Rhode Island - Companies will not insure!

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by jmlarence, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    Hi there,

    Have been looking at a Staton friction drive Robin four stroke system. After three weeks of research, this is the one that fits both my budget and my needs. Before the purchase, I spent four hours on the phone with "representatives" from both RI DMV and my insurance company in an attempt to do the right thing before purchasing, installing, and driving my gas/enviroment saving, carbon footprint reducing, car wear & tear stopping, money in the bank motorized bicycle.

    In speaking with the "Inforcement" department of the RI DMV (they called back four times after digging thru the laws), motor assisted bicycles in RI are classified as Mopeds. Mopeds in RI need to be registered. $27.50 for two years - no problem. In order to register however, the "moped" needs to be insured. Called my insurance company (AAA) for a quote. Keep in mind, I have my Corolla, Tundra, Miata, RV, and home owners on their policy.

    After 45 minutes of providing details, they quoted me $187 per year for a $110K/$300K policy which ends up at $15 per month. Sweet, add in registration and thats $16 per month to have it all legal, or like 4 gals of gas in the gas cars - no brainer.

    The insurance company then calls back to say the manager has reviewed the quote and determined they will not issue a policy on such a kit. Same story for three other insurance companies. Real moped - yes. Motor installed on a bicycle - nope.

    So how's that. Attemping to do the right thing in the right way only to have the door shut. I'm not about to make issues with my local boys in blue, and have too much to loose to disregard the laws hoping not to get caught.

    Anyone have success insuring their rig? If so, with whom?

    Best regards, Jeff the bike peddler & car driver

  2. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi Jeff --- well, even here in Calif (known for tight laws) no insurance needed.. You might want to try a motor cycle insurance co.. Letting them know your small cc count -- should't cost very much. Doesn't seem right - that it should be so hard !!! Mountainman
  3. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Member

    Did DMV mention anything about a VIN for the bike. Since bicycles don't have a VIN. They would either have to make one up; use the serial no.; or forget it. I would keep after them and try to get different reps. each time. OR, ask for that person's supervisor. Then try with their's and so on till you get a REAL answer from Mr. Big or Mr. Bigger. Also, nothing verbal or over the phone is worth a poop. Get it in writing and signed by a higher up if need be. Even if you have to go there in person. Insurancewise, check with RI state ins. commisioner's office for their input/requirements.
    OR go stealth, pay attention, and try to stay under the radar.
    Oh! BTW. If you feel you absolutely HAVE to go "legal", there are a few other factors in registering. Now you'll most likely have to have all the Federal DOT equipment. I.E. mirrors, front and rear turn signals, brake lights, front and rear lighting, horn, blah, blah, blah,. Sickitating, ain't it?
  4. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Most states have procedures to get a VIN created/assigned to a vehicle. (Kit cars, for instance, are built by the owners, one at a time.) The same process would apply.
  5. JemmaUK

    JemmaUK Guest

    As I have said before - its a pushbike - the only difference between an MB and a normal bikes performance is that both can make the same speed you just have to be ultra fit to do it on the non-MB.

    So why on earth would you want to insure it?

    I have no other transport than my bike - I *should* have it insured and gods know what else. But I am not gonna go through the rigmarole (that would cost £££) to change fixtures and fittings and add all sorts just because it has an engine.

    I have ridden for two years without issue. And more to the point, who are you gonna hit? A pedestrian with half a brain will both see and hear you coming - and if you collide with a car its pretty academic since the driver will be insured and it'll most likely be their fault.

    Personally, I would just build and ride and keep to the rules of the road. This insurance lark is another case of gouge the consumer and the health and safety thing gone mad..

    anyways, rant over lol - happy riding

    Jemma xx
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2015
  6. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    Thanks for the feedback gang,

    After talking to one of the big companies, they suggested I contact an insurance broker. Found a guy here in state. Gave all the detail I could including the bicycle make/model, engine size, and the VIN stamped to the bike. He called back later that day telling me no dice on a motorized bike.

    Well, same broker called back this morning and found a policy. He said the company (Northern Insurance Co - Progressive Drive) was willing to take the 13 digit VIN and add four ones to the end giving them the 17 digits they needed. The broker told me they would then put the "actual" 13 digit VIN in the comments section of the policy. The cc's had to be rounded up from 33.5 to 34 as well.

