In recent years, electric scooters have proliferated in cities. They are fast, light, easy to use and transport; they have sufficient autonomy for urban trips; they can dodge traffic jams, they’re relatively cheap to use, and they don’t pollute. According to the Association of Users of Personal Mobility Vehicles (AUVMP), there are more than 20,000 vehicles of this type in use in Spain, yet there are still no state-wide regulations on their use. Scooters may seem to be the ideal solution for urban routes, but the lack of national regulations and the confusion on how to insure them makes it essential to assess the risks before riding one.
Insurance is not on board scooters just yet
If you are a user of a personal mobility vehicle (PMV) and if you use one to get around the city, you need to be aware that at the moment insurance is not mandatory nationwide, although there are already some municipalities, such as Alicante and Benidorm, that require users to take out liability insurance.
Each municipality may have different regulations on the use of electric scooters. According to the transitory instruction approved by the DGT in November 2019, it is prohibited state-wide to drive under the effects of drugs and alcohol, while using a cellphone, or with more than one person on board, among other regulations. But there are other decisions, such as whether you need to wear a helmet or not, that are left to the municipal authorities.
Ignorance means exposure to risk
Electric scooters pose the same risks as any other type of motorized vehicle. You could knock someone down, collide with another vehicle, or fall off and injure yourself: these risks are commonplace. What if you are not insured? It’s important to know that if you cause personal injury or material damages, you will be held liable for them.
To cover yourself, it’s best to seek advice from a professional. There are insurance products on the market for this type of vehicle that normally offer coverage for civil liability, damage to the vehicle itself, medical expenses, and legal advice. Theft is usually an optional extra.
Compulsory insurance is still a long way off
To replicate a compulsory insurance system such as motor vehicle insurance, it would be necessary for all PMVs to be factory-identified (chassis number), have a license plate or be publicly registered, and have some form of regulatory control.
As this solution is complicated, experts are more inclined towards the obligation to take out an “ad hoc” personal liability insurance policy for this type of vehicle, or even include some type of specific clause in home insurance.