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

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Why would the insurance industry not want to give any ebike owner free liabillity coverage for riding the ebike if they also have a car policy. Obviously any time someone is riding an ebike vs driving a car the insurance liability is much less yet my guess is you would never see that happen. I have asked a number of major insurance providers this question.

Seems a bit odd that I get many car insurance sales cold calls every week if they are loosing money on compulsory auto insurance. Maybe not paying the executives $10s or even $100s of $millions a year could prevent those claimed losses.

Also, why does that Bike Europe article mention the insurance industry efforts for 5 years to get compulsory insurance on all ebikes. Something just doesn't add up if what you are saying is accurate.
Because its a risk they aren't insuring now. More risk for no extra premium will not happen. the state WILL allow rate increases when the requests come in. The rate increases will not really come from Liability. Thats peanuts, although it will create a whole new level of fraud, where people will start running in front of ebikes (people lay down behind cars in parking lots, for example, right now). But besides that colorful sort of thing, the real money will be in Personal Injury Protection claims in any state that has No Fault coverage. These coverages pay out regardless of fault and they tend to be statutorily high limits. In New Jersey its $250,000 period no matter what other coverage you have (auto insurance pays out before health insurance if both are present). In neighboring New York it starts off at $50,000. In Pennsylvania it can be as high as about $1.1 million dollars. And in Michigan... it defaults to UNLIMITED. Recent reforms in that state offer MI residents the opportunity to lower that statutory limit but few take advantage of this.

and this is just off the top of my head. I am certain there are other avenues of recovery that will spike premiums everywhere (sidebar: I have helped write actual policy language in dozens of US states so when I say there will be avenues it comes from a lot of experience in the field).

Obviously, the chance of personal physical injury on an ebike is much higher than in a car. If an auto policy offers coverage to someone riding a bicycle, you'll see rate increases and fraud in nothing flat. As a player in this industry I want NO PART of it. I am in the car insurance business and I know that business. When someone is involved in this sort of accident its what we call a "limits loss" meaning whatever the policy limit is, thats what will be paid as personal injuries will be catastrophic and will outstrip the insurance policy limits.

All that crap about insurance executives wiping their asses with $100 bills or whatever is just so much balderdash and not worth consideration.

the only thing that doesn't add up is why you don't have a life outside of this forum. What are we at for this thread alone? three to five thousand words? Just here?

And look here I am getting drawn in again. No more. Learned my lesson and need to remember it. Bye.

To everyone else: Don't feed the troll.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
In Pennsylvania it can be as high as about $1.1 million dollars.
Is that because we can stack our policies? I have to admit I don't know about the intricacies of insurance. I've had a lot of policies from business to boats, MC to to toys and I've always relied on my local agent to steer me right.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Mandatory insurance is a good thing. What if you get whacked going 20 mph head on collision, and you have no life insurance or medical insurance? Then what?

They should at least institute minimum of 25K as it is in Georgia. Obviously get med pay.

it won’t cost that much maybe 200 a year.
If you get whacked the driver at fault has to pay for your injuries. Typically its not the cyclist's fault, and if it is, thats how it has been... forever. 20 mph is easily attainable without an electric motor. And the world has not ended nor have the people risen up and demanded that insurance be created for bicyclists to protect them.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Is that because we can stack our policies? I have to admit I don't know about the intricacies of insurance. I've had a lot of policies from business to boats, MC to to toys and I've always relied on my local agent to steer me right.
No stacking is involved in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage - which DOES have an application potentially to a cyclist if they are deemed to be a pedestrian and hit by an uninsured motorist, or a hit/run motorist (but that is another long story that is open to precedent and interpretation).

PA has a supplemental coverage to PIP - which is known as First Party Benefits in Pennsylvania. You have a $5,000 minimum but there is an available additional coverage called Extraordinary Medical Benefits that can be had at limits up to 1.1 million dollars. There are also a number of other options that fit in sort of alongside and also under this limit.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
No stacking is involved in Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists coverage - which DOES have an application potentially to a cyclist if they are deemed to be a pedestrian and hit by an uninsured motorist, or a hit/run motorist (but that is another long story that is open to precedent and interpretation).

PA has a supplemental coverage to PIP - which is known as First Party Benefits in Pennsylvania. You have a $5,000 minimum but there is an available additional coverage called Extraordinary Medical Benefits that can be had at limits up to 1.1 million dollars. There are also a number of other options that fit in sort of alongside and also under this limit.
This sort of exchange is so much more enlightening. I feel like I learned something in this thread now. Yeah I got sucked in again. You reminded me👍

I'm done.
 

mjeds

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
That is health / injury insurance probably covered by your health care policy if an un-insured motorist were to hit you.

