Scooters are easy to rent from an app on your smartphone and they seem to be available at every street corner. These new electric scooter companies are “dockless”, which allows you to rent and drop off a scooter wherever and whenever you like.
Typically, scooters you see on the street corners or near bus stops are battery-powered and don’t go much faster than 15 or 20 mph. Moreover, they often don’t require a driver’s license.
The majority of scooter rental companies carry liability insurance to protect injured motorists or damaged vehicles involving their scooters. And while most rental companies require riders to take out insurance when they rent a scooter, most scooter companies don’t provide insurance coverage for their scooter operators.
A scooter operator injured in an accident must use their own insurance or that of the at-fault party. While there are some insurance companies that cover scooters under motorcycle insurance policies, other have specific scooter insurance policies. Most states say that if the scooter’s engine is 50 cubic centimeters (cc) or larger, the state may require insurance.
A scooter going 15-20 mph may seem harmless, but it can do considerable damage and cause significant injuries to riders and bystanders.
Types of Scooter Insurance Coverage
Many insurance companies cover scooters under their motorcycle insurance policies. Typically, scooter owners are required to have bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, similar to motorcycle owners. However, the amount of coverage required may be different, as some states have different rules for scooters than they do for motorcycles. Let’s look at the types of coverage that you may need for a scooter rental or as a scooter owner.
Just like with automobiles, scooter drivers in most states are required to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. There are two types of liability coverage:
- Bodily injury liability will pay for another person’s medical expenses if you’re at fault in an accident that causes their injury.
- Property damage liability will pay for repairs if you’re at fault in an accident that damages another individual’s property, whether it’s another vehicle or perhaps damage to their house or other structures.
If you’re riding a scooter and collide with another scooter, motor vehicle, or an object like a retaining wall, fence, or structure, collision coverage will generally pay to repair or replace the scooter.
Comprehensive coverage will pay to repair or replace your scooter if it’s damaged in an incident that’s not a collision, such as theft, fire, and vandalism.
Furthermore, if you’re hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, uninsured motorist coverage can help pay for your medical bills and perhaps repairs to the scooter. Some states have medical payments coverage that will help defray your medical expenses if you’re injured in a scooter accident. Likewise, personal injury protection (PIP) can pay for your medical expenses after an accident, as well as lost wages if you can’t work after a scooter accident.
Moreover, some individuals have what is called an umbrella policy, which is extra liability insurance. An umbrella liability policy coverage generally has a higher limit than a standard liability policy. It also extends beyond claims directly relating to a person’s home and auto. The primary purpose of an umbrella policy is to protect your assets from an unforeseen event, like a tragic accident where you’re held responsible for damages or bodily injuries.
It’s also critical to know that all insurance coverages -including those for scooters – have a limit, which is the maximum dollar figure that an insurance company’s policy will pay after a covered claim. Your scooter policy may also have a deductible or an amount you’ll pay out of pocket toward a covered claim.
Insurance is essential for operating a scooter. Understand the different types of insurance and what’s required in your area.
If you’re involved in a scooter accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance should pay, along with any umbrella policy if damages exceed those policy limits. Be sure to speak with the experienced accident attorneys at Butler Kahn if you’ve been injured in a scooter accident.