By Bryan Harley

Motorcycle Insurance

It protects you, protects your motorcycle, and can protect against careless cagers. It’s also required by law, and getting caught by The Man without insurance can be an expensive lesson.

Fortunately, we’ve got it easy these days and riders can get insurance quotes almost immediately online without leaving the comfort of home. Our first tip is to shop around and get multiple quotes before you decide. If you already have auto insurance with a company, check to see whether they offer motorcycle insurance as well because often you can get a discounted price if you bundle coverage. But just because you can find all the information you need online, still call an insurance agent. Sometimes they will offer an even lower discounted rate and might even meet the lowest price offered by its competitors.

Begin your search by knowing that there’s no set rate. Factors like age, driving history, style of motorcycle, where you live and how you store your bike – even credit scores can affect your rate of coverage. A long-standing history with a particular company is often good for a discount. Motorcyclists are going to need to choose between simple liability or a more comprehensive plan. Tailor you plan according to what style of motorcycle you ride and how you ride it. Year-round or seasonal? Passenger or no passenger? Street or track? Riding habits need to be taken into consideration when talking to an agent about your plan. Riders who have taken a recent Motorcycle Safety Foundation or Military Safety Course or are members of groups like the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) or HOG (Harley Owners Group) are frequently eligible for discounted rates, also.

Before buying motorcycle insurance, it is a good idea to check your state or local laws first to find out specifically what type of coverage is required. Some riders feel confident enough to run with basic liability that covers property damages and bodily injury expenses to others in an accident where you are at fault. It is the bare minimum to cover your butt in case of a crash. However, it doesn’t cover the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle. This might be OK if you’re riding an old beater bike, but it’s still a roll-of-the-dice option.

Unlike automobile insurance, motorcycle passengers aren’t automatically covered, so if you plan on riding two-up, you’ll want to invest in Guest Passenger Liability Coverage as well. This will pay for any injuries a passenger sustains while riding with you.

The best plan, which of course is the most expensive plan, is full Comprehensive and Collision coverage. This will cover your motorcycle if it is stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage protects against damages sustained that are beyond your control, like fire, theft, vandalism or storm damage. Collision coverage means that if your bike is totaled or damaged in a collision, the insurance company will pay to have it repaired.

There are two areas GEICO stated that motorcyclists often under-insure themselves: uninsured motorist and medical liability coverage. You can’t rely on the fact that the other driver has enough coverage. Many drivers don’t have any insurance at all, so as a precautionary measure, don’t skimp when it comes time to add this option to the plan.

Also, don’t come up short when it comes to medical liability. Don’t think that just because you’re on a motorcycle that it’s only going to be you that gets hurt in an accident. Motorcycles can do serious damage, so buy coverage similar to the plan that you have for your automobile. You’re going to be liable for the same amount of expenses, so don’t sell yourself short.

Most motorcycle insurance providers will customize a program around a rider’s needs. Companies like Progressive, GEICO, Allstate, State Farm, and Esurance all offer coverage, so be sure to shop around for the best price. But start with the company that insures your car first to see if they will strike a deal with you for insuring multiple vehicles.

To learn even more, check out our Motorcycle Insurance Guide.
Motorcycle Insurance Companies