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What is Motorcycle Insurance?

What is Motorcycle Insurance

Are you a motorcycle enthusiast? Are you planning to buy a new motorcycle or already own one? Motorcycle insurance is something that you need to consider. Accidents happen, and it is always better to be safe than sorry. But what is motorcycle insurance, and how does it work? Let us help you find answers to these questions and provide you with a guide to understanding motorcycle insurance.

What is motorcycle insurance?

Motorcycle insurance is a type of insurance that provides financial protection in case of damage, theft, or an accident involving your motorcycle. It is designed to cover the costs of repairs or replacement, medical expenses, and liability for any damages or injuries caused by you or your motorcycle to others. It’s specialized coverage, just for your motorcycle, and not typically offered on an auto insurance policy.

How does it work?

When you purchase motorcycle insurance, you’ll answer some basic questions about yourself, your bike, and the coverage you want. These questions are designed to get you the right coverage and determine how much premium the insurance company will charge. After you buy your policy, you’ll then be entitled to the protection it offers. For instance, if your motorcycle is damaged or stolen, or you’re in a motorcycle accident and liable for another person’s injuries or damages, you can file a claim with your insurance company. After working through the claims process, if the accident is a covered loss, your insurance adjuster will pay for losses or injuries up to your coverage limits. Remember, your insurance carrier will only pay up to the limits of coverage you purchased.

What does motorcycle insurance cover?

A big part of answering the question, “what is motorcycle insurance,” is understanding the coverage options available. Your motorcycle insurance coverage options will vary depending on the insurance carrier, but some common options include:

  • Bodily injury liability: This coverage option pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages caused by you or your motorcycle to another person.
  • Property damage liability: This coverage option pays for damages to someone else’s property caused by you or your motorcycle.
  • Collision coverage: This coverage option pays for damages to your motorcycle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
  • Comprehensive coverage: This coverage option pays for damages to your motorcycle caused by non-collision events, such as theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.
  • Medical payments/Personal injury protection: This coverage option pays for medical expenses and lost wages for you and your passengers in case of an accident.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage option pays for damages or injuries caused by another driver who is either uninsured or underinsured.

Additional coverage you may want to consider?

Where you may notice the biggest difference between motorcycle insurance policies, is in the additional coverage the insurance company offers. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best coverage possible, below are some of the extra coverage you look for from your motorcycle policy.

Full Replacement / Total Loss Coverage

This coverage is typically for newer bikes. If you purchase this coverage and your bike is totaled in a covered accident, the insurer will pay the full manufacturer’s suggested retail price for a replacement motorcycle. Of course, this would be minus your policy’s deductible.

Roadside Assistance / Towing

Because motorcycles can be ridden off road, there are typically mile limits from a road. Therefore, if you purchase Roadside Assistance with your motorcycle policy, and your bike becomes disabled within this limit, the insurance company will tow the covered motorcycle to the nearest repair facility for free. If offered by your insurance carrier, you may also be able to add “trip interruption” coverage. This can pay for food, transportation, and lodging expenses up to a limit per incident. Typically, you must have roadside assistance to include trip interruption coverage.

Personal Belongings / Carried Content

If you’re riding with your mobile phone or laptop, and they are damaged in a covered loss, personal belongings or carried content coverage may help to replace them. Other personal items that may be covered by this protection are apparel, camping, or hunting gear.

Disappearing Deductible

If your insurance carrier offers a disappearing deductible, it typically reduces your physical damage deductibles by a set percentage for every claim-free term of coverage.

Lost wages or Enhanced Injury

Another optional coverage you may consider, if offered by your insurance carrier, is lost wages or enhanced injury protection. This form of coverage can pay you a set amount per week for a set number of weeks if you’re injured in a covered accident and cannot work. Sometimes these types of coverage offer a death benefit as well.

Replacement parts / OEM or Full Replacement Cost

This is a popular coverage for the insured who wants their bike restored with OEM or new replacement parts. If you purchase these types of coverage you can get the insurance company to repair your damaged motorcycle to pre-accident condition or better. 

Guest passenger liability

In most states, your passenger’s liability is covered in your standard liability coverage. However, if live in a state where it’s not required, you will need to purchase the protection separately. Buying this coverage will cover other riders on your motorcycle. 

What is not covered by a motorcycle policy?

As important as understanding what IS covered, you should know what IS NOT covered by a motorcycle policy. Here are some common things that motorcycle owners do with their bikes that aren’t covered:

  • Performance competitions or track days: If you ride your bike in races, timed events, speed tests, or on a track, you’re typically excluded from coverage.
  • Commercial use: This is similar to your personal auto, but without any of the business or artisan use exceptions. Therefore, if you use your motorcycle for business purposes, you may not be covered. If you regularly use your bike for work, consider a commercial auto insurance policy.
  • Wear and tear: Depreciation of your bike is never covered by motorcycle insurance.

Factors that determine your motorcycle insurance rate

Another fundamental way to understand how motorcycle insurance works are to know how it’s rated. There are several factors that affect motorcycle insurance rates. If you better understand these factors, you may be able to influence the rate you’re charged and help get the best coverage at a reasonable price. Some of the factors include:

  • Age: Younger riders are considered more at risk than older riders, and as such, they pay higher insurance rates.
  • Riding experience: Riders with more experience pay lower insurance rates as they are considered less of a risk.
  • Type of motorcycle: High-performance motorcycles and sports bikes have higher insurance rates due to their higher risk of accidents.
  • Location: Riders living in areas with high accident rates pay higher insurance rates.
  • Driving record: Riders with a clean driving record pay lower insurance rates than those with a history of accidents or traffic violations.
  • Insurance score: Carriers use the information contained in a consumer’s credit record to determine an insurance score. Generally, if you manage your credit well, you should also have a good insurance score and lower premium.

Tips for buying motorcycle insurance

Now that you understand what motorcycle insurance is, the different types of policies available, and the coverage options, it’s time to choose the right motorcycle insurance. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Determine the coverage you need: Evaluate your needs and choose a policy that covers the type of protection you need. Remember to consider factors such as your motorcycle’s value, your riding habits, and your state’s insurance requirements.
  • Shop around: Don’t settle for the first motorcycle insurance policy you come across. Shop around, compare rates, and ask for quotes from different insurers to find the best deal.
  • Consider the reputation of the insurance company: Check the insurance company’s reputation, customer reviews, and ratings. You want to choose a company that is reliable and has a good track record of paying claims.
  • Look for discounts: Many insurers offer discounts for safe riders, multiple policies, and other factors. Look for discounts that you may qualify for to reduce your insurance costs.
  • Review your policy regularly: Make it a habit to review your motorcycle insurance policy regularly. Ensure that it still meets your needs, and if not, consider making changes to your coverage.

The bottom line

Motorcycle insurance is essential for anyone who owns or plans to own a motorcycle. It provides financial protection in case of an accident, theft, or damage to your motorcycle.

To choose the right motorcycle insurance, you need to understand the different types of policies available, the coverage options, and the factors that affect insurance rates. Remember to shop around, compare rates, and choose a reputable insurance company. Don’t forget to review your policy regularly to ensure that it still meets your needs. Stay safe on the road and enjoy your motorcycle with the peace of mind that comes with having the right insurance coverage.

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