Compulsory insurance "likely" on ebikes if 3-class becomes federal law

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I know there are plenty of people that have claimed that I'm a crazy conspiracy theorist in claiming that if the 3-class legislation being pushed by People for Bikes with the intent of replacing the profoundly better 2002 Federal definition for Low Speed Electric Bike per HR727 that compulsory insurance (liability) on Class 3 ebikes is almost assured to happen. For 5 years the industry fought the cycling advocates in Europe to extend the insurance requirement on speed pedelecs to all ebikes but fortunately for ebike cyclists the insurance industry lost the fight (for now ... they have deep pockets and will likely look for another way).

Just so everyone understands ... this is one of the primary motivations I have to get the CPSC to preempt the 3-class legislation. We should all hope my petition is successful.

 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Sorry but your credibility is DOA when you post a fake clickbait headline.
So your claiming the Bike Europe information isn't credible? They claim to be the leading trade journal on bikes and ebikes in the world. Do you know something I'm just not aware of or just trying to shoot the messenger.

Explain then why speed pedelecs have compulsory insurance in Europe. You think riders wanted that?

Is this then a false statement in the article:
Kevin Mayne, Chief Executive of Cycling Industries Europe (CIE), supported the outcome of the campaign: “The battle to exclude e-bikes from motor insurance has lasted over five years and has required active campaigning by our partner associations and their members. This shows the importance of having consistent resources for professional advocates for cycling at all levels, without them this regulation could have sneaked into law almost unnoticed.”

This is why I'm doing my best to keep insurance insurance hands out of of US ebike rider pockets?
 
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TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
That would stink... I just got my allant 7S last weekend! I really hope they don't push insurance on us. The thing that I predict happening if they required that (and/or required us to register our bikes as well, similar to how we do cars), most people won't be buying the class 3 bikes anymore and they will probably get phased out. I think it would kill the fun factor for many of the class 3, especially if class 1 e-bikes didn't have those restrictions in place.

Edit: What is the likelihood this would really happen in the united States? I guess it's something to think about if people are looking at e-bikes to buy, now and in the future.

Edit 2: Sorry one more question for you guys - does anyone know if we need to purchase a special sticker to mark our bikes as Class 3? I didn't get anything from my LBS but it seems some states require that.
 
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TomD

Well-Known Member
So your claiming the Bike Europe information isn't credible?
Your title is based on nothing but conjecture. It would be one thing to say it may happen. But will happen? Clickbait and fake news.

Compulsory insurance on ebikes will happen if 3-class becomes federal law​

 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Your title is based on nothing but conjecture. It would be one thing to say it may happen. But will happen? Clickbait and fake news.

Compulsory insurance on ebikes will happen if 3-class becomes federal law​

Fine....I changed the title to say "likely" even though we all know that the insurance industry loves compulsory coverage (they can say we are required to have our hands in your pockets).

I would prefer one federal definition for a LSEB as a bike to minimize any chance of compulsory insurance on ebikes. I'm fighting htat battle now because they will get what they want if 3-class becomes federal law.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
You keep making this claim, and your only evidence is to handwave vaguely at europe. The US isn't Europe. I've seen zero effort in any state the US into even looking at insurance for any form of bicycle, no model legislation proposed that includes it, no indication that any advocacy group is pushing for it, nothing. Do you have anything more concrete than "europe did a thing"? The PFB model legislation you hate so much specifically exempts all ebikes from insurance.

I seriously don't get how the 3 class vs cpsc definition even matters for this. There is no reason that the government couldn't require insurance on ebikes no matter how they are legally defined.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You keep making this claim, and your only evidence is to handwave vaguely at europe. The US isn't Europe. I've seen zero effort in any state the US into even looking at insurance for any form of bicycle, no model legislation proposed that includes it, no indication that any advocacy group is pushing for it, nothing. Do you have anything more concrete than "europe did a thing"? The PFB model legislation you hate so much specifically exempts all ebikes from insurance.

