The Importance of E-bike Insurance

From an insurance standpoint, electric assist bicycles pose a special challenge. Most people assume their homeowners or umbrella insurance policies extend to their e-bikes. While this is true for “human-powered” bicycles, the addition of a motor to a bike makes it a “motorized vehicle,” which excludes it from coverage on standard homeownersrenters, or umbrella insurance policy. This is why you need e-bike insurance.

Pacific Northwest E-Bike Seattle Portland

It’s risky for your e-bike to be uninsured. We recommend purchasing a stand-alone electric bicycle insurance policy that is customized to your specific needs. This will not only protect your assets but will protect your e-bike if it is damaged or stolen.

Our unique e-bike insurance policies can offer the following protections:

  • Property coverage to protect your electric bike if it is damaged in an accident or stolen
  • 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. Our policy offers a liability limit of $500,0000
  • Underinsured motorist insurance, which will protect you if you are hit by a negligent driver who doesn’t carry insurance or doesn’t carry enough insurance to pay for your injuries. Our policy offers a limit of $500,000

Our unique e-bike insurance can offer all these protections, plus options for additional customization according to your specific needs. Premiums start at $80 a year.

See what the Seattle Bicycle Advocate PLLC has to say about working with us. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Pacific Northwest E-Bike Insurance

“Why do I need e-bike insurance? In an accident, I’m more vulnerable to experiencing injuries than the driver of a car.”

Many of our clients in Seattle and Portland commute by bike, and sometimes they assume cars are usually at-fault in a vehicle-bicycle accident. But, this isn’t always the case. For example, if a cyclist fails to make a full stop at an intersection and a vehicle swerves to avoid them, any resulting injuries or property damage would be the cyclist’s responsibility.

And, less than a third (28.7%) of all bicycle accidents actually involve vehicles. More than 70% are bicycle-bicycle, bicycle-pedestrian, or solo crashes.

Remember: For insurance purposes, electric bicycles are considered “motorized vehicles” and thus excluded from homeowners and renters insurance policies. Without e-bike insurance, if you are liable for an accident you will have to pay for the damages and injuries you caused, including any attorney fees and defense costs incurred. Even in a relatively “minor” accident, this can quickly amount to tens of thousands of dollars – if not more.

Paying these expenses out of pocket could deplete your savings and jeopardize your assets, including your home and future income.

“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.”

We recommend umbrella insurance policies to all our clients, so we’re glad an umbrella policy is part of your insurance protection plan.

An umbrella insurance policy will provide additional liability coverage over and above your underlying homeowners and auto insurance 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 bike, a pedelec bike, or any type of power-assisted bicycle is excluded from coverage on a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, and per definition is excluded from car insurance.

Therefore, an umbrella insurance policy does not automatically provide coverage for an e-bike.  You have to have an e-bike insurance policy in place first, and then declare the e-bike to your umbrella insurance carrier.

Bottom line: 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 a driver who is uninsured or who doesn’t carry enough insurance, you may not receive the payments for your loss that you are entitled to.

This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes in. This important insurance coverage protects you in case you are hit by a negligent uninsured or underinsured driver.  If the other party is unable to pay, your uninsured motorist protection on an e-bile bike policy will pay for your injuries, medical expenses, loss of income, and damage to your bike.

“Can you insure my electric bike conversion kits?”

Unfortunately, our companies are unable to insure conversion kits installed by the owner. If the conversion kit was installed professionally, our companies may allow it.