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Do You Need Insurance for a Moped or Scooter? Reasons, Facts, & FAQ

red electric scooter

Having fun on a scooter or a moped while ensuring the safest experience possible is a great feeling. It is essential to know what insurance means for these two vehicles and how important it is. The primary thing insurance will do, is cover the costs if anything beyond your control happens to you. That means the insurance will cover all your medical bills, as well as property damage and material damage.

While some states are an exception, most states require all vehicles—including mopeds and scooters—to have insurance. Choosing a proper insurance policy for your vehicle before going on the road is crucial, as you never know what accident may occur.

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Moped vs. Scooter

Mopeds and scooters are two-wheeled vehicles, much less powerful and smaller than regular motorcycles. While many people are confused about these two vehicle types, they have some big differences.

Two electric Scooter
Photo Credit By: Trinity_Elektroroller, Pixabay


Mopeds are two-wheel motorized bicycles with a maximum possible speed of 30 mph and an engine of up to 50cc. The main thing that makes them different from other two-wheeled vehicles is the pedals. Mopeds have pedals that help them start the engine, which can also serve for riding the moped as a regular bicycle when needed. While many states will count this feature as a crucial characteristic of mopeds, other states in the US will discount this feature and only follow the rule of engine displacement being lesser than 50cc.


Scooters are two-wheel vehicles that are distinctive by their step-through chassis and frames on the sides of the vehicle, where drivers can rest their feet. Depending on the model, scooters are characterized by an engine ranging from 50cc to 250cc in power. Because of vast differences between models of scooters, their maximum speeds will vary as well. Usually, scooters can achieve a maximum speed of 80 miles per hour, although some models have a much larger engine and can generate more power.

male rider riding his motorcycle
Photo Credit By: TSKvado, Pixabay

How do You Differentiate a Moped From a Scooter?

The engine size is the most important difference between a moped and a scooter. The size of the engine—technically called engine displacement—is measured in cubic centimeters, and mopeds have much smaller engine displacement than scooters. The size of the engine will affect the maximum speed these two vehicles can reach, and since scooters have a much smaller engine, their maximum speed is significantly lower.

Characteristics Moped Scooter
Engine displacement Up to 50cc 50cc to 250cc
Maximum speed 30 miles per hour About 80 miles per hour
Suitable for highways No Yes
License requirements \ Yes

Do You Need Insurance to Drive Mopeds and Scooters?

The need for insurance depends significantly on the type of moped or scooter you own. The usual insurance that will be required for mopeds and scooters is motorbike insurance. Many mopeds have displacement engines much smaller than 50cc, which is a requirement for being legal on highways, making insurance coverage for these vehicles much cheaper than other vehicles.

Most states will require your vehicle to be insured before being able to ride on public roads. If you end up driving your moped or scooter without proper insurance coverage in a state that requires motorcycle insurance, police can take your moped away, and you can get a fine for not following the law.

man riding motorcycle
Photo Credit By: keesluising, Pixabay

Is Insurance Necessary for Scooters?

A general rule that most states in the US abide by is that if your scooter has an engine displacement larger than 50cc, it will require insurance. The law perceives these vehicles with the same seriousness as motorcycles, so all the same laws will apply to them. Most states will require scooters to have motorcycle insurance to be legal for driving on all public roads. Many insurance companies provide a motorcycle insurance policy, so finding the right policy to fit you and your scooter will be pretty easy. You could even get a discount from some companies if you connect your motorcycle insurance with car insurance.

Is Insurance Necessary for Mopeds?

The need to purchase insurance for a moped will mostly depend on the maximum speed it can reach. If the moped has a top speed of 30 or 40 miles per hour, then insuring it is a requirement in most states. If your moped has less than 20mph maximum speed, in this case, insurance is highly recommended but not required by law.

motorcycles parked outdoor
Image Credit: Pixabay

Which States in the US Require Insurance for Mopeds and Scooters?

Since moped and scooter insurance requirements depend on many factors, they also depend on your location and the state that you live in. Most states have vast differences in their laws and rules, especially regarding traffic rules and regulations.

States in the US Insurance requirements for mopeds and scooters
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington, D.C.
West Virginia

Types of Moped and Scooter Insurance

There are many types of insurance coverage for mopeds, scooters, and other vehicles, and many different situations that insurance can cover. Which insurance policy to choose will differ depending on which type and model of a vehicle you own, but the basics generally stay the same.

motorcycles parked on the street
Image Credit: Piqsels

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance will cover any situation where your vehicle collided with another vehicle or with an object fixed next to the road. This type of insurance will usually cover all of the costs of repairing your vehicle, plus the price of the purchased policy.

Medical Insurance

This type of policy will cover any injury that occurred in your vehicle, primarily from colliding with other vehicles. This insurance will cover the medical expenses of either you or any of your passengers, no matter whose fault the collision was.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your moped or scooter caused by theft, destructive weather, or even vandalism. Whether your scooter was destroyed by a storm or stolen, this insurance policy will cover your costs once you reduce the deductibles. This type of policy may be most common, along with the collision policy.

man riding in motorcycle
Image Credit: SAVA86, Pixabay

Liability Insurance

This type of insurance covers the costs of any injury or property damage you may have caused. It covers all medical expenses others may have endured and any legal expenses.

Optional coverage

Insurance may also cover roadside assistance, hospital bills, trip compensation, legal expenses, and uninsured or underinsured motorists.

divider 7 Final Thoughts

If you were wondering if your moped or scooter needs insurance, we hope to have answered this question. This article contains important information about vehicle policies and especially insurance policies for mopeds and scooters. While insurance is a requirement to stay safe on the road, many states don’t require driving insurance. When purchasing a moped, do a bit of research about insurance requirements in your state, plus you can always use this article as a guide.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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