If you drive a car on the roads you are legally required to have 3rd Party Insurance as a minimum, cyclists are not. Why not? A cyclist could cause an accident and be at fault.
Firstly – the fact a cyclist is not insured does not mean you can not claim damages in the event of an accident. They’ll just be personally liable and have to fund the payment themselves. Possibly with devastating financial impact on their lives. So non-cyclists – chill, it doesn’t matter to you that they are not insured. Regular cyclists – GET INSURANCE!
So, it’s in the cyclists interest to have the insurance in case something happens. They are not legally required to do so for two reasons:
- It’s much harder for a cyclist to cause a significant injury/accident except to themselves. Whereas powerful chunks of metal can cause devastation from a moments inattention.
- Which cyclists? Everyone who owns a bike? Even kids? What about track cyclists who only ride on indoor tracks? Or MTB riders on closed MTB tracks? Should you have to be insured if you hire a bike at Centre Parks? Really?
That’s not to say they can’t cause an accident, just it’s less likely to have disastrous consequences for others and their property. And that it would be a nightmare to enforce on the cyclists people make this argument about – those on the roads in their way.
Not withstanding that, serious riders who ride as part of a Cycle Club are more than likely insured anyway. We know the risks and we often chose to take insurance due to the sheer number of miles we do. Often people who commute regularly are also insured. Many, many people have third party legal protection through their home insurance that will also cover us.
So those who are aware of the risks chose to take cover, and policies exist.
If you’re a cyclist and you’re riding regularly without insurance, I think you’re mad and you should get third party liability insurance sorted now. The number of times on my commute that a pedestrian, runner or cyclist has not heard my bell and has moved erratically on the shared use cycle route and nearly caused an accident is huge.
If something should happen I have my cameras running so liability is clear, but in the event it’s me at fault on the shared trail or roads I ride, I’m insured to protect myself, my family and others. And you should be too.
(Just as a note, my front and rear cameras are for if there is a proper incident and liability needs evidencing from either side, I’m not someone who generally uses them to flag up regular poor road use. Just for if I’m in an incident.)