Do you need insurance for a scooter?


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UPDATED: 2020-01-17T18:04:03.722Z
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A royal blue scooter parked on a dirt road overlooking a lake and a mountain.

Whether you want a scooter to commute to work, run errands, or to have just for fun, you’re probably wondering how insurance coverage for your scooter works.

Scooters are motorized vehicles, so it’s important to investigate whether or not you need insurance for a scooter. The answers aren’t always clear-cut. In some cases, the relative power of the scooter can determine your insurance requirements, which can also vary dramatically by state.

What type of scooter do you have?

Even the word “scooter” can be tricky to define, as we use the same word to describe both the small kick scooters produced by manufacturers such as Razor, to what Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn rode around on (a Vespa) in the movie Roman Holiday.

The type of motorized vehicle will determine what type of insurance coverage you need.

Before we go any further, broadly defined, here’s the range:

Kick/E-Scooter: Kick scooters and e-scooters are typically battery-powered and used for short distances. They are generally only permitted to be used on residential streets or in bicycle lanes, and they typically do not exceed 10 mph. In some cities such as Portland, Oregon, you’ll see them available for rent as a form of urban transportation.

E-Bicycles: E-bicycles (electric bicycles) are pedal bikes that are fitted with a rechargeable battery. Smaller and lighter e-bikes typically have top speeds of between 15-20 mph. More powerful versions with larger motors can reach up to almost 30 mph.

Moped: “Moped” is sometimes used as a general term that encompasses two-wheeled motorized vehicles that have an engine with 50 ccs of power or less, with top speeds of 30-35 mph. However, in some states “moped” specifically refers to a vehicle that has functional pedals, along with an engine that periodically assists the rider.

Motor Scooter: A motor scooter is a two-wheeled, motorized vehicle that always uses the motor to propel the vehicle. Motor scooters can range from smaller, 50 cc engines, up to 250 cc engines that rival smaller motorcycles in power. Motor scooters with larger engines may be considered fast scooters and may be treated as motorcycles.

Motorcycle: A motorcycle is defined as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with an engine size of 150 ccs or greater.

These are general, broad definitions of each type of vehicle, but always take the time to see how the state you live in differentiates between a moped, a motor scooter, and a motorcycle.

What type of insurance covers motor scooters?

Different types of two-wheeled motorized vehicles require different types of insurance. If you have a motorcycle or a fast motor scooter (typically one with an engine larger than 150 cc), you likely need motorcycle insurance.

For other motor scooters, you may be able to purchase scooter insurance. Some insurance carriers may offer specialized scooter insurance coverage or offer policy discounts specific to riders of mopeds and scooters.

What does scooter insurance cover?

If you’re required to have scooter insurance coverage, you’ll likely be required to have liability insurance coverage. However, there are many other scooter insurance coverage options that are typically available to have on your policy.

Typical scooter insurance coverage options include:

  • Liability coverage: coverage for bodily injury and property damage if you cause the accident.
  • Collision coverage: coverage for your own scooter in an accident with another vehicle.
  • Comprehensive coverage: coverage for your own scooter for damage that was not from a collision (this could include if a tree falls on your scooter, hail damage, fire and more).
  • Medical payments: coverage for medical expenses or funeral costs for someone who may be injured on your scooter.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage: coverage that protects you if you are hit by an uninsured motorist or the motorist doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your losses and/or injuries.
  • Roadside assistance: coverage for emergency assistance you may need for your scooter. Roadside assistance typically covers the cost to receive 24/7 assistance if your scooter is experiencing a mechanical breakdown or needs fluid or a tow.
  • An endorsement for scooter accessories: coverage for any accessories or customized parts you have on your scooter.
  • An endorsement for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts: coverage to have your scooter repaired with OEM parts when available.

Do you need scooter insurance?

Scooter insurance is not required in all states. However, you may still want to consider purchasing scooter insurance, especially if you plan to drive your scooter frequently.

If your state requires you to have scooter insurance, you’ll need to purchase at least liability scooter insurance up to the minimum required by your state. Be sure to check the rules around scooter insurance in your state to learn about what is required by law.

Regardless of whether or not your state requires you to have scooter insurance, you may still want to consider purchasing scooter insurance coverage. Any time you are out riding on a road and interacting with other vehicles, there’s a chance you could be in an accident. Whether the accident is caused by you or by the other guy, having at least liability insurance is a good idea.

And, if you’ve financed your scooter, your lender will almost certainly require you to have collision coverage to cover any damages as well.

How much is scooter insurance?

The cost of scooter insurance depends on a number of factors including where you live and characteristics about your scooter. On average, scooter insurance can cost about a few hundred dollars.

The factors that affect the cost of scooter insurance include:

  • Where you live
  • Your scooter’s make and model
  • The age of your scooter
  • Your scooter’s engine size
  • Your experience with riding a scooter
  • How much you plan on driving your scooter
  • If your scooter is equipped with any anti-theft devices
  • The coverage and deductible you choose

Many insurance companies offer scooter insurance discounts that can bring down the cost of a policy. Some of the discounts typically offered are a multi-policy discount, multi-vehicle discount, and a discount if you take a moped or scooter safety course.

Other things to consider about scooters

If you are thinking of buying a scooter, before you purchase one, consider how you intend to use it and where you expect to ride it. If you’re looking for something that provides a fuel-friendly alternative for your commute, consider your drive. Some areas prohibit the use of scooters on certain classifications of roads.

A scooter or moped with a top speed of 35 mph would be a traffic hazard on a highway or a road with a speed limit of 50 mph. Smaller scooters can’t be used on those types of roads. If you’re going to be on the road, make certain that you have a scooter with sufficient power to keep up with the traffic you’ll be riding in.

The most important thing for you to do is to find out what insurance your state requires for the type of scooter. With so much variability in the size and power of scooters, have your scooter’s specifications ready to go as you investigate what is mandated.

If you want to read reviews and get quotes for motorcycle insurance, check out these reviews and motorcycle insurance rankings on Clearsurance.

Do you have scooter insurance coverage for your scooter? Share your experience in the comments section below!


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