Tag Archive: Insurance

  1. Insurers highlight safety and wear and tear hot spots in ebikes

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    Recent reports from German insurance accident research group UDV and German insurer WERTGARANTIE shed light on use, maintenance and risk areas for e-bikes

    Source: SAZ Bike, Saz Bike

    Leading German insurer WERTGARANTIE has shared insights from a survey of 5,000 bicycle and e-bike owners, carried out in partnership with Statista. The study records which components are most often affected by damage, how regularly and by whom the bike is cared for, maintained and repaired, and how the use of bicycles and e-bikes differs.

    The survey, which was representative of the population according to age, gender and federal state, revealed many other findings, for example:

    1. Damages related to third parties, i.e. theft, accidents and vandalism, were experienced by around a third of e-bike riders (33.8 percent) and cyclists (37 percent).
    2. Tires on bicycles wear the most noticeably at 70 percent; 52.5 percent of e-bike tires are affected. Brakes also often fall victim to wear at 55.3 and 53.8 percent respectively.
    3. A large part of maintenance relies on the annual inspection. Professional help is often sought: 47.7 percent of bicycles and 68 percent of e-bikes are inspected and serviced in the specialist workshop.
    4. Bicycles such as e-bikes are still mostly used for leisure purposes. The willingness to use a two-wheeler to get to work is on average 9 kilometers by bike and 12.7 kilometers by e-bike. On average, cyclists would travel 7.4 kilometers for errands such as shopping; E-bike riders 11.4 kilometers.
    5. The highest prevalence of bicycles was found in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg with 93 and 92.7 percent, respectively. E-bikes are particularly popular in Thuringia (54 percent) and Baden-Württemberg (49.9 percent).

    The data was collected in collaboration with Statista. The complete bicycle and e-bike study 2024 is available for free download here.

    Research recently shared by German insurance accident research group Unfallforschung der Versicherer (UDV) was presented with a negative stance on the use of cargo bikes to transport children, with UDV head Kirstin Zeidler saying:

    “Parents predominantly use three-wheeled entry-level models to take their children with them on cargo bikes. These are difficult to drive and highly susceptible to tipping over. They offer children no protection for their heads or upper bodies in the event of an accident. Neither benches nor backrests are sufficient for the safe transport of children. In addition, every second child on a cargo bike does not wear a helmet and a third are not wearing a seatbelt at all or are not wearing it correctly. The most common accident involving cargo bikes is a solo accident, i.e. without the involvement of third parties.”

    Zeidler continued, “Cargo bikes could be safer if they had tilting technology and seats with head protection, effective belts and a safety cell to protect against impact. For example, the existing DIN standard would have to be tightened up.” In addition to the manufacturers, the UDV also holds the legislature accountable: The road traffic regulations for the transport of children on bicycles do not include any special requirements for cargo bicycles. “The legislature should close this regulatory gap quickly,” said Zeidler. Separate approval tests for cargo bikes for transporting children also make sense.”

    It must be noted that, in fact, CEN is currently developing standards for cargocycles, including a standard for passenger transport. The first standards will be published this year and will become applicable in all member states including Germany.

    An initial reaction to the UDV research from the bicycle industry came from industry veteran Albert Herresthal, who wrote to Kristin Zeidler, the new head of the UDV since February. Herresthal wrote that the study was unbalanced. “They explain that bicycle accidents involving children are ‘comparatively rare’ and that the other party in the accident is ‘usually the car’. At the same time, however, there is not a word in your media information about the inadequate infrastructure that is partly responsible for these accidents involving cars. Why not?” Many accidents could be avoided with better cycling infrastructure, says Herresthal, which probably speaks for the entire industry. Herresthal believes that this aspect should not be left out of accident research publications.

  2. Ireland Allows Personal Powered Transporters (PPTs) & Updates E-Bike Classifications

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    The new Irish Road Traffic and Roads Act of 2023 was enacted on 23rd June 2023 and took effect from 31st July 2023. The act is a comprehensive piece of legislation that aims to modernize and future-proof Ireland’s regulatory system to ensure that it can adapt to new technologies as they continue to emerge. A significant part of this legislation, Part 12, will change the definition of a Mechanically Propelled Vehicle (MPV) and will create a new category called a Powered Personal Transporter (PPT). It clarifies the legal status of e-bikes.

    1. Powered Personal Transporters (PPTs): A New Vehicle Class

    This new vehicle category will include e-scooters and future micro-mobility devices. PPTs do not require registration, motor tax, insurance or or a driving licence for use on Irish roads.

