The increase of scooter sharing across the country has also meant an increase in injuries and deaths associated with these motorized bikes. You can easily spot Bird and Lime scooters in major cities across the country. These are scooters with an electric motor that are available to anyone to use as a short-term rental. Understanding the insurance coverage for these rentals is important. If you injure a pedestrian or hurt yourself, are you covered?
Will the rental company cover me?
No. Typically, you sign a contract directly on your phone that says the rider is responsible for any injury or damage that they cause.
Does my car insurance cover a scooter rental?
No. Car insurance policies typically exclude coverage for motorized vehicles with less than 4 wheels. Standard auto insurance policies exclude coverage entirely for non-owned vehicles with two wheels.
Does my home insurance cover a scooter rental?
Probably not. You have personal liability insurance coverage on a standard homeowners policy, but does it apply to scooter rentals? Typically, there is limited liability coverage for recreational vehicles. However, many only cover recreational vehicles when used off public roads. Rental scooters that are ridden on public roads would generally not be covered. (There are a few carriers that may provide coverage, so it is a good idea to check with your insurance advisor on your specific policy.)
Does my umbrella insurance cover a scooter rental?
If you have a personal umbrella policy, it will typically exclude the same coverages that your home liability excludes. There are some umbrella policies that do provide coverage, if the underlying policy excludes it, but it varies by company. This means, you may or may not find coverage on your umbrella policy.
The bottom line: if you plan on renting a scooter and hit a pedestrian or injure someone, you will probably be paying out of pocket for the damages. Our recommendation: stay away from scooter rentals until the insurance industry catches up with adequate coverage that protects you. If you plan on renting a scooter soon and are concerned about your insurance coverage, let us know. We can review your personal insurance coverage to help determine what your coverage is.