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Bicycles are becoming increasingly popular - unfortunately also with thieves

The Rostock-based InsurTech hepster has experienced the boom in digital bicycle and e-bike insurance and looks back on the development of its insurance solutions.
Published 14 Mar 2024
PR Fahrradversicherungen

Rostock, 14 March 2024. Germany is experiencing a bicycle boom. The bicycle, especially the electric version, is becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately, this also applies to thieves, which is why bicycle insurance is experiencing an upswing. The first independent bicycle insurance policies have been around for 100 years, but it is only in recent years that a variety of specialised providers have established themselves in this segment. Rostock-based InsurTech hepster also experienced the boom in digital bicycle and e-bike insurance during and after the coronavirus pandemic and can now look back on the development of its insurance solutions in the mobility sector.

Increase in bikes and thieves at an all-time high

The figures speak for themselves:

4 million bikes were sold in total in Germany in 2023, including 2.1 million e-bikes, which surpassed sales of classic bikes for the first time, according to the industry association ZIV when it presented the latest figures on 13 March 2024, bringing the total number of bikes in Germany to 84 million. 13 million more than ten years previously.

However, this development has also been accompanied by an increase in theft:

  • Insurers' payments for stolen bicycles reached an all-time high of 140 million euros in 2022
  • According to crime statistics, the total number of stolen bicycles increased by 14 per cent to around 266,000 in 2022. The number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher.
  • In the top three negative places: Göttingen (1,427 thefts per 100,000 inhabitants), Münster (1,324) and Magdeburg (1,103)

This also leads to more bicycle insurance:

More and more bicycles and e-bikes as well as thefts - so the need for suitable insurance is also increasing. According to a survey conducted by Check24 in 2020, 42 per cent of bicycles are insured: 38 per cent via household contents insurance and 4 per cent with extra bicycle insurance. For e-bikes, the figure is as high as 70 per cent, with 50 per cent covered by household contents insurance and 20 per cent by separate insurance, according to Check24.

If a bicycle or e-bike is stolen from a locked storage room, cellar or flat, household contents insurance covers the damage. However, the theft usually takes place outside. Protection is provided here by an additional clause in the household contents policy - which around half of the 27 million insurance policies have. However, the maximum compensation is often limited to a certain percentage of the household contents. Special insurance is therefore particularly useful for more expensive bikes and e-bikes. After all, thieves specifically target high-quality racing bikes, e-bikes or mountain bikes in order to sell them on. It is no coincidence that the average loss per stolen bike has more than doubled since 2014 (GDV).

A success story: digital mobility insurance with hepster

As a digital insurer, the Rostock-based InsurTech hepster also has e-bike insurance in its portfolio. Since 2018, hepster has insured more than 250,000 bicycles and e-bikes across all channels. This shows that

  • 69 per cent of e-bikes are insured for between €2,500 and €4,500. Between €2,500 and €5,000, the figure is as high as 74 per cent.
  • 61 per cent of bikes are insured for between 750 and 2,000 euros. In the 750 to 3,000 euro range, the figure is as high as 78 per cent.
  • Bicycle insurance is most popular in the 25 to 45 age group, which corresponds to around 63 per cent of all hepster mobility insurance policies booked.
  • 50 per cent of all booked hepster e-bike insurance policies go to 45 to 65-year-olds. The 65 to 99 age group accounts for 17 per cent.

Tommy Herzer, Head of Insurance Product at hepster, explains: "We continuously evaluate the benefits, conditions, sums insured and claims of our bicycle and e-bike insurance policies - for and with our customers and partners. This is the only way we can tailor our insurance policies to different needs and business models, for example to meet the requirements of private and leasing customers."

Accordingly, hepster e-bike insurance has expanded considerably since 2018: initially focussing on private customers, numerous companies from the leasing, sharing, renting, circular economy and retail sectors now also find the right solution for themselves and their customers - depending on their needs. Demand in the leasing sector in particular has changed in recent years: In addition to classic comprehensive insurance, letters of protection, GAP cover, instalment protection and liability insurance are becoming increasingly popular as optional modules.

The future of bicycle insurance

And what does the near future of bicycle insurance look like? Herzer concludes: "We are constantly optimising our products and working on comprehensive insurance solutions in addition to classic comprehensive insurance. After all, cycling, mobility concepts relating to bicycles and the bicycles themselves have become more diverse. Traditional insurers are facing major challenges in adapting to the dynamics of the market. InsurTechs such as hepster have successfully established themselves on the market to meet precisely this need for users and companies - to offer digital and flexible insurance solutions."

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