    The power, weight and design speed of PPTs are capped as follows:

    • Maximum continuous rated power output of up to 500 W
    • Maximum net weight of 25 kg (battery included)
    • Maximum design speed of up to 25 km/h

    While the Act sets these values for all PPTs, it grants the Minister the authority to adjust them in regulations tailored to specific PPT types. It’s important to note that the use of any PPT will only be legal once specific regulations are in place. The Department of Transport is actively working on regulations for e-scooters, but there are currently no plans to regulate other PPTs, such as self-balancing vehicles for instance, thus making them illegal for use on public roads.

    2. E-bikes: Classifications

    E-bikes will be split into two classifications.

    a. Pedal Assist E-bikes (Pedelecs):

    Power output: Up to or equal to 250W

    Motor cuts before reaching 25 km/h

    Pedelecs falling within these specifications will be classified similarly to regular pedal cycles. Users can continue to ride them on public roads and on cycle and bus lanes. Just like conventional bicycles, they are not allowed on footpaths or motorways. No registration, tax, insurance, or driver’s licence is required for these e-bikes.

    b. E-bikes with Higher Power Output (Speed Pedelecs):

    Power output exceeding 250W and/or motor not cutting out at 25 km/h

    E-bikes falling under this category will be classified as e-mopeds, treated as mechanically propelled vehicles (MPVs), similar to mopeds or motorcycles. Users will need to register, tax, and insure their e-mopeds, and an AM category driver’s licence is mandatory.

    By implementing the insurance exemption in its Road Traffic and Roads Act, Ireland applies the new European Directive 2021/2118 of 24 November 2021 amending Directive 2009/103/EC relating to insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles, and the enforcement of the obligation to insure against such liability.

    In this directive the insurance exemption applies to any motor vehicle propelled exclusively by mechanical power on land with:

    • A maximum design speed of less than 25 km/h; or
    • A maximum net weight of less than 25kg and a maximum design speed of less than 14 km/h

    The regulations for e-mopeds are anticipated to be effective in the first quarter of this year, once administrative arrangements for registration, driver testing, licensing, and taxation are in place.

    Photo by Joseph Kelly on Unsplash

  3. Laka collaborates with Sigma Sports and CycleSoftware

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    Laka has partnered with Sigma Sports and CycleSoftware to provide customers with insurance solutions at the point of sale (POS). 30 days of free insurance is offered to Sigma Sports’ customers on their new bike purchase, after which preferential rates are obtainable. Recognising their integrated approach, CycleSoftware has also introduced Laka’s service to its customers.

    “We are excited to add Laka to our insurance links within CycleSoftware,” said Jebbe Sluiter of CycleSoftware. “Laka has an excellent reputation as an insurer for sporty bikes, e-bikes, and cargo bikes, and we are confident that our bike shop customers will benefit from the addition of Laka to our platform. This enables them to serve their customers even better and provide a seamless experience during the sales process.”

    For the past five years, Laka has won the ‘Best Cycle Insurance Provider Award’, reflective of its cooperative stance regarding issuance policies for customers and businesses alike. Customers are only charged based on the cost of claims submitted in the previous month. There are no upfront payments, so customers benefit from fair premiums. All claims are handled by Laka, who divides the cost and limits each customer’s maximum monthly spend. Caps are based on the value of the equipment insured by each individual member.

    Laka Partnership Manager, Joost Klarenbeek, commented, “Thanks to the collaboration with CycleSoftware, we can expand our reach and make our insurances even more accessible to bicycle shops in the Netherlands. It is important to mention that we do not demand exclusivity from the bike shops we work with. As a result, they retain the freedom to offer other insurers to their customers.”

    Meanwhile, commenting on its collaboration with Sigma Sports, Laka CEO, Tobias Taupitz, remarked, “Laka is proud to partner with Sigma Sports, a well-known name in the UK cycling community, and we’re determined to provide a best-in-class experience for its customers.

    “Together, we can help their customers fully enjoy their bike, knowing that Laka has their backs and swiftly get them back on the saddle if needed.”

    Sigma Sports is renowned for retailing bikes and accessories and supplying in-store services that include maintenance and bike fitting. The partnership with Laka is reflective of Laka’s existing network of similar bike shops and brands.

    James McEuen, CEO of Sigma Sports, added, “At Sigma Sports we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and the highest quality bikes and equipment. We take the same care and attention when choosing those businesses, we partner with and Laka is a perfect example of that same commitment to outstanding quality of care for the customer.

