How to insure e-bikes and scooters in Canada

Two highly cost-effective modes of transportation for navigating through a town or city are purchasing an electric bicycle or a motorized scooter. While these two vehicles provide similar benefits in terms of convenience and economic efficiency, they stand apart in matters related to insurance for ebike.

Regarding the article's content: An electric bicycle, which can be a two- or three-wheeled vehicle equipped with a seat, pedals, and an electric motor, presents a simple legal framework in Canada. To operate an e-bike there, one must be at least 16 years old and wear a protective helmet. The reason for such straightforward regulations stems from the e-bike's limited power and speed capabilities, along with its inherent safety features and user-friendly design. No driving license is necessary for e-bike usage due to these characteristics.

A motorized scooter is distinct from an e-bike as it operates on a gasoline engine and lacks pedals. Similar to motorcycle riders, those who intend to operate a motorized scooter are required to have both a driver's license and insurance for ebike coverage. 

Why its necessary to have insurance for ebikes or escooters

ebike insurance

In the event of a standard bicycle theft, your homeowners' insurance typically covers the expenses for replacement or repair. However, an e-bike is not a conventional bicycle. The price for a basic e-bike begins at over $1,000, with the average expenditure for e-bike owners being around $3,000. For high-end models, prices can escalate up to $12,000. A regular home insurance policy often falls short in covering the full costs for replacing or repairing an e-bike in cases of theft or damage.

Although it's not a legal requirement for insurance for ebike, it’s important to remember the potential for accidents while riding.

E-bikes are generally heavier than traditional bicycles and, due to their motorized nature, allow for faster travel on roads or paths. This increased speed and weight raise the likelihood of being involved in an accident, which might result in damage to someone else’s property or injury to another individual. In the absence of liability insurance, you could be held personally accountable, facing significant financial repercussions.

Types of insurance for ebikes

Insurance for ebikes (e-scoters) is designed to offer protection against various risks associated with owning and riding an electric bike. Given the higher value of e-bikes compared to traditional bicycles, and their increasing use for commuting and recreational activities, having the right insurance coverage is essential. Here are the main types of insurance coverage you might consider for your e-bike:

1. Theft Insurance

  • Coverage: Protects against the loss of your e-bike due to theft. Given the high cost of e-bikes, this is one of the most sought-after types of insurance.
  • Considerations: Some policies may require specific security measures, like using approved locks or storing the e-bike in a secure location.

2. Damage Insurance

  • Coverage: Offers protection against accidental damage to your e-bike, including vandalism or damage from accidents.
  • Considerations: It's essential to understand what types of damage are covered and whether there are any exclusions or deductibles.

3. Liability Insurance

  • Coverage: Covers legal liability if you cause injury to others or damage to property while using your e-bike. This is particularly important if you frequently ride in busy urban areas.
  • Considerations: Check the coverage limits and whether it includes legal defense costs.

4. Personal Accident Insurance

  • Coverage: Provides benefits if you're injured while riding your e-bike. This can include medical expenses, loss of income, or death benefits.
  • Considerations: Coverage details, such as exclusions for risky behaviors or certain types of injuries, are important to review.

5. Roadside Assistance

  • Coverage: Offers services like towing, flat tire changes, or battery charges if your e-bike breaks down while you're out riding.
  • Considerations: Look into the radius of coverage from your home and any limits on the number of service calls per year.

6. Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • Coverage: Protects you if you're in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. This can cover medical expenses and, in some cases, damage to your e-bike.
  • Considerations: This is more relevant in regions with high rates of uninsured drivers and where e-bikes share roads with vehicles.

How I can choose insurance for my e-bike or e-scooter

Finding appropriate insurance for an e-bike can be somewhat complex. Some conventional home insurance providers view e-bikes as motor vehicles, offering only limited protection against theft, damage, or liability. Additionally, some auto insurers may not cover your e-bike, as it does not require vehicle registration or a valid driver's license to operate.

So, what are your options?

