What insurance do I need for a moped?

It is mandatory for a vehicle to have liability insurance that covers damages to a third party.
A moped is a two wheel vehicle that, at first sight, may be confused with a motorbike. Be aware of these two major differences. It is a motorized means of transport with a maximum 50 cc engine, which allows it to reach a maximum speed (limited by law) of 45 kph. Although with these characteristics it might seem difficult to have an accident, especially due to the vehicle's speed restriction, mopeds are still equipped with engines and permitted to travel around cities and on conventional roads. These two features mean that drivers to must insure their mopeds
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One of the major dangers of mopeds is the minimum age required to drive them: the law allow allows teenagers from 15 years to obtain an AM license to ride them.

As it is such a young age, mortality rates as a result of a moped accident are alarming. Official DGT [General Traffic Department] figures show that one in every two fatalities in these types of accidents is aged between 15 and 17. This data demonstrates that there are risks associated with using a moped, which means that drivers must act carefully and responsibly and that mopeds must be insured due to the high probability of causing damage to third parties.

Despite the dangers involved, mopeds can be a very useful means of transport within cities and residential areas that are outside urban centers and that are not served well by public transport. As such, they must be seen for what they are, i.e. vehicles that must be driven responsibly and sensibly, as is the case with motorbikes and cars.

As mopeds are vehicles with smaller engine capacities and very limited maximum speeds, Chapter 2 of the Law on Motor Vehicle Public Liability and Insurance stipulates that all moped drivers must take out a public liability insurance policy that covers damage that may be caused to third parties.

As part of their mandatory guarantees, these insurance policies usually provide the following two basic covers (the conditions or some of the characteristics of which may vary from one insurer to another):

  • Public liability: this is the basic coverage required by law. It is the liability you acquire as the owner and driver of a moped with regard to impairments and damage caused to third parties as the result of an accident you are responsible for. You will incur public liability if, for example, while driving your moped you damage an object of public furniture such as a bench or street lamp, you scratch another vehicle causing damage to the surface or paint or if someone is injured as a result of your driving. The three above cases are examples of damage caused to third parties, (public or private) that the public liability insurance policy for your moped must provide economic cover for.
  • Legal defense and claims for damages: this either fully or partially covers the driver's legal expenses in the event of an accident.

As this is the most basic policy, when we take out a public liability insurance for a moped, it must be taken into account that we will not be covered in the event of theft, write off, our own damage due to an accident or if we need a replacement vehicle.

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Moped insurance additional coverage

Some policies also cover the following areas:

  • Trip assistance: if the moped breaks down whilst on the road. Remember that these journeys are limited to conventional urban thoroughfares and roads, as mopeds are not permitted to travel on freeways or highways.
  • Driver accident insurance: this coverage is exceptionally rare in moped insurance policies. This is due to the high economic cost of this type of coverage, as the probability of death is seven times higher than for a car. However, if it is offered, driver accident insurance covers the driver in the event of death, permanent disability and medical costs arising from an accident.

What happens if no insurer will authorise a policy?

Although getting moped insurance when you are still a minor may be a complicated task, you need to take the time to see it through, as not having the corresponding policy is punishable by law. The consequences of not having insurance are seizure and confiscation of the vehicle until insurance is taken out, as well as a fine of between €301 and €3,005 depending on the length of the uninsured period and whether the fine is for a repeated offense.

As this is not an isolated case, the public authority has provided an alternative: go to the Insurance Compensation Consortium. This is a public entity that insures individuals private insurers refuse to insure. In order to obtain this policy, you must prove that you have previously been rejected by at least two insurers.

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