    “It is great to be able to offer 30 days free insurance on their new bike purchase with access to preferential rates thereafter.

    “We know Laka will look after our customers and their bikes in the best way possible and keep them pedalling no matter what.”

  4. Dutch e-bike insurance market grows to €550 million

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    In the past year, the Dutch spent €550 million on insuring their electric bicycles.

    Source: Multiscope

    On average, insurance costs €14 per month. The most popular provider in this insurance market is ANWB. Hybrid bicycles are most often insured (73%). This is evident from the third edition of the E-bike Monitor, a large-scale study by Multiscope among more than 5,000 Dutch people.

    Sharp increase in the e-bike insurance market

    The total e-bike insurance market currently has an annual value of €550 million. Last year it stood at €313 million. This increase is due to the growth in the number of e-bikes, and higher monthly insurance costs. On average, these costs currently amount to €14 per month. Insuring a hybrid bicycle is the most expensive, costing an average of €16 per month. 5% of e-bike owners report a bike having been stolen in the past.

    ANWB most popular insurer

    Most e-bikes are insured through ANWB. In addition to ANWB, ENRA, Kingpolis and Univé also occupy a large part of this insurance market. Unigarant, Allianz and Interpolis follow at some distance. It is striking that 13% of the Dutch do not know with whom their electric bicycle is insured.

    Hybrid bicycles most insured

    Six out of ten electric bicycles are insured. This share is remarkably higher for electric hybrid bicycles (73%). Electric cargo bikes and folding bikes, on the other hand, are insured less often, at 40% and 30% respectively. In general, it can be said that the higher the value of an electric bicycle, the more often it is insured.

    About Multiscope

    Multiscope is a specialist in online market research. We support companies and organizations in making the right decisions through online panels, market reports and innovative research solutions.

    The results in this press release come from the third edition of the E-bike Monitor, a large-scale survey of electric bicycles, electric scooters and light electric vehicles in the Netherlands. The survey surveyed 5,063 respondents aged 18 and over, representing the Dutch population.

  5. VOLT announces partnership with award-winning insurance firm LAKA

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    Source: Volt Bikes

    E-bike manufacturer VOLT has announced its new insurance collaboration with LEVA-EU member LAKA, three-time winners of the Best Cycle Insurance Provider category at the Insurance Choice Awards and pioneers of the ‘collective insurance’ scheme.

    The partnership will be celebrated with an exclusive 30-day free bicycle insurance trial, available online to all VOLT riders, new and old. This collaboration is another step in the UK-based manufacturer’s sustained drive to deliver exceptional products to its customers, with VOLT seeking to ensure that from day one and beyond riders are supported along every step of their journey.

    Just as VOLT continues to expand apace with their focus on innovation, so too does LAKA, with their collective insurance scheme disrupting the industry. LAKA’s collective insurance splits the monthly claims cost across the entire community of riders, a month without any claims is a month without any payment from you and the whole collective. Riders are intrinsically tied to one another, with the system designed to nurture community spirit.

    LAKA’s partnership works in harmony with VOLT’s commitment to delivering the best possible deal for customers, with their flexible insurance having no annual subscription or upfront payment costs and no excess super-fast claims which are usually processed within a day. VOLT and LAKA will ensure you’re protected with both theft and damage coverage.

    At VOLT we’re always looking to partner with organisations that are innovating within our sector. This partnership with LAKA is really exciting, they provide a great scheme which is disrupting the insurance industry. We know our riders will love their unique offer and we can’t wait to see them join ‘the collective’. We’re proud to have worked with LAKA to forge a great deal for all our riders.” – Volt founder and owner, James Metcalfe

  6. Laka’s insurance extends to Germany with the support of Porsche

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    Source: SazBike, M. Huber

    LEVA-EU member Laka, a bicycle insurer based in London, has now launched its service in Germany thanks to support from Porsche Ventures. In its initial stage, the brand will offer digital insurance products in these regions.

    Laka insurance is now available for all bicycles in Germany, including a partnership with Cyklaer e-bikes. Service providers in Germany under Laka insurance include Decathalon, Raleigh, Le Col, and Dockr. As announced in June, this development is facilitated by support from Porsche Ventures.

    Maxim Huber writes, “The insurance provider promises to only bill customers for the actual costs of claims submitted in the previous month. Insured persons should benefit from lower prices with fewer claims, while members are protected from higher collective claims by a monthly price cap. Costs are reduced through a daily updated pricing and risk model, with policyholders being transparent about where their money is going each month, the company says.”

