What is insurance?
Insurance transfers the risk of financial loss from an insuree to an insurer.
The insurer collects money from insurees and pools the money in order to pay for losses.
Does your city want to require E-scooter specific insurance?
No, other models of insurance may already exist that alleviate some financial burden in the event of an injury resulting from an E-scooter crash.
Yes, see below if requiring specific insurance is a model that would work best for your E-scooter program.
Cities may also want to consider indemnification and bond requirements when deciding how insurance may play a role in an E-scooter program.
E-scooters can be an affordable alternative for transportation that could potentially serve those persons in a community who are currently underserved by existing public transit. This is commonly known as the last mile problem. The problem with requiring insurance is figuring out how to balance the need to maintain affordability for all users. When companies are required to provide for the consumer, that fee will naturally be shifted onto the consumer through increased pricing.
Who should provide the insurance?
- Individuals through policies—this model would require the individual to carry a minimum of liability insurance for any injuries that they may cause, such as hitting a pedestrian on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk. These types of policies already exist for mopeds and need to be expanded to include motorized E-scooters.
- Potential Problems: With a rideshare rather than a personally owned E-scooter, carrying liability coverage for potential E-scooter accidents may be pricey and impractical. It creates additional blocks to those who cannot afford to carry their own insurance policy or who may not be a regular user. These types of policies do not yet exist for E-scooters and creating this as a requirement would effectively ban scooters in your area.
- Companies through fees—In this model, companies would be required to insure their individual riders for the negligence of the rider of the E-scooter through an additional fee that is accessed based on the length of the trip. A user pools money with other users through the company in the event of an accident where the rider is at fault. The longer the ride, the greater the risk of an accident and the higher the incremental fee should be. Spreading the fee across all users allows for riders to be covered while maintaining the affordability that makes this mode of transportation especially desirable.
- Potential Problems: Companies have expressed hesitation to provide for the negligence of their riders. Additional fees, even nominal ones, may push less advantaged riders out of the market.
- Companies through blanket policies—Companies may not insure riders for all crashes that the rider may cause, but provide for injuries due to malfunctioning of the scooter or poor maintenance of the E-scooter.
- Potential Problems: This covers where the company itself plays a role in an accident but leaves risk on the riders for crashes they may cause.
Alternatives—Decreasing Crashes and Minimizing Injury
- Require helmets for all riders, regardless of age.
- Provide training before an E-scooter can be unlocked for the first time in a particular city.
- Companies then have a better sense of who is riding the E-scooter and can minimize abuse by underage drivers.
- Minimizes risk of accident due to unfamiliarity with the E-scooter.
- Ensures riders are familiar with speed and riding restrictions.
- Provide incentives for users who drive safely and park responsibly.
- Such as points toward a free ride
Riding & Safety