Electric bicycles are not viewed as motor vehicles in the eyes of the law, and accordingly, have different regulations for licensing, registration and insurance coverage. As long as the electric bike cannot motor above 20 miles per hour and does not have a motor with more than 750 watts, federal law views it the same as a regular bicycle without a motor. However, since it can cause damage to people, vehicles or other property, some electric bike operators see a need to secure insurance protection. While a comprehensive policy may not be available, the necessary liability, medical and property insurance protection can be pieced together from several sources.
Secure personal insurance for your electric bike from bicycle associations. These associations sell insurance coverage for injuries sustained by cyclists while operating their bikes. Such coverage is not available in all states and does not provide comprehensive coverage.
Check your homeowners insurance policy for liability coverage. Injuries and damage to third parties stemming from the operation of your electric bike may already be covered. If you cannot understand the policy’s language or if you are otherwise still unsure, consult with your insurance agent. Even if you rent instead of own, your renter’s insurance may provide coverage for liability in an electric bike accident.
Purchase medical coverage to protect yourself against potential financial loss from injuries you may sustain while operating your electric bike. Make certain that the policy covers injuries stemming from a bicycle accident.
Check your automobile personal injury policy, which may be extended to cover personal injury sustained as a result of your electric bike. Your auto insurance coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist protection may also cover you in the event of an accident with a motorist who does not have enough insurance to cover your claim.
Secure an excess liability insurance policy, also known as “umbrella insurance,” which provides additional protection beyond any other coverage you may have and stands in under circumstances where you may have gaps in coverage or no coverage at all, including your electric bike. An excess liability policy can create a safety net for medical and third-party claims, as well as a claim you may want to pursue for damage to your own electric bike.