    We are thrilled to bring our modern, refreshing, and collective insurance model to Germany, where micro-mobility is already a part of everyday life and continues to grow,” says Kelly Barnes, CMO of Laka.

  7. Laka and Dockr rebel against outdated industries

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    The European cycle insurer that has disrupted the consumer and commercial insurance market

    LEVA-EU member Laka, the European cycle insurer that has disrupted the consumer and commercial insurance market, is now working with cargo bike subscription giant DOCKR to bring their fresh, entrepreneurial model to the e-mobility market. As part of their DOCKR subscription, thousands of DOCKR clients in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands now benefit from Laka’s award-winning insurance and fleet management system.

    Laka’s appeal to clients is its ability to quickly adapt its unique, tech-based insurance model to provide tailored, cost-effective insurance cover for clients’ specific requirements across Europe. Laka and DOCKR both bring a modern and flexible model to their retrospective industries. Notably, outdated insurance companies are known for locking clients in for long periods with expensive get-out clauses and charging for policy changes. This is where Laka and DOCKR are changing things to better serve the business market. With DOCKR, clients pay via an all-inclusive flexible subscription model, whilst Laka offers flexible insurance contracts that allow daily policy changes; which are more suited to the changing needs of growing delivery fleet companies.

    Both companies also maximize revenue opportunities for their clients. Laka has its own in-house customer services team, who provides award-winning fast service to get riders back on their bikes (41 minutes is the quickest settlement), and DOCKR’s secret lies within its subscription, which includes regular service at the customer’s location and backup vehicles when necessary, thereby maximizing uptime for its users.

    DOCKR is the most recent addition to Laka’s commercial client list, which features Decathlon, Randstad, EAV, Zapp, and Santis Global to name a few, proving that Laka is now uniquely positioned to provide a comprehensive, cost-effective, and versatile commercial insurance model (covering e-cargo bikes, delivery riders, and cycles), across Europe and the UK.

    Tobias Taupitz, Laka CEO said “We listened to clients’ pain points with traditional insurance to develop a product that challenges the outdated insurance model. Laka provides tech-driven flexible policies to better suit their needs; whether they are a global company or a fast-growing (and fast-changing) start-up. DOCKR is one of those fast-growing companies. We are delighted to work with the DOCKR team, who are aligned with Laka’s disruptive approach of rebelling against outdated models to do things differently, to do them better.”

    Nadine van der Hoorn, Managing Director at DOCKR said ”At DOCKR we look for innovation and customer-focus in all partners we work with. These are key drivers for us and our partners to grow with the disruptive DOCKR Model. When starting conversations with LAKA we’ve found a partner who will work with us (instead of against us) to offer our customers the best possible cargo solution in inner cities. This requires courage from both of us to embrace the unknown.”

    Van der Hoorn goes on to explain that, every day the inner cities become more congested with traffic, and CO2 emissions continue to rise. That’s why DOCKR is on a mission to make the inner cities a better place. DOCKR delivers flexible all-in subscriptions for electric cargo vehicles because they believe mobility should be easy, accessible, and sustainable. DOCKR helps its customers with their logistical challenges so they can focus on their core business. Whether your company is big or small, there is an ideal DOCKR for everyone. No big investments upfront and no long-term commitments. With DOCKR’s service and preventive maintenance, they ensure that your vehicle is always on the road to guarantee you maximum uptime.

    DOCKR is growing rapidly and they want to conquer the European market with their all-inclusive subscription. To make this rapid growth possible, they are looking for new investors so that they can make the city center a better place, not only in the Netherlands, Belgium & Germany but in all of Europe!

    For further information about Laka visit the Laka website at www.laka.co
    For further information about DOCKR visit the DOCKR website at www.dockrmobility.com

  8. LEVA-EU asks EP to exclude L1e-A from Motor Insurance Directive (MID)

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    Following the IMCO vote, not all electric bicycles will be excluded from the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive. LEVA-EU is working for the exclusion of at least one more category of electric bicycles, i.e. L1e-A “powered cycles”. The category is already hampered by its technical rules and will be further obstructed by a mandatory insurance.

    The current Directive gives the Member States the competence to exclude certain vehicles from the MID. In the majority of the Member States this clause was used to exclude electric bicycles with motor power up to 250W and assistance up to 25 km/h. In a number of Member States, other light, electric vehicles such as electric scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric hoverboards, etc. are also excluded on the basis of this clause.
    All the above could have been jeopardized because the European Commission believes that a larger variety of vehicles should be included. They proposed a text to the European Parliament (EP) aimed at making these vehicles subject to a mandatory motor vehicle insurance.

