By: 28 March 2024
London sees alarming increase in e-bike fire cases

Prestige Underwriting has found that the average cost of fire-related home insurance claims has risen to over £24,000, an escalation partly attributable to the growth in the use of lithium batteries.


Despite a substantial 63% reduction in domestic fires in the UK since 2007, the costs associated with fire-related claims are expected to continue rising. This is driven, in part, by the increasing prevalence of lithium batteries. In 2007, the average cost of these claims was £6,583, with the cost now having risen to over £24,000.

Prestige Underwriting are urging e-bike manufacturers to proactively engage with insurers and re-double their efforts to ensure that consumers are more clearly informed of the potential risks from lithium batteries and how to mitigate them.

The surge in fires caused by lithium batteries, particularly in e-bikes and e-scooters, poses a new and significant hazard, as highlighted in data produced by the London Fire Brigade.


What is the data saying?

The London Fire Brigade data shows that in 2019 there were just eight fires recorded from e-bikes and e-scooters, rising to 59 in 2021 and 116 in 2022. By December 2023, there had been 150 e-bike, 28 e-scooter and 35 other lithium battery fires in London. This represents a 53% year on year increase in fires caused by lithium batteries compared to 2022 and makes e-bikes and e-scooters the “capital’s fastest-growing fire trend”, according to the Brigade

According to data from the Home Office, the number of domestic fires in the UK decreased from 53,000 in 2007 to 18,800 in 2022. However, the average cost of a fire-related claim skyrocketed from £6,583 in 2007 to £24,021 in 2022, indicating a pressing need for heightened vigilance and collaborative efforts.

Alison Williams, managing director at Prestige Underwriting said: “The escalating pattern in fire-related claims, particularly fuelled by lithium battery-powered devices, is modelling as the capital’s fastest-growing fire risk and demands a collaborative approach to solve. We urge manufacturers to work with insurers to help consumers, and for us to work together to implement preventive measures as well as ensure the safety of these widely used devices.”

Image: Canva.
Emma Cockings
Emma is a content editor for Claims Media.