Electric bicycles have a lot going for them, helping riders commute faster and farther than pedal bikes and more efficiently than cars, all without needing ultra-toned quads and calves. But now we’re learning about one more big advantage: e-bikes are apparently safer than pedals bikes.
This new data comes from a specialized bicycle insurance provider, Bikmo.
By conducting a survey of over 3,000 of its riders across Europe, Bikmo found that riders of electric bikes accounted for 38% fewer insurance claims compared to pedal bike riders, on average.
The survey included approximately 1,000 e-bike riders and 2,000 pedal bike riders.
Bikmo offers wide-ranging insurance covering everything from damage, theft, personal injury, liability, and more. The company says that they attribute the lower risk seen by e-bike riders to such riders being more risk-averse.
A typical European e-bike, the Ampler Stellar
Bikmo ultimately used the data to set new, lower premiums for electric bike riders after realizing that they weren’t paying out as much on electric bikes.
As explained by David George, Bikmo’s CEO:
“The team here at Bikmo are hugely proud to announce a 25% cut on our electric bike premiums. Believing firmly that e-bikes play a central role in the future of cycling, we want to lead the way in encouraging more people to discover the many benefits they offer.”
This news comes at a time when electric bicycle adoption rates are soaring. The beginning of 2020 already saw a large increase in e-bike ridership, but it was dwarfed by skyrocketing e-bike sales that coincided with COVID19-related lockdowns across the US and around the world.
A Bosch-powered Priority Embark electric bicycle
I find this fascinating, and so I dug into a bit deeper.
While at first I figured we were just talking about personal injury here, I think there’s more to the story.
Personal injury makes sense to me, even if it seems counterintuitive at first. Just because e-bikes are faster doesn’t make them more dangerous. In fact, I think more speed actually makes bicycles safer – up to a point. Slower bikes can find themselves in the danger zone alongside cars for longer periods. This is especially true when pedal bikes slow to a crawl up hills, which is an area where e-bikes excel.
I always feel safer when my e-bike can keep pace with traffic instead of constantly being passed by it.
Next, e-bike riders are much more likely to properly lock their bikes or bring the bikes inside altogether, helping prevent theft. When you’re paying thousands of dollars for an e-bike, you’re much more likely to invest in a second lock.
The same goes for accidental damage. I’ll toss my pedal bike against the wall without a second thought, but I cringe at the thought of dropping my e-bikes.
So I can see how e-bike riders would pose less of a risk to insurers, and I’m glad to see insurers taking note so much that they turn an interesting factoid into hard policy. Anything that gets more people out of cars and onto e-bikes is a good thing, in my opinion!
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