You may have already read this article that we wrote on electric scooters and now you’re wondering if these vehicles are street legal, and whether you should insure them or not. Generally, when you have to ask yourself that question, it’s better to just go on and get an insurance policy. But let’s see what the law says and if you have to do it.
Is there a definite answer?
When you have an object that you will use almost daily, riding it in public around other vehicles, bikes, people, or even cars, it may be worthwhile to insure that object. People don’t take scooters too seriously and consider that their worth is not great enough to be insured, but sometimes it’s better to be safe.
However, there is no certain answer here. It depends on what makes you happier, keeping the money or spending some extra and feeling safer, covered. You need, however, to check with your state’s department of motor vehicles and see if they require you to have any kind of insurance on your electric scooter.
Most of them won’t need anything like that but some require a form of liability insurance, while others will ask you to insure your scooter if you have already been involved in an accident with it.
The dangers of electric scooters
Whether you decide to get insurance for your scooter or not, you should know that riding such a small vehicle can come with some dangers. Many people laugh when hearing that their scooter can be dangerous; however, those people may be the ones that just play around on it on weekends in local parks or something like that.
For the majority of scooter users, this object has become a means of transport from home to work. It’s a transportation vehicle that can be used for a variety of purposes, day by day. Anyway, those using electric scooters are riding them on bike lanes or near cars. Furthermore, they sometimes have to cross paths with pedestrians that pay no attention.
That is why electric scooter injury rates are rising along with the popularity of this transportation method. In 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, for example, there were 83 accidents that involved scooters and 55 victims had to be transported to the hospital. The situation is thus a serious one, considering these accidents involved broken arms, legs or noses.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents were because the scooter riders were hit by cars. So while you aren’t forced to get your scooter insured, it’s best if you do that. You won’t be safer, but you will feel legally better covered.
Furthermore, in a study released in January this year, it was observed that from all the scooter riders involved in accidents in Santa Monica, California, one-third of them had to be transported to the hospital due to severe injuries. Those that suffered the most were the ones that were wearing no helmet. You don’t want to pay for the hospitalization costs.
Do you really need it?
This leads to an issue – authorities don’t compel you to get insurance for your scooter; however, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. But people will often only do the barely minimum to respect the laws, without thinking that sometimes you need to do more than that.
The vast majority of states don’t require you to have insurance for your electric scooter, especially if you’re not riding it on public roads, but be sure to check with your state’s department of motorized vehicles to be 100% certain.
In states like Florida, you aren’t required to have insurance for your scooter, but you do need to do that once you’ve been involved in an accident with it. This seems a bit odd, taking into account that the bad has already happened.
Texas, a state that has fewer regulations when it comes to electric scooters or anything similar, still requires a motorcyclist endorsement on your license, or at least a scooter endorsement. But in states like California, no insurance policy is required and you can ride your scooter freely as long as you have a driver’s license.
If you take daily rides with your scooter to your workplace or school, you should really consider insurance, especially if your scooter is an expensive one. At the end of the day, insurance is there as financial support, in case things go bad. If you don’t want to go that far and insure everything you have, at least try to have liability coverage on your scooter, or an umbrella policy if that’s what works for you.
What kind of insurance to pick?
Those that want to get insurance for their scooter are lucky because all major insurance companies should provide that service for them. Furthermore, there are a lot of policies to choose from, and you can pick more than one if that makes you feel better covered.
For starters, you should consider the bodily injury liability policy. Most often when states or cities require scooter riders to have a type of insurance, this is the one that they want. What this insurance does is cover the medical expenses in case you hit somebody and injure them with your scooter.
You may also consider getting a property damage liability insurance. Instead of covering the medical expenses, this one makes sure you don’t have to pay out of your own pocket when you damage somebody else’s property. That includes cars, bikes, and other objects as well.
The collision option that you can choose is especially useful on scooters as it will pay for the expenses no matter who caused the damage to the scooter. Sometimes accidents happen and because of a pedestrian, you may damage your scooter really badly. Of course, the pedestrian won’t have any type of insurance for that kind of accident, but you will.
A comprehensive insurance policy will make sure that no matter what happens to your scooter, you got it covered. That includes if it’s stolen or if it’s damaged by extreme and unpredictable weather.
The uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist choices will cover you when the other person’s insurance isn’t enough to cover your damages. There are loads of other insurance options that you can choose, so make sure you know them all before making the choice.
How much does it cost?
The cost of an insurance policy for an electric scooter depends on the insurance company that you choose and the coverage options that you want to carry. If you want your scooter covered with most of the insurance policies needed, you will pay around $1,000 per year.
If that sounds like too much for you, you can also only pay $140 for basic coverage. That’s not even that much, considering how much you ride your scooter in a year. There are some expensive insurance companies that will charge you $2,000 each year for a fully-covered electric scooter and if you want to get the liability offers only, you will still have to pay $300.
It’s finally a matter of personal choice, but you really realize that you should have your scooter insured once you get involved in an accident and you have to cover all the expenses yourself. Our personal advice is that, if you use your scooter on a daily basis and you can afford the insurance, you should do it.