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Two thirds of people believe cyclists should be made to have insurance

The fact is, most bike riders are already insured for third party liability ... though that seems lost on many who don't cycle...

Almost two thirds of people believe cyclists should be required to have third-party liability insurance, according to a new survey.

Unsurprisingly, the sentiment is much stronger among motorists, 68 per cent of whom told YouGov that they support the idea, than it is among commuting cyclists, just 33 per cent of whom agreed, reports the local news website, swlondoner.co.uk.

Across the sample as a whole, 64 per cent said that cover should be compulsory, while occasional cyclists – those who ride at least once a month – were split down the middle, with 42 per cent in favour and 41 per cent opposed.

Tim Lennon, borough co-ordinator at the Richmond Cycling Campaign, told the website: “It would just be another barrier to people getting on a bike, and since cycling is really no more dangerous than walking, it would simply be a way to discourage cycling.”

Among motorists, only 18 per cent thought that it was a bad idea to make insurance mandatory for cyclists, versus 50 per cent of cycle commuters.

Leaving aside the issue that users of mechanically-propelled vehicles are required to take out third party insurance by law because of their propensity to do harm to others, the survey reflects the widely-held fallacy that cyclists are not covered for their potential legal liability to third parties.

Most bike riders, of course, are insured for that risk – whether through bespoke cycle insurance, their membership of British Cycling or affiliated clubs or organisations such as Cycling UK, or through their own household insurance.

And users of hire schemes such as London’s Santander Cycles are also automatically covered when they take one of their bikes.

The perception, however, that we are not will doubtless remain another stick for many motorists to beat us with.

> Cycle-specific insurance — Your questions answered

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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