Effective Oct. 1, 2019, legalized electric scooters, electric bicycles and electric tricycles became legal in Connecticut. The law allows these vehicles—as long as they do not exceed 20 miles per hour and are not operated on pedestrian sidewalks. Towns and municipalities will have the ability to further restrict the presence of these vehicles if they wish. Riders will not need a license or insurance to operate the vehicles, which may create a gap in insurance coverage that could expose you to liability in the event of an accident.
If you fall off the scooter, your personal health insurance would cover any injury from the fall, but only your injury. The issues arise from accident insurance. Most of the companies renting electric bicycles and scooters include language in the user agreement that relieve the company of liability if the rider causes an injury to another person or vehicle. Companies may insist they have liability coverage for these situations, but have no guarantee they will cover the rider. Meanwhile, when the personal liability coverage on your homeowners insurance policy provides accident coverage for operation of a traditional bicycle, it excludes coverage for any vehicle with a motor. Automobile insurance may provide coverage when you rent a vehicle, but limits the coverage only to vehicles with four wheels. This gap of coverage leaves an electric scooter or electric bicycle rider exposed in the event of an accident involving another person or vehicle.
Many insurance carriers do provide broader coverage that may include electric scooters and other recreational vehicles (e.g., in an umbrella or excess policy). If you plan to ride on of these motor-powered vehicles, you should talk to us to ensure you have the proper coverage in place to ensure a fun ride does not turn into an expensive one.