Electric motorbike insurance
Electric motorbikes are such a new vehicle that many insurers haven’t paid a massive amount of attention to them… yet.
Plus, insurance premiums are based on claims data, so an underwriter will know what risk they are insuring and can therefore price it appropriately.
But when something new enters the market like electric motorbikes, there isn’t a huge amount of data for them to go on but alongside this lack of info are new variables…
If you’re looking for ebike insurance read our guide here.
Silence is golden?
You also have the new danger that electric motorbikes are silent, meaning that pedestrians and other road users don’t hear them coming.
This could mean an increase in accidents due to people stepping out, pulling out in front of them and not taking the same care they would if they heard some loud pipes and roaring engine!
There is talk of new legislation to introduce noises to electric motorbikes so that others around them can hear them coming, from than the current silent approach with maybe a slight whir if you listen very carefully.
How easy are electric motorbikes to steal?
Specs from electric motorcycle manufacturers sound promising with in built tracks linked to telematics and trackers, meaning the bikes won’t work with them. However, until this is seen in the data it’s a case of the insurers betting against the word of the manufacturers.
Electric bike ABI codes in the UK
Insuring a bike usually starts with using what is known as an ABI code, this is a code produced by Thatcham that determines the category that the bike will fit into, which allows the insurer to know how to rate the risk of that bike based on things like power, performance and cost.
Often new bikes to the market don’t have an ABI code in time for launch. This often means that insurers and brokers don’t have these new electric motorcycles on their systems. As these systems are used across the board in the UK, if one insurance provider doesn’t have the bike on the system, none of them do.
Some specialist electric bike insurance providers will have work arounds for this, where they can find a similar bike in the system and use that until an ABI code is available.
But don’t expect this level of service as standard, it will usually be if the provider has an arrangement with the electric bike manufacturer once they’ve discovered that no one can insure their bikes yet and they need help from a specialist motorbike insurance provider.
What information is used to insure an electric bike?
Electric motorbikes are treated like any other motorcycle really. The insurer will rate the insurance ‘risk’ based on the data they have.
We’ve covered the bike itself briefly, the first part is hopefully the electric bike has an ABI code from Thatcham and is available on the system. If that part is covered then you will need to provide some more details about your specific electric motorcycle:
- What year was your electric motorbike released?
- How much is your electric motorbike worth?
- What is the value of any accessories fitted?
- Does your electric motorcycle have any modifications?
The modifications question may seem like a funny one, but non electric motorcycles are modified quite often. Perhaps a different seat, handle bars or exhaust; all the way to a completely new frame, fairing and main components.
Electric motorcycles are quite there with this level of modification, mainly because they have a lot of electrics that you wouldn’t want to mess around with.
You many find that if your electric motorcycles has any custom parts, they may even be considered as an accessory rather than a modification. If you’re in doubt, use a electric motorcycle insurance specialist, then pick up the phone and speak to someone about your specific circumstances.
The next part is about how you use the bike…
Insurers will want to know an estimate of how many miles you’ll ride on your electric bike per year, simple one this, the more miles you do, the more time you’re on the road, the more time you’re on the road, the more likely you could be involved in an accident that could cost the insurer money on a claim, hence higher mileage can mean higher electric motorcycle insurance premium.
Where will you store your electric motorbike overnight?
This one is a big one. If you store your electric bike in a garage overnight, then that’s the best place for it to be in the eyes of the insurers. If it’s on your drive or on the road, or store in a place which is accessible to other members of the public such as an underground car park, then it’s much more likely to be stolen.
A motorcycle is very easy to pick up and put in a van, so if thieves can see it and touch it, without breaking into something then you will probably be seeing a higher premium for your electric motorcycle insurance.
What types of cover are available for an electric motorbike?
This is another element where the options available are the same as with standard motorbike insurance, you can select from three different levels of cover:
- Comprehensive electric motorbike cover: covers your vehicle and third party vehicles
- Third party, fire and theft electric motorbike cover: covers damage to third party vehicles, and your vehicle against fire and theft
- Third party only electric motorbike cover: this is the lowest level of cover you can have for an electric motorbike on UK roads and will only cover damage to third party vehicles.
