Q&A regarding insurance and compensation related to new electric mobility devices


What are these new electric mobility devices?

These include electric balance boards, electric scooters, self-balancing unicycles, electric mobility scooters, and pedelecs.

Why do these light electric mobility devices require no insurance?

These are not regarded as motor vehicles and, therefore, do not require motor liability insurance according to the legislation. They are considered to be parts of pedestrian traffic.

Can I take out motor liability insurance for light electric mobility devices?

No, you cannot. They are not regarded as motor vehicles as referred to in the Motor Liability Insurance Act. In case of accidents, you should, however, consider voluntary insurance cover, such as accident and third-party liability insurance.

Why are light electric vehicles not regarded as motor vehicles?

They are not classified as motor vehicles according to the EU legislation.

Why do motorised bicycles need to be insured?

They have been defined as a separate motor vehicle category in the EU legislation.

How does a motorised bicycle differ from other electric mobility devices that may have an identical maximum speed and power?

Motorised bicycles differ from pedelecs in terms of power (250 W vs. 1 kW), and they do not necessarily require pedalling, such as pedelecs. They differ from other light electric mobility devices in terms of the permitted maximum width which is higher than that of other electric mobility devices (1 m vs. 80 cm). Another difference is that motorised bicycles have been defined as a separate motor vehicle category in the EU legislation.

What insurance should be taken out for motorised bicycles?

You need to take out motor liability insurance from an insurance company. Taking out motor liability insurance is a statutory obligation.

Who pays for damage caused by a new light electric mobility device which is not covered by motor liability insurance?

Such damage is not covered by motor liability insurance. It all depends on voluntary insurance cover. Accident insurance covers personal injuries suffered by the insured person, and third-party liability insurance covers personal injuries the property damage inflicted on third parties. If there is no voluntary insurance cover, the party causing the damage will be responsible for all damage suffered by it and others.

What should I know when buying an electric mobility device?

Considering the insurance obligation, it is important to identify the top speed and maximum power of the mobility device. If the device travels at more than 25 km/h OR its power exceeds 1 kW, it requires motor liability insurance. Furthermore, a motorised bicycle requires motor liability insurance (power more than 250 W or top speed higher than 15 km/h).

If the power of the mobility device is more than 1 kW or its top speed is higher than 25 km/h, you should identify whether or not the mobility device can be used on Finnish roads.

What instructions would you give to anyone considering to buy a new mobility device?

If the device does not require motor liability insurance, ensure that you have sufficient voluntary insurance cover (accident and third-party liability insurance). In addition, such mobility devices should be used carefully, taking other road users into account. Also remember to familiarise yourself with traffic rules in advance. We also recommend that proper protective equipment, such as a helmet, be used.

01.01.2017