Insurance for electric bikes

Interested in investing in an e-bike but not sure where to start? Our guide tells you everything you need to know about finding the best e-bike insurance for you, plus helpful security advice and expert tips on care and maintenance.

Interested in investing in an e-bike but not sure where to start? Our guide tells you everything you need to know about finding the best e-bike insurance for you, plus helpful security advice and expert tips on care and maintenance.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
4
minute read
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Posted 18 MAY 2021

Why buy an e-bike?

Also known as powerbikes, booster bikes and the rather less catchy Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (EAPCs), if you’re not into powering up steep hills, getting an e-bike could be a great move. Fitted with a motor and battery for extra power when you need it most, this is the easy way to get from A to B.

In order for an e-bike not to be classified as a moped, it needs to have:

  • The option to switch to pedal power alone
  • A top speed of no more than 15.5mph if you’re relying on motor/battery power (you’re welcome to go faster under your own steam)
  • A maximum power of no more than 250W

Insurance for mopeds is compulsory and requires a different kind of insurance policy, so these are important distinctions to make.

Do I need insurance for my electric bicycle? 

Unlike mopeds, insurance isn’t a legal requirement for e-bikes. The question to ask yourself is whether you can afford to repair or replace your electric bike if it gets lost, damaged or stolen.

Given that the most expensive models can cost thousands of pounds, you could save yourself a lot of money with the right e-bike insurance policy if something unforeseen happens.

Equally, if you rely on your e-bike to get around, insuring your wheels may well be better than a sudden and enforced return to public transport.

Is my e-bike covered by my home insurance? 

Depending on the level of cover you took out, an electric bike might be covered by your home insurance policy.

Some insurance providers are happy to include an e-bike in your contents insurance, which could cover the cost of replacing possessions that are stolen, destroyed or damaged.

However, relying on this may mean that your electric bicycle is only protected when it’s in your home or securely tucked away in a garage or shed. To cover your e-bike while you’re on the road or when the bike is locked up on the streets, you may be able to add personal possessions insurance for an extra charge.

You may need to list your e-bike individually on your contents policy if it’s worth more than the amount of cover offered specifically for bikes. When you compare with Compare the Market, you’ll be asked whether you want to insure any bikes worth over £350.

What is covered by electric bike insurance? 

It depends on the individual policy and whether you’re looking to cover your e-bike as part of your home insurance policy or you’ve decided to take out specialist cover.

E-bike insurance through your home insurance policy could give you cover for:

  • Theft – from your home or when you’re out and about.
  • Accidental damage or vandalism – your policy could cover the cost of repairing or replacing your e-bike if it’s accidentally or intentionally damaged.
  • Third-party liability – if you accidentally cause injury, death or damage to another person, you could be covered for the associated costs. You may also get cover for the associated legal expenses.

But not every policy offers all this cover, so check the small print carefully.

If your home insurance doesn’t give you the cover you want, you may need a specialist policy. This could cover:

  • Personal accident – a lump sum could be paid out if you suffer a serious accident.
  • Replacement e-bike hire – a stand-in set of wheels while your own bike is being repaired or replaced. There may be an upper limit on the amount covered by your insurance provider.
  • Mechanical breakdowns and rescue/recovery – if you break down more than a certain distance from home, your insurance provider could cover you to be taken to the nearest repair shop, station or overnight accommodation to your home address.

You may also want to look for a policy that includes cover for:

  • Accessories – replacing items such as helmets, clothing, GPS systems, heart-rate monitors, lights, mud guards, saddle bags and headphones.
  • Family members – this is usually defined as a partner and/or any relative aged 14 or older who lives with you and might use the bike.
  • Sports – for example, if you want to enter competitions with your e-bike.
  • Overseas travel – standard travel insurance may not cover the value of your e-bike. You should also check how long your policy will cover you while you’re away. For example, 90 consecutive days may be the limit.

What is not covered by my electric bike insurance? 

It’s important that any claims you make meet certain criteria to stand a chance of being accepted by your insurance provider.

The following are common examples of claims that are rejected:

  • Theft – if you’ve not taken the necessary action to secure your e-bike. For example, if you’ve left it unattended for longer than 12 hours, not locked it to an immovable object or not secured it properly inside your home or in a garage or shed.
  • Cosmetic damage, like dents and scratches, that don’t stop your e-bike from working.
  • Accidents or incidents that happen while you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Any claims made when someone not covered by the policy is riding the bike.

Your policy may also be voided if you can’t prove that you own your e-bike or you’re using it to make money, for example as a courier.

What sort of lock do I need for my electric bike? 

Many insurance providers will only accept a claim for theft if your e-bike is secured using an approved lock.

The ‘Sold Secure’ rating is independently awarded by the Master Locksmith Association and covers cable locks, U locks and D shackles. You can check the rating of any lock on its website.

Before you buy any electric bike insurance policy, make sure you check the terms carefully.

How much is e-bike insurance?

Your e-bike may be covered by your home contents insurance as standard, but if it’s worth more than the limit specified for bikes you may need to list it individually on your contents policy. You may also need to pay extra for personal possessions cover to ensure your e-bike is covered when you’re out and about.  
 
Specialist e-bike policies vary in price and will cost more or less depending on the value of your bike and your postcode – bike theft happens more often in certain areas. 
 
If you can pay a higher excess, that could reduce the cost of your premium – but it’s important to get the balance right. The excess is the set amount you agree to pay towards any claim before your insurance provider makes up the difference. Don’t make it so high that you wouldn’t want to make a claim for fear of the cost.  
 
You can add your e-bike to your home contents insurance when you compare with us. It’s easy to compare and get a quote today, so you can find the right deal for you. Compare the Market doesn’t currently offer standalone e-bike insurance.   

How to stop your e-bike being stolen 

If you leave your electric bike in a public space, use a good strong lock and make sure it’s in a well-lit area – the busier the better. Security cameras are your friends in this situation too.

You should always secure your e-bike to objects that can’t be moved or tampered with, for example a bike rack or lamp post. And never assume that it will be okay to leave your e-bike unlocked ‘just for a minute’ while you nip into a shop.

You can also register with the UK’s national BikeRegister database: a police-approved scheme that provides a security-marking kit for your e-bike. This not only warns off thieves but makes it easier to reunite you with your e-bike if it does get stolen.

E-bike maintenance 

The better you look after your e-bike, the less trouble it will give you. Although accidents sometimes can’t be helped, keeping your electric bike in a good state of repair also makes it safer while you’re out and about. 
 
10 ways to care for your e-bike: 

  1. Make sure your e-bike battery is fully charged before your first ride. 
  2. Clean and charge your bike regularly, ideally after every outing. 
  3. Keep the tyres inflated to the recommended pressure. 
  4. Check the brakes, cables and gears on a regular basis – the added battery power of an e-bike can mask the slowing effects of wear and tear. 
  5. Remove the battery before cleaning. And the displays if you can – otherwise cover them with a cloth.  
  6. Clean with water – but not from a steam or high-pressure cleaner. For a more thorough job, use bike shampoo with a brush and soft sponge.  
  7. Keep the bike chain lubricated, keeping the lube well away from the disc brake.   
  8. Remove the battery if you’re travelling with your e-bike on a vehicle bike rack. 
  9. Get regular services.  
  10. If you’re not planning to use your e-bike for a while, make sure the battery is 30-60% charged and remove it. Store the bike somewhere dry. 

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