One alternative is to consult with your home insurance agent about customizing your existing policy. Bear in mind, standard insurance policies come with generic terms. If your current policy does not adequately cover your e-bike against theft, damage, and liability, it might be possible to include an endorsement that supersedes the standard terms to ensure the necessary coverage. This adjustment, however, would likely increase your monthly premium.

In the U.S., there are firms that specifically provide e-bike insurance policies. In Canada, there’s presently just few companies, one of them - Pedal Power, focusing on e-bike insurance, offering three different coverage plans. The cost for such coverage is determined by the insured bike's value.

According to Pedal Power, individuals over 21 years old with no history of claims or thefts would pay approximately $163 annually for fire, theft, and collision coverage on an e-bike valued at $2,500. For those owning a $13,000 e-bike, the same coverage would cost about $796 per year.

To quickly approximate the insurance cost for your e-bike, you can utilize the online rate estimator available on the Pedal Power website.

How does insurance work for a motorized scooter?

scooter insurance

Obtaining insurance for a motorized scooter is more straightforward compared to e-bike insurance. As a motorized scooter requires a license for operation and is categorized as a “motorcycle” by insurance companies, procuring motorcycle insurance is the necessary step.

Motorcycle insurance, akin to automobile insurance, needs to provide a minimum liability coverage of $200,000. However, comprehensive coverage isn't mandated by law. Often, if the scooter is pre-owned, the expense of comprehensive insurance can surpass the vehicle's worth, leading many individuals to forego it.

Your car driving record doesn't impact your status when obtaining motorcycle insurance. Regardless of your car driving history, acquiring a motorcycle license classifies you as a novice rider, typically resulting in higher insurance premiums than those for seasoned riders.

On the other hand, if you have a negative driving record with cars (such as speeding violations, accidents, etc.), this will influence your motorcycle insurance premiums, potentially increasing them.

A tip for saving money: Completing a rider training program can lead insurance companies to regard you as having an additional year of riding experience, often leading to a discounted rate on your motorized scooter insurance policy.

Best Ebike Insurance Companies on the Market

Purchasing Bicycle Insurance

To acquire bicycle insurance, you should compile a detailed inventory of your bikes, complete with photographs and purchase receipts, and present this information to your chosen insurance provider. If you are integrating your bicycle insurance with your home insurance policy, contact your home insurance provider to discuss specifics. Alternatively, if you select a specialized bicycle insurance company, you can typically obtain a quote online, or they may guide you to connect with one of their agents through their website.

Cost of Bicycle Insurance in Canada

The price of bicycle insurance in Canada varies based on the insurance provider and the specific policy you choose. With independent insurance companies, the annual cost for basic coverage typically ranges from 3% to 4% of the bike's value. This rate can increase to 7% to 8% for those involved in competitive bicycle racing.

Additional Advices How to Secure your E-transport

ebike insurance

It's best if you never need to use your bicycle insurance. After all, insurance is something you purchase hoping it remains unused. To enhance your bike's security, consider these tips:

  • Preferably, store your bike indoors. If that's not possible, secure it in a brightly lit, public space.
  • Always lock your bike, even when it’s at home in your garage or shed, to prevent theft.
  • Lock your bike to a sturdy, preferably metal object that's fixed to the ground. Avoid trees or wooden structures, as they can be easily cut.
  • Steer clear of older bike racks that only grip the wheel. Secure both the bike's body and the rear tire for better safety.
  • Aim to occupy most of the space inside your lock to prevent thieves from using tools to break it.
  • When securing the rear tire and frame, consider using an additional cable lock for the front tire.
  • Deter thieves by using two different types of locks simultaneously (like a cable lock and a U-lock), as most thieves look for quick and easy targets and might not be equipped to break two types of locks quickly.
  • Remove or secure any easily detachable parts, like “quick release” components, as they can attract thieves.
  • Register your bicycle with local law enforcement. Even though the recovery rate might be low, as in Toronto’s case with a 1% return rate, registration is still beneficial as it’s a straightforward process.

Following these steps can significantly reduce the risk of bike theft and the need to claim on your insurance.

If you have any additional questions, come and visit our store at 654 College street, Toronto. And we will help you to find best insurance plan with additional benefits and coverages not only on your ebike or scooter. (for the same price)

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