Lawyers warn gaps in e-scooter insurance cover may mean no recourse for injury

17th Mar 2023

Urgent action from government and insurance companies is needed to ensure that anyone injured by an e-scooter in Victoria can receive fair compensation for their injuries, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“Currently, gaps in insurance coverage mean that injuries caused by e-scooters can leave the injured person unable to recover damages, and the rider of the scooter financially vulnerable to significant compensation claims,” said ALA spokesperson and lawyer, Shaun Marcus.

“Due to extensive exclusions in commercial e-scooter insurance policies, members of the public risk having no recourse if they are injured or someone dies in an e-scooter accident.

“This situation is entirely unsatisfactory in relation to both the accident victims and the e-scooter riders. We urge the government to take action to address this gap and to ensure e-scooter users are better informed about the rules and their own liability.”

The ALA is calling for a detailed review of the insurance and regulation options for e-scooters and the development of a system that ensures all riders – e-scooter owners and those who hire e-scooters alike – have appropriate insurance cover.

Action is needed to ensure that 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 existing within the e-scooter operators’ insurance policies means they are not covered.

“E-scooters are powerful and can travel at speed. They can, and do, cause significant injury and there has been a recent spate of very serious injuries caused by riders of e-scooters in Victoria,” said Mr Marcus.

“Many Victorians are unaware that private e-scooters that have the capacity to travel more than 10km/h are illegal to drive on Victorian roads and paths. Yet they continue to be sold by many retailers all over Victoria.

“Insurance policies are unlikely to cover accidents where illegality has been involved.

“However, it is likely that these scooters are, or will be used in public spaces, and these riders will not be insured at all. We need a review into the options, for example, should e-scooter riders be required to obtain a relevant CTP style insurance.”

Tags: Victoria Personal Injury Insurance