I'm referring to liability insurance in case you damage a car with your ebike or hurt a walker.
so am I, I carry 500K/750K/100K liability with comp/collision/theft ($100 deductible) exactly the same coverage as my motor vehicles. with a medical rider same as my motorcycle. $14 per month per bike added to my bundled State Farm insurance, which also carries my 4 cars and motorcycle.

as I said,, no brainer. I am covered if I hit someone or they hit me. I could care less what others have, I deal with my insurance, that is what I pay them for. already had a claim for the e-bike when I had a wipe out after hitting a puddle of anti-freeze and the replacement parts were >$600 $100 deductible and done. I paid out of pocket for the parts, and State Farm send me a check for the different.

I don't have the time or patience in my life to deal with other people and their inadequate insurance.

Last car incident I had was a half-baked moron in a fast and fugly acura that rear ended me while he was texting. $12,000 worth of damage to my car. got him on my rear camera on his phone clear as day, State Farm repaired my car and went after him, they are my carrier, they work for me. No a dime out of pocket, car repaired by an authorized SF center and back in my hands in 3 weeks, rental car during the whole process, that is what I pay for.

I never even spoke to his carrier, but I know his liability didn't even cover 1/2 of the damage, and since the car was in daddy's name they garnished daddy's wages to get back the $7,000 or so over his policy for the damages.
 
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jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
The last time I was hit by a car, my health insurance covered the ambulance ride/medical bills, and then the drivers insurance reimbursed me and paid out for bike damage and a new helmet. They were ticketed for being at fault, so their insurance paid out very rapidly with minimal fuss (accident was very stupid and client lived in a wealthy neighborhood; I presume his insurance was terrified I would sue).

Liability insurance for ebikes just doesn't seem remotely likely, since it mostly exists to cover other peoples property damage and bikes just don't do much; probably an order of magnitude less than a rounding error compared to cars. If it happens, it will take time and a long process and can be fought then. Until then, why lose sleep over something that isn't even in the nascent stages of starting?
 

mjeds

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
State farm insures bicycles / e-bikes? I thought only a handful of special companies did this?
Have to register it. CA has an e-bike law 750watt or higher has to be registered, (passed in 2017). $23 one time fee, once registered State Farm covers it as a 50cc moped with a notation it is an e-bike (which is exactly how CA titles it). No issues with the coverage, already had a claim and it was covered no question.
 

TrailSeeker

Active Member
Region
USA
$23 one time fee, once registered State Farm covers it as a 50cc moped with a notation it is an e-bike (which is exactly how CA titles it).
okay, that makes sense. I was just curious because I would like insurance for the off-chance my bike got stolen, or for liability, etc.. I think only California could get this through state-farm it seems. I'm in Illinois, and so far we aren't required to register them... so far...
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
It doesn't matter! Sellers know what can be used on public infrastructure in more than half the country. They can choose to sell what they want, buyers can buy what they want. Nothing is standing in their way. No ban. What's the problem? Oh, you can't ride them on the bike path? Yeah, I can't ride my Harley there either.
Here is what is considered the interstate commerce standard for all the federal safety agencies. You tell me why the states needed the 3-class system for "use" regulation and if in good faith it violates this:

Whenever a consumer product safety standard under this chapter is in effect and applies to a risk of injury associated with a consumer product, no State or political subdivision of a State shall have any authority either to establish or to continue in effect any provision of a safety standard or regulation which prescribes any requirements as to the performance, composition, contents, design, finish, construction, packaging, or labeling of such product which are designed to deal with the same risk of injury associated with such consumer product, unless such requirements are identical to the requirements of the Federal standard.

What improvement was provided by 3-class legislation? Was any risk not address by the federal requirements in 1512 address by 3-class legislation? If not the states are not supposed to redefine a product when a safety standard is already in place and bikes are one of the oldest managed products by the CPSC.

