E-bikes have quickly grown in popularity as people look for new ways to enjoy the outdoors, tool around town or commute.
The bikes are great as you can pedal them to move forward and if you need an assist up a hill, they can power you up the incline with ease. You decide how much you want to pedal and how much electric power to use. They are not electric motorcycles, since you have the option to pedal, and they don't go as fast as a motorbike.
But, along with the convenience of less pedaling and faster speeds, comes a greater risk of an e-bike rider injuring themselves or a pedestrian, or damaging a third party's property.
- They're able to reach speeds of 28 miles an hour and if you're in a busy area with lots of activity, you have a greater chance of being in an accident.
- Riders are three times more likely to collide with a pedestrian compared to riders of e-scooters or traditional bicycles.
- Due to their higher speed and weight, collisions, injuries and damage are often greater than crashes involving traditional bikes.
- No airbag protection.
- Greater exposure to injuries for the rider.
While there are currently no state laws requiring e-bike owners to be insured, if you are cruising in an urban or suburban environment around other people and near storefronts, you may want to consider securing insurance.
Without insurance, if you injure someone (or worse) with your e-bike and/or damage a third party's property, you may have to pay out of pocket. That's bad news if the injuries or property damage are severe.
And the costs can be substantial. One law firm wrote in a blog that $50,000 to $100,000 settlements related to e-bike injuries are common. Sound too high? Bodily damage can be exacerbated by:
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Pain control, or
The liability portion of your auto policy won't cover damage or injuries you cause with an e-bike, and most homeowner's and renter's insurance policies exclude coverage for a "self-propelled motor or amphibious vehicle." It's the same for ATVs, snowmobiles, boats, personal watercraft and golf carts. Just like those vehicles, you need a separate policy for your e-bike.
Just to be sure, we can help you look at your policies and see if e-bike liability is covered. If it's not, you would be wise to consider your insurance options.
Besides covering any damage you may cause with your e-bike, another good reason to secure specific insurance is that the policy also covers your bike itself. The average e-bike costs $3,000, while you can find a basic one for about $1,000. On the high end, you can easily drop $12,000 on one.
While there is no standard stand-alone policy for e-bikes, there are a few policies on the market and most of them focus on damage to the e-bike and not liability. Some policies include liability, but others offer it for an additional premium.
The typical policy will cover:
- Physical theft or damage to the e-bike.
- E-bike rental reimbursement.
- Medical payments for rider injuries.
- Damage during transit of the e-bike when not in use.
- Replacement of parts.
One option is to find an umbrella policy or excess coverage with an insurer willing to cover e-bike liability.
Feel free to call us to discuss your options. You may want to seek out coverage especially if you ride your e-bike in busy areas.