It was just a matter of time. As south Florida becomes more and more urbanized the number of scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles increases. It’s just easier to get to where you need to be on a smaller conveyance than a big bulky car. And when you consider the warm weather factor, it’s even more appealing to leave the gas-guzzler home and “scoot” to work or the store.
The numbers have gone up dramatically in just the past few years for electric scooters from Lime, Bird and Bolt, the three major players in the booming scooter rental and sharing industry.
Hundreds and hundreds of electric scooters are buzzing all over the city and Broward county, and they are having an impact on traffic and safety. Many residents are complaining that scooter riders are not obeying traffic signs and laws, and they are a menace to other drivers. Some scooters are riding on sidewalks, which many people feel is very dangerous to pedestrians.
Lawsuits are being filed against the three companies including one naming Lime for a very serious accident that left a scooter rider in a coma.
The big question of course is about insurance and liability. And our advice is, of course, is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is something from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners:
Before you decide to rent a scooter, you should understand the insurance implications and know whether you are covered.
Some cities, like San Francisco, require scooter rental companies to obtain a permit from the city and provide proof of insurance before they can operate legally. Unless the company policy indicates otherwise, assume you are not covered in case of an accident. You should rely on your health insurance for any medical injury you sustain. In case of an accident, you might not have any coverage if you are found liable for an accident or damage.
Check your insurance policies to determine whether you are covered. Automobile insurance generally omits liability coverage for motor vehicles with fewer than four wheels, and it’s unlikely to apply to scooter rentals. Although most homeowners policies provide some liability coverage even while you are away from your residence, it may be limited or excluded because the scooter is a rental.
Like any new trend, these issues may not be specifically addressed in your policy, and coverage will depend on the carrier and the specific language in your policy.
Understanding Your Scooter Insurance Options
Scooter Insurance: Regulations and requirements vary by state — often depending on the engine size. Most scooter rental companies offer rentals with engines smaller than 50 cc. While most states do not require insurance for engines that small, they do recommend it. Scooter insurance will often cover the following:
Collision: Covers damages resulting from a collision.
Liability: Protects against damage you do to others or their property while operating a scooter.
Medical: Covers your medical costs in an accident.
We suggest if you are going to rent a scooter that you check to make sure you have coverage. We also highly recommend you wear a quality helmet and that you become familiar with how to operate a scooter before you take it out into traffic. As the number of scooters increases, so will the accidents and injuries. Please be careful.
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