Insurance for Electric Bicycles
in Washington - Oregon - Utah
From an insurance standpoint, electric bikes pose a special challenge: While "human-powered" bicycles are covered for liability and most physical damage under a standard homeowner's policy, the addition of a motor (no matter how small) makes it a "motorized vehicle" and excludes it from coverage on a standard homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.
That means, if your electric bike is damaged or stolen, or if you cause injury or property damage to a person and are held liable, there is no coverage under a standard homeowner's policy.
If you own an e-bike or electric bicycle, we strongly recommend that you obtain the following coverages:
- Damage and theft insurance to protect your bicycle
- Medical coverage for the bicyclist (yourself) in case of an accident
- Liability insurance that covers injuries or property damage you might cause to another person in case of an accident
- Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, which will protect you if you are hit by a driver who doesn't carry insurance.
Our unique Electric Bicycle Insurance policy offers all these coverages, plus options for additional customization according to your specific needs, starting as low as $80 per year.
"As a bicyclist, I think I am much more vulnerable to experiencing injuries or damage in an accident, than the driver of a car or motorcycle. So, why should I carry insurance?"
This is a great question, and very reasonable. Many bicyclists assume that cars and trucks are usually to blame in an accident. And indeed, 75% of cycling injuries requiring a hospital stay involve a car.
However, less than a third (28.7%) of all bicycle accidents actually involve vehicles. Over 70% are bicycle-bicycle, bicycle-pedestrian, or solo crashes.
If you are held liable in an accident, you have to pay for the damages and injuries you caused. This can amount to tens of thousands of dollars very quickly. Since an electric bike is not covered on your homeowner's or auto insurance, you may have to pay for the damages out of pocket. This may affect your savings, assets, and possibly your future income. Don't risk loosing everything.
"I carry an umbrella policy. I've read that umbrella insurance will protect me in a liability lawsuit if I'm riding my e-bike."
Congratulations! These days, we strongly advise everybody to carry an umbrella policy as part of their personal protection plan. An umbrella policy will indeed provide additional liability coverage over and above the underlying home and auto policies. You can look at it as a 'secondary' insurance that applies when the limits of the underlying insurance are exhausted.
But only - and here is the caveat - ONLY if the liability would be covered on the underlying policy. If there is no coverage on the underlying policy, there won't be coverage under the umbrella policy. And as we've illustrated above, an electric bicycle, a pedelec bike, or any type of power-assisted bicycle is is excluded from coverage on a homeowner's or renter's policy, and per definition is excluded from car insurance. Therefore, an umbrella policy would not provide coverage for an e-bike.
An e-bike needs its own insurance policy in order to be adequately protected.
"What happens if I'm hit by a car, truck, or by another bicyclist?"
If you are hit by a vehicle and the driver is considered at-fault, the driver will be liable to pay for injuries and damage. Unfortunately, a growing percentage of drivers do not carry adequate insurance. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, you may not receive the payments for your loss that you are entitled to.
This is where UIM coverage comes in. This important coverage protects you in case you are hit by an uninsured driver (or cyclist.) If the other party is unable to pay, your own UIM protection will pay for your injuries, medical expenses, loss of income, and damage to your bike.