The Importance of E-Bike Insurance
Whether you are using an e- bike to commute to work, run errands or explore your community, you are likely to see more people around you on similar rides. The popularity of e-bikes is growing, but since they are relatively new, the laws governing their use are still a bit hazy across the nation. E-bikes do not have the same powerful engines as motorcycles, but some states have drafted laws requiring that riders have a driver’s license, helmet, and vehicle registration.
But do you need insurance for an e-bike? Riders of any two-wheeled vehicle take on many risks when they embark on a journey but riding an electrically boosted bike has a few more risks than their manual counterparts. E-bikes can move and accelerate faster and handle differently from manual bicycles. This can cause the rider, or nearby car drivers and pedestrians to miscalculate how fast the e-bike is traveling. E-bike accidents can involve other e-bikes, cars, manual bikes or pedestrians and can be quite severe, depending on the other party involved.
An e-bike accident lawsuit is a claim for damages against the person or company responsible for injuries sustained by the rider of an electric bicycle. These lawsuits are typically brought against a motorist, bicyclist or pedestrian who causes the accident. But claims can also be brought against the manufacturer of the e-bike based on products liability. Your home and car insurance policies might provide some protection for an e-bike, but they cannot beat the specialized coverage of an electric bike insurance policy.
What Is an E-Bike?
An electric bike, or e-bike, has an electric motor and runs on rechargeable batteries instead of being propelled solely by the pedaling of its rider as with a traditional bicycle. The placement and power of the motor varies by e-bike, and batteries generally requiring recharging after between 20 and 100 miles. E-bikes come in different versions based how they are operated; some must be pedaled while pedaling is optional for others.
What Is Electric Bike Insurance?
E-bikes tend to be expensive. For this reason, you should consider buying an insurance policy for it. These standalone policies are designed for bike owners and go beyond the protections offered by a condo, home, or renter’s insurance policy. A comprehensive electric bike insurance policy may offer coverage for:
- Accidental damage
- Theft and vandalism
- Roadside assistance
- Collisions with uninsured motorists
- Crash damage
- Medical payments
The Importance of E-Bike Insurance
E-bikes are expensive and have high potential risks on the road typically not fully covered by homeowners, renter or auto insurances. It is a risky move for you to leave your e-bike uninsured.
Let’s take a closer look at why e-bike insurance is a good idea.
- E-bikes are an Investment
If you have an electric bike or are considering purchasing one, then you know that it is a rather substantial investment. A decent quality entry-level e-bike costs upwards of $1,000, an average value e-bike runs around $3,000, and a high-end e-bike costs as much as $12,000. With an investment like that, you should always be sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for e-bike for damage, theft or any other unforeseen circumstances.
Furthermore, e-bikes are often complicated in terms of electrical, mechanical and computer-driven systems. They typically travel relatively quickly and for great distances at a time, which makes them more susceptible to potential loss or damage.
- E-bikes Have Potential Risks
Because electric bicycles often travel faster and are heavier than regular bicycles, they have a higher demand for liability coverage. This also makes them potentially dangerous for causing harm to someone else’s property or physical injury to another. Without insurance, a bicycle rider who caused an accident may be held personally accountable for the accident and face devastating financial obligations.
Some of the most common types of injuries associated with e-bikes include the following:
- Head, including traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Cuts and bruises
- Other Policies Offer Very Limited E-Bike Coverage
Traditional homeowners and renter insurances typically offer limited coverage (if any) for theft, damage, or liability related to e-bikes because an electric bike is considered a motorized vehicle. In addition, auto insurance companies may not offer e-bike insurance because e-bikes do not need to be registered and e-bike riders are not required to have a valid driver’s license.
Is E-Bike Insurance Required in California?
The answer here is no, you do not need e-bike insurance. E-Bikes are used by many in California as an economical means of transportation. However, since they are not just bicycles, unique state laws apply to e-bikes and their use.
California e-bike laws do not make it mandatory for operators to acquire the motorist insurance policy. Electric bike operators do not need a license plate or license to ride them. Registration is also not required to own and ride e-bikes. An insurance policy is not mandatory though it is necessary for self-protection. Many riders experience injuries from truck or van drivers without an injury liability policy.
The key here is to understand what is being classified as an e-bike and not a moped, electric motorcycle or any other form of motorized vehicle. Under California law, you must be at least 16 years or older if the bike is a Class 3 and can reach 28 mph.
Below are the 3 classes of e-bikes in its simplest terms:
- Class 1 – Motorized bicycle that provides pedal assist up to 20 MPH
- Class 2 – Motorized bicycle that provides both throttle & pedal assist up to 20 MPH
- Class 3 – Motorized bicycle that provides pedal assist up to 28 MPH
Call an E-bike Attorney – CALL DUQUE LAW!
Even though e-bike insurance is not required for cyclists, being informed on why people may consider purchasing a policy is important. If you decide that it is something you want, be sure to perform thorough research before you buy a policy. Read reviews from customers to ensure you are working with a reputable company that knows how to handle claims efficiently. You want to make sure that you get the best e-bike insurance policy for you. You will thank yourself in the future because while insurance can be a pricey purchase to make, it will be well worth it and can also be beneficial in the event you need it.
Personal injury cases are difficult and require a skilled attorney. Do not try to take on the insurance company lawyers by yourself. Time limitations apply to any injury claim you might have, so for purposes of investigating a possible case and possibly preserving evidence, it’s best for you to contact us immediately after an accident.
Since our attorneys see many cyclist accidents throughout the year, we know how to obtain fair compensation for your injuries. Contact our experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away. You can even use our online contact form, and we will reply to you quickly.