Your browser is out of date

You are currently using Microsoft Internet Explorer. To use this website without problems, we recommend that you install a new browser (e.g. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge).

I am interested in
The “Search” function is not available at the moment, please try again later.
Please get in contact with us. To contact form

Insuring bicycles and motorcycles

The right insurance can help keep bicycle and motorcycle rides fun and carefree. But what kind of cover do motorised or human-powered bikers need? Patrik Zünd, Helvetia Principal Agent in Sarnen, provides some tips.

15 April 2015, text: Philipp Schüpbach, photo: flickr/ND Strupler (CC BY 2.0)

A bicycle and a moped parked on the side of the street.
Spring is back – and so is riding season. What insurance should cyclists and motorcycle riders get? Patrik Zünd, Helvetia Principal Agent in Sarnen, provides answers.

Spring brings many things: flowers, songbirds – and more cyclists and motorcycle riders on Switzerland’s roads. They come out to enjoy the greening countryside and rising temperatures. Most bikers – whether motorized or human-powered – protect their heads with a helmet. But neither a helmet nor a spring tune-up can prevent the risk of an accident. According to official statistics, 56 percent of all traffic accidents involve a cyclist or motorcycle rider. How do you protect yourself in today’s post-vignette world?

Liability insurance may be required

«In any case, private liability insurance» makes a lot of sense, explains Patrik Zünd. Motorcycle riders have no choice: for them, liability coverage is mandatory. But even regular cyclists can benefit from private liability coverage. «When the state-run vignette insurance system was eliminated in 2012, it eliminated the requirement to buy a vignette every year. Now, cyclists can take out private liability insurance instead of a vignette. Or they’ll end up paying for damages themselves. And that can be very costly,» warns Zünd.
One group of frequent cyclists is particularly at risk in traffic: children. To ensure they are protected, Helvetia private insurance policies extend coverage to the policyholders’ children, including young adults up to age 20 who still live at home.

E-bikes: less effort, greater risks

The e-bike craze has come to Switzerland – and it has reawakened interest in cycling. Steep climbs can be tackled with ease; shirts remain sweat-free during rides; and Grandma can shop without needing her son to pick her up in his car. «E-bike riders go faster, though, and that means greater risk,» cautions Zünd. Hence the legal requirement for liability insurance for all pedal-assisted bikes that travel faster than 25 km/h. In these cases, e-bike owners will have to purchase a vignette and a yellow moped license plate from their local vehicle licensing agency.

Avoid nasty surprises

Bicycles are expensive – especially e-bikes. No wonder cycling enthusiasts want to insure their carbon or metal steeds, and not just themselves and other road users. Thieves are particularly fond of high-priced two-wheelers. Thousands of bikes are stolen in Switzerland every year. «Helvetia household contents insurance covers the replacement cost of bicycles in the event of theft,» explains Zünd. A word of caution, though: a bicycle is only covered if it was stolen from a storage room or another part of your home. If a thief swipes it while you’re on the go, the insurance will only pay for a replacement if you’ve purchased the «Simple theft out-and-about» supplementary cover.

However, not all e-bikes are technically bicycles. High-powered two-wheelers that require vignettes are classified as small motorcycles. That means they aren’t included in a household’s contents. However, there are many additional types of additional insurance coverage for motorcycles that can be combined into the perfect solution for any need. That includes semi-comprehensive or comprehensive cover, gross negligence waivers and legal expenses insurance for motorists. With the right cover, you can avoid unpleasant – and expensive – surprises.

Patrik Zünd

Patrik Zünd

Patrik Zünd is a Helvetia Principal Agent in Sarnen, where he and his six employees are responsible for the canton of Obwalden. He has been in the insurance industry for over 15 years.

Please check your internet connection

More stories