E-bike insurance: effective protection against theft and damage
from IMTEST 29. January 2022 29. January 2022
With the right e-bike insurance, you can protect your bike against theft. IMTEST lists the most important tips on policies.
Credit: getty images
E-bikes now account for more than half of all bicycle sales in germany, and the trend is rising. At the same time, the number of stolen e-bikes is increasing from year to year. Against a flex in the hands of thieves, even the super-solid U-lock with which the expensive e-bike is secured has no chance. This is why special insurance for pedelecs can be worthwhile. Especially when it comes to an electric bike costing several thousand euros. Special e-bike insurance policies often cover not only theft but also many other types of damage, such as premature battery wear or breakdowns on the road.
Table of contents
E-bike insurance is a must?
For most people, insurance and the associated costs are a rather annoying topic that they are reluctant to deal with. on the other hand, many people have a high need for security. you would like to be covered against any eventuality. Whether a special e-bike insurance policy, i.e. a separate insurance policy for the bike, makes sense or is necessary depends on the personal need for safety as well as on the insurance policies already in place in the household.
Special insurance is not mandatory for the vast majority of e-bikes. Unlike the 45 km/h S-pedelecs, there is no insurance obligation for e-bikes that are supported by the electric motor up to a maximum of 25 km/h. These pedelecs dominate the e-bike market with more than 95 percent of sales and are the subject of this guide.
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Thise insurance options are available for e-bikes
In many cases, the household insurance will cover theft of the e-bike. But this is by no means always the case. Only about half of all existing household insurance policies include the so-called bicycle clause, which covers the theft of e-bikes. And also here there are strong restrictions. In household insurance policies with a standard bicycle clause, the e-bike is only insured against theft at home, not on the road. With some providers, household contents insurance can be extended to include theft protection while on the move.
If you want the best possible protection against theft, breakdowns and damage to your e-bike, you need special e-bike insurance. Their performance and costs vary. The range of insurance benefits extends from theft on the road to a protection letter with return service for bicycle tours abroad. The annual costs for these insurances range from around 50 euros to 200 euros.
private liability insurance is not obligatory, but highly recommended for anyone who rides an e-bike. It generally covers injuries to other people and damage caused by pedelecs to other people’s property. If you cause an accident with your e-bike that damages or injures other vehicles, objects or people, you do not have to pay for the damage out of your own pocket. The costs are covered by private liability insurance. However, it does not pay for damage to your own e-bike.
this is what household insurance for pedelecs and e-bikes covers
If you have household insurance, you should first clarify the following three points:
- Does the insurance include a so-called bicycle clause?? This is by no means a matter of course, especially with older contracts.
- If the contract includes the bicycle clause: up to what amount are bicycles insured against theft?? there are often upper limits, for example 1500 euro. For many e-bikes, this is not enough.
- What is the sum insured of the household insurance?? This is important because the maximum compensation for bicycles is usually set at a certain percentage of the sum insured for the entire household. Depending on the insurance policy, this percentage is between one and five percent. This may or may not be sufficient. Because this percentage refers to all bicycles of a household together, not to each individual one. Example: with a sum insured of 70.000 euros and contractually stipulated five percent for bicycle damage, the insurance only pays a total of 3.500 euros for all bikes in the household.
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For this, the homeowner’s insurance comes to
Important: the household insurance only covers the theft of the bicycle if the e-bike was parked in the apartment itself, in a locked cellar room or in the locked garage. For communal bike storage in rental buildings, the bike itself must also be secured with a good lock.
If the bicycle is stolen while on the road and therefore outside the household, household insurance is not responsible. Some household insurers offer an extension of the theft protection also for on the road. However, this theft protection is often accompanied by a so-called night clause. This clause states that the e-bike is only insured from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. when it is parked outside the household.
Homeowner’s insurance often only protects against theft if the e-bike is parked in the house. Credit: chuttersnap/unsplash
Homeowner’s insurance may be sufficient
Despite all the restrictions: For many e-bikers, the household insurance- with or without extension for on the road be completely sufficient. If you live in your own house with a garage, can rely on a sufficiently high sum insured under your household insurance policy, and only use your e-bike during the day as a leisure activity or to do some quick shopping in the village, you don’t necessarily need special e-bike insurance.
the cost of household insurance depends on the size of the household and the insured valuables. The price ranges from 35 euros to several hundred euros per year. If your household insurance policy is several years or decades old and does not include a bicycle clause, it is often cheaper to cancel the policy and take out a new policy including a bicycle clause than to extend the existing policy.
If an e-biker causes an accident, his private liability insurance pays for the damage to other people’s property. Credit: dmitrii vaccinium/unsplash
This is what private liability insurance covers for e-bikes
If you don’t already have personal liability insurance, you should definitely take out one if you’re riding an e-bike. Because in public road traffic there are dangers that no one can foresee. Therefore, liability insurance is mandatory for cars and motorcycles, as well as for the fast S-pedelecs and electric mopeds. For the 25 km/h pedelecs, this task is taken over by private liability insurance. It covers all damage caused by an e-bike in road traffic. This applies not only to personal injury and damage to other vehicles, but also to damage to third-party property.
Here’s an example: an e-biker crosses a country road and overlooks a fast-approaching car. The driver tries to avoid the e-biker, but her car collides with the wall of a nearby house, injuring the driver slightly. In this case, the e-biker’s personal liability insurance not only pays the driver’s medical expenses and the damage to her accident car, but also the repair of the damaged house wall.
Among the several hundred liability insurers with good ratings are the "haftpflichtkasse" company, „old leipzigers", „barmenia", „HDI", „janitos", „signal iduna", „GEV", „interrisk" and "concordia. the prices are usually between about 50 euro and 100 euro per year.
Special insurance for e-bikes
Special e-bike insurance policies can best be compared with fully comprehensive car insurance policies. you cover the damage to your own e-bike. In the event of theft, burglary or robbery, regardless of the time of day and where the pedelec is parked, all insurance policies will pay out. In order for the insurance to cover a bike parked at the side of the road if it is stolen, it usually has to be attached to a "fixed object" how to connect it to a lamppost. Some insurers also pay if the lock only prevents the vehicle from being driven away. For the lock itself, insurers also make specifications. It often has to have a minimum value, usually 50 euros. Sometimes only locks from certain manufacturers are allowed. It is worth reading the terms and conditions of the respective insurance policy carefully.
In addition to the theft of the entire e-bike, almost all policies also cover the theft of individual parts, such as the saddle or front wheel, if they are permanently attached to the bike. In almost all tariffs, this also includes the bike’s expensive battery.
For longer bike tours, e-bike insurance with a letter of protection can be the right choice. Credit: patrick hendry/unsplash
Special e-bike insurance policies cover even more dangers
In addition to theft, the majority of special e-bike insurance policies also cover other risks. These insurances also cover vandalism, i.e. deliberate damage or destruction of the bike. Protection of the electronics against moisture or overvoltage is also usually insured. Many insurance companies also cover the costs of accidents or crashes that do not involve other road users.
Since many insurance plans offer worldwide coverage, e-bike travelers can also count on insurance coverage abroad. If you travel a lot with your bike, you can take out a tariff with cover letter. In the event of theft or a breakdown while on the road, the insurance covers the transport of the e-bike back home or to the nearest bicycle repair shop, sends personnel to repair the bike on site or pays for a rental bike.
Some providers offer discounts if, in addition to the lock, a GPS tracking device is installed. Some e-bikes have such a function integrated ex works.
Pay attention to the duration of the e-bike insurance policy
The contracts often have a term of one year, sometimes longer. many providers offer significant discounts if the premium is paid for several years in advance. As a rule, the contracts are automatically renewed if they are not cancelled in time, usually with a notice period of three months.
Important to know: the maximum contract term is often limited to three or five years. If you don’t want to be left without protection, you should switch to another e-bike insurance policy or extend your household insurance policy in good time.
If the e-bike is stolen or totaled, insurers will either pay for a new, equivalent replacement bike or reimburse the value of the e-bike in cash upon presentation of the invoice. In most cases they replace the new value. In some tariffs, however, customers are only reimbursed the current value, which deducts the loss in value due to age and use. Few providers require a deductible. Some providers also insure used and older e-bikes, while others only cover as-new bikes up to six months after new purchase. The amount of compensation also varies: with some insurance policies, up to 12% of the total amount can be paid out.Covering e-bikes costing up to 000 euros, some pay a maximum of 6000 euros.
Among the e-bike insurers with good ratings is the "fahrsicher" company, „ammerlander", „hepster", „enra", „krist", „heroes.De", „value guarantee" and "GVO. Prices vary between around 50 euros and 200 euros per year.
E-bikes registered with the police are less likely to be stolen than others. Credit: berlin police
What to consider in the event of damage to the e-bike
In order to be able to claim the benefits of a household contents or e-bike insurance, two documents are indispensable: the frame number of the e-bike and the proof of purchase. Photos of the newly purchased pedelec and its registration with the police of the place of residence are also helpful.
A theft should first be reported to the police and then immediately inform the household or e-bike insurance company. Photos of the scene of the theft help prove it and benefit the damage report for the insurer. Invoice and frame number must be passed on to the police in order to find the bike again if possible.
If the bike turns up again, you should inform the insurer immediately. If the policyholder has already received compensation for the stolen bike, he can decide within two weeks under most tariffs whether he wants to keep the money or have his bike back.
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Don’t forget the fine print
even if it’s annoying, tedious and time-consuming: before taking out a household or e-bike insurance policy, interested parties should read the small print carefully. Only there are the exact conditions for all eventualities, in which the insurance pays in case of damage or not. especially with the special e-bike insurances there are quite different conditions. By contrast, the terms and conditions of private liability insurance are comparatively uniform. Here, the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay in the event of a claim is especially important. it should amount to several million euros.
If you want to insure your e-bike not only against theft, but also against all other eventualities such as crash damage, breakdowns on the road or vandalism, you can’t do without special e-bike insurance. If you are only interested in theft protection for your pedelec, you can also be well served with a household insurance including a bicycle clause. Private liability insurance is indispensable, because participation in public road traffic always involves incalculable risks.