Cyclists should have cycling insurance - and this is why


THREE weeks ago, the UK Transport Secretary told The Mail that he believes cyclists should be insured, have licence plates on their bicycles and obey the same speed limits as motorists.

This was received with a mixture of both praise and criticism.

The proposed concept of mandatory cycling insurance was a particular cause of concern for some that deemed it unnecessary.

But upon closer inspection that does not appear to be the case. In fact, it is advisable that all cyclists get themselves covered by a cycling insurance policy. There are clear benefits to both cyclists and other road users. Let’s explore why.

:: Personal Injury

If a cyclist is injured whilst cycling and it was not the fault of another, then there is no method for pursuing compensation. This can be a costly scenario to be in. For example, if the injuries prevented the cyclist from working then they might suffer loss of earnings.

At worst, if the injuries are serious enough the cyclist could require care for a very long time, perhaps their whole life. Without insurance to pay for it, that care would be limited.

Many insurance policies will cover the cost of legal assistance to help with claiming personal injury compensation and other expenses such as the cost of damage to the bike.

:: Public Liability

If a cyclist was to collide with a pedestrian, especially at speed, there is a high likelihood that the person walking would suffer injury. The injured party has a potential right to pursue the liable cyclist for compensation for their pain, suffering, loss of amenity and other damages such as loss of earnings.

If those injuries are of a serious nature, a catastrophic brain injury for example, then the pedestrian would require care, specialist equipment and compensation for other losses. It’s not uncommon for those with injuries such as this to be awarded several million pounds in compensation. The cyclist, if at fault, would be liable for this and should have insurance to ensure they can pay and that the person they injured gets the help they need.

:: Theft

It is an unfortunate reality of living in an urban environment that bicycle thefts occur regularly. This happens regardless of preventative measures such as a bike lock and it can even happen in broad daylight on a busy street. Given the value of many bicycles it really does make sense to ensure that your investment is protected.

:: Price

Many people have cycling insurance without even realising. It is common for home contents insurance to also cover bicycles even when they are taken outside of the home. If you have home insurance and own a bicycle, you should check your policy to see if you are covered and what you are covered for.

If you do not have bicycle insurance by virtue of another policy such as home insurance, there are many dedicated bicycle insurance options out there. An accident during which the cyclist was liable is not a common occurrence. This lower risk means lower insurance premiums. There is cycling insurance available for as little as £30 per year.

So, on balance, given the several benefits afforded to cyclists by a policy and when balanced against the low cost, it becomes clear why cyclists should get insured. It is a fiscally responsible act, but moreover, it is a socially responsible one. Why take the risk?

:: Glenn Reid ( is a legal marketing specialist and marketing manager of McCartan Turkington Breen Solicitors (