What is cycling liability insurance?
Cycling liability insurance covers your third party liability as a rider. This means if you damage somebody’s property or injure another person while cycling, those costs are covered by your insurer. Liability insurance for cycling is not compulsory, and is up to the individual to decide if they need it.
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Why don’t cyclists need insurance?
If you are driving a motor vehicle in the UK, there is a legal requirement to have insurance for your personal liability. There is no legal requirement to have third party liability for cycling , including electric bicycles. The simple reason for this is that cyclists pose a very low risk to other road users.
If a motor vehicle is involved in an accident, the likelihood of a third party claim against that driver is high and the claims can be very expensive to settle. If a cyclist is involved in an accident, the likelihood of a claim being made against them is much smaller, and the costs of settlement are usually relatively small, too.
The necessity for third party cover that lead to motor insurance being made compulsory has never been applied to cyclists because the risks are so much lower.
Should cyclists be made to have insurance?
There is a definite downside to cycle liability insurance being non-compulsory for cyclists. If a cyclist is involved in a collision, they could be personally liable for a third party’s loss or injury.
While the instances of large third party claims against cyclists are thankfully rare, there have been a couple of high profile instances of collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in the last few years with serious outcomes. Perhaps as a result, a very large proportion of UK cyclists do already have some degree of cycling liability insurance.
How much does cycling liability cost?
Fortunately, because cyclists pose such a small risk from an insurance underwriting point of view, cycling liability insurance is an inexpensive cover.
We include it as standard in all three tiers of our Bicycle Insurance (which also covers damage and theft), and it is included as a membership benefit with governing bodies such as our partners, the British Triathlon Federation. A good home insurance policy might even provide a level of cycling liability insurance when you are out on your bike.
Are there different types of cycling liability insurance?
Since there is no obligation to buy cycling liability insurance, there is no minimum level of cover. All of our Bicycle Insurance policies include up to £2 million cover for third party liability, but other policies may cover you for less.
You should also look at the excess on third party claims. We have zero excess on cycling liability insurance claims, but many companies will charge an excess, typically around £150 to £200. If you cause some minor damage to someone’s property, the excess could leave you out of pocket.
Finally, some policies exclude ‘knock for knock cover’, i.e. they won’t cover claims between riders who are both insured with the same company. This can be a problem if your third party liability insurance is provided by a racing body such as British Cycling, and you are racing with other British Cycling members. Our cycling liability does not have this restriction.