Do I Need To Take Out Insurance For My Mobility Scooter?
The short answer is no, you don’t legally have to have to insure your electric mobility scooter (unlike a car) but it is highly recommended because there is the possibility of you being sued should you have an accident.
The biggest risk is not the actual mobility scooter itself, which of course can always be replaced despite the fact they are very expensive vehicles, but the public liability to third parties.
Risks of Not Having Electric Mobility Scooter Insurance
A case in point is a disabled pensioner from the United Kingdom who faces greater financial difficulties as a result of a mobility scooter accident experienced in a supermarket in 2005.
Gloria Brown who is aged 65 claimed she was involved in a collision with another mobility scooter and as a result she collided into a trolley being used by a member of staff who was injured and took her to court. As she was found to be liable, she was charged with having to pay compensation of £6,000 and £10,000 in court costs forcing her to sell her house.
Mobility Scooters and Government Laws
In the UK the government body the Department for Transport in conjunction with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has published the following official advice and statement on mobility scooter insurance:
“Although it is not a legal requirement, it is strongly advised to have insurance. Suitable schemes are not too expensive and are available to cover your personal safety, other people’s safety and the value of the vehicle.”
Increasingly, it appears government legislation and more legal requirements of owning mobility scooters are only a matter of time before they are introduced.
Although these vehicles can currently only travel at a maximum speed of 8mph, they are often used on public roads as well as frequently used on pavements and in other public areas such as busy shopping centres.
With elderly or disabled people using them who have deteriorating health issues, it is only a matter of time before further serious accidents occur and legislation and regulations are introduced.
Even though insurance is not currently obligatory, we suggest that taking out adequate insurance is a very sensible option considering the risks you currently take when out in public. Not only that, it gives you peace of mind so that you no longer have to worry about the potential consequences of being uninsured.
Insuring Your Mobility Scooter for Repair (Breakdown Cover) or Loss/Theft
Mobility scooter insurance taken out for the vehicle itself gives you protection for your vehicle. Most scooters cost at least $1000 when purchased brand-new and so it can be well worth protecting yourself against this financial loss.
Insuring your scooter gives you coverage should your vehicle be stolen or damaged. Most policies will include provision for repair to your scooter as well as providing a replacement scooter whilst yours is being fixed.
Given the fact that mobility scooters are often used to transport the user to shops and stores, there is a great likelihood of theft while the scooter is parked outside a shop. Most insurance policies will cover you so that should your vehicle be stolen, you will be able to purchase a brand-new scooter.
Third Party Liability – Public Liability
As we have already discussed above, the most important factor in considering insurance is the protection against potential third-party liability. While it is important to consider insuring the actual scooter itself, given the fact that many scooters cost upwards of $2500, however this amount is small in comparison to a potential court judgement against you for personal injury to a person or their property (public liability insurance).
It is possible that your liability could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars (or pounds) and so you need to be very careful to check what the upper limit is for accidental or medical damages. This is one area in which you mustn’t be under insured.
The worst-case scenario is that you are involved in an accident which involves your scooter and that you kill or seriously injure another person. You could be held liable and required to pay substantial compensation should they not be able to work again or not able to work for some considerable time. As we all know, medical costs are only going to go up and even a minor injury can be costly.
This is why you need third-party liability – also known as public liability.
Before you look to take out a specific insurance policy for mobility scooters it is worth looking at your existing home insurance policy because often there is a provision for third-party liability already.
Many people are unaware that most home or house insurance policies come with this provision, but of course most major insurance companies wish to protect themselves against the possibility of substantial claims in damages and so often this third-party coverage is bundled in with all the other benefits of your home insurance policy.
Finding the Cheapest Mobility Scooter Insurance
Now we have established the reasons as to why you should certainly seriously consider taking out insurance mobility scooters, you will probably now be wondering how much does a year’s insurance cost and where would you find the lowest and cheapest quotations?
Because we have a great deal of information on this specific topic we have created a separate page with Tips to Get the Cheapest Insurance Quotes for mobility scooters.
Once you have read our advice and tips, you may wish to come back to this main page because below we list some of the very best insurance companies that we have found.
Fortunately there is more and more choice and most companies offer relatively inexpensive policies which provide complete protection for not only your scooter, but also the critical third-party liability.
Resources UK – Where To Get Quotations for Insuring Your Mobility Scooter
Our number one recommendation for insurance is from Chartwell Mobility:
If you are found to be responsible, or partly responsible, for causing an accident, then you could be deemed liable for costs running into many thousands of pounds.
That is why it is important to have a good quality mobility scooter insurance policy in place. A policy that protects you properly, should the worst happen, and gives you assistance when you need it most.
