Cornhill insurance takes pop at cyclists

Do you have any insurance through Cornhill Direct, part of the Allianz Group? Planning on getting any? You might want to read what Cornhill Direct think of cyclists. Perhaps the company thought it was clever to tie in its “market research” about the dangers of cycling to the start of the Tour de France?

Thankfully, a search on Google News shows that the Cornhill press release made it into only one major newspaper – the Financial Times – and only fleetingly at that.

Was the survey conducted with two people in the Cornhill PR department’s canteen in a lunch hour last week? No, the press release said it had a sample size of 2000 people. Most spurious PR-led “surveys” usually try to pass off as genuine by including more precise information than this, such as the date the survey was conducted, the demographic composition of the sample (were they all cyclists, for instance) and which bona fide market research company carried out the survey.

Cornhill Direct’s “new research” contains no such information and this is perhaps the reason why the media – often happy in a lazy sort of way to regurgitate PR surveys – steered clear?

Here’s the press release. Judge for yourself whether Cornhill Direct has an attitude problem with cyclists:


Half of vain Brits are putting their lives in danger by refusing to wear a helmet when cycling, according to new research.

But this could have disastrous consequences as 69 per cent have fallen off their bike at some point – with 14 per cent of those being knocked off by another vehicle.

A lucky 40 per cent walked away with just cuts and bruises, one in ten broke their arm and 14 per cent hurt their leg.

It’s not just cyclists themselves that are getting injured as 16 per cent have hit someone, or just managed to avoid them, when on a bike, the survey by insurance firm Cornhill Direct revealed.

Nine per cent also admitted to damaging cars from getting too close.

But it’s not surprising so many accidents happen as 15 per cent of cyclists say they are distracted from the road by listening to music.

More than one in five cyclists admits to jumping a red light and 14 per cent never indicate to let people know when they are turning.

On top of that the poll of 2,000 people also revealed that almost half of cyclists have ridden on the pavement – despite knowing it’s against the law.

For some unlucky Brits, worrying about injuries or breaking the law isn’t an issue as 18 per cent have had their bike stolen – more than one in ten of those from their own home.

A lazy eight per cent just couldn’t be bothered to get any.

Mark Bishop, of Cornhill Direct, said: ”Riding a bicycle without a helmet is utter madness, wearing one will save your life and vanity is not a valid reason for not wearing one.

”Riding on the pavement and jumping red lights is just asking for trouble. In our increasing litigious society, people will not hesitate to sue a cyclist who causes injury and the damages could run to ten of thousands of pounds.

”Cyclists who are covered by contents insurance have financial protection for causing injury or damage to property and you can buy a personal accident policy which will cover a cyclist’s own injuries.

”The best advice must be to ride responsibly and don’t put yourself and others in unnecessary danger.”

The survey also revealed that a quarter of cyclists think drivers don’t respect them while 62 per cent think ‘fair weather cyclists’ give serious riders a bad name by breaking the law and not wearing a helmet.

There are parts in that bizarre press release that don’t make sense. “A lazy eight per cent just couldn’t be bothered to get any.” Any what?

But it’s wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to pick out the worst bits. It’s definitely worth keeping as a whole rather than cherry-picking.