Motorcycle Insurance Explained
Motorcycles can vary so widely it can be hard to know how to insure them.
Some people get basic motorcycles straight off the factory floor, others add a ton of customized equipment, and still others build motorcycles from scratch and can be very creative.
Here are a few tips on how to shop your motorcycle insurance policy.
1. Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Many companies will give you a discount if you have proof you took a safety class in the last 3 years.
The safety class will also help you to be more aware on the road which will hopefully help you keep a clear driving record.
2. Get the Motorcycle Endorsement on Your Driver’s License
Some companies give a discount for this, or they may require that you have it to insure you.
3. How Many Years Have You Been Riding Motorcycles?
This can also be a discount.
The riding experience can be calculated in different ways by different insurance companies.
Some base it on any year that you owned a motorcycle/ATV for even one day during that year.
Others base it on total years owning a motorcycle. Make sure you are specific when giving this information to your agent.
4. Motorcycle Associations
Some companies give discounts for different motorcycle associations such as the Harley Owners Group, etc.
Make sure to let your agent know if you belong to any.
Several companies give a discount for having an anti-theft device.
In addition to the basic coverages that most companies offer there are always optional coverages that you may want to add to your policy.
Make sure you find out what these options are for your policy and discuss them with your agent to see what is right for you.
6. Payment Plan.
You can get a significant discount if you pay the full premium for the year up front.
7. Pay Your Bills on Time.
Most companies use your bill paying history as a factor to determine your rate.
Keeping a good bill paying history will help you keep your rates for all types of insurance lower.
8. Bundle Policies
Discounts are common for putting all your policies with one company.
9. Type of Motorcycle
Of course the type of bike you ride will make a huge difference in price.
A cruiser will be cheaper than a sport bike or a “chopper”.
Check insurance rates for the type of bike you want to buy before purchasing it to make sure you can afford the insurance.
This is a key coverage for motorcycles as most owners have done some type of customization to their bikes.
Some companies do not offer any coverage on their policies without specifically adding it to the policy.
Other companies might offer minimum coverage such as $3000 towards customized equipment as part of their basic policy.
With all of them you need to list out what the specific equipment is and what it is worth.
Some will cover safety equipment such as your helmet and leathers, others will not.
Make sure you give your agent a specific list of anything that has been added to the bike.
Customized equipment is often very expensive and you would be seriously disappointed to lose that investment if your bike was a total loss.
On another note, some bikes may be so customized that it is hard to place a value on them. At this point it is best to send in pictures to your agent so they can submit them to the insurance company to approve prior to issuing the policy.
11. Motorcycle Value
If you are doing a policy where you are giving a stated value for the motorcycle then make sure you are giving the true value to replace the bike.
If you bought it for a great deal and got a discount, don’t use the purchase price because you likely won’t be able to find another bike at such a great deal.
The insurance company will have to agree on the stated price so you need to be reasonable.
The limits of liability on your motorcycle should be the same as on your home and auto policies.
It doesn’t matter if you wind up with a lawsuit through your home policy, auto policy or motorcycle policy.
The lawyer will still be going after the same assets and future earnings.
Make sure you are properly protected through all policies and consider and discuss an umbrella policy with your agent to see if it is right for you.
13. UM/UIM Coverage
This is coverage for Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorists.
The coverage provides for bodily injury coverage for you if you are in an accident where the other driver is at fault, but does not have the insurance to pay all the costs.
Many people believe that because they have medical coverage they don’t need the UM/UIM coverage.
They also feel that it is an expensive coverage and they want to save money.
While it is true it can be expensive, you are highly likely to need this coverage in the event of an accident.
Motorcycle accidents tend to cause pretty nasty injuries.
The medical costs can be high and you can wind up injured for a long time. UM/UIM coverage will pay for medical cost, lost wages and pain and suffering up to your limits.
I highly recommend that you get this on your policy!
The most important thing is to discuss your options with your agent and provide all the information needed to choose the right coverages for you.
I am here when you have questions,
Sondra Wendt – 623-297-1475
EZ Insurance Solutions