EXCLUSIVE: Compulsory mobility insurance could dent scooter sales, warns leading firm

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The prospect of the Government introducing new legislation to make insurance compulsory for mobility scooters threatens to impact on retailer sales, a leading industry insurer has warned.

First Senior Group outlined the increasing likelihood of the Government acting on proposals to make mobility insurance compulsory as the number of uninsured accidents reported rises.

Director James Nicholls said that in theory making insurance mandatory “sounds a great idea” but questions its viability in practice.

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“There will be a lot more regulation,” he told AMP. “There would eventually be tests for clients before they could get insurance or even need a licence, and you would have to register all products with a licence plate and insurance documents.

“This would make the sale of mobility products more cumbersome and put off a lot of potential clients. Then we need to consider how this would be enforced and the drain on police forces and the potential bad publicity of scooter users being prosecuted for not having insurance or having their product impounded.

“Therefore the more the providers make sure their clients have insurance the less likely that regulation will be forced upon you.”

There are now at least 350,000 mobility scooters in use in Britain and there are increasing calls for insurance to be made compulsory as the number of accidents climbs.

Several years ago the European Court ruled that mobility scooters being used on private-land need insurance. But last year the trade body for the British insurance industry said that the court’s ruling is “unnecessary, unworkable and unfair”.

The ruling could make it compulsory for owners of mobility scooters to take out third party insurance if using their vehicles off-road, if it is acted on by the Government. But most companies in the sector are undeterred.

First Senior Group reported a record year last year and expects 2018 to be “even better”, as its sees more suppliers using its products. It is working to keep premiums as affordable as possible while dealing with regulations and developing new products that suppliers and end-users require.

Its products include comprehensive insurance, extended warranties and roadside recovery policies. The insurance covers all eventualities such as, theft, accidental damage and public liability.

The company said that roadside recovery is a fast growing product as it removes the pressure of a repairer having to drop everything and rescue the client. The client is professionally rescued within 45 minutes and the vehicle safely returned to their home.

Tags : first senior groupinsurancemobility scooterscooter
Joe Peskett

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