Before hitting the open roads, any motorcycle owner needs to make sure they have the right insurance coverage. Read on to learn what you need to know about insuring your motorcycle:
Types of Coverage:
Check with your state laws for specific rules and regulations. Know that in most states, though, some form of liability coverage is legally required to ride a motorcycle. It’s important to understand that liability only covers the other vehicle should you wreck, so it might not be enough to cover your motorcycle in the event of an accident. In other words, with liability-only, if the wreck is your fault, you are on the hook for fixing your own bike. Thankfully, in most cases, liability-only coverage for a motorcycle is usually pretty affordable.
This also depends on your state’s requirements. Some do ask that you carry this coverage for underinsured and uninsured. This will pay out if you have an accident that involves another motorist who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage or coverage at all.
This pays out if your motorcycle is damaged due to an accident with another vehicle. Of course, this will be minus your set deductible. A deductible as you likely already know is the amount you select when you buy your policy that will be your portion to pay. The amount you agree to pay is deducted from the claim payout when issued.
This covers you if your motorcycle is damaged in some other manner than a collision or if it is stolen. Animal collisions for example are one type of claim that is covered. The deductible also applies in the case of a comprehensive coverage claim.
Medical Payments Coverage
This type of coverage isn’t available in all states. However, in those that do have it, this type of coverage pays the medical bills if you or a passenger is injured in an accident. This differs from personal injury coverage in that it does not cover lost wages or other costs associated with being injured. Only the medical payments. This can come in handy if you don't have enough health insurance or any medical coverage at all.
Personal Injury Protection
In most cases, this coverage pays out for medical bills resulting from injuries to you, your passenger, or pedestrians who are injured in an accident, regardless of fault. Rules vary by state, but some states do not allow motorcyclists to purchase this type of coverage simply due to the high accident rates associated with motorcycles.
Ways to Save Money on Motorcycle Insurance
The following are a few ways to make the process of purchasing motorcycle insurance more affordable:
Ask About Discounts
Some qualifications allow for specific discounts. For example, if you complete a safe driving course, have a clean driving record, or are over the age of 55, you could qualify for insurance coverage discounts. Ask your agent about these or other possible discounts.
Motorcycle Insurance Lay-Up Period
Another way to save money on your insurance coverage is to opt for a lay-up period. This will reduce the cost of your insurance during months when you aren’t riding your motorcycle as often, like in the winter months. Keep in mind, if you do take your bike out and wreck it during a period when it was supposed to be “laid-up” like the middle of January, you might not have any coverage, so make sure you know the rules of the savings plan and stick to them.
Bottom Line: Don't Ride Without It
Insurance is one of the few items you purchase hoping to never have to use. However, if you do need your motorcycle insurance, you will most certainly be glad you have it. Furthermore, it is required by law in some states. Therefore, motorcycle insurance is something you most certainly should have. No questions asked. The only question really is how much coverage is right for you. Thankfully, by working with an agent to go over your current financial situation, you should be able to ascertain the correct level of coverage for your needs.
Originally published 5/26/21 - Updated 1/27/23