If you are a diehard Mountain biker (like me), a hiker, or just a causal weekend adventurer you have likely noticed in the last year that Electric Bikes aka E-Bikes are the new craze
Seems like they are everywhere! Maybe it's just me? One of those... your friend mentions a new type of car that just came out, then you see them non-stop on the road type things? Lots of banter back and forth on from traditional mtn bikers; They are cheating, it's too easy, etc. Personally, I'll admit being a little salty after suffering on a long climb almost at the top, getting my doors blown off by a middle-aged gal effortlessly pedaling past me on her brand new e-bike. I have since come around and now really see the possibilities are endless after a buddy let me take his YT Decoy for a quick rip in the parking lot. I hopped on it and pedaled away and took off like a bat out of hell, instant ear to ear smile, what a machine! I was cruising effortlessly through the lot doing 20+mph jumping every speed bump in sight. You can ride twice as far as you could on a conventional pedal bike, in the same amount of time. You can conquer some technical climbs that previously you'd thought only doable by Danny MacAskill. ( if you aren't sure who that is, do yourself a favor and youtube it) Get out to remote areas for even more epic descents, etc...Love them or hate them they are out there and seemingly the wave of the future.
Laying in bed thinking about the pros and cons of e-bike vs non-e-bike my insurance brain kicked in. Are E-bikes covered under personal property if it gets stolen or damaged? Will your homeowner's insurance cover your liability if you hit a hiker, another biker, vehicle while riding an e-bike as it would on a conventional pedal bike? Woke up this morning, did a little research...The answers came as a bit of a shock to me...
- Is it a motor vehicle or still a bike?
That interpretation seems to vary from carrier to carrier. Most states seem to consider Electric bikes as street legal and do not require any kind of license or special insurance.
- Are Bikes / E-bikes covered under personal property if it gets stolen or damaged?
Let's be honest here, as a biker one of the biggest fears. You go into the gas station for a drink or a post-ride beverage with the crew and your beloved stead is gone!
It's important to note with anything high value (Bikes, Coins Jewelry, Guns, camera gear, Rugs. etc). most policies are going to have a limit for bikes unless scheduled separately. The limit could be as low as $500 to $2500 on some policies. Which isn't going to go very far if your bike is worth $3k-$12K!
What about E-bikes???? well this is where things get a little spicy. Some of the carriers offer Zero, $0.00, Zip on Property coverage, and will not even insure them under scheduled personal Property. Some carriers would only cover them if they were scheduled separately.
- Will your homeowner's insurance cover your liability if you hit a hiker, another biker, vehicle while riding an e-bike as it would on a conventional pedal bike?
Flying down a trail having the time of your life. Another rider/hiker is coming up the trail and crunch. You collide! Hopefully everyone's okay, but let's say that the person is hurt badly and needs medical attention.
On the pedal bike: Homeowners insurance will cover this under personal liability.
On E-bike: Many of the insurance carriers I checked with do not offer any liability coverage for e-bikes as they are considering them Motorized vehicles.
While the fun factor is there without a doubt with any type of cycling. On the insurance side of things, there are lots of potential gaps in coverage for bikes in general. E-bikes even more so. If you are unsure where you stand with your current policy, give us a call @ 818.285.0323 We can help get your coverage in line!
Be safe out there and see ya in the dirt!