More and more people are opting for electric motorcycles and scooters to save money or to be environmentally conscious. These motorbikes and scooters, which are approved for use on public roads, are nevertheless risky for their riders and for other road users. Therefore, these means of transport must be insured in the same way as combustion-powered vehicles. In this article, we will look at the different insurance options available, some tips on how to choose cheap insurance…
What the law says
French law lays down a simple rule: all motorised land vehicles must be insured, whether they are travelling on the public highway or on any private road (land or path). This rule comes from Article L211-1 of the Insurance Code. Consequently, even if its engine is electric, a zero-emission scooter or motorbike remains a land vehicle that must be insured. You must therefore take out at least a third-party electric scooter or electric motorbike insurance policy with third-party liability cover. This means that in the event of bodily injury or material damage to others (other drivers or pedestrians), this insurance will cover you and will be responsible for compensating the victim. In addition, you should be aware that if you do not have insurance, you risk heavy penalties if you are subject to a gendarmerie or police check.
The different insurance packages
You can choose between several formulas such as those dedicated to the insurance of two wheels with internal combustion engines (bicycle, scooter, motorbike insurance). It is also possible to benefit from a personalised package. You will have access to three options. The third-party plan is the basic insurance. It is the cheapest but obviously it contains the least coverage. It is generally limited to civil liability and legal recourse cover. You and your machine are therefore not covered in the event of a claim. It is simply the legal minimum to protect third parties you may injure while riding your two-wheelers. A word of advice: a zero-emission motorbike or scooter is expensive to buy. So, if you have bought your vehicle new or if it is still valuable, you should know that the third-party policy does not include theft cover and that it is better to choose a more comprehensive policy. The intermediate plan includes the third-party plan plus theft and fire insurance. If your electric scooter or motorbike is stolen, your insurance will compensate you on the basis of its replacement value (option to choose) or after applying a depreciation coefficient. You should be aware that your electric motorbike or scooter, while charging its battery in a closed and private car park, is highly vulnerable to theft, and even worse than this if it is parked on the public highway. Intermediate insurance is therefore essential, especially in the event of vandalism or fire. Another crucial piece of advice: given the cost of your electric vehicle, it is preferable to take out at least an intermediate insurance policy or a third-party insurance policy coupled with the theft option, if your budget allows it. A comprehensive policy is the top-of-the-range policy, the cost of which is calculated mainly on the basis of the value of the vehicle to be insured. This is the most secure option, covering the motorbiker (personal guarantee for all damages), the vehicle (damage guarantee for all accidents) and third parties (civil liability guarantee). But, if your budget does not allow you to subscribe to this formula, which remains the best optio; try at least to choose the intermediate formula which you can complete with one or several additional guarantees.
Possible additional options
When you choose your insurance contract for your electrically assisted two-wheeler, you will benefit from the same options as for thermal vehicles. Your insurance policy will therefore be completely customisable and you will be able to choose a policy to which you can add one or more options that you consider necessary in relation to your needs and driving habits. Here are the different optional guarantees that will be offered to you: theft, fire, natural disaster (only if a ministerial decree has been published), assistance (breakdown service, towing and transport of the insured and his/her passenger), glass breakage (on the lights and indicators in the event of a claim), equipment (replacement of the helmet and the driver’s equipment in the event of a claim), secondary rider (possibility of adding another insured to the contract), and handlebar loan (if you occasionally lend your two-wheeler to a third party). You should be aware that insurance companies offer more attractive prices for electric motorbikes and scooters. You can certainly benefit from a 20-30% discount compared to a contract for a combustion vehicle. You should therefore make significant savings on this type of expense. And for a similar budget, you’ll get much better protection for your electric bike than for a petrol vehicle.
Tips for finding cheap insurance for an electric two-wheeler
When comparing quotes from insurers for your electric bike, don’t just look at the price. Often an insurance policy that advertises a lower price will offer you less coverage. It is therefore advisable to pay particular attention to the basic cover (the one which is automatically included in the contract), the optional cover and its impact on your annual budget, the deductibles (necessarily included in the contract), the compensation ceilings, and the obsolescence coefficient (applied in the event of a claim to compensate your vehicle). The aim is to check, for the budget you have defined beforehand, which insurance offers the best level of cover. Comparing all the policies will certainly take time, but it is important to do so in order to get the best cover for your needs. And remember that you can buy insurance at an agency, online or from a broker.