I am a member of Cycling UK and benefit from third-party insurance and legal cover. If I joined London Cycling Campaign as well, would this affect my position in the event of a claim or accident?
It is preferable to be ‘double insured’ than uninsured. As a Cycling UK member, you benefit from £10m third-party insurance cover in the event that you cause an accident whilst riding or wheeling your bicycle.
In my experience, Cycling UK members are safe and considerate road users, but a moment’s loss of concentration could result in a collision. It is highly unlikely that a cyclist would need more than £10million indemnity cover.
If you have additional insurance – say, through a household contents policy – this would not prevent Cycling UK insurers Aviva from dealing with your third-party claim. It would in any event be preferable to utilise your Cycling UK insurance as this would have no impact on your household insurance premiums.
Members are also able to utilise the Cycling UK Legal Services Scheme, which is operated by my firm, Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP. A claim can be pursued if a member is injured whilst cycling or wheeling a bicycle as a result of the negligence or breach of a statutory duty of a third party.
The majority of claims are against careless drivers but my firm also pursues claims against highway authorities for road defects and for other incident types, such as claims against dog owners. (Very minor injuries – i.e. small claims – are not covered by this scheme as legal costs are not recoverable from a third-party insurer unless the value of the injuries exceeds £1,000.)
A Cycling UK member would not be declined support by virtue of their membership of another organisation, such as LCC or British Cycling. Provided your claim has reasonable prospects of success (in excess of 50%) and there was defendant worth suing (i.e. an insured defendant), then support would be provided to pursue a civil claim.
Since April 2013, following a review by Lord Justice Jackson, claimants can no longer recover all of their legal costs from a defendant, and there is usually a shortfall of costs recovery which has to be met from damages. Cycling UK members, however, do recover all of their damages without any deduction for legal costs. So it’s well worth using the Cycling UK legal scheme: you will receive high-quality legal assistance from cycle-friendly lawyers and you will recover 100% compensation in the event of successful claim.
This was first published in the August / September 2014 edition of Cycling UK's Cycle magazine.