Mobility insurer talks scooter safety, training centre availability and the introduction of standard assessment

Following the popularity of its brand-new Safety Assessment Track at this year’s Naidex, Fish Insurance says there is a need for more access to training centres and suggests the introduction of standard assessment for all users.

Supported by partners TPG DisableAids and Kymco Healthcare, the Safety Assessment Track provided a variety of artificial off-road terrain, ramps and obstacles for drivers to test their skills and receive expert advice on how to use their equipment safely.

Delighted with the response, John Garrard, Fish Insurance’s Managing Director, commented: "Our main focus in making the track available to visitors was so that they could gain important safety knowledge. We also found that it gave peace of mind to prospective buyers about purchasing a scooter. Over the two days we had 150 attendees who took part in the assessment, generating a huge amount of positive feedback and enthusiasm.”

Users had the option of using their own scooter or equipment provided by Kymco Healthcare on the new track, with specialist assessors from TPG DisableAids on hand providing guidance on their skills and abilities.

John added: "As the leading providers of mobility scooter insurance, we recognise that safety for both scooter owners and pedestrians is a growing concern. As the number of mobility scooters increase across the UK, unfortunately, so too does the number of accidents.

"We believe a standard assessment should be introduced to encourage responsible scooter ownership. We believe that our track raises awareness of the importance of training.”

Currently, there is no legal requirement to have a permit to drive a mobility scooter, however, recent figures revealing an increase in mobility scooter accidents has underlined the importance of learning the basics.

"The overwhelming feedback we received from the visitors to our stand clearly illustrated that training centres should be more widely available to practice skills and increase awareness of road safety,” continued John.

The view was supported by a number of healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists.

According to the mobility insurance specialists, many healthcare professionals clearly recognise that mobility aids are a lifeline for a growing number of people, however, the lack of training options can cause problems in the long run.

Importantly, Fish highlighted that many people were unaware of the insurance implications resulting from an accident, explaining to visitors that if a scooter user has an accident without liability cover, they could face a large financial bill arising from both the damage to their scooter and third-party costs.

The company says if a pedestrian is injured, they may raise a claim against the driver with subsequent liability for compensation and legal fees. This risk of litigation further emphasises the need to minimise the number of potential accidents through adequate training and easy access to information so drivers are competent and confident.

John concluded: "It was a great opportunity to speak to a huge variety of people and gain candid and invaluable feedback. And we were pleased that our Safety Assessment Track was so popular.

"Over the two days, we received a constant stream of positive feedback and we’re looking forward to being at Naidex 2019 with our Safety Assessment Track, helping consumers gain the guidance they need in responsible powered wheelchair and scooter ownership.”

With a reported 12,517 people in attendance, 2018’s Naidex featured hundreds of industry leaders showcasing products and services to help enhance the lives of people living with disabilities.

Confirming it will continue to champion the safe use of mobility equipment, Fish added it aims to work with their partners to run additional awareness training soon.

To view the Safety Assessment Track, view the video below:

To listen to an interview with John, watch below:

For companies wishing to get involved or find out more about how to work with Fish, contact 0333 331 3950.

To find out more about the company, visit the website HERE