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Vero Voice Blog

Insuring your e-bike

By Sacha Cowlrick
Executive Manager, Consumer Insurance

9 November 2018

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In the year to October 2017, a reported 20,000 e-bikes were imported into New Zealand – 14,000 more than the year before. 

E-bikes are increasingly popular and for many Kiwis they are a fantastic way to get around. But many e-bike owners may not have thought about insuring their new bike. 

Bicycles are usually insured under Contents insurance policies, but cover for them is often capped. For example, Vero will only pay up to $3,000 for a bicycle, unless it is specified on your insurance schedule.

In the past only the keenest cycling enthusiasts had bikes worth thousands of dollars, so cover limits didn’t affect most people. But with the cheapest e-bikes starting from around $2,000, the number of New Zealanders with a bicycle over their insurance limit is increasing rapidly.

If you have, or are thinking about buying an e-bike, here are a few tips to make sure you’re covered.

1. Are you covered?

Some insurers – including Vero – will automatically cover e-bikes as a bicycle. But some policies may exclude e-bikes because they have a motor, or your cover might depend on how powerful the motor is. If you aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to call your insurer to check.

2. Are there any limits on your cover?

There are a couple of things to look out for in your Contents insurance if you’ve bought an e-bike.

One is any limits on how much cover you have – Vero will only cover bikes automatically up to $3,000. If your bicycle is worth more than the limit, you might want to add it separately to your policy as a specified item so you have enough cover to replace it.

Another thing to check is whether your bike is protected while you’re using it. Some cheaper Contents policies only cover your belongings while they’re at your home, which isn’t much use if your bike is stolen or damaged while you’re out and about.

3. Update your policy

If you’re buying an e-bike that is worth more than the cover limit in your policy, it's a good idea to add it to your insurance schedule as a ‘specified item’. 

It’s simple to do – just call your insurer with the details. It’s also a good idea to keep records of your bike for any future claims.

4. Adjust your sum insured

Remember that if you’ve just bought a $4,000 e-bike, the overall value of your contents insurance should also go up.

Many insurers will require you to add the value of your bike to your overall contents insurance amount, but others won’t. So think about whether you would have enough insurance to replace all your belongings – including your new e-bike – if anything went wrong. 

E-bikes are a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around, and it’s great to see New Zealanders are getting on board.

But at Vero it’s our job is to help New Zealanders to protect them, so make sure you’re covered before you hit the road.

 

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