Cycling has become very popular during the lockdown, partly due to the nice weather Britain has enjoyed since late March. But insurance isn’t a legal requirement for cyclists, so despite the influx of new, some might say `accidental’ cyclists, during the pandemic, is it likely that brokers will see a long term demand for bike insurance? IE mag thinks that owners of expensive £1000 plus electric and designer brand racing bikes will take out theft cover, but many others will take their chances.
Here’s the latest from Cycleplan; Online enquiries for cycling insurance have increased by 63% in the two months since UK lockdown measures were introduced, according to new figures. Searches for the same term have also surged by 51% year-on-year during the period (23rd March – 20th May 2020).
The data, released by specialist cyclist insurance provider, Cycleplan, points to a significant increase in people using bikes to commute, exercise and travel during the coronavirus pandemic, in accordance with government guidelines. This is undoubtedly a growing trend: Cycleplan’s recent survey found that 8 in 10 people have reduced their reliance on cars and public transport during the lockdown and cycled or walked for essential short journeys instead.
But, as the UK hits the two-month lockdown milestone on 23rd May, the figures also suggest growing awareness and concern amongst cyclists around the risks associated with travelling on two wheels. This ranges from accidents and injuries to theft, loss and damage to the bike itself.
Moreover, several campaign groups have highlighted that highway infrastructure is currently not equipped to cope with an influx of new cyclists on the roads. This is obvious to anyone who has watched cyling videos from Germany, Denmark or the Netherlands. It’s hard to see where money for that level of new infrastructure would come from, given the government’s many other pressing priorities and the huge impact on many historic city centre street layouts.
John Woosey, Cycleplan’s Founder and Managing Director commented: “The benefits of cycling for our health (and that of the environment) are numerous. However, millions of people across the UK are now being “actively encouraged” to cycle more. This comes with an element of risk – especially amongst those who may not have cycled regularly, or on busy roads, ever before.
“It’s therefore encouraging to see such an uplift in the amount of people searching for cycling insurance. Specialist policies not only offer cover against issues like injury, damage, loss and theft, but also help to provide much-needed financial peace of mind during this time.”