ALA warns mobility scooters may be ‘falling through gaps’ in insurance cover

23rd Jul 2018

Mobility scooters are vital for many people with disabilities enabling them to be independent and active participants in our community but can currently ‘fall through the gaps’ in the insurance system, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

Andrew Stone, NSW President of the ALA, today told the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Reference Committee that gaps in insurance coverage means that injuries caused by mobility scooters can leave the injured person unable to recover damages and the rider of the scooter financially vulnerable to significant compensation claims.  

“There are insurance gaps between public liability and motor vehicle insurance and potential gaps between Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance and public liability insurance,” said Mr Stone. “Consistent national standards would help solve this problem.”

“At present, some motorised scooters are covered in relation to some accidents. However, that coverage is an inconsistent patchwork.  There is also insufficient public information available about insurance arrangements for mobility scooters.  

“Mobility scooters are heavy and powerful. They can, and do, cause significant injury.

“ALA lawyers have come across mobility scooter injuries, covering everything from pinning a fellow supermarket patron against a checkout counter causing significant leg injuries, through to knocking out the ladder from under a worker who was fixing an electrical device on a public street.

Third party insurance schemes are State and Territory-based with each jurisdiction having different rules in relation to the use of mobility scooters and therefore the applicable insurance that may cover accidents.

“Some mobility scooter riders may be covered by the public liability extension on a domestic home and contents policy. However, the existence of this coverage is effectively random as far as the victim is concerned and has its limits.

“The reality is that there is a gap in coverage between CTP schemes and public liability policies. 

“These arrangements are entirely unsatisfactory in relation to both accident victims and mobility scooter owners. We urge the Commonwealth to take a leadership role in creating national standards and ensuring mobility scooter users are better informed about the rules and their own liability.”

Tags: Andrew Stone