So you’re getting a motorcycle and now you need motorcycle insurance. You do not want to determine companies by rates alone.
Many companies offer motorcycle insurance but they don’t provide the comprehensive coverage that is unique for motorcycle riding. I wasn’t aware of the ‘lack’ of coverage from many insurance companies until I found out what was offered by the company I was getting quotes from. When I checked our policy from the insurance company (I was soon to be dumping), I discovered that we were getting SCREWED!! I made the switch four years ago to Allstate and couldn’t be happier!! UPDATE: While Allstate had great coverage, I quoted other insurance companies a few years later and found equal or better coverage for a lower premium with Progressive. It is smart to shop around every few years to make sure you are getting the best premium for equal or better coverage.
Already have motorcycle insurance?? It never hurts to get new quotes after awhile, we saved a ton by taking all our business to Allstate, and I thought my old insurance company was treating us well. They definitely were NOT on our side! (See update above, after a while Allstate was raking us – so I shopped around and found better or equal coverage at nearly 1/2 the rate of Allstate.)
Recently, my son-in-law sent me a text asking me what to expect the cost of motorcycle insurance to be, budgeting for his upcoming purchase of a new Harley-Davidson. (Woohoo!) I sent him the amount for both our bikes together, which happens to be the same price for just ONE of the motorcycles with our previous insurance company, literally half the price and WAY BETTER coverage!
I didn’t have the time to go into detail with him at that moment, but wanted to tell him of all the things to look for when he was getting quotes. So here it is, the birth of another article! EVERYONE should know what they should be getting from their motorcycle insurance company.
I AM NOT an insurance guru by any means. So I researched the issue and here are some of the FAQ’s, for more detailed information on the policy ask each company you are getting quotes from.
First of all, insure your motorcycle ALL YEAR, regardless of where you live. Full year insurance (if still available) is just slightly more than ‘partial’ year coverage and you are never restricted from riding your motorcycle. Your bike will also be covered in case of fire, theft, or damage another way.
Discounts – Multi coverage (your motorcycle, cars, trucks, home) can offer big discounts if you have them all with the same company.
Some companies offer discounts if you have taken a motorcycle safety course, ASK!
Liability Coverage – Of course, you need liability coverage. This is coverage if you are at fault and will pay for the other driver and their property and your passenger, if injured.
Coverage Amounts – Make sure the amount they will pay is adequate! ‘State’ minimums are just that, usually very minimal. You may be paying a huge property damage bill or medical bill. If you own a home you could be putting that at risk if someone were to sue you for uncovered expenses. I will research this issue further to investigate proper coverage amounts and post the updates.
Medical Coverage – Medical payments for you and your passenger.
Collision – Coverage to repair or replace your vehicle if you have a ‘collision’ with another object, be it a car, tree, house, etc.. You want your policy to cover OEM parts. Many companies offer NEW replacement for bikes two years old or newer. Check your company.
Comprehensive – Coverage to repair or replace your motorcycle. Make sure your policy covers non-accident damage, such as fire, theft, hail, etc… Again, you want your policy to make repairs with OEM parts.
Uninsured/Underinsured – If you are not at fault, and the at fault driver does not have insurance or inadequate insurance, you are covered.
Coverage for additional parts – Yes, we all customize our ride and the insurance companies are well aware of that. Almost every company has additional coverage for after-market parts you add to your motorcycle. Also for your safety gear.
Towing and Labor Cost – If you break down, this will get you towed.
Rental Reimbursement – If your bike is damaged or stolen, this will assist with a rental.
Trip interruption – If you are on your way to the rally or family vacation and you break down, some insurance companies will compensate your transportation, food, and hotel cost.
Our Allstate policy also has (had) Death Indemnity Coverage and Disability Indemnity Coverage that pays a weekly cash amount in case we are unable to work while recovering from any injuries. This is a nice added feature, check with your insurance company to see if this is available.
Do your homework, it may be well worth your efforts. Always start with your existing insurance company and try to ‘bundle’ all your policies for a discount. BUT if your current company does not offer adequate coverage for motorcycles, then shop elsewhere for your bike insurance. Motorcycle insurance is very inexpensive, typically 60% less than automobile insurance, according to an article on foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/06/15/motorcycle-insurance-what-need-how-much-it-costs.
That article also states that insurance rates will vary throughout the country. Warm weather states may have higher premiums because they factor in a longer riding season.
SHOP AROUND before committing to anyone. ASK questions from the agents, they all have phone numbers, email addresses, chat, etc… make sure you are getting a fair price AND excellent coverage.
Good Luck! Ride Safe!
ALL STATES HAVE DIFFERENT RULES AND LAWS CONCERNING INSURANCE, POLICIES MAY DIFFER FROM STATE TO STATE.
RidersInfo – May, 2013