South Carolina Sets Insurer Deadline Related to New Moped Safety Law

By | July 10, 2017

The South Carolina Department of Insurance has set a deadline for auto insurers in the state to meet the requirements of recently passed moped safety legislation.

The new moped law, which took effect July 1, amends South Carolina’s motor vehicle law to include mopeds in the definition of a motor vehicle and requires owners of mopeds to register them with the South Carolina DMV.

The main purpose of the new law is 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.

But there are also implications for auto insurers writing business in South Carolina, even though moped operators are not required to maintain auto liability insurance. Though mopeds are now classified as motor vehicles under the new law, they are still excluded from the definition of an individual private passenger automobile and do not have to meet state auto insurance requirements.

However, mopeds are now included in the definition of a motor vehicle for the purposes of uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle insurance coverages.

“Mopeds are not included in the definition of a motor vehicle for any [insurance] purpose other than uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle coverages,” according to a bulletin from SCDOI.

In other words, 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.

South Carolina automobile insurance policies issued or renewed on or after Nov. 19, 2018 must provide uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle coverage that includes compensation for losses resulting from accidents involving mopeds.

SCDOI said in its bulletin that auto insurers must submit any form, rate, and rule filing changes as a result of the new law by June 1, 2018 via its SERFF filing system.

About Amy O'Connor

O'Connor is the Southeast editor for Insurance Journal and associate editor of MyNewMarkets.com. More from Amy O'Connor

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