Motorcycle Insurance: Got Bike? Get Coverage

Written by Michael Browne

Cheap Motorcycle InsuranceIf you own a motorcycle, you understand and appreciate the open highway, the wind in your hair, the sun on your skin, and the freedom all those things represent. If you're a smart biker, you also appreciate the fact that even a minor accident on a motorcycle can do more damage than a fender-bender in a car. This is just one of the reasons you need to have motorcycle insurance.

How does motorcycle insurance work? It's similar to the insurance on your car or truck, but there are some differences. Here's a breakdown:

  • Collision Coverage: This coverage pays for damage to your bike in case you have an accident, after you meet the deductible. It covers only the factory-equipped parts of your motorcycle, so if you customize or mod the bike, you'll have to purchase additional coverage for those parts, or accept the fact that you'll be replacing them out of pocket.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: After you've met the deductible, this will reimburse you if anything other than an accident happens to your motorcycle. This includes fire, theft, or vandalism, and may include damage from weather.
  • Liability Coverage: As with conventional automobiles, a minimum amount of liability coverage is required by most states, to pay for injuries or property damage to others involved in an accident. Most insurance experts believe that state minimums aren't enough, however, and suggest purchases up to three times that amount of coverage. Liability insurance also covers "guest passengers," providing injury protection to anyone riding with you on your bike.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage pays your medical bills and any lost wages you might incur if you're in an accident, and the person who hits your bike was either uninsured, or didn't carry enough insurance coverage to pay for all your damages.

How are motorcycle insurance premiums calculated?

There are many factors that go into the determination of your motorcycle insurance premium. As with car insurance, your age and driving record are considered, as are the make and model of your bike. Sometimes the location where the bike is garaged is also a factor. A clean driving record with no accidents, and proof of a motorcycle rider training course are two ways to save money - in fact, the latter can earn you up to 15% off your insurance premium.

Other discounts may also be available. Ask your insurer if there are price breaks for being a "mature" motorcyclist, belonging to a bikers' club, or are using the same insurance company that covers your home or automobile (or both.) As well, residents of certain northerly states may have the ability to purchase a "lay-up" policy which halts all coverage except comprehensive, and drastically reduces the cost of coverage, during winter months when riding isn't possible.