourists, foreigners, locals-to get around this beautiful city.


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