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

Do e-bikes require special insurance? The answer depends on the type of bicycle. Helvetia explains when a supplementary insurance policy is necessary and what you should watch out for at all costs.

5 April 2019, author: Hansjörg Ryser, photo: iStock

There are two people on bikes out in the natur.

Whether you need special insurance or even a driving licence depends of 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. If you cause an accident when riding such a bike, any damage to third parties is covered through your private liability insurance.

Supplementary insurance against theft and damage

You should check your household contents insurance to see whether your e-bike has been factored into the sum insured. If so, it is insured against fire and natural forces worldwide. These tips will also help to protect you against theft and damage:

1. “Theft off-premises” supplementary insurance

Take out "theft off-premises” supplementary insurance as part of your household contents insurance. Only then are bicycles insured against theft.

2. “All risks” supplementary insurance

Taking out additional "all risks" supplementary insurance also insures your bike against damage or destruction. This is especially worthwhile for e-bikes and expensive bicycles.

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

If you purchase a more powerful e-bike with power pedal assist up to 45 km/h, then you must obtain a yellow registration plate with a valid sticker for mandatory liability insurance (the same as for a moped). You will also require an 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. To ensure that e-bikes or mopeds are insured against damage, such as following a fall, or theft, you will require motorcycle and e-bike supplementary insurance.

Assistance insurance for breakdowns

Whether moving quickly or slowly: assistance insurance also protects you in the event of breakdowns – it covers various costs such as vehicle recovery. After a breakdown or if a bike becomes unroadworthy, the rental costs for a substitute bike are also covered.

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