Indianapolis is the newest city to get the latest form of public transportation, electric ride sharing scooters. In the same vein as other ride sharing services (see: Uber, Lyft, Blue Indy, Pacers Bikeshare, etc....), electric scooters are now on the streets. Sorry, the sidewalks of Indy.
Bird and Lime have found another home in Indianapolis. Don't think that this is a fad, as their websites boast that they are in cities around the world.
Personally, I think this is a pretty cool idea, but then we have to put on our insurance hat to address some unique exposures that people using these new services are at risk for.
Soooo, what happens if you run over someone on the side walk while operating one of these devices? What about you dodge the pigeon on the side walk and instead crash into that new Mercedes parked on the street?
Here is the problem - by standard policies:
Sorry, no coverage here.
The policy specifically states that there is no liability coverage for any vehicle which has fewer than four wheels and also no physical damage coverage to the scooter (See Part A of the contract)
Physical damage for the scooter is also excluded, because it only extends to any non-owned private passenger auto, pickup, van or trailer (see Part D of the contract)
Maybe there is some coverage here, but it gets tricky.
The policy spells out that there is no coverage under a homeowners (Section II of Homeowners Contract) for any motorized vehicles, unless the motorized vehicle is meant to:
There is some language that extends liability to motorized recreational use off public roads. But here is the concern, these scooters do not stay off public roads. Unless you don't plan on crossing any streets, you have some exposure.
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