I seriously don't get how the 3 class vs cpsc definition even matters for this. There is no reason that the government couldn't require insurance on ebikes no matter how they are legally defined.
You need to read the People for Bikes "model legislation" document. The section that mentions not allowing insurance in the title does not state that in the actual text of that section (I don't think that was by accident as anyone editing the document would catch that omission and none of the states that have adopted 3-class legislation have incorporated a non-insurance clause that I know of). The insurance industry / lobby is powerful and greedy and compulsory insurance is a big profit maker - don't you think that is why they pushed for it on all ebikes in Europe these past 5 years?

Note: I get insurance (home, life, auto) cold calls every day. They are like mosquitoes and never stop even if you asked them to stop calling (I'm on a no call registry as well).

I do agree that the government could require insurance on all ebikes no matter how they are defined, but I simply think having the Federal Definition of a LSEB as a bicycle reduces the chances that the insurance industry could be successful pushing for compulsory insurance (there is a long legacy of bikes in the US not being burdened by registrations, licensing, and insurance given their transportation use by the less fortunate). It's just an opinion but it's pretty logical and the final comment in that article concluded the insurance industry would have been successful if not for a consistent coordinated effort to not let it happen. C'mon honestly think about this for a second...do we even want to have anything with ebike regulations that provides the insurance industry a foothold to achieve compulsory insurance on any compliant ebike? If they achieve it, no amount of effort will get it reversed.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I want to make a statement....

I believe we are beginning to truly see the impact of climate change. While nothing is assured, I do believe ebikes can and will play a big transpiration role in the future if they don't get burden down by regulations keeping them too slow to be a good solution or added costs like registration and insurance that makes the decision so supplement owning a car more difficult to justify financially. We need human scale transportation and ebikes are literally the most efficient way to get from A-to-B ever invented by humans. When others on EBR say I don't care enough about their trail access that they have been brainwashed to believe is only because of 3-class legislation I just see people not looking at the bigger picture. They would not loose access if the Federal LSEB definition was recognized by every states as a bike as was the intent when put into law in 2002 (3-class is not pro-adoption rate of ebikes....not as much as the federal definition is).

In summary, the federal definition for compliance thru 1st sale is better than 3-class and the states still own "use" of that product (they don't need to parse it into classes to allow local lawmakers to complicate the "use" allowances of the product). A LSEB needs to be treated as bike. They are not motorized vehicles regardless that some still cling to that mindset from before the 2002 passing of HR727.
 
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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
You need to read the People for Bikes "model legislation" document. The section that mentions not allowing insurance in the title does not state that in the actual text of that section (I don't think that was by accident as anyone editing the document would catch that omission and none of the states that have adopted 3-class legislation have incorporated a non-insurance clause that I know of).

You can read it here:

To quote the section:
Section 202 – insurance, licensing, and registration:
An electric bicycle or a person operating an electric bicycle is not subject to the
provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility, driver’s licenses, registration,
certificates of title, off-highway vehicles and license plates. An electric bicycle is not a
motor vehicle.

That seems pretty clear. I can't speak for every state, but VA has exempted ebikes from insurance requirements. VAs code section is § 46.2-904.1 and says:

B. An electric power-assisted bicycle or person operating an electric power-assisted bicycle is not subject to the provisions of this Code relating to requirements for driver's licenses, registration, certificates of title, financial responsibility, off-highway motorcycles, and license plates.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Its apples and oranges. Europe had their ebikes, specifications and laws. THEN they ADDED speed pedelecs as ANOTHER type of vehicle, that is actually classed as a moped. So they have cars, motorcycles, mopeds (including S-Peds), ebikes and bicycles. All different classed vehicles. Speed pedelecs weren't ripped from the ebike class in Europe. The new class vehicle was added. Given you're logic, or lack of logic, anything with two wheels will require insurance. Just another red herring. All your rhetoric just scares new ebikers.

It is far easier to suggest if ebikes have a throttle, allow speeds of 20, 28 mph or more, they should be under the control of USDOT. After all mopeds have throttle, pedals and can travel 30 mph and they must be DOT certified with lights, blinkers, horn and a host of approved parts and accessories. Most states require a license and many insurance.

