Cycling Insurance - Do I need it?

Hidden obstacles can cause Accidents






It's entirely optional to have cycling insurance but it's important to understand the risks.  Some of the risks may be covered by your existing insurance e.g. home insurance.  Make sure you know the risks, your potential liability and what is / isn't covered in any existing policies

Below are some extracts from an article 'A cyclist's guide to insurance' which gives a good overview of the risks.  The Internet has many other such articles for research on the risks and advice on types of insurance available

Why do I need cycling insurance?

Insurance protects against financial loss and inconvenience when an unexpected event happens. Some events of concern are obvious, some less so, so it is worth laying them out to start:

What happens if there is an accident involving just me?

Even the best road riders are prone to patches of black ice, unexpected manhole covers, ‘pilot errors’ and even embarrassing unclipping failures. Mountain biking presents a further series of hazards from tree stumps to frame failures and commuting comes with its fair share of near misses.

If you have an accident involving only yourself, you might face costs for getting medical attention for an injury, or you might face the cost of repairing or replacing the accidental damage to your bike. Depending on your profession, you might find that you lose income that would pay your bills, due to not being able to work.

Personal accident cover is designed to pay out a lump sum for specified types of severe injuries. It may also have an element of Income Protection built in – i.e. it would pay (a portion of) your income if you couldn’t work – but this is rare. Rather than paying out a single lump sum, Health insurance would pay for the cost of hospital and specialists fees for the treatment of injuries up to their conclusion (sometimes there are limits involved). Finally the accidental damage to your bike can often be covered by a specialist cycling policy, or it might be covered on your home insurance policy if you have the appropriate cover options.

What happens if there is an accident involving me and others, or other peoples’ property?

Commuting or simply recreational riding is a common situation for these types of accident, but it could equally be racing or competing.

You might face costs relating to injury and damage to your own property as in an accident that involves just you. However since someone else is involved, you may also be responsible for (in insurance language have a ‘liability to a third party’ for) costs that they incur as a result of the accident like medical costs for treating injuries to other people or damage to other people’s bikes, cars or other property.

There is the added complication that, should it be unclear or contested as to whose fault the accident was, you might need to fund your legal expenses to fight your case and worse, should you lose, you may also be responsible for the the other side’s legal expenses. This can end up pretty costly.

Third Party liability cover would be needed to protect you in these sorts of circumstances. It is commonly included in specialist cycle insurance policies but can also be part of your home insurance.

What happens if my bike, or bits of it, are stolen?

This one is seemingly straight-forward. Your bike gets stolen and you’re left with a big replacement cost for a new bike. However since this is a pretty big risk given the potentially high value of the bike, it’s worth a little more thought as there are variations of theft that are important when it comes to buying insurance.





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