New year, new e-scooter liability rules and regulations

December 9, 2022

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Electric scooters (or e-scooters) have become increasingly popular. Several commercial operators have established themselves — in cities and residential areas — as a method of transportation that can be rented using a mobile phone application. According to sales figures from the electronics industry, there are hundreds of thousands of privately owned e-scooters. Beginning 1 January, all e-scooters must have statutory liability insurance in Norway. Just like cars, there are different types of potential damage to consider.

Existing rules and regulations

The growing popularity of e-scooters has created some new challenges that require regulations to protect drivers and other parties. During the past year, a 12-year age limit has been introduced in Noway to use this mode of transportation and if you are under 15 years old, you must wear a helmet. No more than one person can be on the e-scooter at any given time, and the same blood alcohol limit for cars was also placed on e-scooters. The use of a mobile phone while driving can be fined, an upper speed limit of 20 kilometers per hour has been set, and we have seen news articles about the police enforcing these rules.

New rules to consider

Additional rules will apply from 1 January 2023, when it will also be required by law for private individuals to have liability insurance on this type of vehicle. Many insurance companies will have a new product to offer to customers. Products that now need to be insured include e-scooters and other small electric motor vehicles, such as segways and hoverboards. The consequences of failing to insure these vehicles can be significant.

Claims handling

At Sedgwick, we have thoroughly prepared for the new rules and my team is ready to deal with upcoming liability casesE-scooters are covered by the Car Liability Act, so we will assess liability in the same way we assess liability in the event of a car accident. That is, it is not necessary to be grossly negligent or intentionally inflict harm in order to have a claim brought against you. A little inattention is enough for the mishap to be a fact. It is liability insurance that becomes required by law and it does not include compensation for your own vehicle, but the damage you are unfortunate to inflict on others or someone else’s property.

Other types of damage

Unfortunately, personal injuries also occur on e-scooters. We will likely see injuries where the driver is injured and other instances where the driver has inflicted injuries on others, such as collisions with pedestrians. With the new statutory insurance, you get both follow-up and costs covered, it provides security and it ensures that necessary treatments can be carried out.

Injuries do not have to occur solely as a result of accidents or collisions. There have been reported cases where scooters have caught fire, and the consequences can be costly. Moreover, in these situations there may arise a need to place responsibility or follow up with a demand for recourse. In other instances, damage may occur to someone else’s property. Examples of this may be damage to fences, gardens and other things where we need professional assessment of the claims received.

Insuring e-scooters in 2023

Hundreds of thousands of e-scooters are currently sitting in private homes without insurance. Therefore, it becomes a significant task to ensure that people know that they must have a liability insurance from beginning 1 January. If you do not, you are financially responsible and the costs can be considerable, even for seemingly minor damages. For more information, contact [email protected].