The 3 class law has saved ebikes from being classed as a moped. Unlike Europe where they are mopeds. The 3 class law has opened up off road bike paths and trails in nearly every state that adopted it, like Colorado.

Safetycrats may one day require insurance for anything on 2 wheels. They may require golfers to have lightening strike insurance. They may require gum chewing insurance.

All just another red herring😖😖
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You can read it here:

To quote the section:


That seems pretty clear. I can't speak for every state, but VA has exempted ebikes from insurance requirements. VAs code section is § 46.2-904.1 and says:
Geese..... Look and read more closely. Insurance in the title is meaningless. Read the content of that section....Do you see that insurance is not subject to it?????? It's not in the actual provision and it's not in any of the state provisions that have blindly adopted 3-class legislation either. I know you say that's just a mistake.....it's not a mistake. They knew having "insurance" in the title would make people think they were promoting 3-class legislation to never allow compulsory insurance. If that were actually the case, insurance would have been in the provision statement. It's NOT there. Read again....Read again...Read again. It's not there. Why?

Licensing and registration is in the title and the body of the provision. Insurance is not. This was not a mistake. Insurance was 1st in the title to plant it in the typical readers brain that it's never going to be compulsory but they intentionally left it out. No one will ever convince me this was a mistake.
 
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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Geese..... Look and read more closely. Insurance in the title is meaningless. Read the content of that section....Do you see that insurance is not subject to it?????? It's not in the actual provision and it's not in any of the state provisions that have blindly adopted 3-class legislation either. I know you say that's just a mistake.....it's not a mistake. They knew having "insurance" in the title would make people think they were promoting 3-class legislation to never allow compulsory insurance. If that were actually the case, insurance would have been in the provision statement. It's NOT there. Read again....Read again...Read again. It's not there. Why?

Licensing and registration is in the title and the body of the provision. Insurance is not. This was not a mistake. Insurance was 1st in the title to plant it in the typical readers brain that it's never going to be compulsory but they intentionally left it out. No one will ever convince me this was a mistake.

....You do understand that the legal requirement is for "financial responsibility", right? Here in VA you aren't required to have insurance for your motor vehicle, insurance is just one of the ways you can satisfy the financial responsibility requirement (you can also self insure, basically put up a bond that shows you have the money to cover the financial requirement, or you can pay the uninsured motorist fee every year).

See: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/commercial/#insurance/frrequire.asp

When the code exempts ebikes from financial responsibility its just using the verbiage thats in the rest of the code.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Its apples and oranges. Europe had their ebikes, specifications and laws. THEN they ADDED speed pedelecs as ANOTHER type of vehicle, that is actually classed as a moped. So they have cars, motorcycles, mopeds (including S-Peds), ebikes and bicycles. All different classed vehicles. Speed pedelecs weren't ripped from the ebike class in Europe. The new class vehicle was added. Given you're logic, or lack of logic, anything with two wheels will require insurance. Just another red herring. All your rhetoric just scares new ebikers.

It is far easier to suggest if ebikes have a throttle, allow speeds of 20, 28 mph or more, they should be under the control of USDOT. After all mopeds have throttle, pedals and can travel 30 mph and they must be DOT certified with lights, blinkers, horn and a host of approved parts and accessories. Most states require a license and many insurance.

The 3 class law has saved ebikes from being classed as a moped. Unlike Europe where they are mopeds. The 3 class law has opened up off road bike paths and trails in nearly every state that adopted it, like Colorado.

Safetycrats may one day require insurance for anything on 2 wheels. They may require golfers to have lightening strike insurance. They may require gum chewing insurance.

All just another red herring😖😖
Did I claim speed pedelecs were ripped from the ebike class in Europe? No I didn't. It's your lack of comprehension that probably scares more than just new ebikers.

Honestly I'm going to help you understand the product definitions when not compliant to the LSEB defintion of HR727. Keep in mind JR ... this is not from me this is from the NHTSA so please don't claim another red herring argument...

