Mopeds covered by Uninsured & Underinsured Insurance in South Carolina

South Carolina Auto Insurance must cover moped use under the uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage.

On June 21, 2017, South Carolina Director of Insurance Ray Farmer issued Bulletin Number 2017-03.  Mopeds are now included in the definition of a motor vehicle for the purposes of uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle insurance coverages (only) pursuant to amended S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-30.  Mopeds are not included in the definition of a motor vehicle for any purpose under South Carolina insurance law.  Moped operators are still not required to maintain automobile liability insurance coverage, but South Carolina automobile insurance policies issued or renewed on or after November 19, 2018, must provide uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle coverage that includes compensation for losses resulting from accidents involving mopeds.

This statutory change was enacted in conjunction with moped safety legislation designed to allow for intoxicated drivers to be prosecuted for drunken driving; moped owners must now obtain a special moped license, which can be suspended if a moped operator is arrested for driving under the influence. The law also requires teens to wear a helmet when operating a moped.

Private Passenger Auto insurers must provide uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle coverage that includes compensation for losses resulting from accidents involving mopeds, and cannot deny coverage in the event of an accident involving a moped.  Many carriers provide this coverage prior to the enactment of this statutory change, but other auto insurers who have limited the policy definition of “motor vehicle” to exclude vehicles with less than 4 wheels will need to amend their forms (and/or their claims procedures).

This blog should not be considered legal analysis or advice.  If you need assistance in reviewing or amending your forms or claims procedures, please contact Jeff Nash and The Nash Group LLC at 440-759-0817.