The coronavirus crisis and the fear of taking public transport caused a craze among the French for cycling. In addition, the beautiful days are here and it becomes very pleasant to go for a walk or to go to work with a electric bicycle (VAE) or a traditional model. But what about insurance?
The first thing to remember is that bicycles are not treated the same as e-scooters and other NVEIs (new individual electric vehicles). These only use a motor for movement and require a specific liability insurance. Bicycles and e-bikes are covered by the compulsory civil liability guarantee, included in your comprehensive home insurance. If you cause damage to a third party with your bicycle (material damage or bodily injury), your insurer takes care of the coverage. On the other hand, this type of insurance does not cover the bodily injuries that you could suffer in the event of a bicycle accident. In the event of regular practice, it is therefore advisable to check with your insurance if you have a guaranteed life accident insurance (GAV), or an option that covers bodily injury during cycling. It can be important in case of a big problem, for example if you cannot come to work for several days because you are injured.
It is advisable to insure your VAE against theft
For bicycles, the other problem is theft. Knowing that prices become high for electrically assisted models (more than 3000 euros for some), it may be useful to take out insurance to be compensated for part of the amount invested. To ensure an eBike against theft, it must be approved. To do this, it must meet three criteria:
- The motor power does not exceed 250 Watts.
- The engine does not allow to exceed 25 km / h.
- The rider must pedal for the motor to activate.
Before purchasing insurance against theft, you must first ask yourself a simple question: where do I store my bike? Because if the bike is placed in your home, it benefits from the same insurance against theft (multi-risk home) as the other objects there. It will be necessary to think about having the invoice and especially to look at the details of the insurance to know the deductible and to look for possible exclusion clauses.
If the bike is stored outside your home, you will need to take out additional insurance. The prices can depend on several elements, such as the price of the bike, the guarantees offered or the city of residence. Do not hesitate to contact your insurer, or even the competition, to find out about the different rates, because it is unfortunately difficult to find them on the Web. At best, the site offers you to be contacted by an advisor.
Also find out about the application conditions. Indeed, some insurances are only valid within a given time slot or require that the bike be secured by a certain type of lock. Also check the exclusion terms which may indicate the maximum number of flights covered. In the event of theft, you must at least provide the invoice for the bike, as well as a copy of the complaint lodged with your police station.
Three examples of prices:
We contacted many well-known insurance companies to obtain prices for two specific examples: insuring against theft a city bike of 300 euros and a bicycle with electric assistance of 2000 euros located in Paris. Note that Allianz did not wish to answer us on the pretext of an upcoming change in pricing. Here are the responses from three insurance companies:
In its housing contract, Macif insures bicycles, including pedelecs, under movable property, if they are located inside the home or insured outbuildings. Macif offers an optional “bicycle” insurance which covers the household’s bikes in the event of fire, theft or accidental damage outside the home. For example, if the bicycle is stolen or damaged, the bicycle will be reimbursed at the value estimated by the expert, deducting the excess. The member has the choice between seven levels of guarantees, ranging from 1,525 euros to 30,490 euros maximum. For example, a VAE of 2,000 euros is insured for 40 euros per year, with a level of guarantee of up to 3,049 euros and a deductible of 80 euros. For a city bike of 300 euros, the amount is 20 euros per year, with a level of guarantee of 1525 euros maximum and an excess of 50 euros.
Axa offers a “theft away” option for bicycles under 400 euros, provided they are less than 5 years old. The price depends on the profile of the customer (for example, the city where he lives), with an average price of 42 euros per year for a bike of 300 euros. When reimbursing, the insurer reduces the amount by an obsolescence rate which corresponds to 1% per month from the date of purchase. For bikes over 400 euros, opt for the Premium option, which costs 160 euros per year for a VAE of 2000 euros. This option also covers destruction or even partial deterioration. From one year of service, an obsolescence rate of 1% per month is applied (60% maximum). For an additional cost, it is possible to cancel the application of this obsolescence rate. Whatever option is chosen, the guarantee is acquired on condition that the bicycle is attached by an approved “2-wheel” lock FUB (French Federation of Bicycle Users) or SRA (Safety and Automobile Repair). In addition, the lock must connect the frame and the rear wheel to a support fixed to the ground or to the wall. In the event of theft on public roads, it must be committed between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. Note that the bicycle is covered in cases such as burglary, pick-pocketing or assault.
Groupama’s theft insurance rates are 34.99 euros per year for a new city bike of 300 euros and 149.99 euros per year for a VAE of 2000 euros. The insurance covers theft, accidental breakage and fire. For the theft, it must have taken place in the open air when it is under the direct supervision and in the immediate vicinity of the insured, or when the room or locker in which the bicycle was stored was broken into. If the cycle is replaced, an obsolescence rate of 1% per month is applied, with a minimum of 10%.
In addition to the big names in insurance, there are also insurers specializing in bicycles. These include, among others:
- Monassurancevelo.com: from 3 euros per month.
- Assuranceveloelectrique.com: from 5 euros per month.
- Cyclassur.fr: from 1.35 euros per month.
- Assurtonvelo.com: from 3.90 euros per month.
More surprisingly, you can also purchase insurance against theft from Decathlon, for specific brands (Decathlon, BTWIN, Rockrider, Triban, VanRysel, Elops, Riverside), purchased online or in a store. The prices are attractive (70 euros for 2 years, for our example of a city bike at 300 euros), but the coverage against theft on public roads is only valid from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., with the bike attached to a fixed point by a U-shaped lock. In addition, an excess of 15% is applied.
If you bought an electric bicycle VanMoof, the Dutch manufacturer offers you an option Anti-Theft Cover (290 euros for 3 years). In the event of theft, Bike Hunters (specialized in tracking stolen pedelecs) will try to find the bike within two weeks. If they do not succeed, it will be replaced by one of the same age and in an equivalent or even better condition. However, you have to report the theft to the police.
Finally, you can consider having your bike marked to increase the chances of it being found in the event of theft. Paravol offers an identification solution with a QR Code for 11.90 euros. You can also go to a bicycle seller who offers the Bicycode marking (between 5 and 10 euros), recommended by the FUB (French Federation of Bicycle Users) and recognized by the State.
To fight against theft, the marking of bikes with an identification number will be compulsory from January 1, 2021. It remains to be seen whether this decision will actually deter thieves.