Moped and Scooter Insurance: What It Covers, and How Much it Costs

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Almost all carriers cover mopeds and scooters under their motorcycle insurance policy. Most states require moped and scooter riders to have some form of insurance for the vehicles, as well. Where you live determines the insurance required for a moped or scooter and these law do not always align with a state’s motorcycle laws.

Insurance for Mopeds and Scooters

Insurance policies specifically for mopeds and scooters are uncommon. The majority of insurance companies cover mopeds and scooters under their motorcycle insurance policy.

Almost every motorcycle insurance policy (which typically covers a moped or scooter) includes bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. Theses cover any bodily injury to others or property damage a rider might cause while operating their vehicle. They do not cover the rider or the moped, scooter or motorcycle itself. These two types of insurance coverages are common ways to fulfill the financial responsibility requirement that most states require from drivers.

Other coverages associated with most vehicles are also available for mopeds and scooters. Medical payments coverage, which pays for the hospital bills of a driver or passenger, is available to moped and scooter owners. Another optional coverage in most states is uninsured/underinsured motorist, which covers damages to a rider and their vehicle caused by someone else who is inadequately insured. Collision and comprehensive pays for the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle, minus your deductible -- an optional coverage attractive to many smaller vehicle drivers. Roadside assistance, coverage for contents inside or carried my a moped or scooter, total loss coverage, and trip interruption are some examples of optional coverages offered by some of the major carriers.

In most states, moped and scooter owners are required to have bodily injury and property damage liability coverage -- just like motorcycle owners -- but the amount of coverage required for each is not the same in every state. Some states have different rules for mopeds and scooters than they do for motorcycles. For example, some states require coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists. A handful of states require personal injury protection (PIP), too.

The state of New York is a good example of how complicated the designation and insurance qualifications can be for mopeds and scooters. Not every moped or scooter in New York is required to have insurance. The state has three separate classes of mopeds or scooters, each with their own set of qualifications including licensing and insurance. 

Example: Motorcycle, Scooter & Moped Requirements In New York

Type of QualificationClass A (Over 30-40 mph)Class B (Over 20-30 mph)Class C (20 mph or less)
Insurance Required Required Recommended**
Driver license / permit M/MJ Any license class Any license class
Registration Required Required Required
Headlight on when operating Required Required Required
Helmet & eye protection Required Required Recommended
May operate on Any traffic lane Right-hand lane or shoulder only* Right-hand lane or shoulder only*
Inspection Required Recommended Recommended
Title Not required Not required Not required

*Except when making a left turn. **A Class C moped used as a rental vehicle must be insured.

Coverage Limits of Moped and Scooter Insurance

The same limits of insurance coverage are available to moped and scooter riders. For example, GEICO offers online quotes for scooters and allows shoppers to choose from a variety of limits. 

A basic GEICO insurance policy for scooters includes bodily injuriy limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, and a property damage limit of $10,000. But shoppers can choose various level of coverage for each; up to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident of bodily injury protection and $100,000 for property damage. Like most other companies that cover mopeds and scooters under their motorcycle policy, GEICO also offers optional coverage for residual medical payments up to a limit of $10,000.

Comprehensive and collision coverage are also optional but instead of choosing a limit for a payout, a policyholder chooses the deductible for each. GEICO has deductibles as low as $50 and as high as $1,000 for each coverage. 

Moped and Scooter Insurance Cost

Motorcycle policies covering a moped or scooter tend to be cheaper than if they were covering a motorcycle. This is the case for a variety of reasons, but primarily because the vehicles have smaller engines, can't travel as fast and are consequently limited to where they can be ridden. The potential damage to others or personal property is less. 

To give people an idea of how much insuring these vehicles can cost, we compared motorcycle insurance policies from GEICO and Progressive for a sample rider living in New York City who owns a Vespa GTS 300 scooter. You can see the impact on the cost of premiums for the scooter when additional coverages are added. The basic motorcycle policy for the scooter is much more affordable than one with a list of addition coverages. We also compared the cost of better coverages for the scooter with those for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and found the motorcyle costs much more. The policy for the exact same rider who owned the Harley-Davidson Street Glide was quoted at $3,881 by GEICO and $3662 by Progressive.

