Wednesday 17 September 2008

Question on insurance

My previous questions on roundabouts and punctures generated a number of interesting responses, so here is another thing that I have been wondering about: should I be doing more about insurance?

I'm not bothered about cover for the value of the bike itself, which I know is included on our household insurance, but  I am wondering about specific public liability and recovery (or "get you home") services for the bike: neither of which I currently hold.

By way of background, I've not shopped around, but either would cost around £2 a month. I'm neither racing, nor commuting on the bike - it is almost entirely used for recreational riding. I am doing 50-60 miles a week, typically in one weekend ride of at least a couple of dozen miles, and a few shorter rides during the week. 

For the recovery service, the parameters are fairly easy to judge. I've not been stranded yet, and while I can imagine it happening, the worst case scenario is manageable.  I am the only person in the house who can drive, so I can't easily call someone out to pick me up. However, if I was in a situation where I couldn't ride home, then I would normally be able to get there in a couple of hours, using a mix of walking, and public transport. I could even call out a taxi, I suppose, at less than the annual premium for a recovery service. So it seems quite possible that I would come to call on recovery insurance, if I held it, but on balance it doesn't seem like a very sensible option. I'm better carrying the risk myself.

On the other hand, it seems highly unlikely that I would ever need to call on public liability insurance. However, accidents do happen, and the worst case scenario doesn't bear thinking about. I seem to be covered by my home contents insurance policy, which provides for personal liability up to £2million, with no real restrictions, other than damage I cause with a MOTORISED vehicle (and third party liability insurance is compulsory for the car in any case) or a boat (which I only own in my dreams). I don't see how a special policy for the bike would improve my cover.

In summary, I know I am covered for the value of the bike; on balance, recovery insurance doesn't seem good value, and I already seem to be covered for liability. Hence no action is required.

Or am I missing something? 


Anonymous said...

CTC membership might be worth considering, it gives you legal backing if you have a dispute with another road user, as well as route maps, discounts, local groups etc.

Anonymous said...

CTC gives you free liability insurance (it's the only reason I joined a few years back). You can find out more here:

They also offer discounts on other forms of insurance.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say they also offer cheap breakdown cover.

Anonymous said...

You might want to check the terms of your bike cover on your household insurance - there was a story in the Grud the other day about a student whose bike was stolen & she found she wasn't covered because the terms said both wheels had to be secured, even though it was the whole bike that was stolen. Specialist bike insurance might be more comprehensive. That said I don't have any insurance for mine, or a recovery service, although there's times when I wished I did...