because she had delayed his progress.
In court, he showed no remorse.
Not guilty of manslaughter, was
the verdict. A separate court jailed
the reckless cyclist for “wanton and
furious cycling,” under a law passed in
1861, which Government has no plans
Mandatory bicycle insurance would
plainly be in the public interest. Car
drivers, bus drivers, and airline pilots
must have insurance. Of course they
must; no one argues with that. Why
not include bike riders?
Bikers who argue against insurance
say that there are relatively few cases
of cyclists at fault. OK. Say that’s true.
Then the premium would be low.
In Portugal, for example, an annual
premium of less than $30 applies.
Don’t bother staying tuned to see if
bicycle insurance becomes mandatory.
It won’t, not any time soon. Political
correctness cites an Animal Farm-based argument: two wheels good,
everyone else get out of the way. &
ROGER CROMBIE is a United Kingdom-based columnist for Risk & Insurance®. He
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, insurance types. Start taking notes. Opportunity knocks.
pedestrians would have made a smaller
economic contribution than younger
dead cyclists would have.
Commercial bikers must carry
cyclists are often protected by their
homeowners’ or rental insurance, but
not everyone has such coverage.
As keenly as I dislike government
regulation and interference, it is time
for bicycle registration and insurance
to be made mandatory.
Arguments for the idea: bikers
use the roads but don’t pay for
the privilege; accidents happen;
some cyclists ignore the law; bike
theft is endemic; the standard of
cycling might improve if riders were
Against: more government and its
attendant costs; a “tax” on a “green”
activity at a time when we’re choking
the planet; slower traffic.
Earlier this year, a cyclist in
London, illegally hurtling along on a
pushbike not fitted with front brakes,
TV with images of courier bikers
dashing hither and yon to deliver
We’re familiar from real life with
some bikers breaking speed limits and
sailing through red lights, as if the law
didn’t apply to them.
Public bike sharing has greatly
increased the carnage on the roads or,
where I live, on the sidewalks.
A couple of years ago, my local
authority decided that cyclists should
move off the roads and onto the
sidewalks, where they now routinely
cause accidents. I live in Britain’s
oldest community. The powers that
be callously calculated that older dead
In big cities, most notably
London and New York, the law does
not require bicycle riders to carry
insurance or even to register their
vehicles. It’s just a pushbike, after all,
like the kiddies ride.
Sort of. In 2014, almost 4,000
New York cyclists were injured, and
20 killed. The same year, London
reported 432 serious injuries or deaths
An antagonistic relationship exists
between bike riders and motorists,
with separate hostilities rife between
bike riders and pedestrians. Cyclists
are routinely knocked off their
steeds by inattentive motorists, and
occasionally by malicious ones.
Similarly, pedestrians are being
BY ROGER CROMBIE
BY JOE TOCCO
help. We need to disrupt the
perception of our industry.
A friend of mine recently told me
a story about an insurance colleague
whose children asked him what he
did for a living. After careful thought
he responded, “I am a superhero.”
He explained that anytime there
is any kind of a disaster anywhere
in the world, he is there to help
everyone; to protect; to rebuild; to
put the pieces back together.
I chuckled at first, but the idea
began to resonate with me. Think
about it. If we think more highly
of our industry and our role in it,
we can change how our industry is
We don’t need superhero capes.
We do need to find ways to share
our superhero stories widely —
especially to the next generation
— to let them know that a career in
the insurance and risk management
industry can be a worthwhile one
that even borders on exciting. &
JOE TOCCO is Chief Executive of XL
Catlin’s North America Insurance
Let’s face it: we’re aging. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an estimated 50 percent of the
current U.S. workforce will reach retirement age by 2030.
industry. Turns out many of her
classmates were focused on the same
thing — disrupting an industry
we’ve worked our whole careers to
Changes in technology, consumer
needs and expectations are taking
aim at traditional insurance business
models. We’re seeing how numerous
Insurtech startups are starting
to change business models in our
And, while it may have felt a little
unnerving at first, it has breathed a
new sense of urgency into our work
which is really needed — not only to
boost our relevance in the current
marketplace but also to heighten
our significance among tomorrow’s
Now more than ever, the
insurance industry offers more
opportunities for individuals with
diverse skill sets — math, actuarial,
technology, science, data and
But other industries are vying
for these skill sets too. How will we
A little more disruption could
exists between the ages of 35 and
55. Hence, our highly competitive
marketplace with ample capacity and
ample market players lacks an ample
supply of new talent.
I see some hope on the horizon
though. For one, there are currently
64 colleges/universities with
risk management and insurance
programs, up from 43 in 2010.
I also recently interviewed a
prospective job candidate who was
finishing up her MBA at Harvard.
We discussed her dissertation
focused on disrupting the insurance
That’s just 12 years away.
And the insurance industry is not
alone, many industries will feel it.
Pharmaceuticals and construction
have the largest talent gaps according
to BLS stats. In a recent Risk Insider
post, Dan Holden of Daimler Trucks
North America noted impacts to the
The insurance industry faces
a talent gap of nearly 400,000
vacancies by 2020 — just two
years from now. Only 25 percent
of our workforce is under the age
of 35, and a significant talent gap