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Do you have an electric scooter? Newly you have to pay compulsory insurance for some of them

This year, the Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Act was passed. It brings with it a number of significant changes concerning compulsory liability insurance. One of them is the obligation to take out compulsory insurance for another group of motor vehicles, including electric scooters. Does this also apply to your electric scooter? Find out in our article.

6 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

What is compulsory liability

Compulsory third party insurance is a type of insurance that covers damage caused to third parties when using a vehicle, most often in the event of a road accident. Its main purpose is to ensure that in the event of an accident where the owner of the vehicle causes damage to the health or property of a third party, this damage is covered financially by the insurance company. Mandatory third party liability therefore protects both the injured parties and the vehicle owner from financial claims that could arise as a result of their error or negligence in driving the vehicle. It saves the car owner millions of dollars that he would otherwise have to pay out of his own pocket.

What the compulsory liability insurance must be paid for

Everyone who owns a motor vehicle is obliged to take out compulsory third party insurance. It does not matter whether it is a car, motorcycle, electric scooter, tractor or, more recently, an electric scooter. However, this obligation only applies to vehicles with a registration plate, a roadworthiness certificate or those used on public roads.

However, there are some exceptions. For example, vehicles insured abroad do not have to have compulsory insurance. Vehicles belonging to the Ministry of the Interior and Defence, the police, volunteer fire brigades and the integrated rescue system are also exempt from this obligation.

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How about electric scooters

This year, the Law on Motor Third Party Liability Insurance was adopted, regulating the terms of compulsory liability insurance. This is based on an EU directive which sets new rules for motor insurance across the board. The law will come into force on 1 April 2024, so it is high time to start addressing the changes to compulsory liability.

One of the main changes is that other types of vehicles, including electric scooters, will now be subject to compulsory insurance. But only if they exceed the statutory limits. Therefore, electric scooters are subject to compulsory insurance if:

  1. their maximum speed exceeds 25 km per hour; or
  2. their weight exceeds 25 kg and their speed also exceeds 14 km per hour.

The new law does not apply to electric bikes, even though they can be faster than electric scooters. This is because with electric bikes, human power is the main source of movement, not the electric motor.

How can electric scooters put you at risk?

Although it may not seem like it at first glance, electric scooters can do a lot of damage. According to a survey by Deník.cz, “Accidents involving scooters are increasing dramatically in the Czech Republic. In the last five years alone, their number has increased almost twenty times. While in 2017 there were 23 such accidents (in four cases the scooter was electrically powered), in 2023 police officers recorded 499 accidents involving scooters. In 348 cases, an electric scooter was involved. Four riders died in the crashes, through their own fault, according to traffic police investigations.

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The dangers associated with the use of electric scooters in road traffic affect drivers, other road users and pedestrians. The risks for riders are mainly the risk of falls and collisions, which may result from uneven surfaces, unexpected manoeuvres or collisions with obstacles and other vehicles. These incidents are often caused by high speeds and lack of protective equipment such as helmets or reflective features. It is also not uncommon for alcohol to be behind accidents.

Other road users can be endangered by the unexpected manoeuvres of electric scooter drivers and poor visibility. Electric scooters also often endanger pedestrians. Especially in large cities, it is common for e-scooter drivers to run onto pavements.

A frightening case for everyone is an accident that happened in 2022 in Fryštát. A man there, together with his friend, was riding down a hill on an electric scooter. He was not wearing a helmet and was travelling at high speed. As a result, he could not control the steering and crashed. Despite the immediate arrival of paramedics at the scene, the man died the following day from his injuries.

I forgot to pay the compulsory liability insurance – now what?

With the new obligation, there are likely to be many people who have not taken out compulsory insurance. Either because they forget or deliberately ignore the obligation. So what happens if you don’t pay your compulsory insurance?

If you don’t take out compulsory insurance, you’re likely to face hefty fines. For every day you have not taken out insurance, you will have to pay a contribution to the Guarantee Fund to the Czech Insurance Office. This is determined as the product of the number of days you did not have insurance and the daily rate depending on the type of vehicle. The latter is determined taking into account the highest market premium rates for each type of vehicle and the costs of out-of-court enforcement (i.e. recovery of the amount owed).

If you want to have at least a rough idea of the amount, you can look at the contributions from previous years when the old legislation was still in force. But expect to pay more than the table below.

Type of vehicleDaily rate
Motorcycle with engine cylinder capacity up to and including 50 cc.4 crowns
Motorcycle with engine cylinder capacity over 50 cc up to and including 350 cc.8 crowns
Motorcycle with engine cylinder capacity over 350 cm3 up to and including 500 cm3.21 crowns
Motorcycle with engine cylinder capacity over 500 cm.25 crowns
Passenger car with engine cylinder capacity up to and including 1000 cm3.30 crowns
Passenger car with engine cylinder capacity from 1001 cm3 to 1350 cm3 inclusive.35 crowns
Passenger car with engine cylinder capacity from 1351 cm3 to 1850 cm3 inclusive.47 crowns
Passenger car with engine cylinder capacity from 1851 cm3 to 2500 cm3 inclusive.65 crowns
Passenger car with engine cylinder capacity from 1851 cm3 to 2500 cm3 inclusive.93 crowns

In addition, you can also be fined up to CZK 40,000 in the event of a police check. And if you cause an accident, you will have to pay up to CZK 300,000 in damages.

Another question is what happens if you have an insurance policy but forget to pay it. Is it possible to pay the compulsory liability after the due date? The simple answer is, yes, you can pay after the due date. Your insurer will probably send you a reminder by email about non-payment. In this case, do not delay and pay the insurance.

Otherwise, the insurance company will cancel your compulsory liability insurance and you will be treated as if you had no compulsory liability insurance at all for the unpaid period. Then the same situation occurs that we mentioned above – the need to pay a contribution to the Guarantee Fund of the Czech Insurance Office.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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