E-Scooter sharing services may be coming to the Greater Hartford region.
City Lab reports that a recent Micromobility Conference touted the up and coming micro ride-sharing initiatives as the wave of the future. Conventioneers promoted the appeal of the battery-operated vehicles as an environmentally-friendly replacement to cars.
However, the article noted safety as an issue for the vehicles.
If you are using one of the battery-powered vehicles and are injured, or you injure someone else, who is responsible?
E-Scooter Injuries Raise Questions About Responsibility
The Hartford Courant reports that e-scooter services are actively courting officials with the City of Hartford. And city officials are considering it, despite ending the city’s bike-sharing contract with Lime. Officials offered no reason for ending the contract. However, the once popular green bikes recently have been abandoned on city streets, damaged, and even found in a pond at Bushnell Park.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) says some emerging technologies create problems by deploying faster than regulations can be developed. One scooter company agreed to stop operation in Milwaukee till local and state laws about e-scooters are passed. Other companies haven’t been so cooperative.
Additionally, studies about injuries caused by e-scooters are only now being completed. One by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that broken bones comprised the most common injuries, followed by head injuries, and soft tissue damage. Only a minority of riders injured wore helmets.
As for who is responsible for injuries caused by scooters, that may depend on the parent company’s policies. Some companies require users to assume all responsibility for accidents caused by the rider.
For individual riders with health insurance, injuries from an accident they cause would be covered by that policy. However, if a rider injures another person, that is another story.
A personal Auto Insurance policy may cover injuries caused by a scooter rider unless vehicles with only two wheels are excluded. Motorcycle Insurance also may not cover vehicles that require the user to stand.
The best recourse for a scooter rider may be a personal Umbrella Insurance policy. These typically kick in when injuries to a third party exceed a Homeowners or Auto Insurance policy’s coverage. An Umbrella policy also may cover incidents not covered by other policies.
No ride-sharing scooters have made their way to the area, yet, but you can bet they are coming.
Before hopping on one here or somewhere else, be certain to read any agreement the company requires of riders. You also may want to review your Auto Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, and Umbrella Insurance policies to determine what coverage you have.
The friendly employees at the Keating Agency are happy to review your policies with you. You may want to make some changes to reflect our technologically changing society.
As your local, independent insurance agency for the last 50 years, the Keating Agency is always looking out for your best interests. Give us a call anytime.