Scooter-and-moped-insuranceIf you love the feel of riding in the open air – but worry that a motorcycle might be too much for you – mopeds and scooters are the perfect solutions.

But like any other mode of transportation, riding a moped or scooter comes with risks. Insurance can help mitigate the potential financial dangers that arise after an accident.

“Anyone who owns and operates a moped or scooter should consider insurance,” says Sarah Jacobs, vice president of personal lines product development at Nationwide.

In some states, you are required to carry this type of insurance. In others, it is optional.

But insuring your moped or scooter is almost always wise. The cost of coverage is low, and insurance can protect you if you damage someone else’s property, or injure someone while riding your bike.

Key Takeaways

  • Insurance for mopeds offers many of the same protections you find in motorcycle insurance or car insurance.
  • State requirements for carrying insurance on scooters and mopeds vary. In some places, both require insurance. In other states, you may not need to insure either one.
  • Scooter and moped insurance is more affordable than standard auto insurance. Even if your state does not require you to purchase coverage, it is often wise to do so.

What is moped and scooter insurance?

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Moped and scooter insurance protects you in the event that you are riding your bike and injure someone, or damage his or her property. This type of protection is included in your liability coverage, with comes in two forms:

  • Bodily injury liability: If you injure someone, this coverage will help pay their medical expenses.
  • Property damage liability: When you damage another person's property, this coverage covers the cost of repairing or replacing their property.

You can also purchase optional coverage to reimburse the cost of repair or replacing your moped our scooter if it is damaged. This also comes in two forms:

  • Collision coverage. If you smash into another vehicle or object, this type of coverage will reimburse the repair or replacement costs for your damaged bike.
  • Comprehensive coverage. When your scooter or moped is damaged by something other than a collision -- such as fire, hail or vandalism -- this coverage makes you whole.

Other coverages in your policy might include:

  • Uninsured motorist. This coverage reimburses your medical bills when the driver who injures you does not have insurance.
  • Medical payments coverage and personal injury protection. The former helps cover your medical bills if you are injured in an accident involving your scooter or moped, while the latter helps pay for both medical bills and lost wages if you cannot work.

Mopeds and scooters are popular with many people, as they are less expensive than cars, more fuel-efficient and generally require less maintenance. They also cost much less to insure than a car, making these policies more affordable for many.

“It’s important to obtain insurance that specifically covers mopeds and scooters since they are not typically covered by most standard auto and homeowner policies,” Jacobs says.

Do you need insurance for a moped or scooter?

Whether or not you will be required to purchase moped or scooter insurance depends on the state where you live. “In many states, liability insurance is required,” Jacobs says.

Some states require you to carry liability insurance if your engine is 50cc or larger, or your bike can achieve speeds of 30 miles per hour or more. This will cover you if you damage something or hurt someone while driving your scooter or moped.

If you have taken out a loan to purchase your scooter or moped, it is possible that your lender will require you to insure for damages to the bike itself.

However, insurance is regulated at the state level, so rules differ from state to state. If you are unsure of your insurance requirements, consult with your state's department of insurance.

Even if you are not required by your state to purchase moped or scooter insurance, it often is a good idea to purchase a policy.

“Accidents can occur anytime and anywhere -- on the road, in the driveway, and anywhere else you are operating your scooter or moped,” Jacobs says.

If you severely injure or even kill someone while riding your bike, you could be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars -- or even more. Your insurance policy’s liability coverage can protect you in such situations.

What does moped and scooter insurance cover?

As with standard vehicle or motorcycle insurance, moped and scooter insurance offers liability coverage, which protects you if you are riding your bike and you hurt someone or damage their property.

Coverage also is available to help reimburse you if you damage your bike and need to repair or replace it.

“Depending on the value of your bike, you may want to consider comprehensive and collision policies to cover your bike if it needs repairs after an accident,” says Jason Millar, senior director of business development at Dairyland Insurance.

Finally, moped and scooter insurance can provide coverage for personal items that might be damaged in an accident, such as boots, a helmet or other gear and accessories, such as goggles or gloves.

For example, in many states, Nationwide’s moped and scooter insurance offers a standard $3,000 limit for custom equipment, with the option to purchase additional coverage up to 100% of the replacement cost.

Safety apparel also is covered for up to $2,000 when you purchase with collision coverage.

According to Kevin Henry, director of product management with Foremost Insurance Group, a good scooter policy should include the following coverage:

  • Physical damage
  • Liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured driver protection

Henry advises that the liability coverage for your scooter matches the amount of coverage you carry on your auto insurance policy. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can purchase less coverage simply because your scooter is worth less than a car: Liability coverage protects your assets against the damage your scooter does to others, and you will want the same level of protection regardless of what you are driving.

How much does scooter and moped insurance cost?

Looking for cheap scooter insurance? Or wondering how much is moped insurance?

“Scooter and moped insurance is relatively inexpensive,” Millar says.

Insuring a scooter or moped typically is much less expensive than insuring a car, truck or SUV. For example, Progressive says you can insure a scooter or moped for as little as $79 annually.

“In many cases, for less than $100, you can obtain a level of liability coverage for yourself that protects some or all of your assets if you’re at fault for an accident,” Millar says.

Scooter and moped insurance cost differs, though, depending on factors such as your age, driving and riding history, location, and the type of scooter or moped you own. In addition, you may be eligible for discounts with some insurers if you complete a motorcycle safety course.

Moped and scooter insurance costs also may fall if you are eligible for discounts from insurers. For example, Dairyland says it offers a multi-cycle discount for those who insure more than one motorcycle, moped or scooter with the company.

At Nationwide, taking an approved moped and scooter safety course can get you a discount. It’s another way to get cheaper scooter insurance or to lower the costs of your insurance on a moped.

