Cyclists often ARE insured!
Monday 09 Nov 2015

It’s not uncommon for the ignorant motorist, thinking that the roads were built for cars (they were not- except the motorways – the clue is in the name[i]) to call for cyclists to have compulsory insurance. Occasionally, a cyclist is reported to cause an injury to a pedestrian. This gets reported widely because it is unusual whereas the overwhelming majority of collisions which are the fault of the motorist go unreported. Although in the majority of cases of collisions between cyclists and motorists, it is the motorist who was to blame[ii], there are sometimes occasions when a cyclist is to blame. This is relatively rare. A cyclist is always going to come off worse in a collision with a motor vehicle and so the notion that the cyclist must be insured is a solution to a non-problem.

Where a bespoke policy of insurance is taken out, it is generally cheap in comparison to the cost of motor insurance and this reflects the risk - which is minor - and whilst I would not criticize anyone who decides to take out cycling insurance, it is not something that should ever be made compulsory.

Cyclists are often insured without any specific cycling insurance policy having been taken out.  Membership of a recognised cycling organisation, such as British Cycling or CTC or the London Cycling campaign brings with it the benefits of insurance. Household insurance might also include provision for personal liability which will indemnify the policyholder for liability for negligence.

The growth of the sportive is another area where you are likely to be insured if you take part. I have taken part in quite a few (the photograph above was taken as I climbed the cobbles of Haworth Main Street during the Tour de Yorkshire Sportive in 2015) and occasionally there are incidents when so many cyclists are riding closely together

I recently settled the claim of a woman who was taking part in a popular sportive. She had slowed down and stopped when a lorry came to a halt ahead of her at a pinch point. There was another cyclist coming up behind her who failed to notice what was going on ahead and he ran into the back of my client knocking her to the ground.  She suffered various injuries and her claim was settled for £11,500. The cyclist who was responsible did not have to personally pay because he was insured. All the cyclists taking part were covered by a policy of insurance. 

Injuries at such events are rare, but if you are unlucky enough to suffer an injury at a sportive, there is likely to be insurance cover. If you believe that another ride was responsible for your injury, get the name of the rider and his rider number if you can and make sure a steward is informed about the incident. You may be able to claim. 

Tim Beasley, Partner.

Head of Levenes Cycle Injury Claims Team.

[i] See http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/

[ii]  http://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/pedal-cyclists/facts-figures/

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Tim Beasley

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