Now that New Zealand is pushing for a more sustainable lifestyle, the rise of electric vehicles can be expected in the coming years. One of these EVs is the electric bike. In 2018, around 47,000 e-bikes were imported into the country, as more Kiwis have been using the vehicle since then.
E-bikes are great for the environment as it can lower our carbon emissions, reduce road congestions, and save us money on fuel.
Normal traffic speed restrictions apply on an e-bike in New Zealand. They can be expensive and the potential risks you might get on the road are usually not covered by homeowners or auto insurance. So, whether you already own one or are just planning to get one for yourself, you might want to consider getting it insured.
Understanding the regulations that come with owning an e-bike is crucial. If you fail to comply, you might face legal consequences while also endangering those around you.
There are many coverage providers in New Zealand that can help you get your e-bikes insured. Like scooters and bikes, e-bikes are insurable under contents policies. Some insurers such as Vero, Ando, and NZI automatically cover your e-bike as a bicycle.
However, there are some policies that might not be included since, unlike bicycles, e-bikes have a motor. Your cover might also depend on how powerful your motor is.
If you're not sure about your e-bike, it's always best to consult your insurance provider.
In instances where damage is caused to your e-bike by the hirer, NZI stated that it's unlikely that the user could be eligible for an insurance claim. It's difficult to prove who was responsible for the damage since most are left in public areas. Coverage will still depend on the terms and conditions of the hire company in question.
There are also some alternatives you can try to give your e-bikes basic protection:
There are many reasons why it’s important to get your e-bikes insured:
Getting an e-bike is a big investment, and the better the model and features you want, the more expensive it is. A good entry-level e-bike can cost up to $1000 while a high-end one can cost you as much as $12,000. Making an investment like that, you want to make sure that you have good coverage, especially for theft.
Because e-bikes are considered motorized vehicles, insurances such as homeowners and renter insurances offer limited coverage for theft, damage, or liability related to e-bikes.
You may need liability coverage as e-bikes are faster and heavier than bicycles. This means they're more susceptible to causing damages to properties or harm someone. If your bike is not insured, you can be responsible for the damages and may face financial liabilities.
There are plenty of e-bike insurance options available out there, and policies that you can customize to suit your needs. Coverages typically include protection for damage caused by theft, crash, collision, fire, attempted theft, vandalism or hitting another object.
Other optional coverages you can avail of include liability coverage, which covers the costs for a third party if there are any injuries or damages caused by the insured biker; medical payments to cover medical costs of the insured biker involved in a cycling accident; and vehicle contact protection for medical costs of the insured cyclist associated with accidents caused by an automobile.
Investing in a vehicle is a big responsibility, and getting the necessary protection even if it doesn't cover everything is still better than none at all. It's always best to check with your insurer if your current insurance covers your e-bike and what they can offer you.
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