With e-scooters being trialled by the UK government and the ongoing boom in e-bike sales1 , it’s fair to say that us Brits are all up for a little power trip. But do you know all there is to know about these electrical modes of transport, and more importantly is your insurance cover in place for the ride?
Where the rubber meets the road: E-bike & E-scooter facts
1. The first e-bike was patented 125 years ago by American inventor, Ogden Bolton Junior in 18962.
2. It is currently illegal to ride your personal e-scooter in the UK unless you are on private land3. Watt?! However, TfL (Transport for London) have fast-tracked the ability to hire an e-scooter in selected towns and cities across the UK for 2021. This year-long ‘hire trial’ is a positive step towards a greener revolution for urban mobility and the hope that we can use our privately owned scooters is ever closer.
3. E-bikes are more popular than ever amongst cyclists of all levels and abilities, with sales of e-bikes up 355%4 in the last year. The UK cycling market has grown its economic worth reaching £2.31 billion in 2020, and it is little surprise to see electric bikes account for 12%, reaching £280 million.5
4. According to a survey conducted by Transport of London, 28% of e-bike riders bought their e-bike as a substitute for a car6. Some of the most common reasons for embracing e-bikes are the health and environmental benefits, reduction in costs, and avoidance of traffic jams.7
5. Hired e-scooters (from licensed operators) are limited to 15.5mph and are only permitted on roads and cycle lanes, with riders banned from pavements. People hiring them must be aged at least 16 and hold a provisional or full driving licence.8
What you need to know: e-scooters and e-bike insurance
1. When hiring public e-scooters you must have motor insurance in place, but you do not need to arrange this as this will be provided by your e-scooter rental operator9.
2. Whether you are cycling on your daily commute or cycling to the local shop for a pint of milk, there is always the possibility that you may be involved in an accident. If an accident is proven to be your fault, you could be liable for the costs of any damage caused, be it to someone’s car, their property or their person. Many home insurance policies now include ‘Public Liability’ cover, which will typically include incidents relating to your use of a bicycle. This cover may not extend to e-bikes or e-scooters though, with some insurers excluding them due to being motorised, so it’s important to check with your adviser what cover is provided.
3. Many home insurance policies will automatically cover bicycles against physical damage or theft, but with a ‘maximum value per bike’. Given how expensive e-bikes and e-scooters can be, it is advisable to check if such a limit applies to your policy. As with liability cover, some policies may exclude electronically powered bikes and scooters, regardless of their value.
4. Planning on cycling abroad? We are able to provide home insurance that includes worldwide ‘All Risks’ as standard for your contents, meaning you can ride your e-bike or scooter off into the sunset hassle-free.
To check the cover your policy provides for your e-bike or e-scooter, or if you would like us to quote for your home insurance, give the private client team a call on or alternatively,
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