More people are using scooters and bikes that are available for rent. If you use these modes of transportation, do you know if your auto insurance covers you? The accident might prove costly, after all.
The answer: Maybe. Learn how to protect yourself and determine the type of insurance you need to deal with any potential risks.
The Rising Use Of Scooters
The global market for electric scooters has been on a steady rise. The devices have been around for decades. The rideshare company Bird first launched public sharing scooters in 2017. Expectations are that the market for these non-car vehicles will grow to $30 billion by the year 2025.
Available in almost every major city, these vehicles have been ridden more than a billion times (as reported by rideshare company Uber). This growth in popularity represents a challenge for insurance companies. The number of scooter accidents resulting in bodily injury, property damage and other losses continues to increase. Many municipalities have expressed concern about this rise in accidents. Many now force riders and companies to cover liability costs of the vehicles.
Are Auto Insurance Companies Liable For Damages Caused By Non-Car Transportation Modes?
For the moment, your auto insurance coverage does not provide liability coverage for loss that occurs from your operation of a non-car transportation vehicle. Therefore, the rider might be on the hook for any financial loss to others if they are at-fault for a wreck.
The reason auto insurance companies do not cover this risk is due to the nature of the non-car vehicles. Electric scooters have less than four wheels and engines with a combustion engine of 50 cubic centimeters or less. As such, these vehicles do not qualify under many state laws as requiring auto insurance. Electric scooters can reach average speeds of 15 to 20 mph, which makes the risk of an accident a concern for regulators and insurers.
Types Of Insurance To Consider
If you are a frequent user of electric scooters, whether for fun or to commute to work, scooter insurance may be an option to consider (where available). Some of the companies that rent these non-car transportation vehicles offer some form of this coverage. Many auto insurance providers are beginning to offer scooter coverage as an add-on to a motorcycle insurance policy. Umbrella liability insurance may also be an option to use for providing basic liability protection.
Regardless of where you choose to insure your scooter, consider having at least the following coverage:
- Collision protection
- General or basic liability coverage
- Coverage for medical expenses
The increasing popularity of electric scooters and other non-car transportation modes will challenge states and car insurance companies to develop products to address the potential financial risk these vehicles pose. In the meantime, do what you can to protect yourself with the insurance options you do have available.
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