Experts predict that news of the UK Bicycle Association pressing the UK government for electric bike subsidies of at least £250, would double e-bike sales over the next 12 months.
Potentially, this is excellent news for commuters looking for alternative means of transport.
However, before hopping onto your new electric bike to avoid buses, trains, trams and the underground, it’s important to remember to take out electric bike insurance to protect your investment.
Let’s explore this in more detail…
According to the Bicycle Association, Britons have bought almost 50% more electric bikes in April this year since the start of COVID-19 lockdown. However, this growth is pretty much in line with long-term anticipated growth patterns.
If you’re one of those commuters wanting a different and potentially safer mode of transport, then read on for our guide to electric bike insurance concerning e-bikes.
When is an E-Bike an E-Bike?
According to current legislation, you can ride an electric bike if you are aged 14 or over, provided your electric bike meets specific criteria defined in law.
An electric bike is defined as an Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) that must have pedals you can use to make the bike move.
The bike has to show what the power output is or the manufacturer of the motor. That’s as well as either the bike’s maximum speed or its battery voltage.
The electric motor on an e-bike must have a maximum power of 250 watts and should not travel faster than 15.5 miles per hour.
If your electric bike fits these criteria, you don’t need a driving licence, and you can ride your bike on roads, paths and other places where UK bike law allows and without having to insure it.
UK and EU Law on Electric Bike Insurance
UK bike law was harmonised with EU law EN15194 in 2015, although post-Brexit this, of course, could change. For now, UK law enforces the standards we’ve already mentioned above, which are set by EU law.
That said, in May 2018, the EU proposed that all e-bikes must be insured for third-party liability if they are 250W and 15.5 mph or faster. However, this is yet to be ratified and may well not apply to the UK post-Brexit.
What About the DVLA?
Again, if your electric bike fits the above criteria and rides at a speed of 15.5 mph or less and has a maximum power of 250 watts, then unlike a car, moped or motorbike, you don’t need to register it with the DVLA.
If, however, your electric bike’s power outage and speed are greater than the above, then that makes it a moped or motorbike and these are subject to different rules altogether that include on the road insurance.
Taking Care of Your Investment
Electric bikes are worthwhile but more expensive than a traditional pedal bike. That’s why it’s essential to take care of your investment by insuring it against theft, accidental damage and personal accident.
This kind of insurance isn’t mandatory, but it’s certainly worth investing in.
Theft or Damage
Imagine locking up your bike outside your place of work or when you’re meeting friends for coffee, and it gets stolen or damaged. Remember that not all household insurance policies cover theft or malicious outside of the home.
It’s worth checking yours to see if it does or not and if it doesn’t, paying a little extra to ensure your bike is safe wherever you are.
It’s also worth insuring yourself against any hopefully unlikely personal accidents you may have. For example, talk to your insurance company about a policy that provides personal accident cover or death.
You may also want to protect yourself if you have a severe accident on your electric bike and break bones or need emergency dental work.
Lastly, if you injure a pedestrian, road user or property, if you have public liability cover, it will hopefully cover you for any possible costs you may incur.
We don’t want to put you off, but it is worth considering protecting yourself and your bike against any unlikely and unforeseen circumstances just in case. It’s worth shopping around for the right kind of insurance that suits you and your wallet.
It’s also worth checking that any insurance policy you do take out covers you for mechanical breakdown and includes a recovery service.
If you do decide to insure your bike to protect it and you for all the reasons we’ve outlined, you must remember that you still have to lock your bike up.
If you end up having to make a claim and you didn’t use an approved secure bike lock, you won’t be covered.
There are three types of lock you can choose from:
Solid Secure Bronzing, Silver or Gold if your bike is worth £1,000 or less, between £1-2,000 or more than £2,000 respectively.
Also, ask your insurance company if there are any other exclusions in your policy, for example, if you use your bike as a courier or you can’t give proof of ownership.
Are you Ready to Buy an E-Bike?
Now that you know all about electric bike insurance, you’re hopefully all set to invest in your first e-bike.
If you’re ready to switch from public transport or your pedal bike to an e-bike, you’re in the right place. We’d love to chat. Take a look at some of our favourite electric bikes and get in touch if you have any questions!