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Why you should consider specialist Cycle Insurance for electric bikes

Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular as a mode of transport. In fact, half of the UK population in 2022 have an electric bike or know someone with an electric bike. Electric bikes are a great way to save on fuel and travel costs, reduce your carbon footprint, and make it much easier for people of all ages to get out and about on a bicycle.

In a 2022 survey, it was found that the most common reason for purchasing an electric bicycle was to make it easier to get out and about on a bike. There are many benefits to cycling; however, the barriers often outweigh the benefits; it can be difficult for some people to cycle long distances or up an incline. Others may be put off by rural cycling or cycling in a busy city. An electric bike can give cyclists additional confidence to travel on two wheels.

A doughnut chart showing the main reasons for purchasing an electric bike.

Legend: According to survey participants (ALA Survey, 2022), making cycling easier was the main reason for someone purchasing an electric bike.

Unfortunately, electric bikes are a hefty investment, and the additional cost of running and insuring an electric bike may be the additional cost that you decide against when deciding to purchase an e-bike.

Here we discuss some common bicycle insurance misconceptions and reasons why it is important to get specialist electric bike insurance.

Do electric bicycles need insurance?

It is a common misconception that electric bikes need insurance to be ridden on UK roads. Only one-third of people were aware that e-bikes do not need to be insured by law in the UK. However, some regulations on electric bikes must be adhered to in order to ride them licence and insurance free. Some speed and power regulations ensure that e-bikes can be safely ridden alongside non-electric bikes; e-bikes must not have a power output of more than 250 Watts nor be propelled past 15.5mph. If these regulations are not met, then bikes are classed as mopeds or electric motorcycles and therefore require motor bike insurance.

An infographic to depict the principal attitudes and misconceptions surrounding buying, owning, and insuring an e-bike.

Legend: Facts are based on an independent study by ALA

Misconceptions about e-bikes and specialist bike insurance

As we have already established, it is a common misconception that e-bikes need insurance on UK roads. Some other misconceptions about running and insuring an electric bike may surprise you.

  1. Electric bikes are expensive to run – this is a misconception. Most people think running an electric bicycle costs four times more than it does. It only costs 5-10p to fully charge an electric bike, but most survey respondents believed it costs between 20 and 30 pence.
  2. Electric bikes are more dangerous – it is thought that because electric bikes have an electric motor, they are more dangerous to ride than non-electric bicycles; this is not the case. Electric bikes are safer than regular bikes mainly as they can keep up with traffic. They are also less likely to be stolen than non-electric bikes.
  3. Electric bikes are expensive to insure – because they are generally a lot more expensive than normal bikes and are assumed to be more dangerous; many believe that bike insurance is expensive—however, the average e-bike costs between £5 and £10 per month to insure.
  4. Electric bike insurance is more expensive than non-electric bike insurance – most survey respondents (2022) thought that electric bike insurance would cost more than traditional bike insurance, potentially due to the perceived higher risk. However, there is a 30% lower risk associated with e-bikes, including a lower risk of bike theft and accidental damage. As a result, ALA does not increase insurance premiums for electric bikes.
  5. Electric bikes are covered on your contents insurance/home insurance policy – there are a small set of circumstances where your bicycle will be covered under your home insurance or contents insurance policy, and even so, you may not be covered for the entire value of the e-bike. It is a good idea to purchase additional bike insurance to protect yourself and your bike while you are at home as well as away from home.
  6. Electric bikes are covered on your contents insurance/home insurance policy –

    Legend: The main reason that participants believed e-bike insurance to be important is that they thought accidents were more likely than on non-electric bikes (ALA survey, 2022).

Why should you insure an e-bike?

An good reason to get cycling insurance for your expensive bike is to protect yourself from the financial burden should something happen to it. Electric bikes usually cost £1,000-£2,000 on average, which is a significant investment for a two-wheeled vehicle. Not to mention the cost of any repairs or accessories that you may have purchased in tandem. Despite the substantial financial investment, 40% of e-bike owners aren’t insured, meaning that your precious investment could cost you even more down the line.

Standard bike insurance usually covers theft and accidental damage to your bicycle; however, this may not be adequate to cover an electric bike, the cyclist and their accessories. You may want to look for more comprehensive insurance cover options for you and your e-bike.

  • Cycle Hire Replacement – if you commute using your e-bike and something goes wrong, you may be left in a difficult position to find a replacement bicycle while yours gets repaired. You may need replacement hire coverage for this eventuality.
  • Accessory Cover – You will likely purchase accessories for your e-bike, perhaps a crash helmet, satellite navigation or additional storage. Accessory protection can cover the cost of replacing your cycling gear in case of theft.
  • Public Liability Coverage – despite the risk of accidents being lower with electric bikes, there is always a possibility of an incident. Public Liability for electric bikes can be helpful to cover you if a third party has been involved or affected by your accident.
  • Worldwide Cover – electric bikes are popular because they make travelling on holiday much more straightforward; however, travel insurance can be costly. If you often travel with your bike, it would be worth finding an insurance provider that offers travel cover for your bicycle.
  • Personal Accident Cover – as mentioned, there is a lower accident risk associated with riding an e-bike, but the chances of accidents are never zero. You may want additional peace of mind by adding personal accident cover to your electric bicycle insurance policy.
  • Legal Expenses – a higher proportion of accidents involving a cyclist and a car were found to be the fault of the driver. As a result, it is a good idea to have legal cover on your insurance policy should you find yourself in this situation.

Insuring an electric bike with ALA

If you are looking for an insurance policy for your e-bike ALA may be able to offer the perfect flexible policy for you. We include theft, accidental damage, malicious damage, and worldwide bicycle cover at no extra cost on all non-electric and electric bike policies, so you are already covered for many eventualities on our standard plan.

If you need additional coverage, we offer the following add-ons at competitive prices:

  • Cycle hire Replacement of up to £500 or £1,000
  • Cycle hire Replacement of up to £500 or £1,000
  • Public Liability Cover up to £1m or £2m
  • Personal Accident cover of up to £10,000 or £25,000
  • Legal expenses of up to £25,000

The average standard policy for an electric bike would cost a reasonable £5-£10 per month with £150 excess cover , so there is no reason to wait to get flexible cover for your e-bike. Get a Cycle Insurance quote from us today!

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