With World Bicycle Day and Bike Week UK this week promoting cycling’s benefits, a leading bicycle insurance comparison firm says it is time to think again about cyclists’ safety. The warning comes as Quotezone.co.uk says demand for electric bicycle insurance is catching up to demand for traditional pedal power. The bicycle insurance comparison website says there was a 204% rise in electric bicycle policies across Q1 from 2020-2021.
While all bicycle demand went up by 279% during this period, the pace has started to slow, with a 39% fall this year- January to March – whereas electric bikes have kept their momentum, falling by just 1.9% across the colder winter months.
However, while the firm says it is encouraged by the boom in cycling in general and the move towards greener modes of transport, many cyclists on the roads are still neglecting to get insurance.
Research from one of Quotezone.co.uk’s bicycle insurance partners Bikmo, suggests half of UK cyclists have no or inadequate insurance cover, leaving them vulnerable should they suffer an injury themselves or hurt a pedestrian.
Department for Transport figures show that while bicycle traffic increased by 96% from 2004-2020, serious injuries went up 26%. There are more than 4,000 cyclists seriously injured every year and overall injuries are close to 20,000 annually.
The government’s hierarchy of road users, which was published in January, gives guidance for safer road use, aiming to protect the most vulnerable road users with cyclists of both traditional and electric bicycles identified, just behind pedestrians, as groups needing more consideration.
Lee Evans, bicycle insurance comparison expert at Quotezone.co.uk, the first site in the UK to provide bicycle insurance comparison, comments: “While we celebrate cycling in June, with the health and environmental benefits of pedal power being plain to see, there must be a reflection on the dangers faced by both cyclists and pedestrians.
“We mustn’t forget there’s more to do to help increase safety and protect our vulnerable road users – from allowing them more space and time to make their manoeuvres and doing extra checks such as the Dutch Reach.
“Bicycle insurance is still not obligatory, yet many injured cyclists need physio assistance, time off work, replacement bicycles. With the increased power and speed of electric bicycles, we might see accident volume and severity start to increase further – putting pressure on the government to make insurance protection a necessity.
“Cyclists should check and see if they can add their bicycles to their home insurance policy as a specified item, or else take out a bespoke bicycle insurance policy. Using a comparison site makes it relatively inexpensive, and certain policies that include cyclist liability cover protect a cyclist should they have an accident with a pedestrian or another vehicle.”
Quotezone.co.uk enables cyclists to compare quotes from a wide range of bicycle insurance providers side by side, helping over 3 million users find a more competitive deal each year on everything from bicycle insurance to cycling liability insurance and road bicycle insurance.