Insurance for hoverboards could be available in Korea soon

Manufacturers and insurers are working together to keep up with new regulations for personal mobility devices

Insurance for hoverboards could be available in Korea soon

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Personal mobility devices (PMDs), such as electric unicycles, electric scooters, and hoverboards are gaining popularity in South Korea, but regulations and liability insurance coverage are still catching up.

There are currently 30,000 PMDs in Korea, with a market estimated to be worth KRW50 billion (US$44 million) as of the end of 2016.

Recently, PMDs have been classified as motor vehicles, prohibiting them from being operated on bike-only roads and even parks. However, sharing the road with cars would expose the operators of PMDs to significant danger. Also, licenses will be required to operate PMDs, effectively making them illegal to use for people under 16 years old.

“Rather than limiting personal mobility devices to the road, the government should consider issuing driving approval according to the specifications of these machines such as their maximum speed, travel distance, width and weight,” said Myeong Myo-hee, a research fellow at the Korea Road Traffic Authority, told JoongAng Daily.

PMD manufacturers and insurers have begun working together to formulate insurance solutions to cover these vehicles and their users. Minimotors, the manufacturer of the Dualtron Man, a two-wheeled skateboard-like device, has been compiling the loss ratios for PMDs in cooperation with Meritz Fire and Marine Insurance. The companies are expected to release a PMD damage liability insurance policy by June.

PMD manufacturers have also united to form the Smart Mobility Association to discuss the industry’s direction.

“It’s crucial to form an environment that enables users to safely drive two-wheeled mobility devices,” said Lim Jin-woo, CEO of manufacturer Triviki and chairman of the association. “That will boost product purchases and expand the industry.”

Related stories:
Mandatory insurance for personal mobility devices shelved
Government official: E-bike insurance needed
Minister slams plan for bicycle registration and insurance

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