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Scooter Insurance: What You Need to Know

Written by W. Lane Startin. Posted in Research Last Updated: 02/25/2011

What a scooter is, why scooter insurance is effectively the same as motorcycle insurance, what’s important in scooter insurance liability sections, and how to select full coverage on your scooter.

Why does it look like a motorcycle? Because it is.

What a scooter lacks in power, it more than makes up for in efficiency. With gas prices on the rise once again, a scooter is a great way to cut down on energy costs while still providing a convenient means of transportation, particularly if you live in an urban area.

However, how does one insure a scooter? Are there special, hidden rules governing how they’re insured? The answer is no. Scooter insurance works much the same way as a motorcycle insurance, mainly because as far as the insurance company is concerned, it is a motorcycle.

What is a Scooter?

Evolved from early motorcycles – which themselves were effectively bicycles with motors – scooters have been around in the United States for nearly a century. They first enjoyed widespread popularity after World War II after servicemen returning from the fronts were introduced to them. To this day, scooter manufacturers tend to be Italian or Japanese firms.

Strictly speaking a modern scooter is little more than a small motorcycle. While there is no hard and fast rule governing where a scooter ends and a motorcycle begins, a commonly accepted cutoff point is an engine size of 400 cc, however so called “maxi-scooters” can have engine sizes of of up to 800 cc.

How to Insure a Scooter

Since insurance companies consider a scooter a motorcycle, you insure it in the exact same way as a motorcycle. The same state liability limits apply to scooters as they do to motorcycles and automobiles, but you do want to consider these limits in a slightly different manner. Because scooters are small and top out at slower speeds, they are less likely to do serious damage to other people’s property than automobiles or even their larger motorcycle cousins. This is something to consider when considering liability limits for personal property and personal injury to others.

However, as with motorcycles one place you don’t want to skimp on coverage on with scooter insurance is on medical payments for yourself and your passengers. If you live in a no fault state, this is known as personal injury protection or PIP. As with a motorcycle, as a scooter driver you are exposed to the elements much more so than you are in a car, therefore you and your passengers are more likely to get injured in an accident. It stands to reason you want to ramp up this coverage as much as you can.

Full Coverage on Scooter Insurance

As with other motorcycles, it’s possible to get full coverage on your scooter. Indeed, if you’re still making payments on your scooter you’ll want to to avoid force placed coverage. Full coverage works the same way as it does with automobiles and motorcycles. There are collision and comprehensive sections, both with deductibles.

However, because there simply isn’t as much to a scooter as there is to other vehicles, full coverage is not nearly as important (or expensive) as it is with automobiles. That said, if you want the peace of mind full coverage on your scooter provides, you can get it it quite inexpensively, and probably with a low deductible to boot.

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W. Lane Startin

Lane is a former insurance agent with two well-known and highly rated companies. He left the world of insurance sales to return to his first love, writing. He enjoys helping people unravel the intricacies of insurance without the bias created by working for commission. He’s a graduate of Idaho State University and by extension a long-suffering Bengals fan. Lane blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

Reviews (3)

  • Ken

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    Hey Don,
    I just bought a Chinese brand scooter and got the same from my insurance company (Progressive). I’m not too concerned about it, I am going to try to get the purchase price of the scooter thrown on to my home owners insurance, my bank indicated some people have gone that route when they couldn’t get full coverage on their scooter.

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    • Michele Griffin

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      As long as your insurance company allows you to do this with your homeowners policy, that is a good way of doing it. Another way is to provide the bill of sale from your scooter purchase as proof of value and see if the insurance company will accept it on your auto policy.

      Reply

  • Don Baltes

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    I have State Farm for all my needs. I just bought a Geely Moped 90cc.
    After I got ins. they tell me they will not write a policy because they do not have a listing for Geely, and can’t get a value on it?????
    I only took liability for it because I only paid 600 for it.

    Reply

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