Reader Question: We have just bought electric bikes costing around €2,000 each and were wondering if we need to insure them. If they are stolen will our house insurance cover them?
Most homeowners in France will have an assurance multirisque habitation home insurance, which covers various different scenarios including theft, fire and flooding.
The majority of these multirisque policies cover normal bicycle thefts – although it is best to check the small print of your contract – but only if the bike is stolen from your house, garden, garage or similar.
You would also need to prove that the bike was adequately protected, whether that is by a locked door, a fence, window shutters etc.
If the bike is stolen outside your home – perhaps when it is tied up in the street or in front of your workplace – your home insurance will not necessarily cover the loss. You will need to check the terms of your policy to determine whether you can claim in this situation.
Further protection for electric bikes
Your electric bike – vélos à assistance électrique or VAE in French – may be covered for theft by your assurance multirisque while it is inside your property, but it should be noted that it is also mandatory to take out insurance against accidents if the bike has a motor exceeding 250w or can go faster than 25km/h.
This is because at these speeds it can cause a similar level of damage to a moped.
These insurance policies will often cover all different types of theft, accidents, fires and flooding as well, and owners are strongly encouraged to have this type of insurance considering the high value of their e-bike.
You will sometimes be required to fit an antitheft device to one of your bike wheels under the terms of these contracts.
For a new e-bike costing €2,000, insurance companies will normally offer a policy costing around €200 per year, although it could be more expensive.
This rate may also vary depending on your address with bikes generally judged to be at more risk in urban areas.
Most contracts will include an excess of €100-€300.
You can find out more about VAE insurance on the government information page Service-public.fr
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