Orlando, Fla.—e-Scooters have become more, and more popular every day, especially in modern cities with lots of younger populations. They are an easy way to wander around large cities that may not be completely walkable due to the lack of public transportation options within. There is nothing more fun than riding your electric “assistance” on a sunny morning or afternoon with perfect weather.
Being the owner/operator of an e-scooter ride share program sounds like win win business, especially when companies report that millions of rides have been taken in cities across the United States. Lime, one of the most renown ride share companies alone, was valued at $2 billion in 2019.
So, these e-scooters are battery powered which often cannot exceed speed of 15-20 mph while the user rides it in standing position, and do require its users to carry a valid driver’s license. Vespas and mopeds are ridden in sitting position and that is the reason why higher speeds may be allowed for those users who will also need to have a valid driver’s license.
In both our states where our offices are located, Florida and Texas, this type of businesses are very popular in cities like Miami, Orlando, Houston, Austin, Dallas, and growing.
Pending further research, it is unclear whether e-scooter use is associated with more accidents than other forms of transportation. The Austin, Texas, city government released data on all vehicle crashes between September 29, 2018 and October 31, 2018. There were 264,300 miles driven with e-scooters over that time. E-scooter accidents totaled 14 out of 1,528 accidents citywide – or 1 percent of all accidents, including those involving motor vehicles.
Some have also expressed concern that parking e-scooters on public sidewalks could create hazards for pedestrians.
An e-scooter company’s insurance policy might not cover a user in the event of an accident. Many e-scooter companies also require users to assume all liability arising out of their e-scooter use. Even at low speeds e-scooters can cause injuries to riders and bystanders in the event of an accident. And like bicyclists, e-scooter users face risks from motor vehicles when operating on public roads.
The decision of when a user’s personal insurance would cover any third-party liability resulting from an accident they caused or contributed to, will depend on the specific terms and conditions of their own policies. For example:
Homeowners: A standard homeowners policy will typically exclude liabilities arising out of the use of a motor vehicle, usually defined as any self-propelled vehicle. Homeowners policies also exclude any liability arising out of a motor vehicle rented to an insured. Renters insurance will also not cover vehicle-related liability.
Personal auto: A standard personal auto policy excludes liability coverage for a vehicle with fewer than four wheels – including e-scooters. Motorcycle insurance may not cover scooters that require users to stand.
Personal liability umbrella: Personal liability umbrella policies (PLUP) offer an extra layer of protection when an insured exhausts the limits of their underlying homeowners or auto policy. Such policies can also provide coverage for perils that are excluded from the underlying insurance policies. For example, unlike an auto policy, a standard PLUP does not usually exclude vehicles with fewer than four wheels and therefore may provide some coverage for e-scooter liabilities.
At Orlando Insurance Center we are a full-service independent personal and commercial insurance local agency in Orlando, Florida. As such, we are available to offer a much broader menu of insurance products for our customers than you would find buying direct from one company. We pride ourselves on being able to customize insurance coverage for the unique needs of our community, and our attentiveness is unparalleled. Our clients love that we are not just selling the insurance but educating them on protecting their assets and their loved ones. We meet with every customer to discuss their short-term and long-term insurance requirements so they have the protection they need now with an eye to the future as well.
Let your local insurance specialists at Orlando Insurance Center help you save in the purchase of insurance bundles. Give us a call today at (407) 680-1214— for an initial consultation and quotes from among 20 different insurance carriers who support us!
Yolegnys Solano, 2-15 Agent
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"Email me" <yolegnys [at] buscandoseguro [dot] com>