NHTSA defines the term “motorcycle,” for the purpose of the statute and regulations it administers, as “a motor vehicle with motive power having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with ground” (49 CFR 571.3).

NHTSA defines the term “motor driven cycle” as a motorcycle with a motor that produces 5-brake horsepower or less. A motor driven cycle is exempted from certain requirements of the FMVSS that apply to motorcycles.


NHTSA does not define the terms “motor scooter,” “moped,” “pocket bike,” “mini-chopper,” “mini-ninja,” or any other terms of this nature that may be used for the purpose of marketing motorcycles and motor driven cycles. Those terms therefore have no relevance to the classification of a vehicle for the purpose of determining which FMVSS would apply to it. Note that States are free to regulate the use of such vehicles and may use their own terms when describing vehicle types for the purpose of their regulations.

Please be sure to see the statement that "states are free to regulate the use of such vehicles" but they don't give allowance to redefine (as PFB did by pushing 3-class to the states).

An ebike that can sustain a speed over 20mph via throttle alone is a "motor-driven cycle" or can be claimed to be off-road use only which is a dubious claim if someone buys it to use on public infrastructure (it's a loophole for sure but riders are taking liability risks thinking they are OK to ride on public infrastruture).

The 3-class law did no save ebikes from being classified as a moped / motor driven cycle. That is total BS!!! The CPSC has clarified that a LSEB can provide assist beyond 20mph with rider power combined so long as motor alone can sustain more that 20mph with a 170lb rider on a level surface. I'm happy to engage with you in a debate on this but making patently false claims is not cool.

I already know you think 3-class opened up paths and trails but with the recent DOI order I would think your logic is seriously flawed given all classes are allowed by default.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
....You do understand that the legal requirement is for "financial responsibility", right? Here in VA you aren't required to have insurance for your motor vehicle, insurance is just one of the ways you can satisfy the financial responsibility requirement (you can also self insure, basically put up a bond that shows you have the money to cover the financial requirement, or you can pay the uninsured motorist fee every year).

See: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/commercial/#insurance/frrequire.asp

When the code exempts ebikes from financial responsibility its just using the verbiage thats in the rest of the code.
Seriously....you are bringing up "self insurance" allowances as a counter argument. That not a loop hole around required insurance liability coverage - some just have enough liquid assetts to cover that liability without having to purchase insurance.

Whatever...if you want to think that insurance in the title is the same as being stated in the actual provision so be it. Let's just end this back and forth. It's meritless.
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
Seriously....you are bringing up "self insurance" allowances as a counter argument. That not a loop hole around required insurance liability coverage - some just have enough liquid assetts to cover that liability without having to purchase insurance.

Whatever...if you want to think that insurance in the title is the same as being stated in the actual provision so be it. Let's just end this back and forth. It's meritless.

The provision specifically exempts electric bikes from all provisions of the code relating to financial responsibility. You implied that its obviously a deliberate loophole because it doesn't specifically say the word insurance. I'm pointing out that the code doesn't specifically say insurance either. Registered motor vehicle owners are required to show proof of financial responsibility (by either showing proof of liability insurance, obtaining a self insurance proof from the DMV or paying the uninsured motorist fee). Financial responsibility is the term the existing laws use, so its the term that the provision exempting electric bikes uses as well.

I will also point out that all financial responsibility provisions in the VA code only apply to registered motor vehicles; since electric bikes are specifically defined as not motor vehicles and exempted from registration requirements, financial responsibility requirements still wouldn't apply to them even without that section. But its included anyway to make absolutely certain. So explain again how the PFB model legislation is some sort of backdoor to insurance requirements?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The provision specifically exempts electric bikes from all provisions of the code relating to financial responsibility. You implied that its obviously a deliberate loophole because it doesn't specifically say the word insurance. I'm pointing out that the code doesn't specifically say insurance either. Registered motor vehicle owners are required to show proof of financial responsibility (by either showing proof of liability insurance, obtaining a self insurance proof from the DMV or paying the uninsured motorist fee). Financial responsibility is the term the existing laws use, so its the term that the provision exempting electric bikes uses as well.

