As scooter companies request to add more for their fleet, rideshare drivers worry about insurance

Posted at 4:50 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 19:38:14-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Three scooter companies want to add a combined 1,000 scooters to their fleet in Nashville, raising the total from 4,150, to 5,150.

As more scooters are added to Nashville streets, some rideshare riders are worried about what happens when riders collide with cars. Who covers the cost?

"One of my thoughts is who's going to be liable? Is the insurance company going to pick it up? And I don't know the answers. I just know that those are questions," said Wayne Shick, an Uber and Lyft driver of nearly three years.

Shick first began wondering about the answer after one of his riders told him a story about a crash between a scooter and a car. The rider was uninjured, but the car had a lot of damage. Shick said getting insurance to pay for the damage was a problem.

"If something happens and there's damage to our car, we might be out of work for a week or two or more," said Shick. "Some of these guys here do it full time. That takes their livelihood, whether that would be covered, I have no idea."

According to a spokesperson for Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance, most scooter companies have liability insurance.

"When you're clicking that button on the app, you're agreeing to their terms of service which often times includes the liability insurance," said Baylie Scott.

While that may be a relief to drivers, for people riding on the scooters, insurance won't cover personal injuries in many cases.

"Before you operate a scooter, we highly recommend you review your health insurance and make sure you are covered in the event of an accident," said Scott.

People without insurance would be stuck with medical bills in the event of a serious injury. This is why Scott says you should review the terms of service from the scooter company before riding.

Even though Bird, Jump and Lyft want to add scooters to Nashville streets, they'll have to be approved by the Transportation Licensing Commission first.

A public meeting about the request was postponed.