Chartwell’s insurance for mobility scooters is designed around your needs, and costs surprisingly little, with rates starting from just £52 for 12 months cover.
Although insurance for mobility scooters is not a legal requirement, it is highly recommended, as the financial consequences of an accident, theft or breakdown could be huge.
Here are some of the great features available on mobility scooter insurance policies purchased through Chartwell:
- Cover for all powered mobility equipment including mobility scooters, power chairs and electric wheelchairs. Adapted manual wheelchairs with equipment such as Alber e-fix or PDQ Power Trike attachments.
- Third party liability cover up to £2,000,000
- Mechanical Breakdown cover available as an option
- Get you home expenses, and cost of hiring replacement scooter is covered
- Extended Theft cover available for vehicles kept outdoors
- Lost Keys cover
- Cover for up to 60 days overseas use (some restrictions apply in USA and Canada)
- Prices start from just £52
Regent Mobility offer market leading insurance cover for new and used scooters and powerchairs, whether or not purchased from us, with personal liability cover of up to £2million.
First Senior Finance
First Senior Finance is part of the First Senior Group and provides unique finance plans for the mobility sector.
Help My Mobility
Help My Mobility is pleased to offer an exclusive online price of £69 for one year’s coverage. Underwritten by Aviva, the policy offers worry free driving in the event of an accident, theft or vandalism. In addition and just as important, the policy offers public liability, protecting you against potential lawsuit claims.
Premier Care – With over 20 years experience in this market we feel we are uniquely placed to offer you insurance for mobility scooters.
Lockton Mobility – Lockton are now offering insurance policies from £59 for 1 year. There are some exclusions you should be aware of:
- The value of the machine to be insured does not exceed £7,000.
- Maximum speed of the machine does not exceed 8 miles per hour.
- The model of machine is not a Shoprider Traveso, Mobicar or Flagship.
- The machine is not a manual chair with power adaptations such as E-Fix or E-Motion etc
What Does Mobility Scooter Insurance Include?
When you are looking to take out insurance to your mobility scooter it may appear to be obvious that you are looking to insure the vehicle as well as protect yourself against accidents and injury caused to other people. However there are many additional benefits and items that come as standard with most insurance policies.
Below we list the potential items that are most often included so that you can compare the quotations that you have received in order that you can see if they have all of these benefits included:
1. Cover for accidental damage to the scooter.
2. Full replacement cost if your scooter is stolen.
3. Cover for any repairs necessary to your scooter.
4. Cover for damage caused by fire or flood.
5. Insurance of your mobility scooter if taken abroad.
6. Public liability to third parties including damage to them or their property.
7. Paying of any costs involved in getting you or your vehicle home following an accident (vehicle breakdown cover).
8. Many insurers offer a no claims bonus discount should you not make any claims.
9. Some policies do not have an excess should you need to make a claim.
10. This is a rarity but some policies include provision for a home carer.
11. Should you lose the keys to your mobility scooter, the replacement costs are often included.
12. The loss or theft of your personal possessions when using your mobility scooter is sometimes included.
13. If you are involved in an accident, typically your own medical expenses are covered.
14. Your legal expenses should you become involved in a lawsuit involving a mobility scooter.
Below we have an amazing mobility scooter video:
Famous stuntman Colin Furze has modified a mobility scooter to go from the standard fastest speed of 8mph to over 70mph!
We believe this is the fastest mobility scooter in the world.
Hopefully he has read our page on insurance and has taken out a policy!!
Advice From Frank Daykin – a Mobility Scooter User
I am registered partially sighted which results in not having a driving licence and have restricted mobility because of lower back problems.
Because of the former I was very loathe to purchase any vehicle because I feared that I would not be aware of other people around me. I only changed that attitude when it became more difficult to move about as much as I needed to. Because I am aware of my limitations I am always prepared to stop to allow others – particularly children – to move past me. At pavement corners I slow down so that I am ready if pedestrians are present at the turn I am about to make and I try to use the sun cast shadows to, alert me. As my wife accompanies me –walking – on most of my forays then she becomes my ‘look out’
I have 2 mobility scooters.
The first is a Rascal Power Chair which allows me to be accepted as a passenger on both buses and trains because of its superior manoeuvrability . It is a 4mph only model and confined to pavement use only. The biggest drawback is that it has small solid tyred wheels and has a restricted obstacle ability where climbing pavements is concerned and the ride is a little hard.
The second is a Day’s Strider Midi 4 Plus which I use locally. It is a larger wheelbase pneumatic wheeled model with a 4 and 8 mph switch to allow for pavement or road use. By LAW every 8 mph scooter should carry a licence and number plates as required for any other vehicle using the public road system. The former can be obtained by application to DVLA Swansea at no cost (Nil rate TAX applies) and number plates are obtainable from suppliers such as Halfords. Being a stickler for abiding by the law I have both because although I do not travel very far on the scooter I have to use public roads …even if just to cross them. Accidents do happen to scooter users even at crossings.
