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Old 05-15-09, 09:13 PM   #1
xtrajack
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Insurance for e-assisted bikes?

Seeing as I have a substantial (for me, anyway) amount of money invested in my
X, I asked my insurance agent about insuring it (it would be covered somewhat
under my home owner's policy--$500 deductible) I was told that she thought I
could get what is called a personal item policy.
Apparently she was wrong.As I understand it, because I have an e-assist for some
reason I can't get it insured as a bicycle. She also tried to get it insured as
a moped--no luck there either.
I was wondering if anyone else has had a similar issue,and how did you resolve
it.
Blessings
John
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Old 05-15-09, 09:28 PM   #2
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I built a motorized bicycle (gas engine) and found out from my insurance company that it could not be covered by any auto insurance at all, because the state of IL does not consider it to be a motor vehicle. It would be covered under the homeowner's policy, same as any other bicycle.
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Old 05-15-09, 09:34 PM   #3
xtrajack
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I had intended to put a gas engine on it, ran into about 42 kinds of issues. Now I have a brand new 80cc engine for a bicycle, sitting in a box on the porch.
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Old 05-16-09, 12:58 PM   #4
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In BC if we want to insure a bike we can make it a limited speed motorcycle and insure it through ICBC like a motorbike.

I chose to just make an ebike and bought all my parts on the Visa so I could use its extra features like theft and extra warranty.
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Old 05-16-09, 01:15 PM   #5
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IANAL, but I'd expect that the legal definition of the vehicle should be used by the insurance company - if an electric-assisted bike is a bicycle by definition (i.e. not a motor vehicle), it should be insured as a bicycle with just a rider on the regular home insurance (which is what I had on my bikes over the years). If it's legally a motor vehicle (i.e. with too much HP/displacement/whatever for a bicycle), it should be insured as such.

Unfortunately, insurance companies tend to rate things according to ripping people off rather than providing proper insurance at a reasonable price (and according to the real risk). Don't get me started though - I despise insurance companies for lots of old reasons...
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Old 05-16-09, 06:24 PM   #6
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I'm not involved in the insurance industry personally, I have good friends who are. The business model of the insurance business is not based on ripping off policy holders, it's all about managing risk. So, let's see the facts before condemning a necessary evil.
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Old 05-18-09, 12:07 PM   #7
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Check insurance policies that are void if the holder participates in things like ski jumping, parachuting and such. Ski jumping is the safest form of skiing - safer that either alpine or cross country - just check the accident stats. Parachuting is a very safe sport; bicycling has a much higher accident rate.

Life insurance policies have been used to extract money from people for decades without providing any reasonable rate of return. That's why experts tell people to stay away from life and go with term.

Misrepresenting risk is standard practice in the insurance industry. They sell what people will believe, not what is real.

Trying to require that a bicycle is insured as a motorcycle is just that sort of thing.
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Old 05-18-09, 12:21 PM   #8
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Neither Cotton States or Geico would issue insurance on an Ebike for me.
Not as a bike, motorcycle, or personal item.
Ebikes are not in their book, so they don't insure them for any reason.
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Old 05-20-09, 04:36 AM   #9
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I know of a couple here in Ontario who have both of their scooter style covered as "alt vehicle". Now I am not sure if it went through their home or auto coverage.

However, as a thought you may want to look into to companies who cover Kit Car Builders. As I have had an interest in that area for some time, and know many of them have issue with gaining coverage on a knock off Lambo or Shelby Cobra. Even tho they may have held house and car coverage for years.

Best re-ask State-Farm or All-State or who ever if they have an "alt vehicle" class. Most agents will just skim items deemed ok for addition to house, and whats listed in normal Auto.

*EDIT*
P.S.
I do remember it was $150 a year for the 2 e-bikes. I think it gives them Fire/Theft and PL/PD

Last edited by Greywolf67; 05-20-09 at 04:40 AM. Reason: Forgot info
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Old 06-16-09, 07:57 AM   #10
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It probably has more to do with having sufficient data to statistically calculate what is the risk involved with an electric bicycle. Since this is relatively a new product category there aren't enough data points to do a proper analysis. I'm sure that several years down the road insurance companies will be happy to come up with a new money making product - e-bike insurance.
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Old 06-16-09, 09:44 AM   #11
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Self-insure. Every month, put aside what you would have spent on insurance. In a couple years, you can buy another bike with it. Also, lock it up good.
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