How many US citizens have read this yet alone aware it even exists. 3-class legislation should be preempted and if the CPSC does not preempt they will open Pandora's Box by creating a legal precedent the states will establish whatever product definitions and requirements they so choose even if driven by only one local elected county representative. We do not want that!!!
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Because its a risk they aren't insuring now. More risk for no extra premium will not happen. the state WILL allow rate increases when the requests come in. The rate increases will not really come from Liability. Thats peanuts, although it will create a whole new level of fraud, where people will start running in front of ebikes (people lay down behind cars in parking lots, for example, right now). But besides that colorful sort of thing, the real money will be in Personal Injury Protection claims in any state that has No Fault coverage. These coverages pay out regardless of fault and they tend to be statutorily high limits. In New Jersey its $250,000 period no matter what other coverage you have (auto insurance pays out before health insurance if both are present). In neighboring New York it starts off at $50,000. In Pennsylvania it can be as high as about $1.1 million dollars. And in Michigan... it defaults to UNLIMITED. Recent reforms in that state offer MI residents the opportunity to lower that statutory limit but few take advantage of this.

and this is just off the top of my head. I am certain there are other avenues of recovery that will spike premiums everywhere (sidebar: I have helped write actual policy language in dozens of US states so when I say there will be avenues it comes from a lot of experience in the field).

Obviously, the chance of personal physical injury on an ebike is much higher than in a car. If an auto policy offers coverage to someone riding a bicycle, you'll see rate increases and fraud in nothing flat. As a player in this industry I want NO PART of it. I am in the car insurance business and I know that business. When someone is involved in this sort of accident its what we call a "limits loss" meaning whatever the policy limit is, thats what will be paid as personal injuries will be catastrophic and will outstrip the insurance policy limits.

All that crap about insurance executives wiping their asses with $100 bills or whatever is just so much balderdash and not worth consideration.

the only thing that doesn't add up is why you don't have a life outside of this forum. What are we at for this thread alone? three to five thousand words? Just here?

And look here I am getting drawn in again. No more. Learned my lesson and need to remember it. Bye.

To everyone else: Don't feed the troll.
Good information. I apologize if I made accusations about the insurance industry that are not true but I don't understand why the Bike Europe article claimed the insurance tried to achieve compulsory ebike insurance for 5 years (I'm assuming that is liability only for the rider & ebike). I did experience someone running in front of my car once ... somehow I missed her and stopped to say I was so sorry as i wasn't even sure where she came from. She was literally pissed that I didn't hit her. That was one crazy women so I know you are not making up stories about people laying behind parked cars). It's a bad national trajectory.

Fraud is tearing the economic seems of the country. I have sold things on ebay for as long as I can remember and in the last few months buyer fraud cost me well over $1,000 and ebay provides zero seller protections. The emotional impact of it may provide some evidence as the my life on this forum as an escape from that being stolen from reality (even had a car recently stolen as well).

You may not know about my CPSC petition efforts but there is a reason for my apparent madness but I'll only explain that if my petition is successful. I do believe preemption would be best for the future US ebike market and adoption rate even though so many think i'm disillusion. You provided some good insights into the insurance industry but I do still see it a very very profitable and powerful business sector in the US.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The last time I was hit by a car, my health insurance covered the ambulance ride/medical bills, and then the drivers insurance reimbursed me and paid out for bike damage and a new helmet. They were ticketed for being at fault, so their insurance paid out very rapidly with minimal fuss (accident was very stupid and client lived in a wealthy neighborhood; I presume his insurance was terrified I would sue).

Liability insurance for ebikes just doesn't seem remotely likely, since it mostly exists to cover other peoples property damage and bikes just don't do much; probably an order of magnitude less than a rounding error compared to cars. If it happens, it will take time and a long process and can be fought then. Until then, why lose sleep over something that isn't even in the nascent stages of starting?
I just wanted to explain why I bring up compulsory insurance. I tend to think that ebikes can only supplement car ownership in the US for the majority so any added costs from insurance, registration, licensing, etc. can have are dramatic impact on owning and using a bike for urban mobility. I was referring to required liability insurance which as you said isn't that significant of a risk factor for bikes/ebikes.

I will continue to think that the 3-class legislation increases the chances for compulsory insurance so I would still like it preempted by the CPSC. I don't understand why anyone thinks that just having the federal definition of a LSEB as a bicycle for states to "use" regulate as a bike would be anything but positive for ebikes.
 

shiruba

Active 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
Yeah.. Japan is similar to Europe, I suppose, normal eBikes with pedal assist and speed limitations are classified as... Normal bikes, and no insurance of any kind is required. Anything not powerful is a moped and requires licence, registration, insurance, etc., And can never be ridden in sidewalks or bike areas.

But.... I still have insurance for my normal eBikes. It's the smart thing to do. If I were to hit some pedestrian and break her leg or something out would almost certainly be ruled my fault (the stronger party wins by default in Japan unless they're is compelling evidence to the contrary) and I could have to pay medical expenses. Issuance for eBikes is super cheap and might save your wallet some day.

