Motorcycle Insurance

The category of motorcycle insurance includes a number of different design and construction types such as off-road ATVs, scooters, custom bikes, vintage collectibles that are at least 25 years old, and three-wheelers like the ones used by large city police departments. For insurance purposes, all of these are considered to be at the same level of risk. Anyone intending to take up riding two wheels would do well to ask questions and get satisfactory answers to all of the aspects outlined below.

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage includes bodily injury, which covers other people injured in the event of an accident, and property damage, which covers the other person’s property.

Basic minimum liability coverage required for motorcycle insurance varies from state to state. Some typical figures are 25/50/25, where the numbers are shorthand for thousands of dollars. The first figure represents the maximum amount of bodily injury coverage per person following a collision, the second figure represents the maximum coverage per event, and the third is the maximum coverage for property damage. Remember that liability only covers the other person, not yourself.

While it’s possible to overinsure a motorbike or any other asset, it’s important to carry sufficient liability coverage. Purchasing too little liability insurance keeps your premiums low but can leave you open to lawsuits following a serious accident, shifting the responsibility for paying the other party’s expenses from your insurance company to yourself. If you only purchase $25,000 in bodily injury coverage and are involved in a serious accident, that amount could easily be swallowed by the other person’s emergency hospital care costs within a week. Remember that you’re liable for the remainder.

To protect yourself against other people’s cost-cutting, you can also carry insurance against uninsured and underinsured motorists. This coverage picks up where their policy leaves off, paying your own medical bills as well as repairing or replacing your damaged bike.

Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance

Types of loss covered by comprehensive motorcycle insurance depend upon the policy purchased. It may be limited to collision damage, or it may cover theft or damage to accessories, theft of the entire motorcycle, vandalism, and loss or damage through fire, floods, or other acts of nature, as well.

Motorcycle insurance optional equipment coverage can be purchased to cover the loss or damage of added accessories, such as stereos, driver-passenger intercoms, windshields, saddle bags, and so on. Although a basic level is included in comprehensive policies at no extra cost, higher limits of coverage can be purchased should your bike’s customization be extreme. Other motorcycle insurance riders can be added for safety gear such as jackets and helmets, trip interruption and travel loss reimbursement should an accident happen when you’re off on some distant road, and towing and emergency roadside assistance for help anywhere.

It’s important to know what your collision motorcycle insurance covers. Too often bike owners don’t read the policy and therefore don’t realize that their custom paint job isn’t covered, until it’s too late. If you’ve taken the time and spent the money to make your motorbike truly yours, then you should also exert yourself to see that, if it’s damaged or lost, you’ll receive an appropriate replacement or sufficient funds to make it yours again.

Motorcycles less than two years old are often eligible for replacement cost or total loss coverage. That means that, if your bike is totaled in a collision, with this policy your insurance company will replace it with a brand new one of the same type, discounting any depreciation that may have taken place. Customized cycles, though, aren’t usually eligible for this coverage.

Off-brand motorcycles or a machine you built at home from odd parts are generally eligible for liability coverage only. This means that there will be no reclaiming the original cost of acquisition because there is no standard method of assessing the actual value of such a motorcycle.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection, to cover the motorcycle’s owner and rider, can also be purchased and in some states is required by law. However, quality health insurance can fill that need and may be more economical, as well.

Like all insurance policies, motorcycle insurance includes a deductible which must be paid from your pocket before the insurance company will kick in their share. The lower the deductible, generally the higher your monthly premiums. Other factors which can influence how much you pay each month include your driving record, any safety courses taken, where your bike is stored, how many miles you ride each year, and so on.