Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2019

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The question can my moped be covered under my car insurance is definitely valid since most people are not sure. Mopeds have certain speed capabilities and have motors, which makes them motor vehicles.

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Mopeds are sort of in between motorcycles and scooters and you can drive them on public roads. They have a specific value and require certain levels of protection. However, since it has a classification of a motorized mode of transportation, it is understandable why there is so much confusion.

The Difference between Mopeds and Scooters

Before you consider whether you actually need car insurance for your moped, first make sure you do not have a scooter. Upon first glance, they look very similar. However, there are major distinctions and one always requires proper auto insurance coverage.

Unless it undergoes major modifications, a moped does not produce more than 50 CCs or cubic centimeters with a 1500-watt output. They can travel on neighborhood streets with 25-40 mph posted speed limits, but not on most highways or freeways.

If you have a moped with more power, it still will not reach over 45 mph because of the engine capacity. Most people use their mopeds for casual rides within their towns, so this suits them just fine.

A scooter also has limited engine capacity however; it begins at 50 CCs and usually ends at approximately 250 CCs. Another major difference is the ability to exceed speeds of 100 mph. This means scooters can navigate highways with ease, while mopeds would definitely hinder the flow of highway traffic.

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License Class Types and Registration Essentials

The Department of Motor Vehicles calls mopeds limited use power-driven vehicles. They classify them as two to three-wheel vehicles with low speeds. Every state requires a certain type of driver’s license, depending on the age of the driver and the type of moped.

The speed limit determines the moped classification. For example, class A, B, or C mopeds range in speeds from 20 mph to 40 mph.

A class C moped has the lowest speed limit with a maximum of 20 mph. The class B moped ranges between 20 and 30 mph and the class A is between 30 mph and 40 mph.

All three require registration through the DMV regardless of whether you receive a license plate or obtain insurance. However, if you reside in a state that makes coverage mandatory, you cannot register the moped until you demonstrate proof of insurance.

In most states, if you have a class D driver’s license you do not need to purchase any other type to operate a moped. A class D driver’s license is the standard, non-specialized license to drive a passenger motor vehicle, such as a car, truck, or van. You can also operate a moped if you have a current motorcycle or class M license.

If you do not have a class D driver’s license or class M license, because of age or other factors, you must report to the DMV and take a test for either a learner’s permit or junior license. You can also test for a motorcycle permit or license, if you are over 16.

Moped Insurance Requirements Depend on the State

Every state has mandates as they relate to mopeds and car insurance requirements. For example, if you reside in Nevada you may not need a policy if your moped does not exceed a speed limit of 30 mph.

Other states require lower speeds, but very stringent stipulations, like New Jersey. If you live in New Jersey, your moped cannot exceed the speed of 25 mph on level or flat ground. The cubic centimeters or cc classification is below 50 CCs and the horsepower must be lower than 1.5 hp or horsepower.

The moped must come with pedals as well. If the moped does not have pedals, the owner cannot complete the registration process under this category. Instead, it has a classification of a motorcycle. You do need auto insurance in this state.

In Washington, mopeds have access to state byways that clearly post limits of 25-40 mph with a specific moped permit and registration. Washington does not require moped insurance, however.

As you can see, it really depends on your state laws and you need to contact your Department of Insurance to be certain. Laws change regularly, like in Colorado when they passed their low-power motor vehicle law, to include scooters and mopeds in 2010. Prior to 2010, scooter and moped-owners did not have the concerns of car insurance. However, it is now mandatory as of July of that year.

Even if your state does not hold you responsible for purchasing moped insurance, the main reason for coverage is for theft. Mopeds are extremely easy targets. Vandalism, damage, or injuries should also enter your mindset.

For these reasons, it is something you may want to research with your current car insurance provider. Just like with your automobile, you want to insure your moped.

Adding Moped Insurance to your Current Car Insurance Policy

Adding moped coverage to your current car insurance policy can be very simple and fast because you already have a relationship with your carrier. Fortunately, these types of vehicles receive the same type of protection as traditional automobiles but some coverage levels differ.

Since mopeds only have two wheels, the car insurance industry views them as less cost-effective to insure. Many may not offer what you really need. This means you might have to purchase something separate from your present provider.

In addition, mopeds weigh less than a standard car and the value is far lower. This means you will need to pay extra for the moped and it will be an addition to your policy. You will need to select the levels of protection for your moped, as they are not automatic, like when you add another car to your policy.

When you add another car, your insurance company assumes you want the same kind of coverage on the second or third vehicle to match the primary. Not so, with mopeds the process is completely different.

On the positive side, most of the larger car insurance companies, like Progressive and Geico have specialized plans for motorcycles and include scooters and mopeds in this group. You could even qualify for discounts, which will keep your rates lower.

You can either go online or contact a representative to inquire about their services and since your policy is active, they will only need the DMV information to upgrade your account.

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Types of Moped Insurance Coverage

Moped insurance is also very tricky when it comes to your coverage selections because some states will not allow car insurance companies to approve injury claims through personal injury protection.

It seems unfair for you to receive an injury and not have sufficient assistance with the medical bills, but this is a reality. You need high amounts of liability coverage if you reside in a state where they make PIP necessary. PIP only protects the people you injure, like pedestrians, drivers, and passengers. You draw funds from the liability selections.

Keep this in mind when you initiate moped insurance so you do not waste your money. You can keep your rates low by choosing the right levels. Follow the standard guidelines for your state minimums and increase the amounts based on the types of common injuries moped owners suffer.

According to the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health:

  • 9% of all moped traffic accidents affect drivers below the age of 25
  • Drivers between 16 and 17 account for 44% of moped-related injuries

This further validates the need for understanding why liability insurance limits are so important.

Comprehensive coverage is also vital because the number of moped thefts seem to be on the rise in recent years, especially in light of the increasing price of gas.

Unlike automobiles with their alarms and anti-theft devices, mopeds require manual locks on tires or chains attached to stationary objects. A determined thief can make off with a moped within seconds.

You need to make certain that if you leave your moped and return to find it missing, that your insurance claim pays for a replacement. You can only accomplish this step by purchasing enough coverage.

Average Cost for Moped Insurance

The amount you pay for moped insurance fluctuates just like car insurance. The factors are very close, by comparison. For instance, the cost of the moped, the make, and model, the age of the driver and the location play into the equation. In addition, the amount of coverage you choose and the types matter.

If you calculate the standard cost for a basic, liability, and property damage auto insurance quote, you could arrive at a figure between $700 per year and $2,500 per year. Of course, this is because a vehicle can retail for $12,000 or $70,000.

Using this same formula, you might purchase a moped with a retail price of $369 to $3,699.

Therefore, the cost of insurance for a simple, liability only policy could run you $100 to $500 per year.

The important fact to remember is that you control the price of insurance by adding or reducing the levels of coverage by reflecting on several issues. If you think you need injury protection, you will increase your liability coverage. If you believe your moped will appeal to car thieves, due to your location, you would pay for extra comprehensive.

Insuring a moped using your existing car insurance provider may not necessarily be the first thought to pop into your head for a number of reasons. You may not even drive it that often and consider this an extra expense. This is your right and your decision.

However, you cannot help but wonder what would happen if your investment, no matter how small, suddenly disappeared or caused damage to someone’s personal property. These types of scenarios would definitely put a damper on your day and impact your wallet in a negative way.

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