Velosure, which offers specialised liability policies for cyclists, has noted a marked increase in interest around its cover thanks to a court ruling in Canberra last week.
The ruling saw one cyclist ordered to pay a fellow cyclist $1.7 million in a damages payout due to negligence over a crash in 2009. The accident saw one cyclist hit a wooden stake and swerve into the path of a fellow cyclist, knocking him off his bike and into traffic – he was hit by a car and suffered severe damage to his spine and pelvis.
Gavin Kleinhans said the company has seen interest in its cover increase over the last week.
“We certainly have – ever since that story was published we’ve seen an immediate uptick in our liability cover policy sales.”
Kleinhans noted that Velosure launched its cycling liability cover around 12 months ago after focusing primarily on bicycle insurance.
“We started to look at insuring the cyclist and not just the bicycle. We launched a cyclist liability insurance product last year which covers any cyclist on any bicycle, which covers any third party liability claim they may have against them and we tried to price that at a prince point that wouldn’t be an issue so people would see this as a great value and providing them with some sort of confidence.
“A premium for the comprehensive liability product is around $60 a year which gives $20 million of cover so we are trying to create a general awareness and we have a good uptake, particularly among the commuting cyclists, which are probably the most exposed and most vulnerable.
“Having said that, even in the serious, enthusiast cyclist that goes out on the weekend in a big bunch, things can go wrong very quickly and you never know what’s going to happen.
“The potential for it to go incredibly wrong is there, like this case in Canberra, sweeping out in front of a vehicle that vehicle might have swept in front of another vehicle and you never know where this can end up. It can be quite catastrophic, just one reactional response of a cyclist.”
Cycling is ever increasing in popularity in Australia, as CEO of Sportscover David Lamb noted.
“Cycling is one of the fastest growing sports in the country.
“I spoke with the president of Cycling Victoria recently and they were talking about the emergence and the growth particularly with middle-aged men in lycra – of which I am one – so that’s really growing and it naturally follows that the lawsuits happen too.”
urged businesses, brokers and cyclists to consider some sort of liability insurance and admitted that Velosure would be open to all kinds of product lines from employee coverage schemes to niche products.
“We would absolutely look at those at options and we are very open to developing this initiative quite broadly. Employee packages, broad-based initiatives we would certainly look at and say let’s put something together and let’s speak to them about that.
“For companies to be able to provide this as a sweetener to their package to their employees so they can say ‘look, we have a policy that covers all our cyclists for third party liability’ would be brilliant.”