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Insurers welcome quad bike safety move

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QBE and IAG have welcomed moves by the Federal Government to require quad bikes to meet minimum safety standards.

The two insurers respectively own Elders Insurance and CGU, two major providers of rural insurance for farm equipment including quad bikes.

About 75% of agricultural fatalities between 2010 and 2014 involved farm vehicles, with the latest available figures showing quad bikes accounted for the highest number of deaths and injuries.

Deaths and injuries from quad bike accidents cost the economy at least $200 million annually, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

An IAG spokesman says the group “welcomes the introduction of the new standards by the Australian Government, which will help improve safety for quad bike users”.

“Quad bike accidents, including from rollovers, are a major safety issue for farming and rural communities,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

“These changes are an important step to help protect farmers and their families who use quad bikes as part of their daily farming activities.”

In the measures announced last week, manufacturers must ensure their products meet US or European standards for components like brakes, suspension, throttle and clutch within 12 months. The bikes must also undergo stability tests, with the results displayed at the sale premises.

Every vehicle will also require a warning label advising buyers of the risk of rollover.

Importantly, another set of rules which must be complied with before the end of 2021 including fitting or integrating into the quad bike design an “operator protection device”. The bikes will also have to meet minimum stability requirements.

Elders Insurance says its agents have been working with clients from the farming community to mitigate the risks of quad bikes.

“In line with this, Elders Insurance welcomes the new quad bike safety standard and looks forward to seeing our farming customers and their communities better protected,” a spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au.

The spokesman says Elders’ Farm insurance products have no exclusions for quad bikes.