The rental e-scooters will require insurance and a full or provisional licence 

Biba has endorsed the Department of Transport’s (DfT) move to legalise rental e-scooters on Britain’s roads from Saturday.

Insurance will be required for all rental e-scooters taking part in the trial and this will be provided by the operator and will likely be through an umbrella-style policy. This is due to the government classifying e-scooters as a motorised vehicle. 

Biba told Insurance Times that it welcomes this development. E-mobility was a key topic in its Biba’s 2020 manifesto where it called on the government to address the insurance needs of all micro-mobility.

It has already fed back to government on two calls for input and is currently working on a third.


According to the DfT, privately owned e-scooters will remain illegal on the roads but do not require insurance. 

Alistair Kinley, director of policy and government Affairs at BLM told Insurance Times: “An aspect that could be really confusing for the public is understanding that only hired e-scooters are road-legal and insured.

“It will remain illegal to ride a privately-owned e-scooter on any road, even within a trial area.”

Meanwhile some believe that if insurance were to be compulsory for all e-scooters that it would disproportionate micro-mobility as this measiure is not compulsory for cycles.

The DfT aims to test users and commuters trailing this new means of transportation by rental, while the government assesses the impact on the environment, public spaces and the economy.

The trial is expected to last 12 months, they will be permitted on cycle lanes and tracks only but speed will be limited to 15.5mph and a helmet is recommended, not mandatory.

Under the new rules, local authorities and devolved administrations hosting the trials in England, Scotland and Wales can allow or run e-scooter sharing schemes in the areas as part of a 12-month trial.

Riders need a full or provisional licence for a car, motorcycle or moped to use an e-scooter and must be over 16 years of age.

Umbrella policy

Kinley, said: “The government had little choice but to classify e-scooters as motor vehicles and on that basis motor insurance is necessary for road use.

E-scooter riders won’t need their own policies, however they will be covered by the rental provider taking out an ‘umbrella’ or fleet-style policy for any authorised user or hirer of the e-scooters within the time-limits and specified areas of the trial.”

Kinley added that the benefits of this approach are as follows:

  • It will protect anyone injured by negligent riding of a properly hired scooter in the same way as if the injury was due to an ordinary car accident
  • It will remove getting insurance as a barrier to use.
  • It will mean that access to the MIB as a fund of last resort would also be possible.

Street clutter

Meanwhile, Kinley said that another practical problem could be “street ‘clutter”.

“If hired e-scooters aren’t left in designated areas they could present real hazards for cyclists and partially-sighted pedestrians in particular, so some thought will need to be given to addressing that as part of the planned trials,” he stressed.

Read more…Confusion remains on insuring e-scooters as government fast tracks trials ahaed of coronavirus lockdown exit 

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