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Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance for My Moped?

Added July 21, 2023
Person putting on moped helmet

If you own a moped, you may wonder what type of insurance you need. Do you need to take out motorcycle insurance?

What sort of options are available?

What are the key differences between a moped vs. a scooter?

Read on to discover everything you need to know.

What is a Moped?

A moped typically has an engine under 50 cubic centimeters (cc) and is not intended for highway travel1. The top speed typically doesn’t exceed 30 miles per hour.

Is insurance required for a moped?

It depends on the state you’re based in (more on that below). However, even though moped insurance is not a legal requirement in all states, it does come highly recommended.

After all, you’ve spent money on your moped, so you’ll want to protect your investment. Also, it’s vital to ensure you’re covered in any motor vehicle incident on public roads or mishaps involving bodily injury to another person or damage to someone else's property.

Moped vs. Scooter

As mopeds and scooters are two-wheeled vehicles and look similar, many assume they’re similar, but this is not the case.

The main differences between a moped and a scooter are as follows …

Engine

Mopeds typically have engines smaller than 50 cc. Scooters are more powerful, with a larger engine size ranging between 50 cc and 250 cc.

Speed

Mopeds have a maximum speed between 30 and 40 miles per hour. Scooters can reach speeds between 60 and 70 mph. In certain states, scooters are permitted on highways. However, mopeds aren’t allowed on highways.

Design

Scooters have a step-through frame design featuring a platform where you can rest your feet while driving. Some mopeds do have this design, although some feature pedals instead.

These are the three key differences between mopeds and scooters. However, definitions do differ from state to state. That’s why it’s vital to determine whether your state deems your vehicle to be a moped or scooter to ensure you get suitable insurance coverage.

Moped vs. motorcycle

The main differences between a moped and a motorcycle are …

Engine

Motorcycles have a much larger engine displacement and are more powerful than mopeds. Mopeds are typically defined with engine size limits smaller than 50 cc. However, modern motorcycles range between 125 cc and 1,000 cc or more.

Speed

The maximum speed of a motorcycle far exceeds a moped. Motorcycles typically reach between 200 and 270 mph, whereas mopeds have a maximum speed between 30 and 40 mph.

Design

Motorcycles come in various designs, depending on your chosen type. A standard motorcycle will have a medium seat height, upright, neutral rider position, and typically little to no fairing.

What is the legal age to drive a moped?

In most states, moped riders must be at least 14 to 16 years old with a valid moped permit2.

Do you need a license to drive a moped?

In most states, a license is required to drive a moped3. Check the laws in your state to determine if a motorcycle license is necessary or if a valid driver’s license allows you to operate a moped.

Do you need to acquire plates for a moped?

Yes, in most states, you need plates for a moped, and you’ll need to register your new vehicle.

If you are unsure about the specific laws and regulations regarding mopeds in your area, it is always a good idea to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles or other relevant regulatory agency to ensure that you are in compliance with all applicable laws.

Where can I drive my moped?

Whether mopeds are street legal depends on the laws and regulations of your specific country or state.

In many places, mopeds are considered legal on city streets as long as they meet certain requirements, such as having a maximum engine size and speed limit and being registered and insured.

Nevertheless, do note that you won’t be able to drive your moped on a highway.

Do you need insurance for a moped in every state?

No, you don’t need moped insurance in every state. However, taking out liability coverages is advisable to minimize your financial responsibility if an unplanned incident occurs. Check your state’s requirements with regards to insurance while operating a moped. 

How much is moped insurance?

Similar to motorcycle insurance policies, your premium may depend on several different factors, including:

  • The make and model of moped
  • Where your moped is garaged
  • Your driving experience
  • Your credit history if it is an allowable rating factor in your state

Of course, the level of coverage plays a massive role as well. If you opt for basic liability insurance it may be cheaper, however it may not provide the level of protection you desire in the event of an incident.

Comprehensive moped insurance which may cover most incidents will likely be more expensive.

Moped owner safety tips

Here are some general tips to improve moped driver safety:

  1. Wear a helmet: A helmet is the most important piece of safety equipment you can wear while riding a moped. Make sure it fits properly and is securely fastened.
  2. Follow traffic laws: Mopeds are considered motor vehicles and must follow the same rules as cars and motorcycles. Follow traffic signals and signs and obey speed limits.
  3. Be visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing and use lights and reflectors on your moped to ensure other drivers can see you.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings: Look for potential hazards such as potholes, gravel, or other obstacles in the road. Be aware of other vehicles around you and anticipate their movements.
  5. Practice defensive driving: Always assume that other drivers cannot see you or will not yield to you. Stay alert and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
  6. Keep your moped in good condition: Regularly check your brakes, tires, lights, and other equipment to make sure they are functioning properly.
  7. Take a safety course: Consider taking a moped safety course to improve your skills and knowledge of safe riding practices.

Following these tips can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries while riding a moped.

Bottom Line on Moped Insurance Requirements

Moped insurance requirements will vary depending on the laws in your state. In general, moped insurance is required in most places to legally operate a moped on public roads.

In addition, it's a good idea to shop around for insurance providers to ensure you get the best coverage for your money.

Harley-Davidson® Insurance can give you peace of mind by providing insurance for your moped that suits your needs and budget!

Start your free, personalized quote online by entering your zip code on our website. Alternatively, give us a call for a quote.

You can reach us at 800-909-8393.

Our phone lines are available between 7 am and 11 pm CT, Monday to Saturday, and 8 am until 7 pm CT on Sunday.

1https://www.motorcyclelegalfoundation.com/scooters-mopeds-and-go-peds/
2https://motorcyclesafetylawyers.com/to-drive-a-moped-do-you-need-a-motorcycle-license/
3https://www.steelhorselaw.com/news/do-you-need-motorcycle-license-to-drive-moped