If you’re thinking about spending a lot of money on an electric bike, probably the last thing on your mind is insurance. But it certainly should be.
Electric bikes can cost as much as a used car, so having some protection in case it is stolen or damages is just common sense.
There are other considerations, too. Laws vary around the world, but in the UK you can cycle a bike without insurance and you don’t even have to wear a helmet. If you were to knock down a pedestrian or hit and damage someone’s car, insurance can shield you from huge repair and legal bills.
Similarly, an incident might not be your fault: a van turns left and knocks you off, someone crosses the road without looking or you hit a pothole in a dark alley. Safety gear can only protect you to an extent, but it’s risky to ride with no insurance at all.
Bike insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, costing just a few quid per month. However, it can be more expensive if you have an electric bike worth £3,000, in which case it could be around 5-10% of the bike’s value. But this is still a lot cheaper than bearing the cost of replacing the bike yourself if it’s stolen, and a tiny fraction of the legal costs if you injure someone while riding.
Where to get electric bike insurance
The first place to start is by examining your home insurance policy – if you have one, that is. Most contents policies will cover pedal cycles, but only while they’re securely stored at home – and typically only up to a few hundred, which won’t be enough for an electric bike.
What you can do, though, is to add your bike as an individual high-value item on your insurance and it should then be covered for theft wherever it is, so long as it has been locked up.
The cost for this will vary between insurers, and is always cheaper if you add it when you take out a policy as most insurers will also charge a nominal admin fee to amend the policy on top of the cost of the extra cover.
Alternatively, if you check your policy document you might find that you have personal belongings cover for items away for the home, and your electric bike might be covered under this section so long as it is under the price limit for any single item.
Specialist bike insurance
If you don’t have home contents insurance or it’s not cheap to add a bike to it, then another option is to take out a policy just for your bike – or multiple bicycles.
You can use comparison sites to get quotes, such as
You can pick how much public liability cover you want (this is called third-party cover), and whether you want cover for personal injury if you end up in hospital after being hurt while cycling (first-party cover).
Specialist bike insurance
You can also go direct to a specialist insurer for a quote, including the following companies:
Specialist insurers can be a good choice if you have a more expensive bike, but always read through the policy to check what is covered and what is not. Also, you might be required to secure the bike with a particular type of lock, and your claim could be refused if you didn’t use one.
Also, watch out for small print in any insurance policy that states your bike must remain locked even if it’s inside a locked shed or garage. Otherwise you might discover you can’t make a claim.
Insurance via the bike manufacturer
Some electric bike makers let you pay extra for one or more years of insurance when you buy the bike. Often, these models have built-in GPS which helps to track them down.
One example is
VanMoof which charges £270 for three years of theft cover when purchasing an X3 or S3.
They’ll handle the tracking and recovery and will give you a replacement bike if they can’t return your original one.
Another example is
Cowboy’s Easy Rider scheme which offers a choice of policies for either €8 or €10 per month.
And if you haven’t yet bought one, check out our roundup of the
best electric bikes.
Tips to prevent your electric bike being stolen
The best way to prevent theft is never to leave your bike locked up in a public place. That, of course, isn’t practical for many riders, so here’s some advice which will reduce the risk.
- Lock your bike in a busy area – it’s more difficult to use an angle grinder where there’s lots of people who will see what’s going on and either stop it or at least report it.
- Use multiple locks – Don’t buy just one: use several if you can.
- Put the locks in awkward places – If possible, attach your lock at the bottom of the bike, which makes it much more difficult to cut through than one at waist height where there’s easy access.
- Don’t rely on CCTV – It may offer a deterrent, but thieves tend to wear hoodies and face away from the camera, so even if they’re caught in the act, they can’t be identified and you gain nothing.
Which is the best bike lock to buy?
We’ve put together a list of the
best bike locks along with clear buying advice to help you choose the right lock. A lock is not a guarantee that your bike won’t be stolen, as thieves are armed with tools which can cut through any of them given enough time.