Guide

E-BIKE INSURANCE – 5 POINTS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER

Guide overview
E-bikes are increasing in popularity all the time. Whether you use yours to get around the city more quickly or to make riding up hills a leisurely affair, we explain what you need to bear in mind on the subject of e-bikes and insurance in Switzerland.

The insurance cover your e-bike needs depends on how powerful it is.

As a basic rule, e-bikes are divided into two categories: the weaker version can travel at speeds of up to 25 km/h and has a power output of no more than 500 watts. If you are aged between 14 and 16, you will need a category M moped licence to ride one of these less powerful e-bikes. People aged 16 and over do not require a licence.

The more powerful electric bikes can travel at speeds of up to 45 km/h and have power outputs of up to 1,000 watt. For e-bikes in this category, you need a licence plate, vehicle registration papers, a rear-view mirror and fixed moped lighting. In addition, helmets are mandatory for these e-bikes and the rider must have a category M moped licence.

If you have a less powerful e-bike, it is essential that you take out personal liability insurance. This will cover damage that you cause on the road, such as scratching a car as you pass it or accidentally riding into someone.

For the more powerful e-bikes, however, motorcycle liability insurance is mandatory.

If your e-bike goes faster than 25 km/h or has a power output of more than 500 watt, you will need a yellow licence plate of the kind that are used on mopeds. You will also need to pay for an insurance sticker, which you have to replace every year. You can get this sticker from the traffic licensing authority in your canton of residence.

The best way to insure your e-bike against theft depends on the insurance company and the power output of your e-bike.

For most insurance companies, the less powerful e-bikes count as part of your household contents. This means that if your electric bike is stolen from your home, the insurer will generally treat this as “simple theft” and your household contents insurance will pay you the replacement value of your stolen e-bike or the sum insured in the policy for simple theft. If you are concerned about your bike being stolen at the train station or during a night out, you need a “simple theft outside the home” supplement to insure your e-bike against theft. In this case, the insurance company will pay you the sum insured for simple theft outside the home for your e-bike.

A word of caution: e-bikes are quite expensive, so make sure you check the sum insured for simple theft outside the home and adjust it if necessary. Furthermore, some insurers stipulate that your e-bike must be listed explicitly in the household contents policy. If it isn’t mentioned there, you may need to contact your insurer and update the policy.

Powerful e-bikes count as motorbikes with some insurance companies. To insure an e-bike of this kind against theft, you have to take out comprehensive insurance for motorbikes. With some insurance companies, however, even the more powerful e-bikes are covered by the household contents insurance. You should definitely contact your advisor to be on the safe side.

If your e-bike counts as part of your household contents, your normal household contents policy will only insure it against theft and the usual risks such as fire, water and natural hazard damage. For other types of damage to your e-bike – for instance through a fall – you need a supplement in your household contents insurance. Different options are available depending on the insurance company, with examples including all risks cover, valuables insurance and comprehensive cover for sports equipment.

If your e-bike does not count as part of your household contents, you will generally need comprehensive insurance to cover it against damage.

  • Less powerful e-bikes with a maximum speed of up to 25 km/h are generally covered by your personal liability insurance.
  • For the faster e-bikes, you need liability insurance, vehicle registration papers, a road tax sticker and a licence plate.
  • A “simple theft outside the home” supplement will cover you if your less powerful e-bike is stolen outside the home. Check the sum insured to make sure you can enjoy peace of mind when leaving your e-bike at the train station.
  • For the more powerful e-bikes, some insurers stipulate that you need comprehensive insurance to cover yourself against theft.
  • To be on the safe side, ask your insurance company which type of policy you’ll need for your e-bike.
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