To find the best bicycle liability insurance policy, compare quotes from several providers and choose the cover that best suits your needs.
Decide what to cover
You can find public liability cover through most bicycle insurers, which provides cover if you accidentally injure someone or damage somebody's property. Most policies cover costs like:
Legal expenses, if you need to defend yourself against a claim made by a third party.
Compensation for victims, if you are found liable for causing an injury.
Repair bills, if you are responsible for causing damage to someone's property.
Check your quotes carefully to check the cover you need is included, otherwise you could face expensive bills if an incident occurs.
Choose an excess
This is how much you need to pay if you make a claim. Most insurers let you choose your excess, and the amount you choose can affect your policy price.
If you can't afford to pay the excess then your insurer may reject your claim. Check you can afford the excess when you get quotes.
Look out for exclusions
Most bicycle liability insurance policies feature several exclusions that mean your claim could be rejected.
Policies can vary from insurer to insurer, so check your policy documents carefully to understand exactly what your cover includes and does not include.
For example, a policy may not cover you if:
You use your bicycle for business purposes
You cause damage or injury someone deliberately
You participate in competitive bicycle events
Carefully check the exclusions when you get quotes, as some insurers may offer less exclusions than others.
What is bicycle liability insurance for?
Liability insurance covers you against third party claims. No cyclist wants to get into an accident or collision, but if something unexpected happens and you are at fault, liability insurance can protect you against expensive legal compensation and costs. It can also function as good peace-of-mind cover, to take some of the stress out of cycling.
Do I need to buy a bicycle liability insurance policy?
While third party insurance is a minimum requirement for drivers on UK roads, cyclists do not need to be insured. However, the right insurance can be an important protection for all road users. Cycling at high speeds — just like driving — carries an element of risk. The right cover can protect you, your bike, those around you and prevent any costly compensation payouts.
Do you have to pay an excess?
Yes, most bicycle insurance policies will demand you pay a compulsory excess when you claim. This is the amount of money you will need to contribute to the insurer’s costs if you make a claim.
Your excess will likely be either:
A percentage of the claim. For example, a 5% excess on a claim worth £5,000 would mean you have to pay £250.
A set amount for any claim, for example £200.
You could be charged a higher excess if you fail to meet certain safety requirements. Check the policy documents carefully before you buy your cover to see what excess you will need to pay if you claim.
Am I already covered?
If you are a member of a cycling or triathlon club, third party liability cover may be included in your membership. Check with your club directly to find out if you are covered.
You should also make sure you understand the level of cover your club provides, if any. For example, you may be covered against claims made by pedestrians for injury or property damage, but not if claims are made by fellow club members after an accident at an event or race.
How to find the best cycling liability insurance
The best cycling liability insurance policy for you will ultimately include a combination of the features that best fit your needs.
It is important to establish and understand your priorities. By just focusing on one aspect of cover, you may find you are not covered elsewhere when you need to be.
Once you know what the best policy for you includes, finding the cheapest policy is pretty simple. Carry out a bicycle insurance comparison to find the cheapest policy for your circumstances and needs.
Unless you require very specialised cover — for example because you compete in cycling events or your bike is very valuable — the likelihood is the best insurance cover for you will be a broad policy that caters for most circumstances to a consistent level for regular cyclists.
To find the most effective cover, you should weigh the aspects of these general plans according to how you normally use your bike.
What to do if your claim is rejected
If your cycling liability insurance claim has been rejected and you believe you have been treated unfairly, there are steps you can take.
First, make sure that you have checked your policy. If you then still feel your claim is valid, you should contact your insurer and make a complaint.
If they do not change their decision, you can refer your complaint to the financial ombudsman, who will then independently assess your claim to find a resolution.
What about standard bicycle insurance?
Standard bicycle insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing your bike if it is stolen or damaged.
It can also protect you financially if you are injured while riding. You should be covered when you lock your bike up away from your home and when you are riding.
Your bike may also be covered against theft and vandalism by your home contents policy, but usually only when it is kept at home.
Extra cover options
Once you have chosen your policy, you may also be able to add extra benefits to your policy to extend your cover.
These optional extras usually include features such as:
Cover for taking your bike abroad
Cover for competitions like road races or time trials
Extended accessories cover
Bicycle breakdown cover
It will usually cost extra to add these options to your policy, so only consider them if you think you need the cover and can afford the increased cost.