Zipping around town on a moped. Visiting the best tourist attractions by scooter. Signing up for that off-road all-terrain vehicle (ATV) excursion. These are all exciting ways to enjoy a vacation or holiday. But, to avoid breaking local laws and keep yourself safe, it’s best to know what your insurance will cover.
Here are a few things to know about rental vehicles before your next trip.
Check the Laws in Other Countries About Scooters, ATVs and Mopeds
Depending on where you travel, it's best to check the laws in that specific area about mopeds, ATVs and scooters. In some regions, special licenses might be required. And, driving vehicles of this type without a license might be illegal and not covered by any insurance.
Questions to ask include does the area require a special license? Is additional insurance required?
Why this matters:
- If you don’t have a special license, for example, you might fall under an insurance exclusion. Because you’re driving a vehicle illegally, your claim can be denied. You could be left with a costly bill that’s thousands of dollars.
- You may have to pay the costs for repairs to the vehicle and any other vehicles that were damaged.
- You might have to pay for medical expenses for other drivers that were injured.
Know the Type of Vehicle You Have and If It’s Covered
There are different types of vehicles. Some are considered bikes. Others are considered motorcycles.
Mopeds and scooters aren’t the same. They have different licensing requirements:
A scooter is a smaller version of a motorcycle, but less powerful. It can have a step-through chassis, a footrest platform (no pedals) and is usually two-wheeled. The engine is measured in cubic centimeters (cc). This can often determine what licensing is required.
Up to 50cc: It's considered a limited-speed motorcycle (LSM). It can reach top speeds of about 70 km/hour.
In most places, scooters up to 50cc can be ridden without a separate license.
Over 55cc: Larger scooters over 50cc will require licensing.
Mopeds are derived from the name "motor-pedal" because they look like bicycles with pedals. These look like much smaller motorcycles and they have low-powered engines.
Mopeds generally have 50cc or less. Some have functional pedals like a bike and they can travel about 50 km/hour. A license is not usually required for a moped.
Basic insurance coverage should include:
- Third party liability coverage and accident benefits.
- Direct compensation for property damage and uninsured automobile coverage.
Optional Coverage Options
Optional insurance options include:
- Comprehensive coverage: This is optional and covers vehicle repairs. It also protects against thefts, vandalism and fire.
- Collision coverage: This is optional for damages and repairs.
- Specific perils coverage: This is optional and similar to comprehensive coverage. It also covers weather-related damage to the vehicle. It does not cover damage by debris or vandalism.
- Family protection coverage: This is optional. It's for accidents if you're travelling with your family and are involved in an accident with the vehicle(s).
Tips on Renting Scooters, Mopeds and ATVs
Costs for rentals and insurance coverage can vary. Various factors can affect the rates you're charged. These include your age, driving record, driving experience and the type of vehicle you want to insure and rent.
Tips on Vehicle Safety:
- Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Follow all speed limits in other countries. Avoid driving in bad weather.
- Always carry your insurance card and registration.
- Don't ride a vehicle you're uncomfortable with or can't handle.
- Wear a helmet, gloves and boots if required in a specific country.
- Never drink or do drugs while driving a recreational vehicle. And, don’t drive one if you are tired or have a medical condition that can affect your driving.
Tips on Rentals and Insurance:
- In Canada, drivers need an M1 or M2 license for a motorcycle and an additional license for a scooter, Vespa, LSM or moped. In other countries, laws might be different.
- Research the rental company beforehand to ensure they are safe with vehicles. Review how their insurance providers process claims.
- Ask for an alarm or another anti-theft mechanism to secure the vehicle. Park or store it in a garage.
- Inspect it before leaving the lot. Make sure the brakes work, test the lights and check fluid levels.
- Research the vehicle you want ahead of time. Select it based on its safety features and reliability. Select a vehicle that is cheaper to insure (if applicable).
- Get training on the vehicle before you get on the road. Everyone wants to go sightseeing on vacation or a holiday. But, taking a class on safety for that specific vehicle can protect you.
Ready to Find the Best Insurance Rates?
Renting a moped, scooter or ATV can be exciting when you're on vacation or holiday. Ensure you have proper insurance and licensing before renting vehicles. Most vehicle rental agencies have policies you can sign up for. They may also offer a short course on vehicle safety for the rental. Stay safe on the road and obey all traffic laws (for an even better time away!). And, if you have questions about vehicle insurance, contact Rates.ca.
With Rates.ca, you can compare vehicle insurance rates from over 30 of the best insurance providers in Canada. Compare quotes today!