New electric mobility: are you well insured?

Fan of the electric bike or converted to the motorized scooter, missing out on your insurance obligations can cost you dearly…

Whether you live in a big city or a tourist resort, you have inevitably come across electrically assisted bicycles (VAE), electric scooters, monowheels or other Segways.

In recent years, these strange machines have invaded our roads… and sometimes our sidewalks!

In 2020, 514,000 electric bicycles, 640,000 electric scooters and 7,100 monowheels were sold, according to the Professional Federation of Micro-Mobility (FP2M), which today estimates the number of users of electric scooters at 2 million.

“By 2025, 1.5 million electric scooters should be sold per year”, according to Jocelyn Loumeto, its general manager.

Amendment of the Highway Code

In order to regulate this “urban jungle”, the Highway Code was modified in October 2019. The official term became “EDPM” for personal motorized transport device. “An EDPM is assimilated to a motor vehicle, because it is a self-propelled machine, but classified separately, because you can take it with you,” explains Catherine Mathon-Brillaud at Allianz France.

The electrically assisted bicycle that requires human strength (the electric motor does not start if the user does not pedal) remains in the category of bicycles. Subtleties that change everything in terms of traffic rules and insurance obligations.

Good news, for the electrically assisted bicycle, limited to 25 km/h (not to be confused with an electric bicycle or “speed bike” which can go up to 45 km/h and assimilated to a moped), you do not have to no need for specific insurance for damage caused to third parties: whether you hit a pedestrian or a parked car, you are covered by the civil liability of your home insurance, as well as all the members of your household.

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Please note that this insurance does not cover you if you are injured after a fall or an accident without an identified third party. Admittedly, your care is covered by Social Security and your mutual health insurance, but the more serious consequences (work stoppage, disability, even death) will only be covered if you have taken out life accident cover (GAV) called also “bodily harm”. If you use your e-bike frequently, this is an option to consider.

Beware of exclusions in the event of theft

As for the theft of your bike, if the mischief takes place at home, you are covered by your home insurance. Elsewhere, an option is required. But beware of the many exclusions: the theft may only be covered if the bike has been attached with a good padlock to a fixed point and has not been committed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the public highway.

Theft and breakage insurance can be an extension of home insurance or a specific contract insuring leisure equipment. With an average purchase price of 2,100 euros for a VAE, insurance should be considered, despite its cost (add 50 to 100 euros each year).

A dedicated contract for scooters

For scooters and other similar gear, it’s a different story. Rest assured, if you, or your children, use a non-electric scooter, a skateboard or simple rollerblades, you are assimilated to a pedestrian and the civil liability of your home insurance covers you.

On the other hand, as soon as they are motorized (but restricted to 25 km/h because beyond that, they are simply not authorized to circulate), it is compulsory to insure them with a dedicated contract, different from the housing contract. , such as a scooter or a car. Like 49% of French people, you may not have known it. But normally the seller had to let you know. It’s the law!

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The price of this basic civil liability, the equivalent of third-party insurance for your car, is around 50 euros per year. Many insurers offer them, but not all of them offer the same level of service. Do not hesitate to use specialized brokers (Wizzas, Mobi-in, etc.) who market very well-designed contracts. L’Anumme (1) lists all these operators on its site.

A green card to stick on the machine

As for your car, the insurer delivers you a green card to stick on the machine or to keep on you. In 2020, only 62% of EDPM owners had taken out insurance (2). Negligence that can be costly: non-insurance is punishable by a fine of 3,750 euros. A scourge for the Victims Guarantee Fund (which compensates in the event of non-insurance). It is currently processing 650 claims from victims of traffic accidents caused by urban mobility vehicles (motorized or not). In 96% of cases, the electric scooter is involved. Remember that the guarantee fund then systematically turns against the author to be reimbursed.

Beyond the compulsory insurance, as for the bike, consider insuring yourself for bodily injury. The use of EDPMs is very accident-prone: 68% of accidents are falls (and not collisions) and 70% occur in the first six months of driving. “The electric scooter is not a toy!” says Jocelyn Loumeto. You have to take the time to practice.”

With an average age of 38.7 years, EPDM owners are increasingly cautious: 86% say they wear a helmet (it’s highly recommended!). This is not the case for the sometimes more lax self-service users (see box below).

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Finally, for these devices that can be taken everywhere and easily stored in the closet of its entrance, the theft guarantee seems superfluous. Moreover, insurers do not even offer it!

(1) Anumme is the national association of electric micro-mobility users.

(2) Uses, risks and accidents of EDPMs – Smart Mobility Lab – FFA, Assurance Prévention and FPMM – October 2020.

Velibleu Self-service bikes and scooters: check the insurance

Vélib, Vélo’v, Zoov, Pony, Lime, Dott, Tier, Bird… In French cities, self-service electric bike and scooter rental companies are legion. When you borrow a bicycle or an electric scooter, civil liability is included in the rental. Provided you follow the rules: be of legal age, wear a helmet (outside urban areas), do not drive on the sidewalk, in pairs or under the influence of alcohol, etc.

In addition, some rental companies include accident cover in the rental package, others do not. In the latter case, if you fall alone, you will not be covered!

Our advice: if you, or your student children, are used to borrowing it, think about Life Accident Guarantee (GAV) insurance which will cover the whole family. As for theft or breakage, be careful: lock the bike at a fixed point and remember to recover the proof of return.

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