|By PR Newswire||
|December 10, 2013 05:54 PM EST||
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- E-bikes, bicycles with power assist provided by an electric motor activated by pedaling or a handlebar mounted power lever, are rapidly gaining popularity as an alternative to a 100% human pedal power bicycle. Until recently it was almost impossible to find a proper insurance policy to cover an e-bike for theft or damage and the rider for liability. Velosurance, a Fort Lauderdale, FL based bicycle insurance agency that launched a bicycle-specific insurance policy in 2012 now has extended this policy to cover electric-assisted bicycles.
The addition of electric power assist to bicycles will extend the distance riders can travel and encourage more use of the e-bike as a viable alternative to making short around town trips in a car. Because an e-bike with a 750 watt (or less) motor is still considered a bicycle, e-bike excursions will not be restricted into areas that ban motorized vehicles, such as natural areas and cross country trails.
Recognizing the emerging market of electric-assist bicycles, Velosurance partnered with an A-rated U.S. insurance company to offer an e-bike insurance product with one goal in mind – to allow clients to create insurance policies that would protect the bicycles they ride.
Electric-assist bicycles look very similar to normal bikes: they have pedals and two wheels. E-bikes are great for commuting around town or scooting off road. What makes them special is that when the rider needs a little help climbing a hill, additional power is available. The electric motor allows the rider to cruise along with less effort and up to 30 miles before recharging. Unlike other electric vehicles that require special charging stations, electric-assist bicycles charge quickly from a normal household outlet.
The e-bike revolution has already taken hold in Europe: bike shops in Western Europe and the UK carry a variety of electric bikes and several U.S. based manufacturers are jumping onboard as well. Most notably, Specialized released the Specialized Turbo, a high-end e-bike fit for the urban cyclist with a 250 watt motor. Other bike manufacturers such as a Felt and Niner are following suit. Trek has 3 e-bikes in their 2014 lineup.
"There are over 15 million bicycles sold each year in the U.S., of which 4 million bicycles are of higher value and sold through specialty bicycle shops. Electric-assist bicycles are readily available at bicycle retail shops and the popularity of electric-assist bicycles is becoming a booming segment of the bicycle industry," said Dave Williams, CEO and co-founder of Velosurance. "A good quality entry-level e-bike costs upwards of $1,000 and an average value of $3,000, with high-end e-bicycles costing as much as $12,000. Until Velosurance, cyclists had very limited options to protect their bicycles with adequate insurance coverage."
Each policy is customized by the client and can include coverage protection on the e-bike for damage caused by theft, crash, collision, fire, attempted theft, vandalism or hitting another object. In addition, coverage of spare parts, cycle apparel, and rental reimbursement are included at no additional cost.
Optional coverage includes: Liability coverage to cover the rider in case of injuries or property damage caused by the insured cyclist; Medical Payments to cover medical costs of the policyholder associated with a cycling accident; and Vehicle Contact Protection for medical costs associated with accidents caused by an automobile. Additionally, Roadside Assistance is available, providing the cyclist a service vehicle ride of up to 35 miles.
Williams added, "In most cases, homeowner or renter's insurance will not cover e-bikes for theft, damage, or liability because the bike has a motor and auto insurance companies will not offer e-bike insurance because e-bikes under 750 watts are not required to be registered, and e-bike riders do not need to be licensed. This is where Velosurance steps in with a stand-alone e-bike insurance policy that insures e-bikes with power assist up to 750 watts, and covers just about anything accidental that can happen."
To enhance their e-bike policy service, Velosurance partnered with local bicycle shops nationwide to provide repair or replacement services to Velosurance policy holders. According to Williams, "No matter where our client is riding, there will be a Velosurance Trusted Partner bicycle shop nearby".
E-bike policies start at $100 per year and offer a variety of coverage levels and deductible options.
Velosurance Electric Bicycle Insurance provides policies in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Velosurance policies are underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company.
Media Contact: Dave Williams, Velosurance, (888) 663-9948, firstname.lastname@example.org
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