IUA calls for clarity on regulation of e-scooters

E-scooters should be restricted to roads in regulation that is unique to this particular type of micromobility vehicle, according to the International Underwriting Association. Further, the association says "blanket approval" for such vehicles is not appropriate and that they should each be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The UK is the last major European country in which e-scooters are banned everywhere except on private land. Their increasing popularity has recently been given a further boost as commuters seek alternatives to public transport in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The views of the London company insurance market on the subject were submitted to a public inquiry launched by the House of Commons Transport Committee. The IUA has not called for compulsory insurance for e-scooters and recommends that the market be allowed to evolve naturally and develop its own solutions.

“It is essential that pedestrians are properly protected as the roll out of e-scooters in the UK is considered,” commented Chris Jones, director of legal and market services at the IUA. “Our members expect that these vehicles would be limited only to low speed roads and should perhaps be initially trialled on cycle lanes.

“There must also be absolute clarity about the regulation of e-scooters. A framework must be developed that plainly spells out the obligations of users, manufacturers, rental scheme providers and other road users.

"Although illegal, incidents involving e-scooters are currently paid for by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau as they are technically classified as uninsured vehicles. This situation is problematic for both insurers and their customers as the MIB is funded directly by a levy on the premiums paid by all motor insurance policyholders.”

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