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Bike riding insurance - are you sure you're covered?

Already a Bicycle Network member? Here's how you're covered for third-party insurance.

Insurance policies are a bit like bikes – what suits one person may not necessarily suit the next. When choosing the right policy, you should always weigh up all of your individual needs to make a sensible, realistic decision.

But for those who prefer to get around on two wheels instead of four, there are some important questions you should be asking yourself.

Do I need insurance?

You don’t need insurance to ride a bike. While Bicycle Network offers insurance through our membership, we don’t believe it should be compulsory for all bike riders.

Our mission is to make Australia a more bike-friendly nation, and research from around the globe clearly shows that placing barriers or expenses in between people and their bikes is not going to get more people riding.

We know that our towns and cities become safer for all road users when more people are on bikes, not less.

However, incidents do happen. And for the initiated rider (like the majority of our 50,000+ members who ride at least once a week) obtaining some level of bike riding insurance falls under a ‘sensible, realistic decision.’

What should I be covered for?

When most people think of bike riding insurance, they think of insuring themselves from being hurt or insuring their trusty steed if it’s heartbreakingly damaged or stolen.

This is important, but truth be told, if you’ve invested a bit (okay, a lot!) of money into your bike, you’re most likely already covered for theft and damages under your home and contents insurance. Similarly, your existing health insurance most likely covers you for any personal injury incurred on the bike.

(Note: Bicycle Network insurance covers riders for non-Medicare expenses such as physio and chiro)

However, too often one of the most important elements of bike riding insurance is overlooked: Are you covered if you cause injuries to someone else or damage their property?

What about third party insurance?

Third party insurance is not something that you can generally expect to be covered under your existing insurance policies.

Fortunately, third-party liability claims happen infrequently. But when they do, the cost can make a top of the range Pinarello seem like small change. The classic example that’s often quoted is writing off a Porsche, which could set you back a cool $300,000.

In 2014 bike riders in the ACT saw a jarring example, when following a crash between two bike riders, one was awarded a $1.6m payout against the other. It was a wake-up call that sent many bike riders in the ACT scrambled for cover – insurance cover!

Just last week in the UK a cyclist was ordered to pay up to a £100,000 in damages and fees to a pedestrian who walked out in front of him while looking at her phone.

With the backdrop of an increasingly litigious society, it is fair to say that for those who ride regularly, making sure you are covered third-party insurance has never been more important.

Does Bicycle Network support third-party insurance?

We’re supporters of third party insurance, and our membership includes it. The last thing we want to see is riders left financially crippled after an incident on their bike.

We urge all riders to make sure they’re covered for any damage they may cause to others, and would love it if you let us support you with third party cover.

This includes up to $5 million in cover in the event of injury to someone else or property damage, as well as reasonable legal costs and other expenses incurred in the investigation, defence and/or settlement of an occurrence or claim

It’s a beautiful relationship – as the more support we gain from our members, the more advocacy we can do on behalf of the bike riding community, which helps ensure the government provides a more bike-friendly environment, which minimizes the chances of a crash occurring in the first place!

So when you become a member of Bicycle Network, you can be confident that you're giving your hard earned to an organisation who puts it straight back into your community, making it easier for you and your family and friends to ride. It's a win-win. 

Click here to find out more about the benefits of Bicycle Network membership.

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