More and more French people have taken the plunge by investing in the electric bike . Growth has been constant for several years on this new means of ecological transport and this trend is not ready to stop, despite the relative shortage of electric bikes.
Reputed to be expensive to buy, VAEs have steadily declined since then, in particular thanks to the various subsidies from communities encouraging their citizens to travel by electric bike. But is it necessary to take out insurance for an electric bike? What about the civil liability guarantee? Does my home insurance cover my own damage in the event of an accident? We answer your questions in this guide to electric bike insurance.
What are the different types of bicycles on the market?
Just like conventional bicycles, there are just as many types of bicycles for electric bicycles as there are practices . Before taking out insurance for an electric bike , it is important to point out that approval for riding on public roads in France requires a motor with a maximum power of 250W that can couple its electric assistance up to 25 km/ h only .
Beyond that, it is by the strength of the calves alone that you have to push your two wheels. Note that the electrical part only comes into play when the user continues to pedal. it cannot be a trigger to control its acceleration.
an electrically assisted bicycle (VAE)
The VAE is found both on urban models such as city electric bikes and on folding electric bikes for ease of transport or storage.
Whether electric hybrid bikes or electric mountain bikes , the maximum power does not change and you have to be satisfied with a maximum speed of 25 km/h with electric assistance. The difference can nevertheless be played on the battery which equips the VAE. The latter can offer more or less autonomy depending on the use of the electric bike.
An electric cargo bike
In exclusively urban areas, the electric cargo bike is increasingly developing. Particularly robust with a very often massive appearance, it is designed for transporting either goods or children , all with reduced effort.
Thus, the electric cargo bike can completely replace a car or even a small utility. It is therefore very practical as an ecological means of transport, with heavy loads and ease of maneuvering in the middle of town. On these bikes, we find both electric scooters with either a large luggage rack at the front or rear or a towed trailer , but also electric scooters with 3 wheels for better stability.
a classic bike that has received an electrification kit
There has recently been a relatively simple and effective method for converting your old classic bicycle into an electric-assisted bicycle. With an electrification kit including an electric motor, a battery and a controller, your old bike can be modernized very easily.
This does not differentiate from a new VAE sold at the insurance level, as long as it respects the 250W standard for its motor. This must still not exceed 25 km / h in its assistance, just like having to pedal to continue to activate the electric mode.
a speedbike with compulsory insurance
Called fast electric bikes, or Speedbike, these two wheels do not comply with French regulations to qualify as an "electric bike". These pass into another category which are mopeds. By allowing you to drive up to 45 km/h with assistance and equipped with a powerful electric motor, the speedbike is an alternative to the motorcycle or electric scooter. Their legislation is the subject of a specificity requiring the wearing of the helmet compulsory for their use, to have a license plate to circulate as well as an insurance .
Is electric bike insurance compulsory?
To answer simply, no insurance is not compulsory to ride an electric bike unlike the electric scooter . However, this is recommended given the high cost of some electric bikes.
Faced with the ever-increasing number of thefts, the government is forcing cycle sellers to provide each new bicycle (electric or not) with mandatory marking in order to be able to find the owner more easily. But that's not just the goal. This is both to discourage theft and concealment, while offering better security to the day-to-day user.
The helmet is also not mandatory but strongly recommended in VAE
For pedelecs, wearing a helmet is not a compulsory accessory (except for children under 12). However, on a bike it is strongly recommended because it is very useful in the event of a fall . Indeed, the majority of bicycle accidents result in bruises and head injuries. It is therefore better to be protected, especially on an electric bike that can easily pick up speed without effort.
Please, if possible, do not use a used helmet but a new bicycle helmet because we cannot know the possible damage that a second-hand model has already suffered.
How to insure your electric bike (VAE)?
As we have seen previously, the electric bike is therefore assimilated to the classic bike without motor and does not necessarily require electric bike insurance. Nevertheless, depending on the price of the VAE, it may be wise to inquire with your insurer to find out the most advantageous rates, especially if you ride regularly.
Keep in mind that most insurance companies won't cover you if your e-bike doesn't have certification . Find out about this point before buying your homologated bike!
The points to check before subscribing to a bicycle insurance
As a preamble, it is useful to have in your possession the following documents, which will be requested by the insurer to carry out the steps necessary for the insurance of an electric bicycle :
- the invoice for your electric bike (VAE)
- the serial number of your electric bike
- the invoice for a lock (a model that appears in the list of brands authorized by the insurer)
With its documents in hand, you have all the cards in hand to simply subscribe to electric bike insurance and find the best price.
liability insurance coverage
If you do not have a multi-risk home contract , it is advisable to take out a civil liability guarantee contract with an insurer. It covers damage you may inflict on others with your bike.
In the case of a multi-risk home contract, this guarantee also covers the members living under your roof. Handy if a member of your family, especially a child, has an accident with your electric bike.
Guaranteed material damage bicycle insurance
Be careful, however, because if the civil liability guarantee covers damage caused to others, it does not cover your own damage or that of your electric bike . To fully protect you in the event of a fall, collision with an animal for example, or an act of vandalism on your electric bike, you therefore need material damage insurance.
This warranty will then cover the repair of the electric bike or its replacement if the repair is impossible.
bike insurance against theft
If the investment of an electric bicycle is relatively expensive, we can only advise you to take out insurance against theft . If the certified lock is compulsory in the subscription of this insurance, in the case of an electric bicycle the insurance company can require the attachment by at least 2 locks . Generally with a lock attached to the frame of the electric bike, as well as a second to protect against theft of the battery if it is removable.
Note that since January 1, 2021 , marking is mandatory for the purchase of a new electric bike. If your electric bike was purchased before this date, remember to equip your bike with a cheap secure label allowing the identification of your bike. Even if this marking does not prevent theft, it can act both as a deterrent to thieves and receivers, but above all to be able to contact you more easily if your bike is found .
Currently nearly 2% of owners recover their cycle in the event of theft. This figure could increase considerably with the installation of these labels making it easy to find the owners in the event of theft or even loss of the VAE. Because if today there are about 400,000 bicycles stolen each year , the police find the trace in the more or less long term, of nearly a quarter of these bicycles (about 100,000). Unfortunately, for lack of identification, few are returned to their owners.
So remember to tell your electric bike insurance if it is equipped with such an identification system against theft. This should affect the price of the insurance contract.
Is it ultimately useful to take out electric bike insurance?
Although electric bike insurance is not compulsory, we advise our customers to obtain information from the various insurers . If civil liability covers you on a daily basis on the road, the purchase of an electric bike is an investment which, in our view, requires good cover .
In the event of theft or accident, coverage of the various costs is often well reimbursed by insurance. It remains up to you to take the steps to find the best rate for the insurance of your bicycle , according to your budget.