Confusion over 'farm tool' cover means some households are uninsured

Brokers have called for client guidance in the light of the growing popularity of quad-biking.

There are also growing fears about the liability risks involved with the activity, after stars such as Rik Mayall and Ozzy Osbourne suffered serious quad bike injuries.

Broker Jill Fletcher of WB Baxter said: "I have had cases where clients have not told me they have quad bikes and later find they are not covered for an accident. You can buy them for children - they're even sold at Argos."

Norwich Union confirmed that quad bike cover was available on its household policies at an additional cost, but not for actually riding the bikes. "It would be for theft and damage only," said a spokesman.

NFU Mutual spokesman Tim Price said: "These are farm tools which have crossed over into the leisure market, with a huge rise in claims as a result.

"They're the most expensive single item we deal with for theft and liability hazards are growing as more ride them on roads and speed over rough terrain."

He estimated that NFU had seen around 600 quad bike thefts, costing £950,000.

Spectrum Rider, which is run by broker Adrian Flux, is one of the few schemes that offers quad bike cover.

Manager Duncan Garrick said: "There is confusion among brokers and some are turning business away. But clients need advice."

He said insurance for "on road" registered quads is compulsory. He added that Spectrum uses an insurer panel, but more capacity is needed.