    It's a 100/300 pollicy with uninsured motorist coverage and a $200 deductable for $141 per year.

    So I'm back in game and ordering my kit today. Nice start to the weekend! Now on to the DMV...

    In anyone needs this brokers phone number, please feel free to send me a PM.

    Thanks. Jeff
  7. Nuttsy

    Nuttsy Member

    I'm with Jemma on this one. Sucks to the establishment!
    Whoa, there's that '60s feeling again.
  8. secondchancevt

    secondchancevt New Member

    I'll PM you - having problems with insurance in Vermont!
  9. jboisclair

    jboisclair Member

    Well I'm from Rhode Island also, I just hope the cops wont pull me over because I'm 15 and its not registered either. For something to be registered as a moped doesnt it have to have turning signals, headlight breaklight horn all the stuff?
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    jboisclair -- I think that it depends on where you live --- I am thinking that I wish for my MB to be treated as a bicycle -- so except for the engine -- license plate ordered -- I am not adding anything... All sounds good - until - the pooolice say different !!! Then I guess I am off to visit the judge !!! I got pulled over when I was around your age -- many years ago - on a 50cc -- first time - under age - no drivers license - what can the courts really do ? Judge I was on a motorized (very small engine) bicycle -- top speed ? HAVE MERCY !!! Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  11. jmlarence

    jmlarence New Member

    secondchancevt - PM sent. Please let me know how you make out.

    jboisclair - small state. What part? Inspection is the third part of the process. One that I was hoping to skip, or at least find a station that would understand and accept the system as a bike and not a full blown moped. According to the written law, all mopeds must be inspected by the last day in June each year.

    So: registration, insurance, inspection on a bicycle...amazing how anyone can live up here. Don't get me started on personal property and real estate taxes. Not to mention $5/gal home heating oil.

    Our small price to pay for the honor to live in RI.
  12. jboisclair

    jboisclair Member

    I'm from Westerly, you are in Cranston right?

    And if my engine had to be inspected, does anyone think if I said my 70cc was a 49cc they would believe me or would they actually take apart and inspect the engine?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  13. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    jboisclair -- wouldn't count on that - unless it was stamped 49cc somewhere -- not saying this is the thing to do... Many of those inspectors have owned motor bikes - motorcycles themselfs - happen on one of those - trouble a coming !!! Happy Riding from - Mountainman
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  14. secondchancevt

    secondchancevt New Member

    In vermont, you have to have a headlight, taillight, horm, and mirror. I still need a horn for inspection, but once I get insurance, I'm there...

    Hopefully this week!
  15. jackson0311

    jackson0311 New Member

    I'm from RI to, I would like to know if anyone has gone threw and completely gotten:helmet 100% no questions asked legal? I would really appreciate the steps taken to do so. I have my MB all together and ready to go however i am trying to get it 100% legal. If they say i can enjoy it legally i am tearing it apart and building a SICK commuter machine.:idea::D :helmet:
  16. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    Though it's not necessary by any means of legality here in Idaho, I would like to vin up my bike as well for insurance purposes.

    The person you need to contact is the DMV investigator for your county, there's only one per county, and they are super busy generally. Talk to him about what you would need to do roughly to pass inspection and get a State Issued VIN.

    You know how to convert a dirtbike into an enduro? Blinkers, more than adequate lighting, mirrors, etc. The biggest obstacle he told me that there was is braking, as bicycle brakes are generally lacking. So, short form - go with some hydraulic disc brakes and a top hat adapter from KingsS&S, and then you've got a chance. Investigate what a motorcycle needs to be legal in your county/state as well, they are listed in the vehicle code for your county/state.

    After that - you're not a bicycle - you're a fully legit inspected and VIN'd moped, and you don't tell the insurance company anything more than that if it can be avoided. If they have questions for you at that point debating on if they can insure it or not - say these two phrases.

    "Would you like me to give you the VIN again?"
    "Let me talk to your supervisor."
  17. jackson0311

    jackson0311 New Member

    nice, thank you im going to give it a go and see what happens.
  18. jboisclair

    jboisclair Member

    Let us know how it goes. :grin5: