56% of cyclists have neither public liability insurance, third party insurance or personal accident insurance

Public Liability Insurance for Cyclists

It’s common for cyclists to believe that their bicycles are covered on their home insurance policy, and whilst this can be true, it isn’t as common as you may think. It’s also less common for standard home insurance policies to cover cyclists for public liability or personal accident. So the starting point here is to check, and then read the small print.

The clue is in the title, Home Contents Insurance. Often, bicycles are only covered when they are at home. In fact, some insurance policies insist on just that, that they are in the home, and do not cover bikes stored in a shed or even brick-built garages. Some policies include items in a garage that is adjoined to the house but not in a garage that isn’t attached to the main building. Like I said, check the small print.

Despite asking your Insurance Company if the policy covers your bicycles, and their confirmation that it does, you’ll get quite a shock to learn that your pride and joy isn’t covered when out on a ride. It may feel as though you are being pedantic but it’s about what you ask. Asking under what conditions your bike is and isn’t insured should give you a more detailed response than simply asking if you are covered. We list some other key questions to ask your insurance company towards the end of this article.

We are also only referring to theft here, possibly accidental damage too. It’s unlikely that your bike will be covered on your home insurance policy for Cycle Rescue, Public Liability, Third Party or Personal Accident Insurance. It’s also unlikely to cover the cost of rehabilitation, physiotherapy or dental treatment, or loss of earnings.

Some policies do include this type of cover but once again, check the small print for exclusions, such as driving to/from a cycling event, races, travel on an aircraft, cycling outside of the UK or Europe.

What is Public Liability Insurance & Third Party Insurance for Cyclists?

None of us want to be in an accident and most cyclists ride with care and pay attention to their surroundings but however much we protect ourselves, accidents do happen.

According to RoSPA, in 2014, 21,287 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,514 who were killed or seriously injured. These are only the accidents that were reported. I suspect that there were many others that went unreported.

It is perhaps a cyclists’ self-preservation instinct kicking in but despite our best efforts, there are times when cyclists may be the cause of an accident. In these circumstances, Public Liability Insurance protects us from what can be an expensive experience, especially if damages are awarded against you.

Third Party Insurance protects you against;

  • Incidents which are your fault, whilst riding or wheeling your bicycle
  • Physical injury to third parties caused by your actions
  • Damage to third party property caused by you
  • Legal costs incurred in forming your defence
  • Damages awarded against you following a successful claim by a third party
  • Total cover for legal costs and awards of up to £10m (individual policies vary)

As you can imagine, there are a whole-host of exclusions in insurance policies so be careful and double-check the policy.

Do Cyclists Need Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance?

At first glance, it may appear that there are few laws that govern cyclists but this list of FAQs provide some useful insight into cycling and the law.

Outside of the basics, cyclists need to consider their liabilities in both Criminal Law and Civil Law. They may be liable if they cycle with undue care and attention or cause damage to others or others’ property.

Even if you only do this for your own safety, you should ensure that your bike is in good condition. However, have you considered what you’d do if you were the cause of an accident that resulted in damage to a car or you were to injure another person, perhaps another cyclist? This is where Public Liability Insurance, also known as Third Party Insurance, comes in.

What about injury to yourself, could you cope if you had medical expenses, physiotherapy or dental treatment to pay? What about if things were worse than that and you had a permanent disability which caused you to lose your job or require you to make alterations to your home? This is where Personal Accident Insurance helps.

56% of cyclists have neither public liability or personal accident insurance

Like many insurance policies, we hope we never need them but when we do, we’re glad that we have adequate cover.

In a recent survey in the Google+ Cycling UK Community, I asked whether fellow cyclists had public liability insurance or personal accident insurance.

Insurance Survey

More than half of those who responded said they had neither type of insurance.

In the survey question, I asked people to respond accordingly, regardless of whether they had dedicated insurance or whether it was included as part of another policy or membership (more on that later).

British Cycling membership and some home insurance policies include public liability insurance so it is perhaps unsurprising to see that more cyclists have that type of insurance than personal accident insurance. However, I was surprised to see that just 16% of cyclists have personal accident cover – that’s 5/6 people without accident insurance.

The Highway Code provide rules for cyclists, some of which we all know, some of which we don’t. I’d recommend taking a few minutes to read these rules, even if it’s just to refresh your mind. How many of these rules did you know?

  • Rule 59: Cyclists should wear a cycle helmet which conforms to current regulations
  • Rule 59: Cyclists should wear light-coloured or fluorescent clothing
  • Rule 60: At night, your bicycle should be fitted with a red rear reflector and amber pedal reflectors
  • Rule 64: Cyclists must not cycle on a pavement
  • Rule 66: You should not ride close behind another vehicle
  • Rule 69: You must obey all traffic signs and traffic light signals
  • Rule 71: You must not cross the stop line when the traffic lights are red

The Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 stipulate that every pedal cycle should have two braking systems (can be a back pedal-operated rear brake). The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 stipulate that bikes ridden at night must be fitted with white front and red rear lights, flashing or steady, as well as a red rear reflector.

From October 1985, bicycles must also be fitted with amber pedal reflectors for night riding. However, a quick scan of modern clipless pedals will show that it is near impossible to achieve this.

Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may be regarded as contributory negligence, which in turn may lead to a claim being made against the cyclist. Is it time to buy public liability insurance?

Compare Public Liability, Third Party and Personal Accident Insurance for Cyclists

In the following tables, we compare policies from all the leading cycle insurance companies. As you will see, there are various combinations of cover, and as each cyclists’ needs are different, we have grouped the policies into the following groups:

  • Free Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance – free insurance cover
  • Cheap Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance – low cost cover
  • Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance – joint cover
  • Public Liability Insurance – just third party cover
  • Personal Accident Insurance – just accident cover
  • Cycle Insurance including Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance
  • Cycle Insurance including Public Liability Insurance only

In order to make the comparison charts consistent, we have used the same criteria throughout. This means that the price you pay may be different, either higher or lower so please check before you commit to any insurance policy. The criteria we used was a road bike value of £2,000, a Cheshire postcode (CH48), standard geographic cover (UK/EU), standard accessories inclusion, basic public liability cover (usually £1m), standard personal accident cover (usually upto £10,000) and no options selected. In other words, the minimum cover each insurance company offers.

Most cycle insurance companies will cover cyclists who cycle for fun, leisure, fitness, commuting to/from work and also non-competitive cycling events like sportives. Some will also cover you for competitive timed events like races but you need to check the small print in some policies for this. A good number of those listed below offer this as an optional extra.

Free Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance

It’s not uncommon these days for us to seek things for free but free insurance? Is that possible?

Believe it or not, cyclists can get free public liability insurance and personal accident insurance. So what’s the catch? If you are a member of British Cycling or CTC, then there is no catch as this insurance is included as part of membership.

Gold membership includes both public liability and personal accident insurance, whilst Silver membership includes public liability. CTC membership also includes free public liability insurance, along with other benefits of being a CTC member.

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
British CyclingGold MembershipNoupto £10mupto £25,000Free
British CyclingSilver MembershipNoupto £10mNoFree
CTCNoupto £10mNoFree

As you can see, the public liability cover is £10m, which is the highest level we’ve seen whilst compiling this report. The British Cycling personal accident cover of upto £25,000 is also an excellent level compared to many policies which is limited to £10,000 for accidents.

So if you are already a member of either of these organisations, enjoy your free insurance.

Cheap Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance

If you are not already a member of British Cycling or CTC and are simply looking for cheap insurance, look at the following chart for low cost options.

Public Liability Insurance for Cyclists from just £16

As you will see, some are dedicated Public Liability Insurance or Personal Accident Insurance policies for cyclists, and some include cover for theft and accidental damage. This is a little top tip for those who don’t need cover for their bike, just for themselves. Simply choose the lowest level of cover for your bike and enjoy cheap insurance – just ensure you have adequate cover for your bike elsewhere.

