A Personal Insurance Update
Scooters are popping up all over cities across the country. They have been popular in Europe for years. We are at the beginning of this new form of personal transportation, which creates a few questions regarding risk, liability, and insurance coverage.
Scooter usage Facts (Forbes)
· 4.4 % of riders wear helmets
· 80% of accidents are results of falling
· Head trauma is the most common type of injury
Most cities don't have regulation or rules because they don't qualify as a motor vehicle. Some cities require a driver's license and helmet, but these are mostly on the honor system. Users can rent the scooter then leave it anywhere they want, (in your front yard or in front of your business).
Insurance companies are busy trying to figure out who is liable in the event a scooter injurrs someone. What if the scooter rider injures someone while on the job, will the injuries be covered under workers' compensation and any liability be the responsibility of the employer insurer? Business insurance policies may not address scooters specifically. Depending on the circumstances, some electric scooter-related injuries may be covered while others may not.
Right now, most insurers will not cover scooters crashes; auto insurers also will not cover them as they are not defined as an automobile.
Scooter companies have strict waivers that are included in the rental agreement limiting any liability to the rental companies. One company offers a $1,000,000 liability policy, but all claims would be subject to extensive investigations.
Most legal experts agree that the rider will bear the legal liability arising from accidents because of the terms to which the rider agrees to when downloading the app. The laws, the courts, and the insurance industry are often slow to respond to new technology, and this may be the case with electric scooters. Relatively few laws specific to e-scooters have been passed
We recommend that you contact your insurance agent to discuss if your personal insurance provides any coverage or if you need to add coverage to your program.
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