Velosurance bicycle insurance

Velosurance is a national insurance agency founded by two cyclists in response to the insurance needs of bicycle riders nationwide. We partnered with an A.M.Best “A” rated, US insurance company to provide a multi-risk policy offering protection to all types of cyclists.

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Why electric mountain bike riders should consider specialty bicycle insurance

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You can add more bikes later
electric bikes 21 Nov 2023 By Katrina Rossi

Electric bikes (e-bikes) have gained widespread popularity by making cycling more accessible to people of varying fitness levels. The ease of riding, especially in challenging terrains, has attracted a diverse range of cyclists. While there’s an electrified version of every single kind of bike, from city commuters to road bikes and even trikes, one may argue that mountain bikes benefit from electrification the most.

While the sport of mountain biking itself spans a number of sub-genres, from cross-country to downhill and everything in between, the basics remain the same: tackling challenging off-road terrain on a bike. When it comes to riding off-road, the amount of energy needed to overcome obstacles such as rocks and roots and maintain forward momentum increases tremendously. When long, slow climbs and technical descents are thrown into the mix, it quickly becomes a very physically demanding exercise, even for those who’d consider themselves fit otherwise.

emtb rider going uphill

Electric mountain bikes (eMTBs) have gained popularity due to their ability to enhance the overall mountain biking experience. These bikes combine the traditional thrill of off-road cycling with the convenience and assistance of an electric motor, making it easier for riders to conquer challenging terrains and steep inclines. The electric assistance allows both novice and experienced riders to cover more ground with less effort, extending their range and enabling them to explore previously inaccessible trails. Additionally, eMTBs appeal to a broader demographic, as they provide a more inclusive and enjoyable experience for riders of varying fitness levels and those with physical limitations. The blend of traditional mountain biking with electric technology has attracted a growing community of enthusiasts seeking a dynamic and accessible outdoor adventure.

Whether you embrace it or not, e-bikes offer an enjoyable riding experience. Treacherous long climbs become faster, more exhilarating ascents. Short lunchtime rides become captivating as you cover greater distances and explore trails that would have been impractical on a regular pedal bike within such a limited timeframe. The electric assist feature unlocks access to entirely new trail systems, making previously inaccessible terrains—too steep, loose, rocky, or challenging for a standard pedal bike—now within reach. Even if you’re a stickler for “acoustic” bikes, don’t dismiss electric mountain bikes yet. Just as you'd opt for an enduro bike to conquer challenging descents or a cross-country bike for day-long endurance adventures, an e-mountain bike is an additional tool in your arsenal for those moments when traditional pedal bikes might not offer the same level of enjoyment. The long standing N+1 rule applies here too!

Bike theft

The primary worry for bicycle owners is the pervasive issue of theft. Unfortunately, bike theft is a very popular crime, with FBI data indicating around 190,000 reported cases annually in the US, equating to a bike being stolen approximately every 2 and a half minutes. However, according to Project 529 Garage, the actual number of bike thefts in the US and Canada may be closer to 2 million per year, meaning a bike is stolen every 30 seconds. Alarmingly, the study reveals that less than 5% of stolen bikes are returned to their owners, attributed mostly due to law enforcement's limited capacity to investigate such incidents. Another disconcerting statistic is that 80% of cyclists in the US had at least one bike stolen.

Bike thieves are opportunities, which means they will go after the easiest to steal, unsecured, bikes first. Unfortunately, with wide availability of battery-powered cutting tools, bike theft has become easier than ever. In fact, most U-locks, chains, and cable locks, provide less than a minute of security against an electric angle grinder. Thieves employ various methods to locate their targets, from scoping out neighborhoods to pursuing unsecured bikes in busy parking lots.

lady locking emtb

Whether your bike is taken from your residence or another location, a Velosurance policy provides coverage for properly secured bikes against theft and associated damages. The policy covers the bike without depreciation and a claim against the policy will not affect the rates on other policies you may already have.

Crash and accidental damage

Mishaps are a notable downside to mountain biking, with crashes being a common occurrence, especially for less experienced riders. However, even the most seasoned riders are susceptible to occasional wipeouts. With added electrical power, electric mountain bikes are capable of traversing terrain at speeds that would make many season pros jealous. Alas, the vast majority of eMTB riders do not possess the bike handling skills of said pros so crashes become a lot more likely. While crashes can be intimidating, costly, and painful, they also present opportunities for learning and improvement.

Other than crashes, bikes can incur damage in many other ways, often involving motor vehicles. Accidents, such as backing over a bike left behind a car or encountering low clearance overhangs with a bike on a roof rack are unexpected and potentially devastating.

emtb crash damage

A specialty bike insurance from Velosurance provides crash and accidental coverage for the bike and offers up to $500 replacement coverage for riding apparel, gear, helmet, and accessories. Additionally, there's an extra $500 per loss (with a $1000 limit for the policy term) for spare parts, such as a spare wheelset.

Damage in transit

Mountain bikes, designed for adventure, often find themselves spending a considerable amount of time in transit via cars and trucks. Since most adventures typically commence beyond one's doorstep, riders often need to transport their bikes to trails. While bike racks provide inherent security, the intense forces exerted on them while on a car rack or in a truck bed can sometimes reveal oversights, such as poorly secured straps or worn-out bolts, leading to potential breakages and a bike careening down the road. Electric mountain bikes are notably heavier than their pedal-powered counterparts, often surpassing 50 lbs (22.5 kg) in weight, which is near the design limit of most bike racks.

