In February 2010, the owner of the Segway company, Jim Heselden, fell off a 30-foot cliff and died while riding an all-terrain Segway in England. Understandably, this occurrence caused many people to question Segway safety. While it is true that the rate of injury has increased in recent years, the actual number of incidents is still small, especially when compared to vehicles such as motorcycles or bicycles.
Segways have grown in popularity in recent years. These battery-powered, two-wheeled, all-terrain scooters accelerate when riders lean forward, and steer when you lean to the side. If you have purchased a Segway, you are probably wondering whether you need insurance for it. Is there a risk of accidents? Can you get coverage to replace your Segway if it is stolen? Thankfully, there's insurance coverage out there for just about anyone who uses a Segway that can really pay off in the long run.
Facts About Segways
Here are some helpful facts about Segways that will shed some light on the popularity, usage, and potential risks involved with riding these high-tech scooters. Facts like these insurance companies calculate when they write policies and offer specific coverage to consumers.
- The estimated number of Segways worldwide is approximately 80,000
- The Segway’s top speed is about 12.5 mph – about 3 times faster than human walking speed.
- A study done by the Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that serious injuries from Segway use nearly doubled between 2005 and 2008
Ensure Your Safety on a Segway
One study indicated that Segway injuries were surprisingly serious. Of patients who used emergency medical services with Segway injuries, 20 percent were admitted to the hospital for treatment. This is higher than the admission rate for pedestrians struck by moving cars. Most of the Segway injuries were a result of falling off the vehicle or running into lamp posts, parked cars, benches, walls, or other inanimate objects.
A Segway’s top speed is considerably faster than that of a person walking. Additionally, it requires a great deal of balance and body control to maneuver properly. Therefore, the risks of falling off or steering improperly are high, especially for novice users.
If you have recently purchased a Segway, be conscientious about wearing a helmet. It may also be a good idea to purchase Segway insurance to cover possible injuries or damage to the scooter or to another person’s property.
Find Segway Insurance
Segway insurance is available from some carriers. Because the “human transporter” industry is still in its infancy, not all insurance companies offer Segway insurance yet. Companies that do carry Segway insurance will differ some as to the exclusions and cost of premiums they offer. Some carriers consider a Segway to be similar to a snowmobile for the purpose of determining insurance rates. If you are a new owner, you may want to explore what types of coverage are available to you.
Online Segway Insurance – Available, Not Ideal
Those interested in buying Segway insurance can certainly find it by performing an online search. However, this may take a great deal of time and patience, since it will require contacting many different insurance carriers. Again, not all carriers provide Segway insurance, and those who do may charge more than you are willing to pay.
By combining several policies together under one insurance company, you’ll likely get the best rates and customer service.
How to Ride a Segway
The Segway has many safety features that help users operate it without injury and ride safely over many types of terrain. It can operate on flat surfaces, such as blacktop or concrete, as well as more rugged terrain, such as grass, scrubland, sand, and gravel.
It has three primary operating speeds: Beginner, Sidewalk, and Open Area. The Beginner level has a top speed of 6 mph, while the Sidewalk level can move at 8 mph and has a medium turning rate. The Segway’s Open Area level has a top speed of 12.5 mph and offers the most sensitive turning rate.
Get Segway Insurance Quotes
Whether you are considering buying a Segway for personal use, or you plan to purchase a dozen Segways for your plant or warehouse, it's a good idea to shop around for Segway insurance quotes. You can search for coverage online, or by calling around - just make sure you're working with highly rated insurance agencies and agents who understand Segway use and the conditions where you live. When you can make apples-to-apples comparisons of your insurance options, you'll find the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget.