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Big rise reported in cyclists seeking insurance after pedestrian collision legal case

Potential costs running into tens of thousands of pounds sees riders seek cover

A court case in which a cyclist was held partly liable for a collision with a pedestrian who was crossing the road looking at her mobile phone has led to soaring demand for third party liability insurance among bike riders, The Sunday Times reports.

Robert Hazeldean and Gemma Brushett were both knocked out when they collided in the City of London in July 2015.

> Cyclist found partly liable for crash with pedestrian who was looking at her mobile phone as she stepped into road

Earlier this month, a judge awarded Brushett, who sustained a minor head injury and memory loss, damages of £4,172, holding her 50 per cent responsible for the crash.

However, Hazeldean, who did not enter a counter-claim and was uninsured, could also have to pay up to £100,000 in costs that the plaintiff is seeking.

While that is the figure that has made the headlines, the final bill once it is settled at a future hearing may well be rather less, with the judge having indicated an award of £10,000 to the plaintiff.

Adding in the damages and Hazeldean’s own costs of £7,000 gives a total of £21,172 and a crowdfunding page set up by a friend of his has raised £58,794 to date. Any surplus will be donated to the charity Action Aid.

The Sunday Times points out that had he been insured, any costs awarded against him would have been capped at around £7,000.

The case, which has received widespread coverage in the mainstream media, has led to a big increase in demand for cover among cyclists, according to Cycling UK, with the charity’s website crashing as a result.

Cycling UK’s Sam Jones told the newspaper: “Summer has always been busy for us, but never to this magnitude.

“We’ve offered the insurance cover since the 1920s and think everyone riding should have it.”

In a recent article regarding insurance on its website, British Cycling said that since the case concluded, it too had seen a “substantial rise” in new memberships, with all packages other than fan and bronze including third-party liability cover.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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