Does It Make Sense to Buy Specialized E-bike Insurance?


Easy E-Biking - Teebike e-bike front wheel, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
Photo courtesy of Teebike

Along with the growth of e-bike riders worldwide comes the mounting question of e-bike insurance. Insurance believers, considering the lofty price tags of electric bikes in general and the risks attached to riding them, will almost always see the logic of getting an e-bike insured. 

But there are still a few who are having doubts about getting their e-bikes insured. To them, it only entails more costs because e-bike premiums aren’t exactly cheap. The usual insurance alibi, in short. At least, that’s what people who don’t dive deeper into e-bike insurance usually perceive.  

What if specialized e-bike insurance companies enter the picture, though? Can most e-bike riders still say the same? Probably not, when they consider just how much protection they’ll be able to receive from the kinds of coverage they offer. But before we get to that, let’s tackle one lingering question that a lot of beginner e-bike owners have. 

Does household or auto insurance cover e-bikes? 

The short answer to this is yes, but expect their coverage to be pretty limited compared to specialized e-bike insurance. There are also plenty of specifics involved. At best, you’ll have to take the time to know factors like vehicle laws of your state or country. Of course, you can also just choose to go for the direct route of asking the prospective insurance company whether they provide coverage for e-bikes. 

But to spare you this effort, we have provided the essential questions and answers as follows. These are but some of the problems you might frequently encounter when trying to determine whether household and auto insurance has coverage for your e-bike.

  • Does your household insurance afford coverage for bodily injuries while riding an e-bike? If yes, do laws in your country consider it a motorized vehicle? 

The chances are high that household insurance might provide limited coverage for it if yes or might not even consider e-bikes as valid for claiming directly because it belongs in the motorized category. Expect this to be the case also though you’re trying to argue for theft or damage is done to your e-bike. Personal injury is a different story, though. 

Do take note, though, that there are companies that are exceptions to the rule, so to speak, and might possibly provide coverage for your e-bike’s full value, medical payments in case you meet an accident while riding, or when a theft (away from home or otherwise) occurs. Consider yourself lucky should you have a company that does so because they are relatively rare. 

Easy E-Biking - cycling pathway, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

It’s also important to note that most homeowners’ policies might slap you with a hefty deductible once you decide to claim. It might even have a trickle-down effect of increasing your property insurance rates, so you definitely have to weigh your options as much as possible. 

  • Do e-bike laws in your country require you to get a driver’s license when riding, and does your unit need to be registered?

If yes (which is still rare, nowadays), then it might just be covered by your auto insurance. But do not get your hopes up that you will receive as much coverage as specialized e-bike insurance. 

It is arguably where the glaring shortcomings of auto insurance and homeowners’ insurance can be seen. An e-bike is generally considered a motorized vehicle yet auto insurance companies simply do not provide enough coverage for it. This rings true for plenty of countries worldwide. 

What coverages to expect from a specialized e-bike policy

It’s essential to assert that every specialized e-bike insurance policy is different. There might be areas where plenty of companies in various e-bike hubs like the US, UK, Canada, and most European countries meet. However, they might differ a lot in terms of costs and the combination of details and scenarios covered by every policy. 

Read also: Do I need insurance to ride an electric bike? – in this article. And, How to select electric bike insurance? – in this article. And, How to protect my e-bike from theft? – in this article.

Below are but a few of the standard policy coverages you can expect from an insurance company that officially covers e-bikes. Take note that not all insurance companies solely choose to concentrate on e-bike insurance. Some only include e-bike policies, which undoubtedly results in the difference in coverages for every company. 

  • Insurance for the full value of the e-bike
  • Crash damage
  • Replacement for collision and theft
  • Physical damage and theft on parts that protect the e-bike 
  • Bodily injury and property damage to others
  • Medical payments
  • Road assistance
  • Theft away from home
  • Racing coverage
  • Accidental frame failure
  • Event fee return
  • Borrowed unit
  • Rental compensation
  • Cycling apparel (especially those that provide protection)
  • Third-party liability

As you can see, plenty of these coverages are particular to the risks involved in e-bike riding. This list alone should provide adequate reasons for you to opt for specialized e-bike insurance over just settling for homeowners’ or auto insurance (or worse, not insuring your e-bike at all). 

