Cycle insurance and unsatisfied judgement cover

There are more insurance options available than ever before, evidenced by several joining forces with comparison web sites. The primary benefits advertised are:

  • theft;
  • liability to others (third party or public liability);
  • and injury

It’s always worth checking if any policy includes something called ‘unsatisfied judgement cover’. So what’s that? Let’s call it UJC.

UJC will pay the policyholder an amount which they might be awarded by a Court if the Defendant is uninsured or hasn’t the means to pay themselves.

It’s often joked that the best defence in the world is that ‘you can’t find me’ and the second best is ‘I have no money’. UJC deals with the second.

Let’s take an example, say a student fresher totters into the road after a goodly number of scoops and takes out a cyclist who sustains some injuries which need hospital attention and will result in some time unable to work. Odds are the drunk will not have any form of personal liability insurance; the only possibility might be under a home and contents policy which won’t exist because as a student they’ll be in digs.

So what’s the point in pursuing a claim against someone who won’t be able to pay damages? No lawyer will be interested and the costs of bringing the claim will be equally irrecoverable.

Which is where UJC comes in. If this cover is included in a policy (usually a home and contents policy) that insurer will pay the judgement and the costs of obtaining it if it remains unsatisfied a specified period of time after it was obtained. The Insurer will want the Judgement assigning to it so that the responsible party can be pursued should they subsequently come into money.

The presence of UJC means that a claimant lawyer will be interested because there’s a pot of money to meet the damages and costs. The door to the safety net of After the Event Legal Expense Insurance will also open because there will be a fund to pay the premium if the case succeeds.

So what may appear to be a hopeless set of circumstances suddenly becomes viable. Unsatisfied Judgement Cover. Check out if it’s included in any cycle-specific policy you might be considering or whether it’s included in your home and contents at next renewal. If not, ask your broker to find a policy where it is.