Motorcycle Insurance: The Basics8

Okay, so you just roared into town on your own hog, and the new neighbors are getting nervous because you’re wearing black leather and a chain link. You’re thinking about unpacking boxes, but they’re more concerned with bodily injury and property damage. Lucky for them, and you, those provisions are covered under a motorcycle insurance policy.

Coverage for motorcyclists is basically the same as for automobile owners, but there are some minor differences.

Most states require motorcyclists to carry a minimum amount of liability in case of third party injuries, however, insurance experts recommend purchasing as much as three times the minimum in these times of expensive litigation. The liability package also offers Guest Passenger Liability, coverage that offers injury protection to anyone who might climb on the back of your bike.

This coverage reimburses for damage to your motorcycle in case of an accident (minus the deductible). Coverage extends only to the factory parts of your bike. If you get fancy and add anything extra – like nifty chrome accessories – additional coverage will be required for compensation.

This reimburses you (less the deductible) for circumstances other than accident, like vandalism, fire or theft.

Uninsured Motorist
If the other driver/rider who hit your bike is uninsured, this coverage pays the medical bills and any loss wages you incur while out of action.

Underinsured Motorist
This coverage reimburses you you if the other driver/rider who hit you doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all your damages.

Insurance premiums are determined by factors such as your age, driving record, what kind of bike you own and where you garage it. Unless you’re high risk, there are ways to keep your costs down so you won’t have to pay exorbitant rates. Insurers look kindly on clean driving records, no accidents and graduates from “ride-training” course, which can earn you a discount of up to 15%.

Discounts are also available if you belong to a motorcycle organization, are you a “mature” motorist, or you insure with the same company that underwrites your car. Finally, if you reside in northern climes, you can check into a “lay up” policy, which suspends all coverage (except comprehensive) during those cold winter months.