If you're an electric bike owner or are thinking of purchasing one, it's important to know that it's not the same as owning a bicycle. From provincial rules and regulations to insurance options, you'll want to be aware and prepared before riding an electric bike on the road. Let's get started with some common questions.
An electric bike (also known as an E-bike) is a power assisted bicycle. It typically has all the same features of a bicycle (pedals, handlebar, two to three wheels, braking system) except it includes an electric motor.
You may think that since riding an E-bike is similar to riding a bicycle, that the same rules apply. And while some rules may be the same in some provinces, some rules are different too. For example, age. If you want to ride an E-bike, there is an age requirement in most provinces. Here are the age requirements for all applicable provinces:
ON1, BC2, PEI3 – Minimum age of 16 years old.
QC4, SK5, MB6 – Minimum age of 14 years old.
AB7 – Minimum age of 12 years old.
Note: If your home province isn't listed, there may not be any formal age restriction to ride an E-bike.
When it comes to licenses, most provinces don't require you to have one to ride an E-bike. However, in some provinces like Quebec, a license is required if you're under 18 years old.4 Check out your specific provincial regulations to find out more details about licensing and age requirements.
These rules vary by province. For example, in Ontario, E-bike riders can't ride their bikes on expressways, some highways and sidewalks1 where bicycles are banned, whereas in Quebec, E-bikes are allowed on all roads except highways.4 If you're unsure where you can ride your E-bike around town, check your provincial highway traffic act to see what rules apply to you.
Insurance for an E-bike isn’t mandatory. But, if you have home insurance, some coverage for your E-bike may be included (up to your policy limits) for theft or other losses. It's important to check your policy limits and conditions to ensure you have sufficient coverage to protect your ride. If you're an existing TD Insurance customer interested in additional coverage for your E-bike, consider adding Personal Valuables Coverage to your policy. Or, contact an insurance advisor to discuss other options for added protection for your E-bike.
If you're involved in an accident with your E-bike, you'll need to have coverage via your home insurance policy in order for it to be covered for physical damages. You can contact your insurer to start a claim. Or, if you're a TD Insurance customer, you can start a home insurance claim via the TD Insurance app.
If injuries were caused from an accident with a pedestrian or cyclist, your home insurance's liability coverage should come into play. If injuries were caused from an accident with a motor vehicle, their accident benefits coverage from their car insurance policy should kick in. Whether your home or car insurance policy coverage comes into play will depend on the type of accident and who is considered at fault or responsible.
In the event your E-bike is stolen, you should contact your local police (not the emergency line) and file a missing bike report. Whether you have additional coverage for your E-bike or a standard home insurance policy that includes coverage for your E-bike, you should contact your insurer to notify them of your stolen ride. If you're a TD Insurance customer, you can start a home insurance claim through the TD Insurance app. Keep in mind that you will have to pay your agreed upon deductible first, and that your home insurance premiums may be adjusted as a result of making a claim.
Although insuring your E-bike isn't mandatory, it's important to understand what options are available to you to help protect your investment. If you're an existing TD Insurance customer, you can review and manage your existing home insurance policy via MyInsurance. Or, you can chat with a TD Insurance Advisor for further information on what types of coverage would work best for you.