Does Your Insurance Policy Cover e-Scooters?

According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, over 38.5 million e-scooter rides were taken in 2018; that number is expected to be higher at the end of 2019.

Lime and Bird are the two biggest e-scooter manufacturers in the United States and both have scooters in Indiana. In their rental agreements, Bird and Lime place the responsibility for accidents on riders. Bird says riders are fully insured for anything that might happen as a result of a faulty Bird scooter; Lime indicates its insurance policy offers at least $1 million in liability coverage for each covered claim. Unfortunately, however, there’s no way to know if a claim is covered until after an accident is investigated.

Despite Lime and Bird’s liability insurance, officials say that responsibility for damages in an e-scooter accident will most likely fall on the riders’ shoulders according to the fine print in the “terms and conditions” users agree to when they download the app. Because e-scooters are brand new, courts have not yet had a chance to weigh in on any of the liability issues regarding e-scooter accidents. But as more and more cases are heard in the country’s courtrooms, more issues of liability in e-scooter accidents will have to be ironed out so people riding know what to expect should an accident occur.

Many people who ride e-scooters believe their auto insurance would cover an accident, but car insurance generally doesn’t cover vehicles with fewer than four wheels. Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may cover an accident that occurs on a traditional bicycle, but at this time, most of those policies do not cover motorized scooter incidents. That is likely to change as e-scooters gain popularity.

Some tips to protect yourself: Call your car insurance agent or company and ask how you can get coverage if you’re going to be a frequent e-scooter rider. If you have a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, you may be able to add what’s referred to as an “umbrella policy,” which covers more scenarios and includes higher limits for coverage than typical policies for homeowners and renters.

The best advice regarding e-scooters is to read the terms and conditions offered on the app prior to signing off on it. While it’s exciting to hop on an e-scooter and cruise around Indianapolis, you have to realize you are operating a motor vehicle and your body is exposed and vulnerable to injury. The safety of others walking, riding, and driving around you is also an issue. If you cause injury to a person or damage property, you will be held liable, so it’s important to under liability issues with e-scooter accidents before you sign off on the manufacturer’s riding agreement.

Talk to Our Attorneys at Tabor Law Firm, LLP

Our firm understands the complexity of insurance cases, and we want to help those who suffered damages as a result of one. If you are in Indianapolis and are finding it difficult to gain compensation for an accident of this type, please get in contact with us. We have the resources, practice, and skill to help you with a case of this intricacy. Call us today at (317) 689-0077 or contact us online for a free consultation.