FEATURE: Insurance – What’s covered?

One of the many things that we’re asked by Cycle Speedway riders, club officials and spectators often, is questions regarding insurance. We’ve done a bit of research into what is offered in the way of insurance and how riders are covered, if at all, through British Cycling and also how TLI events such as Eurovets and the Midland League next year are covered. Here’s what we learnt from British Cycling’s website and information sent to us by TLI.

British Cycling

First of all what do clubs get from British Cycling? It’s a fairly straight forward answer. Clubs affiliated with British Cycling through paying their membership, have Public Liability insurance up to £10 million. This means, should a member of the public make a claim against the club for an accident that the club is liable for, the club is covered through it’s affiliation with BC. This does not cover racing incidents and injuries incurred from taking part in an event or club nights, unless a rider makes a claim against the club, if for example the starting gate fell over and injured them on the grid – at least one would assume that’s covered as it’s not a racing incident. The Public Liability insurance covers club property and third parties at all official events and club nights.

What about the individual rider? In football, if someone breaks your leg, a pay out from the FA’s insurance is likely. What applies for Bronze British Cycling membership, which most Cycle Speedway riders have? Here’s a run down:

BC Insurance 2014BC Small Print

Not a lot is the answer. Only Silver members (£40) are covered for liability insurance, a Bronze membership (£20) contains no insurance at all. This could mean that if you put in a late dive and seriously injured another rider, they could sue you for damages and you wouldn’t be covered through British Cycling’s insurance. If you were racing on your own and your bike had a malfunction that lead to a serious personal crash or injury to yourself, only a Gold membership (£69) would cover any loss of earnings etc through the “Personal accident insurance”. This is confirmed by the following point in the Club Public Liability Insurance.

iii) Individual Club Members: Individual Club Members (as opposed to club officials) are not covered unless they themselves are Silver or Gold members of British Cycling with personal liability insurance cover.

Cycle Speedway riders in the past have found this out the hard way. Thankfully serious accidents in Cycle Speedway are rare and most of us get straight back on the bike following a crash, but freak accidents can happen. It does mention Bike Insurance as being included in all memberships in the above image, but it would appear it is still a paid add-on.

What about training? Especially newcomers? It would appear that, like racing, the actual participation in training itself is not insured. If a senior wipes out a junior, there is no protection for either party, for claims for and against the individual. The same would apply for newcomers – the only benefit to the bronze membership is the ability to compete in official events, neither a bronze membership or any newcomer turning up to try the sport are covered for racing incidents. Only a Silver or Gold membership provides this sort of cover for racing or training. It should be noted that the Gold cover appears to apply for any cycling accident at or away from the track, for example commuting to work. The Silver covers liability for racing, commuting, training and leisure riding.


For Eurovets and next year’s Midland League riders, the Public Liability insurance is pretty much the same as British Cycling for clubs, valued at £10 million, with an extra of members liability insurance included. The difference between the two bodies being that clubs do not “affiliate” to TLI the way they do with British Cycling, as the following point explains:

TLI Cycling is not a national federation in the same way as British Cycling. Clubs do not affiliate to TLI Cycling. Rather anybody wishing to organise or compete in a race organised under TLI Cycling rules and regulations must apply for individual membership of TLI Cycling. As a member, an organiser is entrusted with full control over his/her event. There are no ‘commissaires’ to oversee the running of a race; we expect the organiser to act in the best interests of TLI Cycling in all matters.

NB: the use of the word ‘commissaires’ does not refer to referees in this instance.

So what is the official word on TLI’s Public Liability Insurance? To be a member, which allows a rider to compete at a TLI registered event, over 18s pay their annual membership at £10, with under 18s having free memberships. Day licenses are priced at £4 for over 18s and free for under 18s, which is quite handy for newcomers. So, how are TLI riders covered, should it all go wrong? Here is TLI’s Public Liability insurance summary:

TLI Cycling ‘Public Liability’ insurance covers accidental bodily injury to third parties and/or damage to third party property arising out of our events. It protects us where a member or member of the public is injured or their property is damaged and the injury or damage is caused by activities related to one of our events. For the protection of members and all those involved in the management of registered and insured cycling events, TLI Cycling provides through its public liability insurance policy, an indemnity, limited to £10,000,000 for legal liabilities arising from claims made against an event organiser, official or participant that involves either bodily injury or property damage to a third party. All events promoted under the auspices of TLI Cycling are provided with this cover upon receipt of properly completed Event Application, General & Specific Course Risk Assessment forms. Cover cannot be provided for non-competitive events such as sportive rides.

There are a few key phrases to point out here, firstly this bit about who is covered:

“It protects us where a member or member of the public is injured…”

Then, this bit about what actions/activities are covered:

“…and the injury or damage is caused by activities related to one of our events.”

We believe this means that riders are covered through the public liability insurance for any eventuality that occurs at an event. Whether it be said starting gate falling over or a racing incident, it specifies both “members” and “activities related to one of our events”, e.g. racing/crashing. This said however, TLI have confirmed that they do not offer “Personal Accident Insurance”. Taking both statements into account, we see this as meaning that TLI members are covered if a claim is made against them for a racing incident, but not able to make a claim for loss of earnings etc resulting from an accident.

TLI also offer “Employers Liability”, to protect clubs/organisers should one of their volunteers be injured at the event.

TLI Cycling also offers ‘Employers Liability’ as standard. This protects and event organisers (the ‘Employer’) in the event of any volunteers becoming injured in the course of their activities during the competition.

What about training? TLI had this to say:

As far as ‘training events’ are concerned, as long as they follow our event guidelines in effect of risk assessment, and competitors are members of TLI Cycling and sign the standard event registration disclaimer, the standard insurance rules apply.

This clearly means a bit of paperwork would need to be filled in for any public liability insurance to apply, to make training nights an official TLI event. The added bonus to this however, is that under 18 newcomers could fill out a day license form at no cost and race/train insured (for claims against them – effectively like a silver BC member).

So to summarise, British Cycling members may wish to look at investing in insurance through a Silver membership (for claims against you) or Gold membership (for your own accident involving no one else + claims against you), to ensure that you’re fully covered, should an unfavourable event occur and you can’t afford a long lay off from work. The main added benefit to both memberships, is the extra cover away from the track if you’re a commuting or leisure rider. TLI members get what we understand to be the same insurance cover as the Silver British Cycling band, just for the cheaper price of £10 per year, free for under 18s and no levy payments. A family of three riding regional racing under BC, for example, with a racing adult and two under 18 year old children, would have to pay £150 (silver band) + levies for what their 2015 Midland League counterparts get for £10 with TLI.

As far as training goes, clubs have public liability insurance in place with their BC affiliation, however, like race day, this excludes any training/racing incident. If there were any clubs without BC affiliation and their public liability cover, they would have to declare their club night with TLI as an official event for the public liability insurance to apply, it does come with the added “claims against” rider cover though. This is because clubs are not “affiliated” with TLI, like they are with British Cycling.

Hopefully that clears up some of the questions for those who have asked us, especially with regards to TLI’s insurance policy for the Midland League riders and officials.