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The Basics of Motorcycle and Moped Insurance Coverage

Discover Your State's Opinion on the Difference between Moped and Motorcycle Insurance

Mopeds and motorcycles might both be motorized bikes, but there are some very important differences between them. In many states for insurance, registration and inspection purposes, mopeds that have no gears or shifting mechanisms and engines that are less than 50 cubic centimeters will often not be considered motorcycles and will instead be treated as small recreational vehicles similar to snowmobiles.

In the state of New Jersey, the DMV states that they consider motorcycles to have engines that are 50 cubic centimeters and higher and to have a permanent saddle seat or platform for the driver. Mopeds, which are exempt from state inspections, must have pedals for traditional cycling and a motor of less than 50 CCs with the ability to reach speeds no greater than 25 miles per hour. Scooters, however, are treated as motorcycles no matter what size their motor.

Check out your state's DMV to see how they categorize your new set of wheels.

Meet the Basic Insurance Requirements

Once you've determined how your state classifies your vehicle, you must understand what the insurance requirements are. While these requirements might offer minimal coverage, it's a starting place to at least comply with state regulations. Generally speaking, each state will have the same requirement for motorcycle insurance as they do for standard automobiles. The state of Washington, however, does not require insurance for mopeds or motorcycles. And in the state of Louisiana it doesn't matter what you ride because to register either a moped or motorcycle, you have to follow the same set of insurance guidelines.

Once you've clarified the basic requirements you must meet for proper coverage in your state, your next step is to determine how practical these minimal requirements are. Often, the state-required limits leave motorcycle and moped drivers exposed to financial risks after an accident. For instance, your state likely has no requirement about comprehensive or collision coverage-which leaves you paying out of pocket for damages to your bike after a theft, fire or collision.

Instead of settling for the minimums, think about how much is at stake in an accident and get affordable coverage that actually protects your investment.

Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage

Finally, both mopeds and motorcycle drivers may want to consider custom parts and equipment coverage. If you have customized your bike-added any electronic equipment or a sidecar, had it custom painted or plated, added a new exhaust system or invested in pricey safety apparel or a trailer, then your comprehensive coverage in your standard insurance policy may not offer you enough to replace the cost of the items and installation after an accident.

As mentioned, comprehensive coverage does offer some benefits for custom parts and equipment, but the limit is lower than many bike upgrades cost.

Getting the right insurance coverage for your moped or motorcycle means protecting your wallet from the cost of accidents and damage to another's property. It ensures not only that your bike will have some financial protection but also that the others around you will get the right reimbursement after being involved in an accident with your bike. Call an agent and find out all the different points you should consider to have your bike covered properly.

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