Compulsory insurance for E-Scooters

Created by Dietrich Limper at 12:02 on February 22, 2024

A guest article by Sebastian Meier:

With the increasing popularity of E-Scooters as a flexible and environmentally friendly means of transport in German cities, the need to deal with the legal framework is also growing. As practical and efficient as these little speedsters may be, without knowledge of the legal regulations, drivers can quickly be confronted with legal difficulties and high costs. From insurance cover to the consequences of disregarding traffic regulations, there is a lot to consider to ensure that your journey remains free of nasty surprises.

Compulsory insurance and labelling

In Germany, compulsory insurance for E-Scooters is regulated in Section 2 of the eKFV (Small Electric Vehicles Ordinance). Accordingly, every E-Scooter must have valid liability insurance, which is evidenced by an insurance licence plate. This must be clearly visible on the vehicle. Driving without insurance is not a trivial offence, but a criminal offence that can be punished with a fine or even a prison sentence of up to one year in accordance with Section 6 of the German Compulsory Insurance Act (PflVG). The immediate consequence for driving without insurance cover is a fine of EUR 40.

Liability insurance primarily covers damage caused to third parties in the frame of an accident. If you want additional protection for yourself or your E-Scooter, for example against theft or damage, you should also consider accidental damage or partial accidental damage insurance. Such insurance options can be taken out online with most providers, which makes the process much easier for E-Scooter owners. The insurance sticker is then sent by post.

E-Scooter insurance
Free travel with the right insurance

What is the situation with rental vehicles?

With rental vehicles, it is common for the provider to take out insurance for the scooters. Riders who decide to use a rental E-Scooter therefore do not usually have to take out insurance on their own. The insurance sticker, which confirms the vehicle's insurance cover, is already attached to the vehicle by the provider. This makes it easier for users to access these mobility services, as they do not have to worry about insurance and can start using them straight away.

What does liability insurance cover?

As mentioned, liability insurance only covers damage caused to third parties in the frame of an accident. This includes both property damage and personal injury caused by the insured person. In the event of an accident without valid insurance cover, not only do the aforementioned penalties apply, but the person responsible for the accident must also pay for the damage caused. This can quickly lead to enormous financial burdens, especially in the case of personal injury.

Like most insurance policies, liability insurance for E-Scooters naturally does not cover self-inflicted damage. This is the case if the accident occurs while disregarding the applicable traffic rules for E-Scooters. In this case, too, the driver is personally liable. They can also expect further fines.

Here is an excerpt of possible offences and the corresponding fines:

  • Driving without a Bell or functioning lights: EUR 15 or EUR 20 respectively.

  • Riding on unauthorised areas or riding side by side: from EUR 15. Authorised areas are deemed to be cycle paths or roads if there are no cycle paths.

  • Riding with an expired general operating licence (ABE): EUR 30.

  • Exceeding the speed limit of 20 km/h: 70 EUR. In addition, the police can confiscate modified devices that do not have a general operating licence.

  • Disregarding a red light: between EUR 60 and EUR 180 depending on the level of danger, plus 1 to 2 points in Flensburg.

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: At least EUR 500, two points and at least four weeks driving licence disqualification. This applies from as little as 0.3 per mille, provided that road traffic is endangered.

Fines can be higher if other road users are also endangered or property is damaged. A particularly serious offence is reckless driving, which is classified as a criminal offence under Section 315c of the German Criminal Code (StGB). In addition to a fine, this offence also carries the threat of points on the driving aptitude register. A complete list of all rules and fines for E-Scooters can be found in the catalogue of fines.

Conclusion: safety first

E-Scooter insurance is also a necessity apart from the legal obligation. Protecting the driver and other road users against the incalculable financial risks of an accident should not be underestimated. An understanding of the applicable traffic regulations and compliant participation in road traffic are a basic prerequisite. E-Scooters are subject to clear rules, and failure to comply with them can result in the loss of insurance cover and severe fines. If you are aware of these requirements, nothing stands in the way of having fun on an E-Scooter.

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Dietrich Limper
Dietrich Limper

Dietrich Limper works as an editor for SIP Scootershop and also writes for local and national publications. When he's not geocaching, he enjoys the amazing antics of Bayer Leverkusen.