Type of CoverageGEICO (Basic)GEICO Progressive (Basic)Progressive
Bodily Injury Liability Limit $25k/$50k $100k/$300k  $25k/$50k $100k/$300k
Property Damage Liability Limit $10k  $25k $10k  $50k
Pedestrian Personal Injury Protection $50k per person, per accident $50k per person, per accident $25k per person, $50k per accident $50k per person, per accident
Residual Medical Payments Limit Declined $2,000 Declined $2,500
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Limits Declined $25k/$50k Declined $25k/$50k
Comprehensive Declined $200 Deductible Declined $250 Deductible
Collision Declined $200 Deductible Declined $250 Deductible
Motorcycle Accessory Coverage Limit Declined $2,000 Declined $3,000
Roadside Assistance Declined Accepted Declined Accepted
Actual Cash Value Declined Yes Declined Yes
Cost (Annual Premium) $140 $1,057 $312 $1,975

Getting Moped and Scooter Insurance Quotes

Gathering insurance quotes for a moped or scooter is not difficult. Since most carriers cover the vehicles under their motorcycle insurance policy, shoppers can begin the process online as if they were insuring a motorcycle. The only difference will be, instead of choosing a motorcycle manufacturer and bike, you'll choose the appropriate information for your moped or scooter. Some examples of moped and scooter manufacturers include Vespa, Piaggio, Genuine, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Each sell at least one scooter and some have more than dozen models.

Some carriers might not have specific moped or scooter manufacturers listed. In that case, there is usually an optional to choose "other" for manufacturer and you will simply have to type in the appropriate information by hand. If that isn't an option, you might have to call the insurance company and get a quote for your moped or scooter over the telephone.

The basic bodily injury and property damage liability coverage required by law in most states is relatively inexpensive. However, adding things such as comprehensive and collision coverage can significantly increase the cost of premiums.

Defining Mopeds and Scooters

Generally, a moped is any two-wheeled vehicle with a 50 cubic centimeter (cc) engine or smaller and with a top speed of about 30 miles per hour or less. An example of a moped would be a bicycle – with functioning pedals – that also has a small motor. In fact, the term moped is a portmanteau (a blending of words) of “motor” and “pedal.” However, a vehicle without pedals might still qualify as a moped. Each state’s department of motor vehicles defines mopeds and scooters a little differently and people frequently use the terms interchangeably.

A scooter is a vehicle that is more powerful than a moped but not nearly as powerful as most motorcycles. They don’t have pedals, but they have smaller engines than motorcycles and riders can frequently place both feet flat in front of them while driving. Any vehicle like a moped that can exceed the top speed for them defined by local laws then qualifies as a scooter. For example, a Vespa is actually a scooter, not a moped. The manufacturer’s popular scooters all have a top a speed of at least 40 miles per hour. Some can reach speeds of 80 miles per hour or higher.

Mopeds and scooters generally have engines between 50cc and 250cc. That’s why their top speeds aren’t as high as motorcycles and they are frequently prohibited from driving on the highway. A motorcycle engine might have 250cc or well above 2,000cc.

Renting a Moped or Scooter

You should not rent a moped or scooter unless you are properly licensed to operate it. Whether you are in the U.S. or abroad, renters of any vehicle (including mopeds and scooters) are typically required to abide by local license laws.

Anyone planning on renting a moped or scooter needs to research local laws and determine if they meet the requirements. It might be tempting while on a trip, but you shouldn’t rent a moped or scooter from a business that doesn’t require you to be properly licensed. Remember that no matter what forms you sign, an insurance company will not cover you or the rented moped or scooter if you are breaking the law.

It’s important in the U.S. to research state laws when traveling, too. You might have noticed in the table above that Class C mopeds in the state of New York don’t require owners to have insurance. However, a footnote for the same table states that anyone renting a Class C vehicle in New York must insure it (through the rental company like you can renting a car).

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