Rentable electric scooters are sweeping across cities all over the country, and they are popular for taking quick jaunts around town without having to walk or drive a car.
There is something nostalgic about riding a scooter, reminding us of our childhoods. On top of that, they are an easy way to get around.
To take a ride on one of these e-scooters, the rider needs to download the affiliated smartphone application and create an account. The app will then tell you the location of the nearest parked scooters.
Unfortunately, emergency rooms are also seeing an increase in the number of people who have been injured in accidents when riding these scooters. And if you are riding one and you crash into a person’s car, or injure someone, there are liability issues that your current insurance may not cover.
There are a number of dangers that can confront you when you’re riding an e-scooter:
- A vehicle can hit you.
- You may hit a pedestrian, a vehicle or other property.
- You can crash due to road hazards or a malfunctioning scooter.
If a third party is injured or there is third-party property damage, the liability will likely fall to the negligent party. The scooter renter and the scooter company itself may both be liable for injuries caused by riders.
That said, though, e-scooter riders are not required to carry liability insurance, so if the claim falls back to you due to your negligence, you may not be covered by your current insurance.
For example, your standard auto policy will exclude liability coverage for a vehicle with fewer than four wheels. Hence, damage or injuries you cause while driving an e-scooter would typically not be covered under your personal auto policy.
The agreement you sign for most e-scooters includes a warning that “your automotive insurance policies may not provide coverage for accidents involving damage to this vehicle.”
Additionally, homeowner’s policies exclude liability for damage by any vehicle that is self-propelled. These policies do not cover damage done by a motor vehicle, as that sort of damage is more appropriately covered by an auto policy.