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Cyclists and Insurance

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Third-party Insurance Accident Theft

Many cyclists view insurance as an unnecessary expense. Others shy away from taking out a policy because after shelling out on bike clothing and peripherals, there is no room left in the budget. However, such an attitude is short-sighted in the extreme, and takes no account of the realities of cycling in the 21st century. It’s certainly not helped by the fact that there is no legal compulsion in the United Kingdom for cyclists to have insurance, unlike their counterparts travelling on four wheels. Perhaps this is one area where government legislation needs to make its presence felt more keenly.

Let’s look at two areas where cyclists should think very seriously about taking out cover: theft and accidents. In the case of theft, only those breezing down the lanes of the quietest country villages are not going to lock their bike when they pop into the local shop. Theft is a reality in both urban and rural areas, and not surprisingly doesn’t figure high on the list of operational priorities of the police force. So if you return to find your cycle lock hanging limply from the railings, then you face a long walk home and the cost of replacing your bike.

Lack of Experience

The explosion in the number of cyclists taking to the road in urban areas means that the increase in accidents involving two-wheel vehicles has increased. Sometimes accidents can be the result of the cyclist, either through carelessness or a lack of experience in dealing either with road layouts, junctions or positioning. On other occasions, a mistake on the part of the motorist, or even negligence caused by a lack of care in dealing with the presence of a cyclist can result in damage to the bike or injury.

Cyclists run the risk of either or both theft or accident every time they venture out, so why leave themselves even for vulnerable to the resulting costs that can be incurred when misfortune occurs? If, for example, you are involved in an accident that causes damage to a car, and you are adjudged to be responsible for the damage, third-party insurance would protect you from a potentially very expensive bill. Anyone who owns a car will tell you that even the smallest bump can often cost a lot more to repair than you would estimate.

Plans for Cyclists

So once you have made the decision to run for cover, in which direction should you head? There are individual companies that offer plans for cyclists, often with discounts on the web. One of the most popular routes is via one of the established organisations such as the Cycling Touring Club, British Cycling, or the Environmental Transport Association. The former provides third-party insurance as part of a full membership for anyone resident in the UK.

As with all types of insurance, it pays to shop around, and always ask as many questions as you feel are necessary to secure cover that addresses your individual needs. If you are a member of a local club, fellow members should be able to provide welcome advice. Whichever policy you decide on, you are to be congratulated on taking a positive step towards protecting the interests of both yourself and your bike.

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