    IMCO Vote

    IMCO, which is the Parliamentary Committee responsible for this Directive, did not accept the original proposal of the European Commission (EC). They decided that a mandatory motor vehicle insurance must apply to all L-category vehicles in Regulation (EU) No 168/2013. As a result, Member States retain the competence not to apply a mandatory motor vehicle insurance to:
    1) Electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h and maximum 250W
    2) Self-balancing vehicles and vehicles without a seating position, such as electric scooters, hoverboards, etc.
    However, all other categories of electric bicycles in Regulation 168/2013 will definitively become subject to a compulsory Motor Vehicle Insurance.  In LEVA-EU’s opinion it would be a serious mistake to include L1e-A vehicles in the MID.  This concerns electric bicycles with a motor assistance up to 25 km/h and a maximum continuous power of 1 kW, which are categorized as L1e-A “powered cycles”.

    Legal bottleneck

    The only difference between this category of electric bicycles and the category with pedal assistance up to 25 km/h that is excluded from Regulation 168/2013 is the fact that they have a higher maximum continuous power. This higher power is by no means meant to make the electric bicycles faster, the motor cuts out at 25 km/h anyway.
    The limit of 250 W, which applies to the category that is excluded from Regulation 168/2013, has been determined in 1999 in a completely arbitrary way. It was the limit of one of the very few electric bicycles on the market at that time, i.e. the Yamaha Pass.
    Since then, this arbitrary limit continues to cause a legal bottleneck for the development of electric bicycles.
    Regulation 168/2013 and the resulting type-approval procedure is an extremely expensive, complicated and inaccurate technical framework for these vehicles. As a result, there are hardly any vehicles type-approved in this category. The very few companies that do try to cope with the legal bottleneck of type-approval for L1e-A”powered cycles” will encounter another setback if member states will be forced to make L1e-A “powered cycles” subject to a motor vehicle insurance.
    Today, there are Member States, such as Belgium, which have given L1e-A vehicles the exact same status as a conventional bicycle. This includes among other things, bicycle status on the road, objective liability, financial compensation for commuting, no compulsory helmet, etc. If L1e-A is not explicitly excluded from the new MID, all this will be jeopardized and the legal bottleneck for L1e-A will become even worse. Furthermore, there are no safety arguments to include L1e-A in the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive.

    For all the above reasons, LEVA-EU is now lobbying the European Parliament with a view to having category L1e-A excluded from the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive.

    For further details, please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 9 233 60 05.

  9. Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive: LEVA-EU asks EP to exclude certain LEVs

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    The European institutions are currently reviewing the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive. This is relevant to the sector of light, electric vehicles because this Directive stipulates which vehicles are subject to a special motor vehicle insurance.

    So far, there was a clause in the Directive, which gave the member states the authority to exclude certain vehicles from the motor vehicle insurance directive. In the majority of the member states this clause was used to exclude electric bicycles with motor power up to 250W and assistance up to 25 km/h. In a number of member states, other light, electric vehicles such as scooters, self-balancing vehicles, electric hoverboards, etc. were also excluded on the basis of this clause.

    All this may now be jeopardized because the European Commission believes that a larger variety of vehicles should be included. They have proposed a text to the European Parliament (EP), to which the EP has developed a number of amendments. These amendments will be voted in the IMCO Parliamentary Committee on Tuesday 22 January.

    Two amendments are aimed at excluding all vehicles that are excluded from Regulation 168/2013 from this insurance, two other amendments are rather aimed at making these vehicles also subject to the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive.

    In anticipation of the vote on Tuesday,  LEVA-EU has sent a statement to all members of the IMCO Committee. LEVA-EU requests them to approve the amendments aimed at excluding those vehicles that are excluded from Regulation 168/2013 as well as L1e-A category vehicles. The latter are already severely obstructed by an aberration in technical legislation and would be further hampered if they were made subject to a motor vehicle insurance. LEVA-EU also requests the MEPs to vote against the two amendments aiming at enlarging the scope of the Motor Vehicle Insurance Directive.

    LEVA-EU will continue to monitor this issue very closely and will continue to discuss this with the European authorities with a view to obtain the best outcome for the European LEV-Sector.

    For further information, please contact LEVA-EU Manger, Annick Roetynck, email leva-eu@telenet.be, tel. +32 9 233 60 05.

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