Letter: Check Your Insurance If You Are Thinking Of Buying An Electric Bike Letters to the Editor

To the editor: My wife and I are avid senior cyclists and both own Class 1 e-bikes.

Our understanding is that a Class 1 electric bicycle is defined as a bicycle equipped with a motor which provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and which ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches 20 mph. The engine stops and there is no more assistance.

A recent article from Eagle focuses on regulations on how to use and ride an electric bicycle.

Besides the confusing regulations as to where one can ride an e-bike, the owner of an e-bike or someone considering buying one also needs to be concerned with liability, similar to insurance. motor vehicle liability.

We have discovered that our insurance company where we have our home, auto and umbrella insurance policies, does not insure electric bikes for third party liability or theft under our automobile liability insurance policy or dwelling. (A regular bicycle is covered by your home insurance policy.)

Our agent told us that auto carriers and homeowners in Massachusetts are doing the same – not insuring e-bikes. Electric bicycles are considered by insurance companies to be motor vehicles, not bicycles.

This meant for us that we had no insurance to protect ourselves if, for example, we hit a pedestrian or collided at an intersection and were sued; our carrier would not defend us and would not pay any compensation.

We had to find another liability insurer that insures motorcycles and e-bikes to cover our e-bikes as well as our cars.

We suggest anyone who has electric bikes, or is considering purchasing one, to contact their insurance agent to check whether or not they have liability and damage coverage, such as under your policies. auto or home insurance, and whether the insurer will defend and cover you for liability and damage in the event of an accident.

We love our electric bikes. Yes, it’s an additional expense, but can you afford to leave home to ride an electric bike without liability insurance?

Bob Rosen and Diane Saunders, Otis

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