You love your bike. We get it. The freedom that comes with a weekend ride on a wide-open road can’t be matched with anything. Of course, you also want your bike to be protected and insured. Here’s everything you need to know about motorcycle insurance coverage.
First, Consider Your Options:
Motorcycle insurance is a lot like car insurance. The same coverage options exist including liability, comprehensive, collision, and medical payments. Before choosing a policy, consider what you need. Most states have minimum liability requirements but if your bike is decked out with a lot of expensive accessories, you may want to add on equipment coverage. Having roadside assistance can also be a great benefit when you own a motorcycle and enjoy riding far distances.
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How Do Rates Compare to Car Insurance?
You might be curious to know whether a car or bike will cost more to insure. The answer isn’t always the same. Typically, a car costs more to insure yet that can also depend on model and wear. If you’re comparing a brand-new, high-end bike with a used car, you’ll save money by insuring the car.
If you’re a new motorcycle owner, the insurance may not be as affordable as you expected. Why? Insurers often consider motorcycle riders to be risky, as statistics show bikers have higher accident rates. It’s much easier for a motorcycle to be seriously damaged by a car than the other way around and insurance carriers know this. Motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be injured per mile traveled than those in passenger cars. Also, 34% of motorcyclists were found to be speeding in fatal crashes, compared to the average 21% in passenger vehicles.
Tips to Save Money:
- Bundle Your Policy
If you have multiple motorcycles, or you also own a vehicle, consider bundling your policies to save money. Most insurers will offer you a discount for multiple types of vehicles or packaged policies. You may also be able to gain a greater discount if you add on home or life insurance.
- Take a Safety Course
You can always take a motorcycle safety course to receive a discount or to show that you’re an experienced driver. If you’ve been operating motorcycles for years, carriers will take this into account when determining your rates. Don’t forget that your driving history still matters regardless of whether or not that history was related to operating a car instead of a bike.
There are many other discount opportunities to take advantage of. There are club and organizations discounts as well as low-mileage. Be sure to take advantage of all that you’re eligible for. If your motorcycle has extra safety features, don’t forget to mention them to your agent.
Know the Laws:
An important part of keeping your motorcycle insurance low is abiding by the laws. In order to do this, you first have to know them!
While most driving laws for motorcycles are the same as cars, there are some differences. Read into your state laws to keep your driving record clean of violations. We promise the resulting lower premiums will make the research worth it.
- Helmet Laws
As a rider, you should be aware of helmet laws. While it’s never a bad idea to consistently wear a helmet for protection, some states actually require it. To avoid any fines, read up on whether or not your state requires helmet use and plan ahead for road trips. Currently, 19 states require helmets while others require only partial use for specific groups of riders, such as those under 21.
- Lane Splitting
Lane splitting can be a bit of a contentious topic. The practice involves motorcyclists who ride between cars, often in traffic. In just about every state, lane splitting is considered illegal. However, recent research has suggested its safety benefits and California is waiting on a bill to legalize the practice. Currently, California is the only state in which lane splitting is not currently banned or encouraged.
If you own a smaller motorcycle or scooter, there are some laws you should be aware of. Each state varies in its requirements. Some may require liability insurance while other states don’t even require a driver’s license to operate a scooter. Typically, the requirements are based on engine size. If your scooter is smaller than average you likely won’t be required to purchase a policy but you can always check with your local DMV.
Enjoy your motorcycle and be sure to keep yourself and the bike protected with auto insurance. By driving safe and focusing on the road, your premium rates will continue to drop as you gain experience.