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E-bikes: When do I need a special insurance policy?

I intend to get an e-bike and ride it to the railway station every day. Do I need a special insurance policy for that? The answer depends on the type of bicycle. Helvetia explains when a special insurance policy is necessary and what you should watch out for at all costs.

19 March 2018, Author: Hansjörg Ryser, photo: iStock

Whether you need a special insurance policy, or even a special licence, depends on the type of e-bike.

E-bikes up to 25 km/h are considered to be the same as standard bicycles

If the pedal assistance only reaches a speed of up to 25 km/h there is no need for a special insurance policy or a licence. They are on equal terms with a standard bicycle, for which special insurance was abolished three years ago with the arrival of the bicycle vignette. If you cause an accident when riding such a bike, any damage to third parties is covered through your private liability insurance.

Additional insurance against theft and damage

When taking out home contents insurance you should ensure that the additional “theft out-and-about” cover is also included. Only then are bicycles, including e-bikes, insured against theft. It may also be that only the current value is insured, i.e. purchase price minus depreciation. In contrast, with replacement value the current purchase price is insured. It is also possible to insure against damage to the bicycle with an additional cover option in the context of your home contents insurance. This is particularly worthwhile in the case of e-bikes or expensive bicycles. And if you have your bicycle registered in the bike register (www.veloregister.ch), Helvetia will also let you off the 200-franc deductible if your bike is stolen.

Mandatory driving licence for e-bikes up to 45 km/h

If you buy a more powerful e-bike with pedal assistance up to 45 km/h, then just as with a moped you have to buy a yellow registration plate with a valid sticker for mandatory liability insurance, and you also need the appropriate driving licence. These bikes are also not covered by home contents insurance, so you should consider taking out a comprehensive insurance policy, as for other motor vehicles.


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