Insuring Your E-Bike
by Carolyn Rice
The first e-bike patent was granted in 1895 and finally gained popularity almost one hundred years later, beginning in the 1990s and early 2000s. Since then, the market has continued to grow exponentially. More than 50 cities in the U.S. now have bike sharing fleets– not to mention those in other cities all over the world. In some urban areas, such as central London and Manhattan, e-bikes are the fastest way to get around.
The casualty insurance industry is just catching up with this new mode of transportation and its insurance needs. Unlike in India, insurance for bikes is not yet legally required in the U.S the way auto insurance is. But insurance on e-bikes is important in case of theft, vandalism, collisions, or crashes. There are companies that specialize in e-bike insurance, covering liability in the case of an accident as well as damage to the bike itself. Some have coverage that is even more extensive, covering roadside assistance, stolen spare parts, and replacement-bike rental reimbursement. Some policies will even cover apparel if your favorite biking outfit is damaged in an accident! With the average cost of an e-bike between $2,000 and $3,000 and the cost of insurance from $100 to $300 per year for collision, theft, and liability, it is a good strategy to be protected.
Another option available with many casualty insurance companies is to schedule the bike on your homeowners insurance. This may be less expensive than with a dedicated e-bike insurance company, especially if you bundle your insurance coverages with one company. Whatever liability coverage you have with your homeowners insurance should be available on the bike as well.
Which insurance option you choose will depend on several factors, such as the cost of your bike and the amount and type of coverage you feel comfortable with. If you use your bike for commuting, rather than just for occasional recreational use, you may want more comprehensive coverage. There is also specialty coverage if you enter competitions. If you have homeowners or rental coverage, it could be best to start there– call your insurance company, find out what is covered, and the cost. If that doesn’t seem adequate, getting quotes and comparing the cost and coverage available with dedicated bicycle insurance companies may be the better option.
Happy (and safe) riding!