I will also point out that all financial responsibility provisions in the VA code only apply to registered motor vehicles; since electric bikes are specifically defined as not motor vehicles and exempted from registration requirements, financial responsibility requirements still wouldn't apply to them even without that section. But its included anyway to make absolutely certain. So explain again how the PFB model legislation is some sort of backdoor to insurance requirements?
The context was on the model legislation that you claimed had an insurance exception in it. It does NOT. I assume you did re-read and then started into these mutually exclusive details that are meritless. You made a false claim. It's that simple.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Honestly I'm going to help you understand the product definitions when not compliant to the LSEB defintion of HR727.

NHTSA defines the term “motorcycle,” for the purpose of the statute and regulations it administers, as “a motor vehicle with motive power having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with ground” (49 CFR 571.3).

NHTSA defines the term “motor driven cycle” as a motorcycle with a motor that produces 5-brake horsepower or less. A motor driven cycle is exempted from certain requirements of the FMVSS that apply to motorcycles.

NHTSA does not define the terms “motor scooter,” “moped,” “pocket bike,” “mini-chopper,” “mini-ninja,” or any other terms of this nature that may be used for the purpose of marketing motorcycles and motor driven cycles. Those terms therefore have no relevance to the classification of a vehicle for the purpose of determining which FMVSS would apply to it. Note that States are free to regulate the use of such vehicles and may use their own terms when describing vehicle types for the purpose of their regulations.

An ebike that can sustain a speed over 20mph via throttle alone is a "motor-driven cycle" or can be claimed to be off-road use only which is a dubious claim if someone buys it to use on public infrastructure (it's a loophole for sure but riders are taking liability risks thinking they are OK to ride on public infrastruture).

The 3-class law did no save ebikes from being classified as a moped / motor driven cycle. That is total BS!!! The CPSC has clarified that a LSEB can provide assist beyond 20mph with rider power combined so long as motor alone can sustain more that 20mph with a 170lb rider on a level surface. I'm happy to engage with you in a debate on this but make patently false claims is not cool.

I already know you think 3-class opened up paths and trails but with the recent DOI order I would think your logic is seriously flawed given all classes are allowed by default.
Years of this and people providing proof to you, you haven't moderated in any way. You don't have discussions or debates, you read online and come to your own conclusions and you stick to your own thoughts no matter the proof provided.

You want more adoption of ebikes, yet you scare new ebikers like you did earlier in the thread. You aren't even involved on the local level to effect change for more access. Scare tactics don't motivate or inspire. It's starting from a negative viewpoint and when it's easily disproved you lose credibility.

Many of us are involved and have talked in person to legal experts. There's a massive difference between reading something online and discerning what is meant by a law and actually speaking to lawmakers to understand what a law means. You think you know what the letter and spirit of the law is, I know because I have talked to the lawmakers from both sides, pro and con.

I'm going to leave you to it on this thread to spin it the way you choose. I only posted here when I saw a new ebiker concerned with what you posted.

I would urge anyone with a stake in ebikes to get involved locally. That's where you can make the most difference. You can devote as much time to it as you want. An hour or two a few times a year is all that's needed to get your opinions heard by the powers that be. Two and a half years ago paths and trails banned ebikes statewide where I live. Now they are open as a result of local effort and engaging with lawmakers. We have more access today than most states in the country.

Ken, I hope you have a peaceful day.

Ride safe!
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
The context was on the model legislation that you claimed had an insurance exception in it. It does NOT. I assume you did re-read and then started into these mutually exclusive details that are meritless. You made a false claim. It's that simple.
Don't be obtuse. The model legislation is almost identical to the VA code. It uses the verbage "financial responsibility" to refer to insurance requirements, because that is how laws pertaining to insurance requirements are written. I've already shown this, with links to the code. Continuing to dance around this is just you not wanting to admit you were wrong.