To ride an electric scooter, insurance is mandatory, as for a car, scooter or motorcycle. The guarantee fund and the insurers issue an alert on the risks in the event of an accident.
Nobody is supposed to ignore the law. If everyone knows that on an electric scooter the helmet is not compulsory, how many know that on the other hand, these machines must be insured to circulate on public roads? Apparently, few people have this information alarm the insurers with Les Echos. These professionals note the extent of insurance defaults with the increase in these uses.
Indeed, if home insurance covers cyclists (it is still better to make sure of it), it does not protect electric scooters, hoverboards, Segways, electric monowheels or balance bikes which fall into the category of NVEI (new electric vehicles individual). These machines can legally reach 25 km / h. At this speed, the damage can be severe.
In its latest report, Road Safety notes 22 deaths in 2021, but the number of injured remains unclear. According to an estimate of JDD obtained from the emergency services, there would have been 6,000 victims of fractures caused by scooter accidents in Paris, Lyon and Marseille.
In the event of an accident, damage caused to a third party or material damage to another vehicle or public equipment will be covered. Otherwise, the person responsible for the accident will find themselves in a more than delicate criminal and financial situation.
First, the lack of insurance is punishable by a fine of 3750 euros, but in the event of an accident, the person responsible will have to pay out of pocket. The guarantee fund that accompanies the victims will claim the sums paid to the person who caused the accident. Depending on the severity of the damage, it will take many years or even a lifetime to reimburse amounts that can reach several million euros depending on the severity of the injuries and the incapacity caused to the injured.
2 million scooters in circulation
In fact, with uninsured users, requests from the guarantee fund explode. In 2021, it would have received nearly 400 requests for accidents 96% caused by NVEIs, according to Les Echos, an increase of 34% compared to 2020. Of these requests, half relate to physical damage.
While insurers try to inform users, salespeople fail to tell customers this important detail. An insurer tells Les Echos that only 30% of them know that insurance is compulsory on around 2 million scooters in circulation. And, unlike a car, a scooter or a motorcycle, sellers do not require proof of insurance before letting their customers leave.
On online sales sites you can find machines sometimes exceeding the maximum authorized speed of 25 km/h without any mention of the legal obligations of users. We consulted a dozen online stores without finding the slightest reference to this obligation. Worse, on one of them, a machine reaching 65 km / h (with the mention “only on private roads”) indicates that the required age is 8 years old.
Yet the law is clear. The Public Service site notes that the legal age of an electric scooter is 12 years minimum, that it is forbidden to transport several people and that to use an electric scooter, civil liability insurance is compulsory. For those in self-service, it is even advisable to check the insurance conditions defined in the rental contract.