I don't think the two issues are related, though.
 
Region
USA
The last time I was hit by a car, my health insurance covered the ambulance ride/medical bills, and then the drivers insurance reimbursed me and paid out for bike damage and a new helmet. They were ticketed for being at fault, so their insurance paid out very rapidly with minimal fuss (accident was very stupid and client lived in a wealthy neighborhood; I presume his insurance was terrified I would sue).

Liability insurance for ebikes just doesn't seem remotely likely, since it mostly exists to cover other peoples property damage and bikes just don't do much; probably an order of magnitude less than a rounding error compared to cars. If it happens, it will take time and a long process and can be fought then. Until then, why lose sleep over something that isn't even in the nascent stages of starting?
If you are riding your ebike (or any bicycle) and strike a pedestrian, and are found to be negligent, and the pedestrian is permanently disabled, most likely you will be sued. If you have no liability coverage, and are found guilty of negligence, you will have to pay the judgement against you out of pocket.
 
Region
USA
What are the odds you strike a pedestrian?
Probably slim. However, being involved in an automobile accident is also unlikely. Having your house catch on fire is not very likely. However, they are also possible. That is why we have insurance.....to protect us against a moment where we have a lapse of judgement and do something negligent.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If you are riding your ebike (or any bicycle) and strike a pedestrian, and are found to be negligent, and the pedestrian is permanently disabled, most likely you will be sued. If you have no liability coverage, and are found guilty of negligence, you will have to pay the judgement against you out of pocket.
This has been true forever for analog biikes as well. Nobody is insured and the world hasn't ended. Living in the town I do, I see commuting cyclists on analog bikes mixing with aimless tourist pedestrians and brainless exercising locals with earbuds in. The commuting cyclists are impatient and wending their way thru the foot traffic sometimes quite closely.

The ebike riders, on the other hand, tend to be tourists themselves and are more interested in toodling along and seeing the sights.

I the real world, this risk is already long-since a part of daily life and collisions have not risen to any noticeable level. I do recognize that some people want insurance coverage for *everything*. For those people, there is ebike insurance with available Liability coverage.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Minnesnowta
Well if insurance is mandatory it's likely my cost to insure will be far less than my current quote. At least my agent of 50 years thinks so. AT some point the 30+ MPH "eBikes" with 72V and larger batteries and fake, but falsely functional, pedals will bring down the house with more regulations. We're doing it to ourselves. Thinking we're getting away with something. Eventually, some Sur Ron (or similar) rider will have a highly publicized crash. And the games up. My Vespa GTS insurance wasn't too awfully priced.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Well if insurance is mandatory it's likely my cost to insure will be far less than my current quote. At least my agent of 50 years thinks so. AT some point the 30+ MPH "eBikes" with 72V and larger batteries and fake, but falsely functional, pedals will bring down the house with more regulations. We're doing it to ourselves. Thinking we're getting away with something. Eventually, some Sur Ron (or similar) rider will have a highly publicized crash. And the games up. My Vespa GTS insurance wasn't too awfully priced.
The Federal Definition of a "low speed electric bicycle" was well thought out by a PhD Electrical Engineer (the constraints of 170lb on level surface are technically define a motor only power limit above 20mph what would sustain that speed if the rider is not pedaling but the power could not go higher even in the rider is pedaling but few speed the time to critically think what it was intended to accomplish). An LSEB is supposed to be regulated the same as a bike but along came People for Bikes (after being given $millions in lobby money from the auto industry) pushing a 3-class system that was not safer and did not clarify anything. Someone riding a "non-compliant" LSEB should not cause any problems but sadly everyone will get emotional and the regulations will be worsened for no reason.

You will see a lot of riders that think the only reason they can ride their ebikes on a trail is because of the 3-class legislation but they just drink the koolaid and forget that for at least 12 years the federal definition provided that LSEBs were allowed on trails (they were never motor vehicles as some trail managers insisted).
 

jabberwocky

Well-Known Member
If you are riding your ebike (or any bicycle) and strike a pedestrian, and are found to be negligent, and the pedestrian is permanently disabled, most likely you will be sued. If you have no liability coverage, and are found guilty of negligence, you will have to pay the judgement against you out of pocket.
For sure, but thats true on normal bikes too, and cyclists have never really had a need for specialized liability insurance. If you have renters or homeowners insurance it does sometimes cover personal liability.

I remain highly skeptical of this threads original premise that the 3 class law is some sort of backdoor way to force insurance on ebikes.