Europe proposes that electric bicycles must have insurance

cooper electric bicycle

The European Commission yesterday decided that riders of electric bicycles should require third party insurance, reports bike industry website  If the proposal becomes law, the legal requirement for third party liability insurance may choke sales of pedelecs just as they are gaining popularity as a environmentally-friendly alternative to commuting by car. In contrast with electric cars, battery-assisted bicycles do not require charging infrastructure and encourage healthy exercise. However, they have never been actively promoted in the same way as electric cars, which receive a sizeable subside in the form the £5,000 plug-in grant.

Despite lobbying by the cycle industry, the Commission has lumped e-bikes in with motorised vehicles as part of amendments to the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive. Let’s hope that member states decide not to translate this proposal into law.

As a cycle insurer, the ETA has always covered electric bikes (including third party liability insurance) at no additional cost. However, as an organisation we are against moves to make insurance mandatory. It is vital to make a distinction between speed pedelecs which are electric bikes capable of speeds of 30 mph and above, and the low-speed pedelecs categorised as bicycles which can assist a rider up to just over 15 mph.

Cycle insurance animation

ETA Cycle Insurance covers all road-legal electric bicycles, ebikes and pedelecs as standard

If the output of your pedelec does not exceed 250 W/15.5 mph, it can be covered under our cycle insurance at no additional cost. Every ETA cycle insurance policy includes the following as standard:

  • Theft, accidental damage & vandalism
  • Battery theft cover
  • Cycle Rescue (breakdown cover for your electric bicycle and you)
  • No devaluation of your bike over time
  • £5m third party PLUS £20,000 personal accident cover
  • Shed and garage storage
  • Low standard excess of 5% (£50 minimum)
  • Any rider covered to use your bike

Find out more about what we cover

Battery theft

If the battery for your electric bicycle is secured with a key (as most are), or requires any type of tool to remove, then it is covered against theft by our cycle insurance policy.


  1. Robert


    To give me some perspective on this: how much would it cost to provide third party liability cover for a cycle?

    You (ETA) already include personal liability (which I assume is what we’re talking about here).
    So you must have some idea of size and frequency of claims.
    Based on that, what actual premium would be required to cover the risk of third party liability?

    Forget policy admin, marketing and the like — that would be substantial.
    Just a figure for how much per person per year would you need to charge to cover the expected cost of claims?

  2. Richard Tanner


    This is appalling. Why should riders of electric powered bikes be able to compensate anyone they run into.

    Most unfair.

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