Why Your Ebike (Electric Bike) Deserves Specialist Bicycle Insurance

Whether you call them ebikes, e-bikes, electric bikes, or power bikes, there’s no doubt that what is technically an “electric motor-assisted bicycle” has crossed your mind, or your bike path, over the past year. 

You aren’t just imagining it - they’re everywhere!

It's estimated that in 2019, around 270,000 ebikes were imported into the US. This year, the US is expected to import over 600,000 ebikes - and even that may not be enough to keep up with the demand.

Owing in part to the pandemic, electric bike sales grew 145% in the US between 2019 - 2020, and the trend isn’t slowing down on a global scale. Some experts even predict that by 2030, electric bike sales will overtake car sales in Europe. 

If you've just bought an ebike, or are considering getting one, you're in good company. 130 million ebikes are expected to be sold globally between 2020 - 2023.

The environmental, commuting and exercise benefits of ebikes make it an easy choice - but getting insured isn't always quite as easy. There are countless insurance policy options and coverage types to choose from, and it can be tricky to ensure that your ebike is sufficiently covered for the dangers it may face out on the roads.

Why more Americans are choosing ebikes over bicycles

The battery assist in an electric bike means that cyclists can achieve faster speeds at a quicker rate, along with a power boost when going uphill, facing headwinds, or carrying a heavy load. 

All these factors ultimately make riding an ebike less physically demanding than riding a bicycle - but that doesn't mean you aren't working out!

In fact, one study that followed over 10,000 cyclists in seven European cities found that while ebikers and cyclists rode a similar amount of minutes per week, ebikers reported significantly longer trip distances. 

So, if you switch from a bicycle to an ebike, the net losses in physical activity are negligible due to the increase in overall travel distance.

Here are some more reasons why ebikes are becoming so popular:

  • They're appealing to commuters who, on average, sweat two-thirds less when using an ebike instead of a bicycle. So instead of having to carry a change of clothes to the office, you can ebike the entire way and barely break a sweat.
  • They can be configured to safely carry a toddler or weekly groceries, without the extra weight making the ride more demanding.
  • Many older, unfit, or disabled people can easily ride ebikes, whereas riding a bicycle may be too challenging.
  • Unlike electric cars, ebikes don't need specialized charging stations. You can easily charge them at home, at the office, or even in a coffee shop.

Do electric bikes need insurance?

Ebikes generally have a higher price tag than standard bicycles, which naturally makes them appealing to thieves - but beyond that, individual components such as their expensive batteries can also become targets.

While ebike theft is rampant in the Netherlands, there aren't enough statistics yet to show whether ebikes are targeted at a higher rate in the US. 

A 2020 article from The New York Times pointed out that an increasing number of delivery drivers on ebikes were victims of theft - a trend we may soon start to see on a national scale.

In general, incidents of bicycle theft rose 24% in the US between 2019 and 2020, with some cities reporting an even steeper increase:

  • Seattle, Washington, reported a 54% increase in theft
  • Denver, Colorado, saw a 26% increase in theft
  • Boston, Massachusetts, experienced 28% more bicycle thefts
  • New York City saw a bicycle theft spike of 27%

Because only one fifth of bicycle thefts are reported to authorities, the real figures are certainly much higher. 

Even less reported is malicious and crash damage, both of which can be costly incidents that leave you unable to ride until you repair or replace your bicycle or ebike.

What homeowners & renters insurance often won't cover

Homeowners & renters insurance policies are created to cover personal belongings and home contents in the event of things like fire, flooding, theft, or natural disasters. 

Because these policies are focused on the home and its contents, items that are stolen or damaged away from home are usually not covered. 

Even if your homeowners & renters insurance covers your ebike, it's likely that the coverage is partial and doesn't protect your ebike from the many common out-of-home cycling scenarios you may face.

Here's how homeowners & renters insurance compares to specialist ebike coverage.

What specialist ebike insurance covers

There are a couple of misconceptions about ebike insurance.

Some believe the premiums are expensive or insurance is only worth buying if your ebike costs over a certain amount. Luckily, none of those are true with Sundays Insurance.

Unlike many other specialist insurers, we don't provide pre-packaged coverage options. Instead, your ebike cover is fully personalized to you - so you get the coverage you need and don't pay for what you don't. Simple.

Along with the standard and optional coverages in the table above, you can also choose extra coverage additions to suit your needs.

Optional lifetime new for old

If you cover your ebike within 60 days of purchasing it new and choose lifetime new for old, we'll replace your ebike, item or part with a new item of the same make and model or the nearest equivalent, with no depreciation applied.

Accessories, custom parts & wheelsets

With Sundays Insurance, you can insure custom parts fitted to your ebike, such as upgraded carbon handlebars or a dropper seatpost. 

Additionally, accessories such as your GPS cycling computer or headlight can be covered up to the value of $250, $450, $750 or $1,000. 

You can also add additional wheelsets to your policy so you can swap them out to suit your ride with total peace of mind.

Racing & event coverage

Choose racing & event coverage, and we'll cover your ebike if the damage is caused by a specific incident, crash, impact, or road hazard while taking part in a race or event. 

If you don't participate in races and don't want your coverage to extend to them, you don't need to choose or pay for this coverage.

Why choose Sundays Insurance bicycle cover?

Monthly premiums

Insurance premiums are usually calculated annually and divided by 12 to give you your monthly premium. Many specialist bicycle insurers require that you pay a portion of the annual amount upfront, but we don't. 

Enjoy simple monthly payments with no upfront or minimum premium*. Plus, you can cancel your coverage at any time without penalties.

Personalized policies

We draw from 13+ years of cycling insurance data to offer customizable coverage for serious and casual cyclists alike.

Personal service

Despite our global footprint, our close-knit vibe ensures you always feel like part of our Sundays Insurance cyclist family.

14-Day cooling off period

Try our policy for 14 days and get your money back if you cancel within 14 days and did not claim. No questions asked, no penalties*.

*Only available in selected states.

Sources:

https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/722835_tmt-predictions-2020/DI_TMT-Prediction-2020.pdf

https://www.adsgroup.org.uk/news/member-news/g4s-helps-break-the-cycle-of-dutch-ebike-thefts/

https://cyclingindustry.news/e-bike-sales-3-7m-17m-2030-industry-experts/

https://electrek.co/2020/10/28/the-us-is-doubling-e-bike-imports-this-year-to-half-a-million-and-even-that-isnt-enough/

https://www.ebicycles.com/ebike-facts-statistics/#:~:text=The%20year%202013%20is%20considered,2018%2C%20those%20numbers%20surpassed%20400%2C000