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Scooter-sharing service becomes latest dangerous quasi-uninsured pollutant on Miami roadways and sidewalks

At the beginning of 2020, a new moped-sharing company was authorized to launch in Miami. South Florida became the latest theater of operation for the Brooklyn-based company, Revel, which is already operational in five States across the country. The app-based business that launched about a year ago is in full flurry and joins the e-scooter businesses that have been allowed to operate across countries and continents for three years.

While the ability to rent a fast-moving mobility vehicle at your fingertips sounds exciting, the disregard to the public’s safety remains incredibly unchecked. As a result, there has been an incredible increase in untrained riders sharing the road with bicyclists, pedestrians, and other motorists.  Much like its predecessors, Revel offers its customers the possibility to rent and ride a moped 24/7 by simply using their free phone-app. The app requires riders to be 21 with a valid driver’s license and a credit card. The app offers free lessons to beginners and requires that all riders wear a helmet included with the scooter.

A quick review of the Help section of the company’s website describes that Revel revokes the $25,000 liability insurance if the rider does not to wear a helmet (It is legal in Florida to ride a 2-wheel vehicle without a helmet if you are over 21). In other words, if a helmet-less Revel rider hits you while crossing the street, Revel will not cover for your injuries, despite their permissible driver’s negligence. Rather, Revel tells us that the rider’s car insurance policy will step in its stead. All good now? Not quite. In Florida, a moped is always excluded from car insurance policies, which means that you were just injured by an uninsured driver. As the victim, you are now responsible for your own medical bills and there is nothing you can do about it.

What can you do to protect yourself financially? If you own a car, make sure you purchase UM coverage (uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage). This affords coverage to all covered persons under the policy in the even the responsible party who caused your injuries does not have insurance or not enough to compensate you. Florida does not make UM coverage mandatory even though it is the most important coverage to purchase, but it does require your Florida car insurance carrier to offer UM coverage to its insureds.

In light of the exponential increase of uninsured vehicles operated by less than experienced drivers, it is more imperative today than it ever was to purchase insurance to protect yourself. Rental companies are not in the business of protecting victims of their customers. They are not even interested in covering their customers – only their vehicles.  With the dramatic increase of inexperienced drivers and riders on our streets, make sure you are covered!  Call your car insurance today and ask to add UM coverage to your policy.  If you were involved in an incident with a Revel-rider or an e-scooter rider, contact the personal injury attorneys at Leesfield & Partners for a consultation.

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