Editor's note: This is the fifth part in a series of reports about the use of scooters in the area -- what qualifies as a moped, the proper use of a moped and the laws and regulations concerning moped use on the roadway.
Do I need insurance for my scooter?
It depends first and foremost on how your scooter will be registered:
- A moped will result in the lowest possible fees for a policy in all cases because insurance is not required by state law.
- A motorcycle policy will be determined by the state minimum insurance requirements and the extra coverage you choose to carry.
Where you live, extra coverage and whatever insurance discounts a carrier will provide for multiple policies or for a good driving history will help determine the cost of the insurance for your particular scooter.
Allstate Insurance agent Ted Paris told The Brazil Times that insurance is a necessity for anyone operating a vehicle on the roadways, but many people get confused about their automobile policies covering mopeds and motorcycles.
"First, people need to realize that there is no coverage for any type of motorized vehicle under their homeowners policy other than riding lawn mowers, and coverage for theft is normally excluded as well," Paris said. "Secondly, there is no liability or medical coverage under their car insurance for mopeds, scooters or motorcycles because it excludes anything with less than four wheels."
People who are looking to insurance a duly registered moped with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles will need to purchase a Recreational Vehicle Policy, which covers mopeds, golf carts, ATVs, three-wheelers, quads and snow mobiles.
Paris encourages people if they do buy a moped to be sure that their policy covers liability coming from damage to property and medical expenses to the other person in case of an accident, covers the physical damage repairs to your Moped and your own personal medical expenses.
"People need to be sure that the policy is designed to protect them from whatever damage they could do to someone else in case of accident," he said.
Powerboards, which are just now starting to be used by some people in the area as a means of transportation during the present fuel crisis, are not covered by this type of insurance.
"I've not seen any company offer a policy for Powerboards at this time," he said. "I don't know how a person will find coverage for them."
But, with the law not requiring insurance on mopeds, many people are opting to not purchase even liability insurance on their vehicles.
To those people, Ted Paris offered a bit of wisdom.
"If you're riding a moped and you injure someone, or damage their property, you are personally responsible for those actions," Paris said. "Which do you want, small premium for an insurance policy or a big medical or liability bill?"