Cyclists and insurance - the need to knows

 

As part of the cycle safety review announced on 21 September, the Government is considering 'whether the current legislation as to reckless cycling is appropriate, as well as different ways in which safety can be further improved between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists', ministers have said.

Insurance broker Complete Cover Group, takes a look at the current situation for cyclists and insurance.

The statistics 

With almost two million people in the UK riding their bicycles every single day, and more than two and a half million taking to two wheels at least once a week, that makes for a lot of cyclists travelling on British roads.

The success of top cyclists such as Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome has helped to fuel interest in the sport, causing Brits to take to cycling in ever-increasing numbers. Statistics show that the numbers of cyclists on our roads has been steadily increasing since 2008, with bicycle sales in 2013 surpassing the number of cars sold.

Cyclists and road traffic incidents 

With so many cyclists now sharing the roads with cars and other traffic, it’s no surprise to learn that the number of road traffic incidents involving bicycles is on the increase.

Over 3,400 cyclists were seriously injured in 2014 alone, which represented an 8.2% increase over the previous year. However, this statistic relies on accidents that were reported to the police, meaning that the true figure could be much higher.

There’s also been a marked increase in the number of collisions between bicycles and pedestrians, with reports suggesting that at least one pedestrian is injured by cyclists every day. This has served to fuel demand for cyclists to be obliged to take out insurance, something that is compulsory for all other road vehicles.

According to current UK legislation, there is no legal requirement for a cyclist to take out insurance.

Members of Cycling UK, formerly known as the Cyclists Touring Club, or CTC, benefit from automatic third-party insurance of up to £10m in the event of an accident caused by their bicycles – however not all cyclists are members of the organisation.

Some household and motor insurance policies cover cycle use on the roads, but this is very much a grey area. Meanwhile some are suggesting that cyclists should be subject to the same rules as other road users, with over 22,000 signatures on a petition handed to Teresa May last year calling for bike riders to pay insurance and road tax to bring them in line with all other on-road vehicles.

Do cyclists need insurance?

Often cyclists argue that as, in the event of a road traffic incident it is inevitable that they will come off worst, they should have the choice as to whether to take out cycle-insurance or not.

They are keen to see the introduction of a law in which the heaviest vehicle is presumed to be liable in the event of an accident until proven otherwise. This law would work in favour of pedestrians who were involved in collisions with bicycles, and would act as a deterrent to cycling on pavements.

Throughout most of Europe, an accident involving a bicycle and another road vehicle is subject to the law of Presumed Liability, meaning that cyclists don’t need to prove that the motorist was at fault. Only the UK, Ireland, Malta, Cyprus and Romania have failed to introduce the relevant legislation.

As the law stands in the UK, a cyclist involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle must prove the driver’s negligence on the balance of probabilities. Unless there were witnesses, this can be almost impossible to substantiate.

As more and more Brits take to the road on their bikes, the message is clear. It is to everyone’s advantage if bike riders take the initiative and source their own bike-insurance in order to provide guaranteed cover in the event of an incident, whether between a bike and other road user, or a bike and a pedestrian.

This article was written by Complete Cover Group, independent insurance brokers providing specialist insurance solutions.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
transport network jobs

Engineer Maintenance

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit an Engineer Maintenance Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Tree Services Programme Manager

Nottingham City Council
£37,107
You will be responsible for the management and maintenance of the Council's trees and woods, and will provide professional advice to others Woodthorpe, Nottingham
Recuriter: Nottingham City Council

Transport Coordinator

Camden London Borough Council
£32,473 to £37,670
We have an exciting opportunity for 2 highly customer focused Transport Coordinators to work in the busy Camden Transport Team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Highway Electrical Supervisor (Highway Maintenance)

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,657 to £28,221
The post will support two Senior Lighting Engineers in leading and contributing to the delivery of the Street Lighting function for the Authority Bootle, Merseyside
Recuriter: Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Flood Risk Management Engineer

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 to £36,876
We are currently seeking a Flood Risk Management Engineer who will have a lead role with the Flood Risk and Development Team Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal Improvements)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal improvement projects. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Engineer (Traffic Signal System and Operations)

Lincolnshire County Council
£34,106 - £38,052
This is a superb opportunity to lead, motivate and inspire our engineering team working on traffic signal systems and operations. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Engineer (Traffic Signals)

Lincolnshire County Council
£42,806 - £49,441
Do you want to lead, manage and motivate a team of engineers working at the cutting edge of technology? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Principal Nuisance Control Officer

Brent Council
£38,040 - £40,086 p.a. inc. + £4,800 shift allowance p.a.
Salary range
Recuriter: Brent Council

Rights of Way Search Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£7,188 - £7,327 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in maintaining, developing and promoting the Definitive Map for Bridgend Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Countryside Access Maintenance Officer - Highways Services

Bridgend County Borough Council
£12,644 - £13,015 per annum
We are seeking someone to assist in ensuring that the local rights of way network is protected, well maintained and enjoyed... Bridgend (Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr)
Recuriter: Bridgend County Borough Council

Principal Transport Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£37,320 to £40,198
The role will require close dialogue with developers and their agents and necessitate strong partnership working with District Councils... Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Project Engineer

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £33,136
Are you a qualified Highways Project Engineer? Would you like to work in the famous James Herriot area of natural beauty? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Highways Officer Highways and Transport

North Yorkshire County Council
£28,2281 p.a.
Are you someone who is looking to progress their career with one of the most highly regarded highway services in the country? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Regional Strategy Officer

North Yorkshire County Council
Band 15 – up to £41,846
Are you an experienced Transport Planner? Do you have exceptional communication skills to build relationships within teams? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Area Manager

North Yorkshire County Council
up to £53,113 p.a. winter allowance plus 10% one off additional payment for exceptional candidates
Four Area Highway Managers roles available York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Transport Planning Officer – Major Development Applications

Somerset County Council
£33,136 to £37,107
We have a fantastic opportunity in Somerset within our Highways Development Management team. Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Communications Manager - North London Heat & Power Project

Camden London Borough Council
£40,028 to £46,431
We have an exciting new opportunity for an enthusiastic and talented individual to join us and be part of a team... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Commissioner for Passenger Transport Services

Somerset County Council
£45,216 per annum
You will be responsible for the development of long-term policy, strategy, plans and programmes for passenger transport Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Technician(s) / Assistant Engineer

Darlington Borough Council
£16,755 - £29,909 Annually
As part of a team you will be involved in the management and improvement of the highway network Darlington, Durham
Recuriter: Darlington Borough Council