Third party basically means other people and not yourself! This comes into play if you cause the accident, your electric motorcycle policy will only cover other peoples’ (third party) vehicles. If the third party is at fault then it will be their insurance which covers the cost of the claim.
In addition to the three standard levels of cover most electric bike insurance providers will give you optional extras to add other cover to your policy, these include:
- Personal Accident cover: for any injuries you may sustain in an accident on your electric motorbike
- Legal Expenses cover: will help you to claim back what is known as ‘uninsured losses’ such as claiming back your excess cost if someone else is at fault or other costs you incur due their error
- Helmet and leathers cover: will cover damage to your helmet or personal protective clothing (doesn’t have to leather, it’s just known as this from old school motorcycling)
- Electric bike breakdown cover: you can often buy this with your electric motorbike insurance or just by it separately from a known provider such as the AA or RAC
Can I ride other bikes on my electric motorbike insurance?
This is vary from provider to provider, so you’ll need to see if you specific policy covers you to ride other bikes.
What’s very important to point out here is that the ability to ride other bikes, is only third party only cover.
This is the minimum level of electric motorbike insurance cover that you are required to have in the UK – so what does that mean?
For example, if you have riding other bikes on your policy and decide to take your mate’s bike out for a spin, and then you have a spill that’s your fault, your mate’s bike will NOT be covered, only damage to third parties (i.e. other people or their property).
Riding other bikes does not mean you can just ride what you like, when you like and enjoy the same benefits of cover across any bike you fancy! It’s a common misconception.
Riding other bikes should be used sparingly, mainly as an emergency and that bike needs to be insured elsewhere. And to reiterate, it will only be cover for third party only damage should you have an accident and damage the other bike.
How can I save money on my electric bike insurance?
The age old question about any type of insurance is ‘how can I get it cheaper?’
Of course, no one wants to buy insurance, it’s a grudge purchase – no one ever looked forward to buying it!
So, we all want it as cheap as we can get it, without compromising it’s quality – you still need to be confident that it will do the job it needs to do when you (hopefully don’t) need it.
To get cheap electric motorbike insurance it’s important demonstrating to the insurer or underwriter that you are not a high risk. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Ride safe and don’t have accidents – easier said than done, but a biggy!
- Closely related to point one, build you No Claim Discount (NCD), the higher the NCD the higher the discount
- Use security – the more secure your electric bike, the less likely it is to be nicked. Try to layer your security devices, the more the thief has to get through the better
- Use a garage overnight – obviously not easy if you don’t have one, but it massively helps to get a lower electric bike insurance premium as it’s more secure
- Don’t live in a big city – ok we’re being flippant but if you live in a big city then you’re more likely to claim because a) there’s more traffic and people to involved in accidents with and b) there’s more thieves and theft
- Use the bike less – don’t commute, don’t do many miles! The less you use it, the less likely you are to claim. Again, not always in your control
- Use a cheaper less powerful bike – the less your bike costs to repair and replace, the lower your electric bike premium. The less powerful it is, the less likely you’ll ride it fast and dangerously apparently?
Cancelling your electric bike insurance
It’s never a great idea to cancel your electric bike insurance part way through your policy.
Firstly because you won’t earn that year of No Claim Discount because you cancelled before you completed it.
Secondly, you’ll be hit with a cancellation fee for breaking your insurance contract. It is a contract and it is for a year, so like any contract, you break it, you incur fees.
Try to time your bike change with the end of your electric bike insurance and you’ll therefore be able to let the policy ‘lapse’ which means just come to it’s natural end. Make sure you let your electric bike insurance company know though, especially if you’re on auto renewal!
Why is it so hard to insure an electric motorbike?
This is simple. We refuse to say ‘simples’. Electric motorbikes re new.
When something is new, then it’s not always straightforward to insure. Especially as insurance premiums are based on data and there isn’t a huge amount on data on electric motorbikes as yet.
Electric bike insurance will get easier, as they become more widely used and data on claims for electric bikes becomes larger.
Hit up your favourite insurance comparison website today to get your cheapest electric motorbike insurance quote.