A new campaign has been launched today to raise awareness with UK cyclists on the adequacy of their cycle insurance policies. PedalSure, providers of specialist cycling insurance launched the ‘Are You Cycling Naked?’ campaign, featuring a naked cyclist riding down a UK street, to highlight that many UK cyclists are not fully covered, or covered at all, and therefore exposed and at risk.
Cycling has never been so popular. Figures show that 3 million, roughly 5% of the UK population regularly cycle with 2 and a half million of us commuting to work by bike. People cycled 26% further in 2016 compared to 2006, up to 53 miles per year from 42 miles per year.
The benefits of cycling are widely known; cycling helps the environment, reduces pollution and keeps you fit. Investments into cycle paths and highways together with the environment and wellness have embraced corporate culture. Many businesses employ a cycle to work scheme (a tax-efficient scheme that allows employers to buy cycles and loan them to staff for a regular repayment) which generates at least £72million in economic benefits for the UK economy in terms of health a year. The government estimates that the UK cycling economy is worth £2.9bn p.a. and there is clear potential to grow this further.
Yet, it can be dangerous. In 2016 there were 16, 496 critical injuries related to cycling in the The UK. A recent report from UK cycling charity Sustrans found that three-quarters of those polled believe that cycle safety needed to be improved in their city, with just 30% saying it was safe to ride a bike where they lived. Only 1 in 5 (21%), thought it was safe for children to cycle. Yet despite these facts, PedalSure estimate that more than 85% are Cycling Naked, Without Insurance. Of those that are insured, many only have cover for their bike’s, with a high percentage of cyclists relying on home insurance, which often fails to cover the bike outside the home or for accidental damage.
Philip Lochner, CEO of PedalSure comments “At PedalSure, We have identified that it’s not only the bike that needs to be covered but also the cyclists themselves. We cover the bike but also uniquely the cyclists with some of the highest personal cover options up to £150,000. We want this campaign to encourage and empower cyclists to be more aware of what their policies do or don’t cover and ensure that they have the best protection possible."
Bike security is a serious concern for cyclists and those considering cycling. Thousands of machines are stolen year on year. Most recent figures report 296,000 were victims of bike theft, 58% of bikes were stolen in the night and 53% of bikes were stolen from a Semi-Private Area (Garage, Shed, Hallway). Surprising then, that the uptake on cycling insurance is so low.
The PedalSure base policy covers for theft from home, away from home (When locked with a suitable sold secure rated lock) and also includes accidental damage. PedalSure cover up to 5 Bikes on a single policy with individual values of £400-£15,000 and an aggregate value of £30,000.
In the UK and Europe, there is a growing call for cycling insurance to be made mandatory. More than 38,000 UK residents have signed an ongoing petition to ask for cyclists to hold insurance to use the public roads. In Europe, A ruling from the European Court of Justice has given way to a directive that suggests that all vehicles of all types will need some form of insurance. For now, this is expected to filter into E-bikes, but there is an expectation that it may have ramifications for normal bikes. While the Brexit process may alter how this is applied to UK law, any changes from EU directives will at the moment also be legally binding in the UK as well.
Lochner continues “We do not support compulsory cycling insurance, but we do encourage and support cyclists in taking responsibility for covering their bikes, themselves and other road users. Cyclists are more exposed to the risk of injury than others, but existing cycle insurance policies don’t cover riders in the same way. In fact, most only pay out small amounts in the case of lost limbs or death. We think that’s simply not enough. When accidents happen, we believe you should be given all the support you need to get back in the saddle"
What types of cycling insurance are out there?
Theft at Home – Typical Home Insurance offering
Theft Away from Home – Standard with Specialist Bike Insurance
Accidental Damage – Standard with Specialist Bike Insurance
Personal Liability –This is often included with the base British Cycling membership but will only cover the damage done to a third party.
Personal Cover – PedalSure uniquely offers up to £150,000 of personal cover