The new e-scooter players have arrived in Auckland

17 December 2019

Micro-mobility options are continuing to grow in cities across the globe. Auckland is no different. The appeal and convenience of zipping around town without having to wait for a bus or pay the hefty price of a taxi ride while getting stuck in traffic is driving the demand for, and supply of, this relatively new and novel form of transport.

Stuff reports that in just over a year since launching in Auckland, over 2 million trips covering close to 3 million kilometres had been completed on Lime scooters alone. Across New Zealand on Limes, the number doubles to 4 million trips and over 6 million kilometres.

The rise of e-scooters and e-bicycles have been a double edged sword. Local governments have largely embraced this greener and convenient mode of transport, but at the same time, they have had to contend with the rise in accidents and complaints from angry pedestrians that have encountered near misses with the riders that are less skilled or considerate.

The new players in Auckland

Word on the street is Lime and Wave are out as of this month - early December 2019. The new players in town (Auckland) are Beam, Flamingo, Jump and Neuron.

With promises of better e-scooters and improved technology, the new players' devices are equipped with self-braking capability while going down a hill, geo-location speed limiters and system imposed curfews on operating hours - unavailable between the hours of 1am and 6am.

Cost wise, a familiar pricing schedule of $1 to unlock and between $0.30 - $0.38 per minute of use looks set to be rolled out across the board.

Time will tell if the new players are indeed better than the ones before.

Are you covered by insurance?

JUMP

The question is answered in a roundabout way on the website "We encourage every rider to be safe when using a JUMP scooter and we provide tips in app to help encourage people to follow safe riding behaviours." However, the Terms of Use makes it clear that no insurance is provided "You understand that the Program does not provide insurance coverage for damage or injuries incurred during the Program."

BEAM

Beam's website makes it easy to find out if a rider is covered by insurance. Yes, insurance is provided by Chubb Insurance New Zealand Limited. "Eligible Beam riders in ...New Zealand... will enjoy per trip personal accident insurance coverage, subject to local regulations." For more information on the extend of the insurance coverage, check out Beam's page.

FLAMINGO

It is unclear whether Flamingo provides insurance. There is one reference to insurance on their Terms of Use: "Any use of the Service that is prohibited by clause 5 or otherwise by these Terms may void all insurance, accident, or liability coverages (where permitted by law) and makes you responsible for all Loss or damage to, or connected with, your use of the Service, to the extent that such Loss or damage is connected to such prohibited use." However, it goes on to say "You are solely responsible and knowingly assume such risk for any and all injury or damage caused by your use of the Service, a Scooter and/or any related equipment that is a part of, relate to or concern your use of a Scooter, regardless of whether the injury or damage is caused to you or to others; and You assume full and complete responsibility for your use of a Scooter or the Service and agree that Flamingo is not responsible for any Loss that you cause that is related to or arises out of your use of a Scooter, the Service and/or any equipment or services that are a part of, relate to or concern your use of a Scooter or the Service including damage to the Scooter itself." Hmmm... we think not.

NEURON

Another murky insurance situation. The FAQs states that "Am I covered by insurance? All riders across operational cities are covered. If you have been in an accident, please fill this form or contact customer support as soon as you can." However, contrary to this is their Terms of Service stating "Your safety and peace of mind is important to us, however any insurance held by Neuron does not cover you for any injury, harm, damage or loss you may suffer in the event of an accident (or otherwise related to your use of the Services) and you should give consideration to obtaining your own insurance."

Beam appears to be the only player in town offering some form of insurance - well done! However, it is important to consider what the insurance cover. Reading the summary guide provided by beam, it does not include any damages caused to others and their property. If this is correct, it means in the situation that we are on an e-scooter and we crash it into a car, the accident damages are not covered leaving us with the potentially expensive bill.

Check your Contents insurance

If you have Contents insurance, you may be in luck. Some, if not most, will provide for liability cover. This means the unfortunate scenario above where a rider, like ourselves, crashes into a car, could be covered by the Contents policy.

Find out if you are covered by getting in touch with your insurer.

Quashed this uncertainty. If you are using Quashed and have a Contents policy loaded, all you need to do is click on Contact and you will have your information handy and ready to go. Checking with your insurance company will be a breeze like never before.

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