The law stipulates that the highest speed for any mobility vehicle is 8 mph (12 kph) and it is illegal to exceed that speed by modifying the power/rate of travel. The penalty for such ‘adjustment’ is quite severe resulting in a large fine and confiscation.
Whatever means of transport you decide to purchase you must bear in mind that if it is for pavement use only then it is alien to that environment which is basically for people walking. It is your duty to ensure that you are aware of what pedestrians around you are doing so that you do not cause an accident. You can not rely on them seeing you and keeping out of your way. The result of you causing an accident can lead to a distressing legal situation and heavy penalties.
It is your duty to be responsible.
This is not essential at present but will probably become law in the near future because of the rising accident rates attributable to inconsiderate users.
I have a simple rule. I only insure what I am not able to cover with the funds that are available to me.
Although my power chair is used infrequently it is included with my insurance as is my scooter. As I am able to cover the cost outlay to replace either of them if necessary I opt for PUBLIC LIABLITY COVER only so that if I am unfortunate enough to cause an accident any large claim against me becomes a claim against the policy.
If your power chair or scooter has cost a great deal of money then it is wise to ensure that it is insured against Theft loss, damage, and public liability) or just ‘get you home’ when it stops functioning. That would come as a Comprehensive Cover and there are various prices available from different providers from £50 plus to nearer £80. If your vehicle cost upwards of £2500 then it is sensible to have such cover. If you buy second-hand via a dealer or the internet then the cost will be a great deal lower and perhaps public liability is sufficient if you can afford loss or damage yourself.
The difficulty with purchasing second-hand lies in the fact that you cannot be certain that the power chair/scooter is the correct one for you which would be a point covered by most reputable purveyors. Nor is there any indication of what might need to be replaced within – say – the first year (whatever the vendor details in the sales ‘blurb’) You need to be prepared to buy new tyres or a new battery power pack and these can add well over £100 to the price of the purchase. As most units have steering control via the front wheels then if you continually turn swiftly they will need replacing first . Two tyres and tubes -.fitted for you – comes to about £120 and the battery replacement for a scooter like mine is over the £200 mark and for the power chair approximately £170. Units which have a greater range such as the 35 mile versions have larger tyres and battery units so the replacement costs will be higher.
Of course the more use you make of you appliance the quicker such extra expense will be necessary so be prepared.
Those who are able to replace such items themselves will be able to purchase the necessary items and so reduce the cost but most disabled people will not be able to do that.
The question of whether to have solid or pneumatic tyres is one to think hard about.
Solid tyres will never puncture but tend to give a harder ride. Pneumatic tyres may puncture and need replacing if not repairable but they do help to cushion the ride. I am not a great fan of the cans of additive to assist with punctured tyres used to ensure onward travel, but the choice of that extra expense is your decision.
Apparel and safety
I find that because I am sitting still and travelling forward there are drafts which need some greater protection by adding extra clothing. During Autumn and Winter it is essential to ensure wrapping up well. Do have a set of waterproof clothing for wet conditions but you may want to ensure complete cover by purchasing the available total unit ‘hood’. It is not easy sometimes to put on waterproofs when a sudden shower occurs.
I have one mirror on the right side which is easily adjustable so that I am aware of cyclists and other road users coming up at my rear. The scooter has lights and indicators as required by law when used on the public highway. It has a horn but I find it very inefficient and rarely use it because pedestrians do not tend to hear it. I have not replaced it with a ‘bulb’ horn (squeeze to make a sound) because such a noise tends to startle pedestrians. Better to be aware and use brakes or manoeuvrability to avoid hazardous situations.
My scooter has a front basket which I have locked to the framework and I have a haversack type bag with the straps secured around the seat back to carry my ‘gear’ and any extra purchases.
I have a heavy cable and secure lock to anchor the power chair/scooter when it not in use for periods of an hour or more in public places (as required by most insurance policies.
Conclusion and Summary
Although you are not legally required to take out insurance it is extremely sensible to not only protect what is a very expensive vehicle but most importantly the potential of third-party litigation and liability should you have an accident in a public place.
Please note that this article on insurance for mobility scooters is strictly for informational purposes only and no liability is accepted for any errors in the information above. Rules and regulations may vary from country to country and legislation may have changed or been updated since this article was published.
Coming Soon – We will also be answering these questions shortly:
Does my mobility scooter coverage extend abroad so that I can safely take it out the country when I go on holiday?
Can I get mobility scooter insurance from companies and organisations such as Saga or Age Concern?
Should I use the company Fish?