Reduce your costs even further with additional discounts, such as:

  • Multiline coverage (i.e., insuring your home, car and scooter with one company)
  • Being part of an affinity group
  • Taking safety courses
  • Anti-theft measures
  • Use of safety gear such as helmets

In addition, look for an auto insurance company that offers perks such as accident forgiveness and customer-loyalty incentives.

The best way to get a great rate is to make sure you get a moped insurance quote from more than one company. The same applies with scooters: Get several scooter insurance quotes. This will help you compare what is available so you can get the best price.

Where can I buy scooter and moped insurance?

You can buy insurance for mopeds and scooters through many car insurance companies, just as you would buy vehicle or motorcycle insurance. Some of the insurers that sell this type of coverage include:

  • Allstate
  • American Family Insurance
  • Dairyland
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive

Millar recommends buying your coverage from an insurance agent or carrier who primarily serves the auto, motorcycle and moped space. “Agents and insurers who understand the industry can help you find the right coverages and answer your questions to make sure you and your moped are properly covered,” he says.

Coverage limits of moped and scooter insurance

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Typically, the coverage limits you get for moped and scooter insurance will be similar to those you would get on a motorcycle policy. Liability coverage is standard, and other coverages – such as collision and comprehensive – are optional.

Coverage limits depend on how much you are willing to pay. The more coverage you desire, the higher the premium cost will be. It can be tempting to cut corners when it comes to your car insurance rates. Rather than purchasing a separate motorcycle insurance policy, some scooter owners may decide to purchase a rider on their car insurance or even depend on their homeowners insurance for liability coverage.

This could be a big mistake, says Henry. Homeowner policies rarely offer liability coverage for scooters, and those that do will not offer medical insurance or uninsured and underinsured protection. Henry says that scooter owners are better served with a separate scooter policy.

Compare auto insurance riders with a stand-along scooter policy and you may find that the coverage is vastly different. A cheap auto insurance rider may not provide any physical damage (collision) coverage should your scooter be in an accident. In addition, its low liability limits may open you up to potential financial loss if you’re sued over an accident.

Millar says understanding coverage limits can be difficult, which is why “it’s important to insure your moped through a carrier that knows the industry."

He adds that such agents can help you understand the language and restrictions that may exist in your moped or scooter policy.

"Riders are likely to find fewer restrictions by companies who work more often with motorcycles and mopeds compared to those that offer only a motorcycle endorsement on an auto policy rather than a standalone motorcycle policy," he says.

Frequently asked questions 

What is the difference between moped and scooter?

Mopeds and scooters are similar but slightly different modes of transportation. Typically, a moped is a two-wheeled vehicle that has a step-through frame and a motor that is 50cc (cubic centimeters) or smaller. Some mopeds have pedals, although that is less common than it once was.

Scooters also may have step-through frames, but these vehicles are more powerful, with motors of up to 250cc. This means they can go faster than mopeds.

Do you need insurance to ride a scooter?

Do mopeds require insurance? And what about insurance for scooters?

Not every state requires you to insure your scooter or moped. For example, in New Hampshire, you do not have to carry insurance for any type of vehicle. In other states, you may have to carry insurance for a scooter, but not a moped. And yet other states require you to carry insurance for both.

It is important for you to clearly understand both your state's laws and the risks of not carrying insurance even if your state does not require it. In Florida, you are not required to carry insurance for motorcycles.

However, that does not mean it is wise to forego insurance in the Sunshine State or anywhere else. Yes, you can simply ask the question, “Do scooters need insurance?” Or even something more specific to your state, such as “Do you need insurance for a scooter in Florida?” But a better question is, “What is the risk of going without motor scooter insurance?”

If you damage another vehicle or hurt someone, you will be held responsible for the financial damages.

“You should consider not only the potential for damage to your moped or scooter, but also damage to other vehicles or property, and injuries to other parties,” Jacobs says.

So, it is best to have insurance to protect you from these costs.

Does insurance cover scooter damage?

Yes, insurance for a scooter will cover any damage you cause to someone’s property or personal well-being. This is known as liability coverage, and any insurance policy you purchase will cover this type of event.

However, if you want to make sure your own scooter is covered should it be damaged or destroyed, you will need to purchase optional collision and comprehensive insurance.

What does scooter insurance cost?

Scooter and moped insurance cost differs depending on factors such as your age, driving and riding history, location, and the type of scooter or moped you own. However, you can typically expect it to cost less than standard car insurance.

Which are the states that require moped and scooter insurance?

Not every state requires you to carry insurance for mopeds and scooters. For example, in Delaware, insurance for a moped is not mandatory. On the other hand, scooter insurance is necessary, as scooters must be registered as motorcycles, which are required to be insured.

Georgia also requires scooters to be insured but does not have the same requirement for mopeds.

In other states, you must insure both scooters and mopeds. In Minnesota, two-wheeled vehicles are classified as either a moped or a motorcycle. Both scooters and mopeds must be insured with liability coverage.

In Oregon, you must insure a moped if you plan to ride it on public roadways and premises open to the public. Scooters that are not classified as mopeds are considered to be motorcycles and must carry insurance.

Other states – such as Florida – do not even require insurance for motorcycles, and New Hampshire does not require insurance for any type of vehicle.

The laws for insuring scooters and mopeds vary greatly from state to state. Contact your department of insurance to make sure you are carrying the required insurance for your bike. And remember that even if your state does not require insurance coverage, it is wise to purchase it anyway.

Is scooter or moped insurance different than motorcycle insurance?

Scooter or moped insurance has the same basic coverages as insurance for motorcycles. Costs will vary depending on the type of motorcycle and value, but otherwise, the coverages are typically the same.