Did you know there are over 8.3 million motorcycles registered in the US? Taking a ride is a feeling unlike no other, but everyone knows it involves a certain degree of risk. But do you know how to protect yourself with the best insurance?
Before you drive in, there are several factors to consider. Read on as we discuss the must-know tips for motorcycle insurance.
1. Know Your Coverage Options
If you have been insured on an automobile, then coverage options are almost identical on a motorcycle. Uninsured and underinsured coverage is a standard, as is liability cover.
Comprehensive insurance covers you if your motorcycle is damaged by a vehicle collision or damage by other objects. Collision gives cover for any damage in the event of a crash or accident with another vehicle only.
Personal Injury Protection pays out for medical bills regardless of who is at fault. It can payout for you, your passengers, and any pedestrians involved. Unfortunately, this may not be available in many states because of the high rates of accidents associated with motorcycles.
Medical Payments differs from Personal Injury Protection in that it only covers medical bills, not lost wages or other incurred costs. Full Coverage Motorcycle Insurance is usually a combination of comprehensive and collision. This combines with any state-mandated coverages.
It is worth noting that many of these will have a deductible, impacting the amount you pay. This is a given amount you must pay for any accident before the insurance company covers the rest.
2. Consider Add Ons
There are also several add ons you may consider with your policy. Check that they are not included in the standard policies you buy. You should also check what the deductible is on them.
Trailer coverage is for anyone towing a trailer. Most policies only start with high-end trailers valued at $7500 and up.
Roadside assistance is probably one of the most useful, particularly if you are on an older bike. It will offer you towing and mechanical assistance whenever your bike breaks down. It should also include a towing service.
Trip Interruption can be useful for people who break down a long way from home. It can pay for accommodation, food, and transportation back if you are unable to travel on your motorcycle.
Equipment, parts, and custom accessories can also be covered for additional fees. This can vary greatly depending on the level of customization you have.
3. Top End Models Are Not for Novices
If you are new to motorcycling, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to buy a high-end, high-performance model right away. Yes, it will be a lot of fun and look amazing. But on top of the high price tag, your insurance will be extremely expensive.
The first factor to influence this is the high cost of the motorcycle itself. The more it costs and the more power it has, the higher the cost of repairs and replacements. Also, it is more attractive to thieves, and a stolen vehicle will be an expensive replacement.
The second factor is that with more power, accidents are more likely to occur. When they do, they are often likely to be more serious and damaging. Add this to the fact that you have no prior experience on motorcycles, and all the provider will see is a recipe for disaster.
Select a motorcycle that suits your needs. Start with smaller engine sizes, building up a record of safety that shows on your license and insurance. Later, you can consider upgrading to a bigger bike.
4. Pay Motorcycle Insurance Annually to Get Discounts
For many people, it is not financially viable to pay the whole insurance premium in one go. However, when budgeting for the motorcycle, if you can budget to pay the insurance in one amount, it will save you a lot of money.
When you pay monthly, the insurance providers will charge interest. This is often at a very high rate. By paying the amount at the start, you do not have that interest added.
5. You Can Bundle Insurance for Discounts
It is quite likely that you have insurance for other purposes. For example, you may have a car on which you have insurance or your home may be insured. All of these policies will amount to a lot of money, and this is something you can use to bring down your motorcycle insurance cost.
Call your providers and tell them about the insurances you currently have, along with the motorcycle insurance you desire. As you are now offering them a lot of business, they may offer you combined deals. By taking all policies through them, you can cut down your costs.
You can also use this if you are insuring more than one bike. Do a quick online search for motorcycle insurance near me, then call to see who gives discounts on more than one bike. You could end up making much greater savings.
6. Mileage Counts
Anyone who buys a bike does it because they love to ride. By no means should you limit the amount of time you spend enjoying your motorcycle. However, the more miles you do, the more likely an accident occurs, and insurers charge for this.
Use your ride smartly. By all means, go off on long cross-country trips. But all of those quick trips to the store on your motorcycle will add up, and this can cost.
When renewal time comes, make sure to tell the insurer how many miles you do. If you have only been using the bike for recreation, you are very likely to get a lower quote.
7. Ask About Lay-up Periods
If you live in an area with harsh winters, then riding a motorcycle may become untenable over the winter months. As insurance is annual, you may be left paying for coverage you actually don’t need. That is when lay-up periods can help you.
A layup period is a designated time where your insurance coverage lessens. You will still be covered for theft, but coverage for being out on the road goes. This is then reflected in the price of your premium.
If you can benefit from lay-up insurance, then do. The only thing to check is your dates, as you don’t want to get back out on the road then find out your layup period does not finish for another week.
8. Ride Solo
When you take a passenger on your motorcycle, you are doubling the insurance risk. Particularly if you have medical coverage that would pay their bills in the event of an accident, a small mishap could end up costing the insurance company thousands, which would be doubled for two people.
Many people prefer to ride solo, yet they don’t mention this to their insurers. Single rider motorcycle insurance can often be up to 10% cheaper than a policy that allows a passenger. If you don’t plan to take anyone with you, let the company know when you get a quote.
9. How Does the Policy Pay Out?
When choosing a policy, there are several ways you may be paid out for vehicles that are destroyed or stolen. You should consider this carefully, as you may end up getting less than you expect. It can also drastically alter the value of your policy.
Actual cash value gives you the worth of your bike at the time it was destroyed or stolen. This often has a deductible and is the original value with depreciation.
The stated amount allows you to select a value when you take out the policy. You will need to provide proof of the vehicle’s worth.
Agreed value is an amount you and the insurance company work out together. It is for the owners of classic and custom bikes, of which value is relative. They have no deductible.
10. Know How to Shop Around
Two identical quotes, using the same criteria, can be very different depending on the company you approach. That is why it pays to shop around, and the overall price should not be the only decider.
With so many add on and stipulations, you need to weigh up what is best for you. Deductibles, coverage amounts, and other factors can all impact the price. Use a motorcycle insurance comparison service to view offers across a range of providers.
In summary, you need to think carefully about what motorcycle insurance coverage you actually need. Once you have this, approach several providers for quotes. Ride carefully, stay safe, and year on year, you will see your coverage drop in price.
If you enjoyed our article, we have many more to help. From finances to great road trips, let us help you get on the road and make the most of your motorcycle today!