Last week, we discussed the rules of the road that apply to e-bikes in Ontario, and one of the major reasons that e-bikes are becoming so popular: you don’t need to pass a test or obtain a licence to operate one. Likewise, there is no requirement for riders to have e-bike insurance before taking to the open road. But that isn’t necessarily a good thing, and riders should purchase e-bike insurance to protect both their bicycle, and themselves.
Why e-bike insurance is a good idea
An electronic bicycle or scooter, while cheaper than a car, is still a big purchase. From a purely economic perspective, e-bike insurance protects your financial investment in case it is stolen or damaged.
E-bikes move faster than traditional bicycles, up to 32 km/hr, and weigh up to 120 kg. An accident at those high speeds can do a considerable amount of damage not just to your bike, but to yourself and anyone else involved. In addition to covering physical damage, some policies will provide third party liability coverage in the event that someone else is injured, and accident benefits coverage in case you are injured yourself.
Many riders may think that their e-bike is covered by their personal homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, like a bicycle. However, many policies will exclude an e-bike, because it has a motor. Although there is no requirement at the moment that riders obtain e-bike insurance, it is a good idea to obtain coverage for damage to the vehicle, as well as third party liability and personal injury coverage.
How to find an e-bike insurance policy
Many insurance companies do not offer a specific policy for electronic bicycles. In fact, it can sometimes be challenging to find the right plan, since an e-bike is motorized, but not registered like a motorcycle or car would be.
There are several potential options for riders who are seeking e-bike insurance coverage. Damage to the e-bike and third party liability coverage may be available under an existing homeowner’s policy, or an umbrella policy may be purchased to provide this type of protection. Preferably, an existing automobile policy may be extended to cover the e-bike, or a new motorcycle policy could be purchased. These latter options would also include accident benefits coverage, which can offer some assistance if you are injured in an accident.
Speaking to an insurance broker should be your first step. Consider asking about:
- Whether the policy extends to friends that borrow your e-bike with permission;
- If the e-bike is covered when it is being transported and when it is in storage;
- Coverage for upgrades and accessories like GPS units;
- Whether the policy depreciates the value of the e-bike annually, and by how much;
- If the policy includes accident benefits coverage; and
- If you are covered for damage to another vehicle, or if you injure someone else in an accident.
Toronto injury lawyers specializing in e-bike claims
At Fireman Daya & Co., we are familiar with the way e-bikes are treated under the law, and can assist if you have been injured in an e-bike accident. Our dedicated litigators have over 110 years of combined courtroom experience that can give you an advantage in your claim.
We exclusively represent the victims of serious accidents, and offer free consultations to new clients. Contact us online, or by phone at 416-967-9100, so we can discuss your legal options.
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