Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Riders of public bicycles in Taipei and New Taipei will enjoy free insurance coverage from June 1, after the two cities secured an insurance company through public bidding to offer the service.
Taipei-headquartered Cathay Century Insurance won a bid opened by the New Taipei City government Monday, which allows the company to sell third-party liability insurance for public bike users in the city at a cost of NT$3.73 million (US$124,600) to the local government.
The insurance will cover all 16,000 public bicycles around New Taipei, and will be effective from June 1 to the end of the year, the company said.
Cathay Century Insurance won a similar bid from the Taipei City government earlier in the month, with its insurance policy for public bike users in the city to also take effect from June 1 to the end of the year.
During that period, riders in the two cities will be covered should they cause damage to another individual while riding public bikes.
The insurance compensation for the death or injury of a third party individual caused by such a bike rider will be a maximum of NT$2 million (US$66,800).
In Taipei there are 13,000 public bicycles in service, the insurance company said.
The free insurance service was introduced at a time when local governments are promoting bike sharing and cycling. However, police statistics show that the number of traffic accidents caused by cyclists increased from 5,113 in 2010 to 7,713 in 2014 around Taiwan.
The number of people killed in accidents caused by cyclists increased from 48 in 2010 to 53 in 2014, while that of people injured surged from 7,382 to 11,041 within the five-year period.
(By Tsai Yi-chu and Elizabeth Hsu)