Government urged to up e-scooter insurance requirements
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) is calling for a detailed review of insurance and regulation options for e-scooters.
It wants a system to be developed ensuring e-scooter owners, and those who hire e-scooters, have appropriate insurance cover wherever they are in Australia.
Commercial e-scooter hire companies should be required to offer high-level insurance protecting both riders and any injured party, ALA National President Shaun Marcus says. Private owners of e-scooters also need full access to insurance, including third-party cover.
There are currently no products on the market that offer this insurance, Mr Marcus says.
“These arrangements are entirely unsatisfactory in relation to both accident victims and e-scooter riders,” he said.
“We urge state and territory governments to review and improve insurance coverage requirements, to strengthen the relevant pieces of legislation, and to ensure e-scooter users are better informed about the rules and their own liability.
Under current requirements, injuries caused by e-scooters can leave people unable to recover damages, and the rider of the e-scooter vulnerable to significant compensation claims. E-scooters can cause significant injury but “fall through the gaps” in insurance and regulatory regimes, ALA says.
It wants a detailed review of the insurance and regulation options, saying coverage for e-scooter accidents is “an inconsistent patchwork,” and there is insufficient information available about arrangements.
"Many riders are not aware that they may not be covered if they do have an accident,” Mr Marcus said. “We need to ensure members of the public are not left without the ability to recoup compensation against an e-scooter rider because the e-scooter owner has no insurance or the exclusions in the commercial e-scooter operators’ insurance policies mean they are not covered.”
Some e-scooter owners may be covered by a public liability extension on a domestic home and contents policy, but Mr Marcus says this coverage is “effectively random...and it has its limits”. Insurance policies provided by commercial e-scooter hire firms may be limited by multiple exclusion clauses, he says.