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How to Buy Motorcycle Insurance

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not having insurance can get you in trouble with the law and can lead to a hefty fine.
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.

American Motorcyclist AssociationH.O.G. - Harley Owners Group
Semper RideMotorcycle Safety Foundation
Taking safety courses or being a member of
certain motorcycle organizations can mean
you're eligible for a discount.
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.
The GS devours freeways with ease  takes any twisty in speedy stride  and when the road gets rough the Beemer only gets better.
Make sure to have the correct coverage to protect your passenger if you find yourself frequently riding two-up.

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
If you are in a motorcycle accident in Colombia you will find yourself having to prove your innocence  the legal system being based on Napoleonic Law: guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
Accidents can happen at any time, anywhere.  Having  the right coverage can keep you out of costly situations.
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

Progressive: www.motorcycle.progressive.com     1-800-776-4737
Geico: www.geico.com/getaquote/motorcycle     1-800-442-9253
Allstate: www.allstate.com/motorcycle-insurance.aspx     1-877-379-BIKE (2453)
Esurance: www.esurance.com/Welcome/Home/home/motorcycle.aspx     1-866-455-1980
State Farm: www.statefarm.com/insurance/other/motorcycle.asp - Asks that you enter Zip Code so that it can give you the number of the agent nearest you.
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ronjohnson4056   March 19, 2014 08:22 PM
You don't want to get busted without insurance. It's a really expensive fine. It also protects you from careless drivers so it's definitely worth it. Ron Johnson | http://www.trentinsurancegrp.com
c -Thanks LC  April 3, 2010 11:02 PM
I know this isn't supposed to be a forum, but Thanks it's much apreciated LC, thats definately interesting should come in handy next year.
LC -reply to Taylor  April 2, 2010 08:55 PM
You touch on a good point. Most people think Auto Insurance will take care of them if injured in an auto accident. In NC, the only coverage you have for injury to yourself in an at-fault accident is Medical Payment coverage. Medical Payment coverage is available in $1K, $2K, $5K, $10K, and $25K on most NC policies. Motorcycle Med Pay is limited to $2K or $5K by most carriers.

Hopefully, the at-fault driver who hits you after he runs a red light has Liability coverage limits high enough to take care of your injuries. Your second line of hope is the Med Pay coverage. But most importantly, you need Health Insurance!!!

Keeping your Uninsured/Underinsured coverage limits high is very important as well. If that person who hits you has no insurance, you will need to use your Uninsured Motorists coverage for your injuries. If they have too little insurance, Underinsured steps in to bridge the difference.

I'd be glad to field any other questions...I may not know everything but I do this every day. I have three bikes of my own and have a lot of motorcycles insured.
LC -reply to c  April 2, 2010 08:46 PM
Sorry...I haven't been on the net...off today! Unfortunately, when settling a claim, an adjuster is going to use a "book" value, and most likely the lowest, trade-in value. As a consumer, you have to defend yourself. Many people simply reply that their GSXRCBRR1RR, etc. is worth WAY more than the initial offer. To defend yourself, you should arm yourself with a legitimate argument for your statement.

How do you do that? Simply...use your resources. Find your bike, same year, similar condition, similar mileage, on the internet for sale. Better yet, include completed auctions from ebay in your argument. Show the adjuster that your bike is indeed worth more than his offer in the current market. Don't sign anything until you are satisfied with the offer.

Remember that he is a jack of all trades, master of none. I guarantee you know more about the value of a 1996 GSXR 750 than he does. Realistically, all he has to go by is indeed, a book value. He doesn't know that bike was a huge leap forward and that a pristine example like yours commands way more than the book value.

YOU, yes you, need to keep up with what the Stated Amount is on your bike. You can be anal about it and drop it perhaps $500 every 6 months but should at least look at it every 18 to 24 months. We all know bikes depreciate rather quickly, like it or not.

When I buy a bike for a great deal from a dealer friend of mine for $150 over his cost, I still insure the bike for retail price because he may not have the bike available at that lower price at the time I have an accident. I may only find them at full retail from another dealer at that time...does that make sense?

Taylor -Coverage  April 1, 2010 09:24 PM
Replacing a bike is chump change compared to the real important stuff like your medical bills from any injuries and/or the other person’s physical damage. If I wreck a bike and walk away with nobody hurt, I am one grateful person who will have no problem getting a check for only current cash value. I would focus on getting the right coverage for the real big liabilities because being under insured in those areas would leave you with legal bills many times the amount of your crashed ride.
c -LC- question about stated value  April 1, 2010 12:31 PM
With my insurance agent, who honestly seemed a little lost about motorcycle insurance, suggested I sign a form saying I paid my estimated market price of $7500. But I was uncomfortable lying with a contract of utmost good faith. So is it normal to insure for market price? how would you do so?
LC -so many possibilities  April 1, 2010 11:22 AM
This subject is a tough one to write about. There are so many options in the world of shopping for Motorcycle Insurance. So many ways to write and rate policies exist, and vary state-to-state. I am an agent for a company in North Carolina.

My company rates motorcycles first and foremost based on driving record, of course, just like regular Auto Insurance. Other factors are year of the motorcycle, engine size in cc's, and stated value of the motorcycle at the time we are adding it. These are the sole factors we use to rate the policy.

Other companies have a "Hot Bike" list and your rate will be higher for a bike that is a sport bike, custom, or Harley Davidson.

We give no discounts for having taken any MSF or other courses, but neither do any of the competitors in my area.

The main thing to keep in mind is that your Auto Insurance isn't a Replacement policy, but rather an Actual Cash Value policy that will factor in depreciation when settling a claim on your motorcycle insurance. Keep up with the Stated Value of your bike year-to-year as it generally depreciates with age. You could wind up paying too much and for coverage that would never actually pay.

For example, let's say your bike is worth $10,000 retail on the day you add it when it is brand new. If you leave it at that Stated Amount for the next 5 years and 30,000 miles, then crash and totally destroy it beyond repair, you will in no way get $10,000 for the destroyed bike. That bike now has a market value of $3,000 and you will only get that for settlement, even though you were paying rates for a $10,000 bike!

Also add Custom Equipment coverage for ANY additions you've made to the bike. The base policy does not compensate for those aftermarket pipes, custom wheels, custom paint, all that chrome, etc. If you don't have Custom Equipment coverage, and I'm speaking for NC policyholders, you will have no compensation for those things in the above scenario.

Most people don't realize that the Insurance Carrier's job is to Indemnify you, put you back in the same vehicle you were in before a loss occurred. A lot of people still believe they are going to get a new car or motorcycle when they total their 2005 and it just isn't so.