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Moped insurance is an insurance policy designed to protect a moped owner from the risk of moped damage or loss. Some jurisdictions require that moped owners carry insurance if they operate their mopeds on public roads. In other places, moped insurance is optional. Policies can go as far as providing medical care to all injured parties in case of a major accident, or can be as simple as insuring against theft or weather-related damage. Even where moped insurance is required, owners still have quite a bit of choice when it comes to building their insurance policies.
In many respects, a moped is little more than a low-powered motorcycle. Mopeds often resemble motorcycles, but they cost less, and typically have a lower power output. The engine displacement on a moped is such that the bikes can rarely top 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour. Although moped design may resemble a motorcycle, a moped is not a motorcycle type, and motorcycle insurance requirements do not generally apply to mopeds.
Moped drivers have different privileges depending on where they are. In some places, mopeds are allowed to travel on any public road, while in others they are permitted on city streets, but not on highways. Still others ban moped operation entirely outside of neighborhoods and back streets. Whether insurance is required and, if it is, what sorts of coverage a moped owner must buy, depends in the first place on how the moped is permitted to be used.
Cities and local governments typically only require insurance for mopeds that are used on public roads. The goal of most insurance mandates is driver protection. If a moped driver were to cause an accident, the total damages he could cause, including both property and personal injury, could conceivably cost more than he could afford. An insurance policy would ensure that all injured parties are able to recover for their damages, while protecting the at-fault driver from bankruptcy or deep financial obligation.
Most of the time, insurance requirements are paired with licensing requirements. In these jurisdictions, moped owners must formally register their vehicle, obtain a license plate, and pay any required government licensing fees. Proof of insurance is usually required at the same time.
If a moped is not driven on city streets or if moped insurance is not required, a moped owner may elect not to purchase an extensive medical or accident coverage policy. The likelihood of a moped being involved in a multi-car accident is significantly reduced when the moped is the only vehicle on the road. Moped damage and replacement coverage, however, is almost universally desired.
Mopeds are small vehicles, and as such even a minor accident can cause significant damage. The damage could, in many circumstances, cost more to fix than the moped is worth. Even a basic damage policy will protect a moped owner from this type of loss. Many moped insurance plans also protect moped owners from environmental damage, such as rust, flood, or unusually low temperatures. Most policies also indemnify owners against theft or vandalism.
Beyond what is required by law, the extent of moped coverage is largely a matter of choice. The cost of moped insurance fluctuates based on a whole host of factors, including location, driver age, and past driving record. Discounts are usually available for good drivers and multiple policy holders. Some insurance companies also offer low-rate incentives for mopeds that qualify as a fuel-efficient “super economy vehicle,” and others offer discounts for moped drivers who have taken an endorsed moped safety course. Most companies that offer vehicle insurance also offer moped insurance, and policy coverage materials are typically easy to procure.
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