Although both motorists and cyclists don’t seem to crazy about them, electronic bicycles (e-bikes) are flying off the shelves these days. They’re cheap to buy, cheap to run and don’t leave much of a carbon footprint.
They are, however, subject to provincial traffic laws; that is, they can ride in traffic with motor vehicles, like scooters, and their operators mustn’t drive recklessly or under the influence of alcohol. Here’s a good summary of the existing rules.
More importantly, they also don’t need a license or insurance, according to a recent Ontario Court of Justice ruling. But taking that latter option at face value might be shortsighted, warns My Insurance Shopper.
“Like any motorized vehicle, there is a liability risk attached with owning this type of vehicle. If you’re an owner of this type of motorized vehicle you need to know that you may have no liability coverage if you get into an accident, and you could find yourself without coverage if you cause property damage or worse, injure another person.”
Normal car insurance contains liability coverage but homeowners policies are structured a bit differently and generally exclude motorized vehicles except for lawn mowers, other gardening equipment, snow blowers, wheelchairs and motorized golf carts on the golf premises.
But a good number of policies exclude e-bikes as well.
No insurance required doesn’t mean you’re not at risk. It’s important to educate yourself on your policy and exercise caution when purchasing and using these types of vehicles, MIS warns.
Do you drive an e-bike? Do you worry about what might happen in an accident?