Financial Ombudsman: Insurance checks needed for e-scooters

Press release

The Financial Ombudsman Service is urging e-scooter owners to check their insurance policies to ensure they are covered if things go wrong.

Currently, a privately-owned e-scooter cannot legally be ridden on public roads, pavements, footpaths or in cycle lanes. The exception is private land to which the public has no access.

As the law currently stands, it’s unlikely a person will be able to obtain cover for personal injury or third-party liability if an e-scooter is ridden in a public place. People can however get covered for theft.

When obtaining insurance for theft, people shouldn’t assume they are covered under their contents or home insurance policy. People should carefully check the wording as every policy is different, resulting in different terms and conditions. Specialist e-scooter insurance policies exist and, if someone’s e-scooter is only used on private land, it’s likely their policy will cover them for theft as well as personal injury and third-party liability.

Paul Whiteing, Lead Ombudsman and Director of Casework at the Financial Ombudsman Service, said:

If you received an e-scooter for Christmas, you need to ensure that you have the right insurance cover in place. It’s crucial to carefully check the policy wording to see what’s covered and any exclusions. If after reading your policy, you’re still unsure, it’s best to speak to your insurer who will be able to confirm exactly what cover you have in place.  

Notes to editors

About the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by Parliament to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers on a fair and reasonable basis, as an alternative to the courts. It can look into problems involving most types of money matters from payday loans to pensions, pet insurance to PPI. It is committed to sharing insight and experience to encourage fairness and confidence in financial services.

Find out more about our work and how we help resolve complaints.

As new products and technologies come on to the market and are purchased on a large scale, questions around insurance are likely to follow. We saw the same with drones, quad bikes and e-bikes. We even saw it with mobility scooters. Such items will potentially lead to various types of claims, and possibly complaints. The most likely following theft, or for liability following accidents, collisions and injuries. We resolve a handful of such complaints each year.

Information and case studies involving e-scooters and other products such as drones and quad bikes are published in our latest blog.

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