For those seeking the most extraordinary adventures that may involve domestic or international flights, placing your bike in the care of others becomes inevitable. While the airlines make it easy to check in your bike on a flight, once something goes awry, they become unnecessarily difficult, if not impossible to deal with.

Whether it’s being hauled on a car, handled by the airport staff, shipped with a courier, domestic or international, a bicycle insurance policy from Velosurance covers damage to the bike while it’s in transit, even if the bike doesn’t arrive at all and turns out to be a total loss. If you travel with your bike abroad, consider taking out the optional Worldwide coverage that extends the policy’s coverages to anywhere in the world.

ebike damage in transit

Medical coverage

The very elements that make mountain biking an exhilarating experience also heighten the risk of injury. The challenging rough terrain that evokes excitement is simultaneously responsible for causing bruises, scrapes, and more severe injuries like fractures, dislocations, and head injuries. For avid mountain bikers, it is crucial to carry some form of medical coverage in case of an accident, as without it, medical expenses will have to be covered out of pocket. Even those with what is deemed "adequate" health insurance could face substantial bills due to deductibles and copays ranging from $1500 to as much as $15,000. Health insurance policies commonly impose separate emergency room copays, adding financial strain to the injured party.

emtb medical coverage

Electric mountain bikes are not only much faster than regular bikes, they significantly increase the riding distance and lower the barrier of entry to the most challenging, technical trails. When covering ground at a rapid pace, it’s easy to get caught up in excitement and inadvertently end up in terrain that is beyond one’s skill level: while an e-MTB can help you get up a mountain, it will not help you safely descend it.

Velosurance provides an optional Medical Payments coverage to assist with out-of-pocket expenses. Once primary health insurance has paid its share, the optional medical medical coverage from Velosurance will kick in and cover the deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses, up to the policy's specified limit. When determining the most suitable Velosurance policy limit, it's advisable to consider the out-of-pocket deductible and emergency room copays of your primary health insurance.

Racing coverage

While racing may not appeal to everyone, bike racing even on the amateur level, is very exciting. Popularity of electric mountain bikes is undeniable, as eMTB classes are starting to appear at all levels of competition, from local to international. Electric assist in modern mountain bikes allows the rider to produce power on par with world championship racers, making even weekend warriors feel like superstars, which makes for very exciting racing.

In the heat of a race, safety often takes a back seat, leading to various accidents. While most crashes involve just one rider, it’s also not unusual to be taken out by someone else. Since the likelihood of an accident goes up with speed, crashes in eMTB races are quite common.

emtb racing coverage

With a specialty bicycle racing insurance policy from Velosurance one may purchase the optional racing coverage, which will cover the bike in the highest risk category that you simply can’t get anywhere else. Further, if you travel more than 50 miles from home for an organized event and, for reasons beyond your control, such as damage or loss in transit, your bike doesn't make it, the policy will reimburse bike rental fees up to $250 so if you are lucky enough to find a bike to rent, you can save your race. In the event you can't find a bike to rent for the race, you will receive an entry fee reimbursement of up to $500.

Liability coverage

Cycling in general is an accident-prone sport. While many cycling accidents result in nothing more than cosmetic damage and a bruised ego, the situation tends to escalate if someone other than the rider is injured or property damage is caused. If the police are called but there are no witnesses or video evidence, they may assign blame to the cyclist. Even if a cyclist is not at fault, he may still get sued. Liability coverage becomes crucial in such situations, providing representation to defend against legal action. If you ride near pedestrians, cars or other riders, it might be prudent to consider this coverage.

E-bikes fall under significant scrutiny of building owners, HOAs and home insurance providers, since faulty batteries are known to start residential fires. While battery certification and regulations are merely a discussion at the federal level, many apartment complexes and HOAs are already requiring liability insurance for every e-bike stored on the premises. It is a matter of time before your homeowners insurance or HOA will require it as well.

emtb liability coverage

The bicycle insurance policy from Velosurance offers optional e-bike liability coverage with limits ranging from 25,000 and up to $300,000, as long as the bike meets the federal requirements for a Class 1, 2, or 3 e-bike.

Why it makes sense

If riding an electric mountain bike is an important aspect of your lifestyle, purchasing a mountain bike insurance policy is a logical choice. Many of the risks associated with owning and riding an electric mountain bike aren’t covered by conventional insurance and coverage you already have may not be sufficient to cover the risks, leaving you financially vulnerable.

With Velosurance, the value of your bike never depreciates. In the event of a total loss, you'll be reimbursed based on the original purchase price of the bike, minus the deductible. If your bike is damaged as a result of a crash or a theft attempt, we’ll work with the bike shop of your choice to get it repaired and back on the road or trail as quickly as possible. Claims against our policy do not reflect on policies you already have so your rates will not increase.

Velosurance stands out as a unique bicycle insurance specialist that has carefully considered every aspect of the cycling lifestyle, ensuring you have the necessary protection no matter where and what you ride.

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