After Northern Irish legislation to encourage e-bike use and abolish rules which requires riders to insure their bike and pass a moped test were brought forward this month, comparison site Compare NI are set to offer a new type of specific e-bike insurance to coincide with the law changes.
Confusing laws in Northern Ireland that differ to the rest of the UK require e-bikers to pass a theory test and hold a moped licence, wear a motorcycle helmet, MOT their bikes and register it with the DVLA - extras Compare NI say can costs e-bikers from £290 to £1,000 more to use an e-bike compared to riders across the rest of the UK.
Stormont now plans to reclassify e-bikes as bicycles rather than mopeds, which Compare NI say will lead to an "e-bike revolution" with plenty of health benefits for businesses and the public. While insurance won't be compulsory under the new rules which brings Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK, Compare NI praised the changes and are still recommending e-bikers take out their new e-bike insurance that is tailor-made for the new legislation.
The Belfast company were one of the first comparison sites to offer bike insurance, and previously didn't offer e-bike insurance because of "regulatory hurdles" e-bikers faced; but their new tailor-made e-bike insurance is ready to go as soon as the new legislation passes, which brings Northern Ireland in sync with the rest of the UK.
Founder Greg Wilson said: "We're delighted the restoration of power-sharing will mean Northern Ireland will now be able to benefit from the world's growing enthusiasm for electric bikes. E-bikes are one of the biggest trends in transport, and could offer huge benefits for people, the province and small businesses.
"We've been advocating for some time for the introduction of legislation in Northern Ireland that will align the province's rules around electric bikes with the rules governing them in England, Scotland and Wales. With the Northern Ireland Executive confirming that that legislation is now in the works, we've integrated the same functionality into CompareNI.com and are ready to launch this comparison service for electric bike insurance in Northern Ireland as soon as the new bill is passed."
A spokesman for Northern Ireland's Department for Infrastructure (DFI) said that while e-bike insurance would not be compulsory owners should consider the benefits, and also confirmed owners of EAPCs [electric-assisted pedal cycles] will no longer be required to register, license and insure their e-bikes for use on public roads.