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
Lexhamupto £200£1mNo£16
Eversureupto £200£1mupto £10,000£19
Cycleguard Roadcaretier 1No£1mupto £10,000£22
Evans Cyclestier 1No£1mupto £10,000£22
ETAupto £150£5mNo£22
E+Lupto £200£1mupto £10,000£24
Cycleguard Roadcaretier 2No£2mupto £10,000£28
Evans Cyclestier 2No£2mupto £10,000£28
Cycle Planupto £300£1mNo£32
British Cycling MembershipSilverNo£10mNo£42
CTCThird PartyNo£10mNo£43
Cycle Planupto £300£1m£10,000£43
Cycleguard Roadcaretier 3No£5mupto £10,000£45
Evans Cyclestier 3No£5mupto £10,000£45
Wiggle AssistNo£1mupto £10,000£48

Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
British Cycling MembershipGoldNoupto £10mupto £25,000£72
Cycleguard RoadcareNo£1mupto £10,000£22
No£2mupto £10,000£28
No£5mupto £10,000£45
Cycle Planupto £200£1m£10,000£43
upto £200£2m£25,000£50
upto £200£5m£50,000£65
E+L Cycle Insuranceupto £200£1mupto £10,000£24
Evans Cycles Public Liability InsuranceNo£1mupto £10,000£22
No£2mupto £10,000£28
No£5mupto £10,000£45
Eversure Cycle Insuranceupto £200£1mupto £10,000£19
PedalSure Bicycle InsuranceBronzeNo£1mupto £35,000£72
SilverNo£1.5mupto £60,000£132
GoldNo£2mupto £150,000£204
Wiggle Cycle InsuranceAssistNo£1mupto £10,000£48

Public Liability Insurance

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
British Cycling MembershipSilverNo£10mNo£42
CTC Third Party InsuranceNo£10mNo£43
Cycle Planupto £300£1mNo£32
ETA Cycle Insuranceupto £150£5mNo£22
Lexham Cycle Insuranceupto £200£1mNo£16

Personal Accident Insurance

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
Lexham Cycle InsurancePersonal AccidentNoNoupto £40,000£52
RAC Personal Accident InsuranceBronzeNoNoupto £100,000£84
SilverNoNoupto £150,000£120
GoldNoNoupto £200,000£138

Cycle Insurance including Public Liability & Personal Accident Insurance

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
Assetsure upto £12,500£2mupto £10,000£93
bicyInsured Valueupto £1mupto £10,000£128
Bikmo PlusInsured Value£2mupto £20,000£157
CTC Cycle InsuranceCyclesureupto £15,000Yesupto £10,000£120
Cycleguardupto £12,500£1mupto £10,000£147
Cycle Planupto £30,000£1mupto £10,000£158
E+Lupto £5,000£1mupto £10,000£129
ETAInsured Value£5mupto £20,000£172
Evans CyclesBike Insuranceupto £12,500£1mupto £10,000£173
Eversureupto £10,000£1mupto £10,000£155
Sports Cover DirectInsured Value£2mupto £10,000£192
VelosureInsured Value£2mupto £20,000£163
Wiggle Cycle InsuranceEliteInsured Value£5mupto £10,000£205
Wiggle Cycle InsuranceEssentialInsured Value£2mupto £10,000£181
Yellow Jerseyupto £15,000£2mupto £20,000£171

Cycle Insurance including Public Liability Insurance only

Theft / DamagePublic LiabilityPersonal AccidentCost
Lexham Cycle Insuranceupto £10,000£1mNo£128

Cycle Insurance Questions

We’ve already listed some of the things you need to check before committing to an insurance policy and whilst there are almost an endless number of questions to ask yourself, here are some of the main ones to consider.

  • Do I need both public liability insurance and personal accident insurance?
  • Do I have either insurance already?
  • What would happen if I didn’t have public liability insurance and I caused damage to someone’s property?
  • Can I afford to pay medical expenses, physiotherapy and dental treatment
  • Could I afford to be off work due to a cycling accident?
  • Am I covered on this policy outside of the UK?
  • If covered outside of the UK, how many days can I travel?
  • Am I covered if I’m pushing or wheeling the bicycle?
  • Does the personal accident insurance pay for hospital stays?
  • What age restrictions do you have (Watch for upper age restrictions)?
  • What excess is there on the policy?
  • What security arrangements do I need to make?


It’s important to note that this article is provided in good faith and is solely intended to be used as a guide and to help compare select insurance policies. It is not provided by anyone who is regulated by the Insurance Industry.

The information contained within this article, and other articles on this website, are updated periodically but no guarantee is given that the information provided is correct, complete, and/or up-to-date. The contents are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter.

The owners and contributors to this website do not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site.

We strongly advise you to carefully read all insurance policy documentation prior to making any commitments.