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Bicycling has become a lot easier than it used to be! The addition of a compact battery and motor has turned a bike into an electric bike aka e-bike. As the popularity of electric bikes continues to grow, so does concern about their potential liability. In fact, many states have now enacted laws specifically regulating the use of e-bikes on public roads. These regulations are intended to prevent serious injuries and deaths caused by collisions between e-bikes and vehicles driven by conventional drivers. Let us take a look at some of the concerns surrounding e-bike liability and offer some tips on how to minimize your risk.
One of the biggest concerns about e-bikes is the risk of collisions with other vehicles on the road. In some cases, these accidents are caused by reckless or careless driving on the part of the driver of the other vehicle. In other cases, they are the result of the driver simply failing to notice an oncoming e-bike. Typically, the same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles. Local city ordinances may prohibit bicycles on sidewalks or some public roadways citing safety concerns. Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) advises that you should contact local law enforcement for more information and be aware of posted signs. E-bikes are not subject to the same registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to your auto. There is a good chance you also drive a motor vehicle, so make sure you know your responsibilities as a bicyclist and as a driver.
Vroom! Have you noticed downtown along South Congress Ave and other Austin area roadways or trails there are bicycles whizzing by faster than anyone could peddle them? E-bikes and other micro-mobility devices come with other surprises you may not be aware exist leaving you uncovered. Several studies have found an increase in theft of micro-mobility devices along with non-fatal and fatal injuries related to e-bike crashes. The electric bikes can hit top speeds of over 25 mph, much faster than peddle-powered bikes. Combining careless riding, mobile phone distraction, and inattentive bystanders the outcome can be dangerous for everyone involved. Despite the convenience, the electric-powered bicycle presents a potential safety challenge for public health.
As it turns out e-bike theft is very common. Electric bicycles are prime targets for thieves since they are readily available, easy to flip, and often quite expensive Does home insurance cover my e-bike or scooter? Some Texas home insurance deals will cover your electric bike if it is stolen, even if it is outside of your home. While other insurance companies only protect the cost of your e-bike if it is stolen while located inside your property or at your primary insured residence.
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Theft is only one consideration on your home, condo, or renters’ policy. More concerning is your responsibility and liability exposure risk. What if an electric bike collides with and injures a pedestrian? Or your scooter merges into a lane of traffic causing an auto accident? In the event of an accident, owners of e-bikes, scooters, golf carts, and other micro-mobility devices could be held liable for damages and the injuries, disabilities, or even deaths of others involved. If you are driving your covered auto and cause an accident your automobile insurance policy would provide coverage and reimbursement for injuries to others. However, on an e-bike, you may be unprotected and your assets at risk.
Many home insurance and dwelling fire policies exclude liability coverage when e-bikes, scooters, motorcycles, or other similar devices are used to travel on public roads. If your home policy doesn’t have a special provision including liability coverage for e-bikes and other micro-mobility devices, then you may benefit from coverage under a traditional motorcycle policy. Even though the policy was designed for motorcycles it can encompass many devices including electric bicycles.
Did you know? Austin Energy offers customers a rebate program starting January 1, 2023. Anyone eligible has to apply for a rebate within a certain number of days after the purchase date.
What’s included? Our base motorcycle policy comes packed with features to protect a broad range of riding enthusiasts both on- and off-road. Flexibility and Affordability to only pay for the coverages you need.
- Safeco Insurance can offer these advantages: Roadside assistance with trip interruption, Safety riding apparel, and an option for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts protection. Liability, uninsured motorist, medical payments, theft, and physical damage. Safeco Insurance even offers Harley-Davidson replacement cost provisions on their policy.
- Progressive motorcycle insurance program not only includes e-bikes but compact tractors. Now insurance customers in Texas can get the coverage they need while they ride their e-bikes or use small tractors on or off their property. With Progressive Motorcycle, we can clients with standalone specialized insurance benefits that are not found on a standard Austin Texas homeowners insurance or farm policy.
- We are not limited to one carrier or one price. As a reminder, we represent different companies such as Travelers and Liberty Mutual. Wellington, Foremost a Farmers company, Bristol West, The Hartford, Aegis, Utica National, State Auto, American Modern, Great American, and many others. Let me help you quote coverage rate options and discounts that we offer to any standard motorcycle program.
Review your home, condo, or renters policy to confirm the type of micro-mobility coverage afforded, or ask the Britton and Britton Insurance agency about your policy terms and options available. Our goal is to have a personal relationship, and offer outstanding service so you can chat with your agent, who knows you. Request a quote here. Britton and Britton Insurance is your Central and South Texas Trusted Choice, independent agent, and home insurance broker. Contact us for a quote and bundle your insurance for your home, car, motorcycle, scooter, or electric bike today.
Safeco Insurance and Progressive Insurance are two of the few insurance companies in Texas that insures e-bikes and other micro-mobility devices under a traditional motorcycle policy. A motorcycle policy comes with robust built-in coverages similar to your auto policy, plus options to ensure a better combination of protection and value.
This information is provided solely as an insurance risk management tool. It is provided with the understanding that we are not providing legal advice, or any other professional services or advice. We shall have no liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the use of this information.