Who Covers The Costs In Scooter Crashes?
As a society, we are becoming more globally conscious in addressing issues of transportation and how it affects climate change. IN addition to their wide appeal to consumers with a conscience, cities across the country have also opted to make electric scooters available to rent for commuters and tourists.
AP reporter, Cathy Bussewitz, recently penned an article appearing in the Houston Chronicle last month. In it, she asks when accidents involving electric scooters do happen, who’s liable to pay for damages? According to Bussewitz, many riders of electric scooters can be exposed to increased liabilities that they may be mostly unaware of.
If someone on an electronic scooter gets into an accident and gets hurt, their own personal medical insurance will likely cover the costs. For those riders who are unfortunate enough to cause an accident, injure a pedestrian, or cause damage to another person’s property, they may well be held responsible for those costs because most insurance providers don’t provide coverage for such instances.
According to Lucian McMahon, senior research specialist for the Insurance Information Institute, that kind of gap in insurance can be extremely expensive or even ruinous.
Both Bird and Lime, the two largest providers of electronic scooters to cities say that the responsibility does fall on riders, who must agree to be responsible in the case of an accident, injury or death before they are allowed to rent one of the scooters. All of this information is part of the user and terms of service agreements that are written into the downloadable app.
While a scooter user’s homeowner’s insurance may cover an accident which happens on a bicycle, it doesn’t cover motorcycle or scooter accidents. Nor does auto insurance tend to cover any other vehicle other than the one which appears on the vehicle owner’s policy,
So what can users of electronic scooters do to protect themselves in case of an accident?
Experts within the insurance industry suggest that riders discuss with their insurance agent on how to get coverage. This can usually be achieved by an umbrella policy which can be added to homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. Not all insurers allow this, so it is also suggested that users discuss all liability limitations with their agents and whether the use of the scooters is covered. Not all insurance companies have the same set of rules when it comes to these types of vehicles.