Scooters are easier to ride than they are to insure
In theory, even scooters, those popular but highly dangerous two-wheeled, skateboard-like vehicles, can be insured by individual riders.
In the real world, that may take some time.
KB Insurance inked a memorandum of understanding with Beam, the electric-scooter sharing service, to develop policies for the company.
“As the number of accidents from electric scooters increases, we decided to embark on this business partnership to provide users with a safer riding experience,” said KB Insurance Vice President Park Kyung-hee.
As electric scooters have rapidly gained popularity, injuries have been increasing. The number of accidents has grown 18-fold since 2016, reaching a record of 890 cases last year, according to Samsung Traffic Safety Research Institute.
The real challenge for the insurer is developing policies for private owners of scooters. At present, no insurance is required for these vehicles owned and operated by individuals.
In developing a retail product, profitability is a problem. Electric scooters are dangerous, which means high premiums. But the main users are under 40, and they may not be interested in spending so much on monthly payments.
Another issue is insurance fraud, as scooters lack serial numbers found on motorcycles, making it difficult to confirm ownership of the vehicles.
There's also a lack of sufficient data on electric scooter riders, for which insurance companies need to conduct proper risk analysis.
Electric vehicle (EV) mobility is a hot topic of discussion, with the Transport Ministry, General Insurance Association of Korea, insurance companies and mobility providers holding a meeting recently on the mode of transportation.
The ministry is planning to come up with a private mobility law, which it hopes to put into effect by 2021.
BY KANG JAE-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]