E-scooters and e-bikes are rapidly increasing in popularity around the world, revolutionising the way we view travel.
During 2018, there were more than 47,000 e-bikes and e-scooters imported into New Zealand, which is 23,326 more than the year prior. This figure has grown significantly since 2008, when just 1,332 e-bikes and e-scooters were imported.
As this mode of transport is still relatively new, there are calls for New Zealand infrastructure and legislation to be adjusted and refined accordingly. By taking such action, it’s hoped that the government can more effectively regulate the use of e-bike and e-scooters across the country.
In Auckland alone, 41,000 individuals own an e-bike, the vast majority of whom are older riders due to the price barrier of such vehicles. To account for this adoption, Auckland Transport has begun installing new separated cycle lanes, improving the safety and accessibility of paths for users across the city.
The Challenges of E-Bikes and E-Scooters
When used responsibly, e-scooters and e-bikes can help users lower their environmental impact, reduce congestion on roads and save money on fuel, storage and vehicle registration. There are, however, still various concerns regarding the use of e-bikes and e-scooters.
If users fail to take the appropriate safety precautions, they risk seriously harming themselves or members of the public. Three months after transportation company Lime brought their e-scooter renting service to Brisbane in Australia, 60 scooter-related injuries had been recorded. In one case, a 50-year-old man was killed after falling downstairs while riding his Lime e- scooter.
If you own or are considering purchasing an e-scooter or e-bike, understanding the regulations that are being enforced in your state is crucial. Those who fail to do so may face legislative consequences, such as fines, while also exposing themselves and those around them to serious risks. In addition to this, if an individual with insurance acts unlawfully and becomes involved in an incident, their claim will likely be unsuccessful. Such breaches will commonly occur when users ride an e-scooter or e-bike that exceeds the 300w limit.
Understanding Insurance for E-Bike and E-Scooters
In New Zealand, there are numerous coverage providers who can assist you in insuring your e-bike or e-scooter. Ando, NZI and Vero all provide cover for e-scooters and e-bikes, as long as they are legally liable under the hire agreement. Such forms of e-transportation are insurable under contents policies, similar to how a standard scooter or bike will typically be covered.
In cases where damage is caused to an e-scooter or e-bike by the hirer, NZI stated that it’s extremely unlikely the user could be eligible for an insurance claim. In most instances, it can be near impossible for users to prove who was responsible for the damage as e-bikes and e-scooters are often left in public areas. In addition to this, hire companies don’t always regularly check the e-vehicles, so it can be difficult to pinpoint when the damage occurred. However, the exact specifications of such coverage will be impacted by the terms and conditions of the hire company in question.
The cover options Ando, NZI and Vero offer for e-bikes and e-scooters are as follows:
- Ando has replacement cover on e-bikes and e-scooters up to 3 years of age and a standard limit of $5,000.
- NZI limit the value of e-bikes and e-scooter to $2,000 under an Echelon contents cover, or Essence contents cover. They don’t offer replacement cover.
- Vero has a replacement policy for e-bikes and e-scooters up to 3 years of age, with a limit of $3,000 unless otherwise specified.
To discuss your e-bike or e-scooter insurance needs, speak with your insurance advisor.
The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.