Micromobility has seen a significant boost these past few years since people have turned to more lightweight, eco-friendly methods of transport. As electric scooters and bicycles take over our previously clogged roads, scooter-related accidents have also increased. This has made people warier about safety on the road and has prompted the government to impose regulations regarding micromobiles.
However, insurance is still not considered a top priority, often even not worth the investment. This is because typical health insurance is enough to cover any injuries from a crash. There are still other risks to be taken into account before getting your e-scooter onto the road.
Is Electric Scooter Insurance a Legal Requirement?
The local and federal agencies in the U.S. do not currently require riders to have electric scooter insurance. Only the state of Illinois demands that all registered vehicles have liability insurance.
It is necessary to remember that in case of an accident, e-scooter companies generally do not cover you for damage to the vehicle. Usually, homeowner insurances exclude motor vehicle claims and auto insurances do not cover vehicles with less than four wheels.
Other than health insurance for injuries, there are not many alternatives to fall back onto. If someone else crashes into you, suing them and getting a payout from their liability insurance for damages to your scooter is an option.
Putting all this into perspective, it might not be required by the law to get your micromobile insured, but it is in your best interest.
What insurance coverage should you buy?
Different insurance policies help protect against various damages ranging from bodily injuries to harm to property. Here are a few reliable ones:
Personal Umbrella Insurance – Offers coverage that extends your homeowner, property damage liability, and personal liability limits. It steps in with auto insurance when you get into an accident with a vehicle with less than four wheels, such as your e-scooter.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Policies – Protect you from motorists that might crash into you and don’t have enough or any insurance for covering the costs. They are also reliable for hit-and-run accidents. Both these have limits and coverage provisions.
Comprehensive Coverage – Protects your scooter from all damages other than collision and even covers custom parts. It comes in handy in case of unexpected weather events, theft, and vandalism.
Bodily Injury/Property Damage Liability – Helps you pay off medical bills or damage to someone’s property or vehicle if you cause an accident. Many states require riders to have liability coverage.
How Can you Get the Right Insurance for Your Electric Scooter?
The method of buying insurance for two-wheelers does not vary much from other automobiles. Here’s how you can go about it after you’ve decided on the coverage you want:
Comparing Various Policies
Going through the numerous policy options online from all the different insurance companies can be time-taking, but it is helpful in the long run. Shortlisting the limits and provisions that appeal to you makes you more confident in the insurance you choose at the end of the day.
Asking for Quotes
Obtaining and comparing quotes is the most important step and can often cause you to change your mind about a policy. You can easily get quotes from insurance companies by providing some information about you, your scooter, and the limits you’re looking for.
Most insurance companies ask for proof of identity and address and two recent passport-sized photographs. You should also be carrying your license and required permit when making the purchase.
While many people turn to online methods of payment, insurance payments done in cash may get you various discounts and are also more secure.
Where Should I Get It From?
Due to the lack of mandatory electric scooter insurance laws, major insurance companies have not yet caught up with their increasing use.
Umbrella policies by well-known companies like Allstate, Nationwide, and State Farm are the only few that extend their liability coverage to electric scooter accidents. Understanding the importance of staying relevant, small startups have begun filling this gap. Companies like Zego, Vroom, and Bikmo have adapted to insuring all things that ride, drive or fly therefore appealing to more consumers.
What Are Other Requirements for Electric Scooters in the U.S.?
The rules and regulations regarding electric scooter use vary from state to state, but registration is mandatory in most, except Florida and California. Permits are required in Michigan, Kansas, Tennessee, and Rhode Island.
Almost all states allow scooters on the street; however, a few like Missouri, Nebraska, Washington, Vermont, and New Hampshire do not allow them on sidewalks.
Speed limits in the states range from 20-25 mph, and teenagers of age 16 are allowed to ride e-scooters, whereas Florida allows 14-year-olds too. Helmets and other protective gear are required below 18 years of age.
San Francisco even requires dockless e-scooter companies to obtain a permit which restricts the number of manufactured scooters and imposes commercial insurance.
New York stands out as the only state where electric scooters are not legal.
As the use of electric scooters skyrockets, we can hope that companies offering secure insurances can catch up. It is predictable that micromobile insurances will be made mandatory some time from now.
Until then, it is best to choose your pick out of available policies and have a safe and stress-free riding experience while playing your part in saving the environment.