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BBC programme highlights need for mobility scooter insurance

The airing last night on BBC1 of The Trouble with Mobility Scooters has again brought to the fore the issues faced by those riders who do not protect themselves with mobility scooter insurance.

The programme featured the case of one uninsured user who was subject to a civil claim following an accident at a supermarket car park and found liable for more than £16,500. That user tearfully recalled the devastating impact on her personal life of that case.

Her experience contrasted strongly with that of Fish policyholder David, a retired HGV driver from Yorkshire. David also suffered an accident in his local supermarket and faced an initial claim of over £20,000. Thankfully, as he was insured not only was the cost of his claim fully covered but it was reduced, although the final settlement still came to over £12,500.

You can read his story on The Hub by clicking here. Another Fish policyholder also saw a £19,000 claim settled through Fish after her scooter hit a chair in a library causing neck and shoulder injuries to the person sitting in it.

Their increasing prevalence and press reporting of accidents – few official statistics yet exist – mean mobility scooter insurance is becoming an increasingly hot topic. The independent the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (Rica) estimates there are now between 300-350,000 mobility scooters on UK roads and pavements, with approximately 80,000 sold every year.

Despite those huge numbers there is no legal requirement for owners to take out mobility scooter insurance or to take any test or be insured as the vehicles are exempt from the Road Traffic Act. However Department for Transport guidance states that “Although it is not a legal requirement, it is strongly advised that people take out insurance to cover personal safety, other people’s safety and the value of the vehicle.”

That is sound advice given not just the risk of costly civil claims but that insurance also protects against theft, vandalism and accidental damage. Buying insurance seems a small price to pay – sourced online from Fish it currently costs from just £54 – for the immense reassurance that it brings.

You can view The Trouble of Mobility Scooters now and until August 14th 2015 via the BBC iPlayer by clicking here.

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