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E-scooters: the geographical insurance lottery

Admiral has reported an increase in accidents involving e-scooters. This announcement was made following the trials which have taken place in Birmingham and in certain parts of London. There was 52 accidents registered last year, according to Admiral. This was four times the amount of reported accidents involving e-scooters to Admiral between January and June 2020. The data only includes Admiral policyholders who have sought to claim from their own insurance for damage caused by an e-scooter. 

Generally, e-scooters not used during the permitted trials, will not be insured. During trials in the permitted areas, e-scooters will be classed as motor vehicles, meaning requirements to have insurance and the correct type of driving licence will apply.  

If individuals are injured through the negligence of a party riding an e-scooter outside of a permitted area or on private land, they may be able to seek compensation from the Motor Insurers' Bureau under the Uninsured Drivers' Agreement. The claims are likely to be fiercely defended. In addition, the Government has announced that it will reform the so called "Vnuk law" after the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union. The higher courts (the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal) also have the power to overrule retained European Union law which could include the ability of an injured person to force the Motor Insurers' Bureau to satisfy a Judgment against an e-scooter rider. 

E-scooters are gaining popularity each and every day. There are now trials taking place in Birmingham and London. Unfortunately, the number of people who have suffered serious injury as a result of being struck by an e-scooter is increasing. There is a disparity between injured people who are injured in a permitted place who can usually seek compensation to meet their reasonable needs from the e-scooter's insurer and injured people who are injured in other areas who, in theory, have no recourse to compensation unless they can convince the Courts to rely upon a law which derives from the European Union. This insurance lottery is entirely unsatisfactory.

Insurers report a rise in accidents involving e-scooters: What are the laws around the devices and can you get cover to ride one?”