Victoria’s e-bike shop at risk of closing due to insurance concerns

A family-run e-bike shop in Victoria may have to close if it can’t get proper insurance.

Corinne Besler, co-owner of Ride the Glide, said the e-bike store’s storefront insurance underwriter, Lloyds of London, declined renewal of the store’s commercial and liability insurance for this year due to the fact that the company is in a sector with high responsibility.

“If they decide they don’t want to insure us, we have no other choice, because you have to have insurance to run a business,” Besler said.

She said the company offered the store an insurance premium 300% higher than last year’s costs.

In 2021, the store paid approximately $6,600 for commercial and liability insurance for the year. The quote given to Besler for 2022 is over $20,000 for the year.

“Pair that with all the other increases we’ve absorbed,” Besler said.

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She said cargo containers full of products from China to Victoria cost between $2,000 and $3,000, but that cost has risen to $12,000.

“So it’s just another layer of extra spending,” she added.

The family business opened as Segway Victoria in 2011. It started selling e-bikes and e-scooters in 2017, with no issues getting insurance.

Besler works with another insurance agent to try to convince Lloyds of London to change its mind and reinsure the store.

She said she also contacted MP Lana Popham’s office on Friday asking for help, but had not received a response, and also planned to contact Prime Minister John Horgan.

“Nowadays we say go green. We say buy e-bikes, buy scooters and other micro-mobility devices, but if a company can’t sell them, how are you supposed to get them? Besler asked.

CHEK News has contacted Lloyds of London for comment, but has not received a response.

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Maria R. Newman