Cycling is in fashion, even in Ireland. There has been a number of signs of continued growth in cycling in Ireland over the past few years. We are rediscovering in great numbers the compelling case in terms of cost and health benefits in favour of cycling. Close to 200,000 bikes have now been bought under the bike-to-work scheme since it was launched at the start of 2009, cyclists are been advised to think about insurance cover.
When talking about insurance and risk in the context of cycling, it is natural to think of bike theft. But by far the greatest financial loss the everyday cyclist can suffer - potentially thousands of times the value of their bicycle - is liability for damage to another's property or person.
Many cyclists take to the road without considering insurance, not having a comprehensive insurance policy could prove costly, cyclists have been advised to consider insurance cover.
We are informed those hurt in an accident, or found responsible for causing one, may face bills of thousands of Euro and all of which is preventable.
Of those who believe cycling to be a good thing for our society and our environment, most would like to see greater numbers taking to two wheels. With this in mind, we owe it to ourselves to ensure cycling remains as approachable, as accessible and as 'normal' as possible, so insurance cover should be optional not compulsorily and remove the financial fear of falling and been injured causing damage to a third party removed.
Most people choose to indemnify themselves through a cycling organisation because they negotiate the best deals and pass on the savings to their members.
As a member of cycling Ireland which can be obtained through your local cycle club you get Personal Accident Insurance.
Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer Mayo County Council, said many think they are fully covered by their household contents policies but these do not always go far enough.
"Household insurance policies are general insurance. They do not provide specialist cover that you might need whether it's for theft or for third party," he says.
"So if you go to a specialist insurer or to a cycling organisation to get that sort of cover specifically aimed at cycling, that is what the policy is designed for and you benefit from that."
Although cyclists may be more vulnerable on the roads, statistically they are less likely to be responsible for an accident than a motorist - and that is reflected in the premiums.
Cycle club membership can be got at a cost of around 50 euro a year or you can become a member of cycling Ireland for €15,there are over 250 clubs in Ireland with over 6000 members. This membership typically provides third-party cover - the costs of causing accidents to other road-users and their property.
Some policies covers damage to the bicycle following an accident and the cost of a replacement bicycle if it is stolen or damaged.
Cyclists can be at risk when using the road, as statistics below show from 1997-2010: (source RSA).
· 178 pedal cyclists were killed
· 444 cyclists were seriously injured
· More than 67% of road deaths among cyclists occurred during daylight hours.
· Over one third of fatal collisions with cyclists happened during summer months.
Another advantage of been a member of a cycling club is you can avail of the expertise and skills of fellow members to make yourself a more skilled and safer rider and avoid becoming one of the below statistic.