Easy E-Biking - Vanmoof e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

Simply put, these specialized policies fill the gap that the limits of homeowners’ and auto insurance have, and they are obviously many. Incidentally, this list should also give you an inkling about what coverages you should expect from any company that you are considering. You might just be missing out on coverage that you much need but didn’t know you can avail of. 

More importantly, don’t forget about your country’s available e-bike insurance companies. You might be fortunate enough to reside in a country where there is an abundance of companies that provide full coverage for the common issues like damage and theft. 

But this is obviously not the case for everyone since not all countries have adopted e-bikes as well as others. The silver lining is that the e-bike industry is still rapidly growing, so there’s plenty to look forward to when it comes to improvements in policies and laws about them. 

Comparison between Homeowners’ Insurance, Auto Insurance, and E-Bike Insurance

The following table compares specialized e-bikes insurance to both auto insurance and household insurance. Only major scenarios are covered since it’s pretty much a given that the more e-bike-specific ones mentioned above are unique to specialized e-bike insurance companies. 

Policy CoverageAuto InsuranceHomeowner InsuranceRenters InsuranceSpecialized E-Bike Insurance
Full ValueNoPossibleNoYes
Medical PaymentsPossiblePossibleNoYes
Crash DamageNoNoNoYes
TheftNoLimitedNoYes
Third-Party LiabilityNoPossibleNoYes
Replacement Bike RentalNoNoNoYes
Racing NoNoNoYes

The data listed above should give you a good overview of what makes specialized e-bike insurance a worthy investment for just about any e-bike owner. 

Cost of specialized e-bike coverage

Expect quotes and costs to vary between companies and countries. In most cases, you get to have plenty of control over the coverages that you want to get. Don’t immediately assume that you’ll quickly pay a lot for even the basic coverage. 

Most companies can offer e-bike insurance for as low as $100 per year (and it can even go lower than that). Generally, full-coverage policies that cost over $1,000 a year have already hit the ceiling and usually apply only to most high-end models that cost more than $8,000. Expect most policies to have premiums that cost between this range. 

Read also: How to select the best e-bike for your needs? Making your educated e-bike selection choice – in this article. And, how much does a good e-bike cost? Comprehensive e-bike pricing guide (with 46 examples) – in this article.

If you want to gain a general picture of costs, it’s better to pay attention to the factors that usually dictate a policy’s premium. We surveyed popular e-bike insurance companies like Spoke and Velosurance and came up with the following list:

  • E-bike cost – The cost of the e-bike is obviously one of the prime determinants of the total premium you will get. The general rule of thumb is the more expensive the e-bike, the higher the premium. 
  • Coverage – Basic coverage is obviously cheaper than more comprehensive ones like those that opt to avail of all the coverages offered by a given company. 
  • Age and riding history – More experienced and mature riders often enjoy lower premiums because they are less accident-prone.
  • Deductibles – You often have the freedom to choose the deductible you want for each quite. Opting for lower ones will increase your premium. 
  • Location – Location will always be vital because it serves as a gauge of the risk of theft. If you’re located in a city with a relatively low theft rate, then location shouldn’t have much of an impact on the policy cost. All the better if you already have anti-theft protection in place for your unit.
  • Persons that use the e-bike – If other people regularly use the e-bike, it might increase the cost of your policy further. 

A few words in conclusion

There’s obviously an excellent reason for the growing number of companies that offer specialized e-bike insurance. They are well aware of the limitations of standard auto and household insurance; hence, they offer a service that is more attuned to the e-bike field and the e-biking experience (including its associated perils) as a whole. 

In the end, it still rests solely in your hands whether you should buy specialized e-bike insurance. The best course to take is to weigh the pros and cons of availing this type of insurance in your locale. The disadvantages, of course, are usually dictated by high policy prices with a minimal number and types of coverages available. 

Read also: Top specialized e-bike insurance companies in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia.

Take a look at this quick video exploring various insurance options for an electric bicycle:

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