INSURANCE COVER: Gaps in insurance coverage can expose both the injured and the rider
INSURANCE COVER: Gaps in insurance coverage can expose both the injured and the rider

Questions raised over mobility scooter insurance

INSURANCE coverage for mobility scooters has worrying gaps in it according to the Australian Lawyers Alliance.

Andrew Stone, NSW President of the ALA, said today that these gaps mean injuries caused by mobility scooters can leave the injured person unable to recover damages and the scooter rider financially vulnerable to significant compensation claims.

"There are insurance gaps between public liability and motor vehicle insurance and potential gaps between Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance and public liability insurance," Mr Stone said. "Consistent national standards would help solve this problem.

"At present some motorised scooters are covered in relation to some accidents. However, that coverage is an inconsistent patchwork. There is also insufficient public information available about insurance arrangements for mobility scooters.

"Mobility scooters are heavy and powerful. They can, and do, cause significant injury.

"ALA lawyers have come across mobility scooter injuries, covering everything from pinning a fellow supermarket patron against a checkout counter causing significant leg injuries, through to knocking out the ladder from under a worker who was fixing an electrical device on a public street. 

ALA has also identified the problem of third party insurance schemes being state and territory-based with each jurisdiction having different rules in relation to the use of mobility scooters and therefore the applicable insurance that may cover accidents. 

"Some mobility scooter riders may be covered by the public liability extension on a domestic home and contents policy," Mr Stone said. "However, the existence of this coverage is effectively random as far as the victim is concerned and has its limits. 

"The reality is that there is a gap in coverage between CTP schemes and public liability policies. 

"These arrangements are entirely unsatisfactory in relation to both accident victims and mobility scooter owners. We urge the Commonwealth to take a leadership role in creating national standards and ensuring mobility scooter users are better informed about the rules and their own liability."

Mr Stone recommends scooter owners should -

  • Check what they are covered for under their existing insurance cover by talking to their home and contents insurance provider. 
  • Ask whether the insurer if the policy includes third party injury and third party property cover.
  • Seek advice from specialist insurance companies who provide mobility scooter insurance.
  • Check state rules and regulations around mobility scooter owners.