About a year ago, I was reading through a post on one of my favorite Facebook groups, Seattle Family Bike. The poster said that she’d recently talked to her insurer who informed her that her electric bicycle wasn’t covered under her insurance policy (either her auto policy or her homeowners policy). Initially, I was surprised by this because of the nature of the work I do. I had never once been asked by an insurer if a bicycle was electric or not nor did I see how that mattered under the insurance policy.
I called my own insurer anyway. The first representative told me that, of course I was covered. I explained more to the representative what I’d heard and they agreed to check with one of the underwriters. A day or so later, I got the call: “Nope, you’re not covered.” Once you attach a motor to your bicycle many insurers consider it a “motorized land conveyance” under your policy. A what?
Given that this is a vehicle I take my kids to school on and explore with, I wanted to be sure that I was covered. So, I informed my insurer that I’d like expand my insurance to cover my "motorized land conveyance." My rep kindly informed me that they didn’t offer insurance for it, but did direct me to an insurance broker who could help me out.
I called Nick Pembroke at McClain Insurance. They sell policies for a variety of insurance companies. They were extremely helpful and set up a policy that would cover my family on the electric bike. While most mainstream insurers still do not offer electric bike policies, they do provide coverage under their moped or motorcycle policies. Also, there are a few new insurers in the market who are providing bicycle-specific coverages.
While Seattle Bicycle Advocate, PLLC does not receive anything from McClain insurance for referring you, Nick did mention that if you tell them you were referred by me, they will give a small donation to a local charity! Thanks Nick!