Electric scooters can be insured, but talking to an agent is the best approach to find out what legal aspects apply in your case. This is a new type of transportation on which you can find out more info here, so car insurance won’t cover caused damages, but a homeowner’s one might do the trick.
Electric scooters are increasingly popular devices that might be the key to a more relaxed and comfortable urban mobility, which is why many people are choosing them over cars or public transportation. Thanks to their sleek and compact design, scooters can easily make their way through traffic, thus saving a lot of time, especially when commuting during rush hours.
It’s true that these vehicles have started out mostly as toys for kids, but in the last years, there have been many innovations that made scooters an excellent choice for adults as well. While all of these are excellent news, especially for those living in crowded cities, there are some downsides that come together with technological progress.
Some of the dangers
Smartphones and other forms of technology make today’s drivers and traffic participants less and less aware of what is going on around them. Moreover, electric scooters do have some safety downsides compared to cars, in that the user is fully exposed in case of an accident, given that there is nothing around to protect him or her.
While the speeds that an electric scooter can attain cannot compare to those of a car, there are still many ways in which a person can get injured, whether we’re talking about the one using the scooter or about pedestrians. Reports show us that the number of incidents and accidents involving scooters is increasing, as there are more and more such vehicles on the streets.
Given this context, some of you might wonder whether an electric scooter can be insured or not, and even if this is a good idea. Once you land in the world of insurance policies, things tend to get very complicated.
Despite the many dangers to which riders are exposed when using a scooter, most of them are not insured, which means they run the risk of becoming liable in case something goes wrong and they cause damage. If a user has personal health insurance, then this could help defray some of the costs of his or her own medical bills in case of an accident.
However, there is another situation which is usually far more complex, namely the one in which a pedestrian is injured, or when someone’s property is damaged. While the rider has every chance of being held responsible, most insurance policies won’t cover these expenses.
How are scooter renting companies approaching this matter?
Since the micro-mobility industry is booming, it was only natural for companies to start renting such services. Two of the largest companies in the United States, namely Lime and Bird, have impressive fleets and a large presence, which means that they need to deal with accidents one way or another.
These companies generally place the responsibility for incidents and accidents on riders, and this is clearly stated in the rental agreement that any user needs to sign before hopping onto a scooter. On the other hand, according to these companies, riders are fully insured in case anything happens as a result of a faulty scooter.
Some of their insurance policies go over $1 million in liability coverage for certain claims, but given that each case is different, there is no way to know for sure if a claim will be covered until an investigation is done.
The legal system is not ready to deal with such claims either since scooters are such new modes of transportation that there is not too much precedent to determine a course of action. According to lawyers working on such cases, waivers of liability can hold up in court, but this is something that can change as more injury cases are litigated.
What about individual users?
Some of those who are riding scooters think that their auto insurance might cover an electric scooter accident, but they are usually wrong about this. Automobile insurance generally covers vehicles that have four wheels, so you see where the problem might be.
Moreover, if you are thinking about using a homeowner’s insurance, this may only cover accidents that occur on regular bicycles, but not their motorized counterparts. Therefore, if you are asking yourself what you should do, experts suggest that you should call your insurance agent and see what policy might apply in your case.
There is another matter about electric scooters that you need to be aware of, namely that their legal standing is not always very clear. Depending on the state you live in and, many times, even on the city too, there are special laws and regulations that you need to comply with in order to legally ride your vehicle on public roads.
If you don’t pay attention to this, then you may be held liable for more if anything goes wrong. Therefore, besides calling your agent to see what type of insurance you could go for and what costs are involved, you also need to check with local authorities to make sure that everything about you riding an electric scooter is legal.
Going back to insurance policies, if you have a homeowner’s or renter’s one, there’s a chance that you may be able to add what is known as an “umbrella policy”, and this could cover more scenarios, including those involving an electric scooter.
Do you really need insurance?
There is no clear answer to this question since there are multiple factors that need to be taken into account. First of all, you need to check and see what the law is in the area you live in. Depending on the state, you may need to get some sort of insurance once you take your scooter out on public roads.
In Florida, for example, you are not legally required to have one, but you do need it if an accident has taken place. It might seem a bit odd, but who said that laws always make sense? California is even more relaxed when it comes to these matters, and no insurance policy is required as long as you have a valid driver’s license.
On the other hand, it’s very important to consider the legal implications of riding a scooter. Sure, these are lightweight and handy devices that aren’t likely to cause significant damage. However, in the hands of an irresponsible rider or if a car is involved in any way, then things can quickly turn for the worst.
Another factor that might influence your decision to get insurance or not is how often you are using the scooter. If you are riding to work and back home every day, especially in a crowded city, then chances are that something might happen eventually.
On the other hand, if you are simply using it from time to time during weekends or you live in an area with little traffic, then you probably shouldn’t worry about it if it’s not legally required.
Other details on insurance policies
When it comes to urban traffic, things could get out of hand. For example, according to insurance specialists and lawyers, if a rider causes a car crash, he or she could still be held responsible from a financial point of view for damages to the car, even if the injuries suffered are bad.
If a pedestrian is injured by a rider, then the latter is probably going to pay for all the medical bills, pain, suffering, and lost wages. Plus, since many riders are not very experienced when it comes to these vehicles, the chances of causing an accident are significantly higher.
In the end, it’s mostly a matter of choice, so take into consideration all the factors and remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.