E-scooter Riders Aren’t Aware of Liability and Lack of Coverage

49% of millennial e-scooter riders are concerned about harming themselves or others when riding; but 53% have never thought about purchasing insurance coverage reports a new study commissioned by on-demand insurance company VOOM. The findings emphasize riders’ lack of awareness regarding the potential physical and financial danger they put themselves in when using these increasingly popular devices.

According to the survey:

  • 40% of e-scooter riders have either been in an accident or know someone who has.
  • 61% of respondents said they would be willing to spend extra money on top of their ride cost to cover injury and third-party liability insurance.
  • 52% of respondents said they would prefer pay-per-ride insurance as opposed to annual or monthly insurance plans for e-scooter ride coverage, reflecting the demand for flexible, usage-based policies to match the nature of e-scooter mobility.

The largest e-scooter companies in the US place the responsibility for accidents on the user alone as part of their rental agreements, a fact most scooter riders are unaware of. Even if a rider has personal health insurance to cover medical bills in case of an accident, excessive deductibles, co-pays, and other limitations often lead to individuals being left with thousands of dollars in fees.

Should a scooter rider injure a pedestrian, cause a car accident, or damage someone else’s property, the rider will likely be held responsible. In addition, Auto insurance is likely irrelevant as it typically excludes vehicles with less than four wheels, and standard Homeowner’s or Renter’s insurance doesn’t cover self-propelled vehicles; therefore, riders are left without proper third-party liability protection.

Recent medical studies show increases in injuries due to e-scooters.

“Riders’ preferred modes of mobility have evolved, yet their insurance policies have not evolved along with them. What we now see is a rise of e-scooter accidents across major cities globally, and simultaneously, users unaware that they are not covered until it is too late,” said Tomer Kashi, CEO and Co-Founder of VOOM. “As an avid scooter rider myself, I believe that riders must recognize the risks they face when riding these e-scooters and take appropriate actions to protect themselves, as they go far beyond injuries to one’s self.”

The survey, conducted in June 2019, was jointly carried out with Google Consumer Surveys based on a representative sample of more than 1,000 regular e-scooter riders from the United States, aged 18-65+.