Before the city of Cedar Rapids expands the availability of e-scooters beyond the current pilot project, they need to have a plan for ensuring insurance coverage. It is well understood that injuries and emergency room visits skyrocket when these scooters are introduced to a community, but it is easily overlooked that it is not just the riders who are getting hurt. In many cases, scooters are hitting and seriously injuring pedestrians in crosswalks or on sidewalks.
Insurance is required to drive a car, but who pays for injuries when a scooter hits you? The Insurance Journal looked into this very question. Because the scooter is electric, traditional coverage like auto, homeowners, or renters insurance is not likely to cover injuries. Faultless pedestrians injured by scooters would be forced to use their own health insurance, or pay out of pocket.
The scooter company could and should provide coverage to all riders, and work the cost of insurance into each ride. This would be the most cost effective, and provide incentives to the scooter companies to prioritize safety. Cities need to have a plan for ensuring insurance coverage before they bring on scooters.
President, Iowa Association for Justice