Happy National Motorcycle Day! What better day than today to make sure you have enough motorcycle insurance? After all, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of wind whipping past your face as you cruise down the open road on your beloved bike… Except maybe that feeling plus the peace of mind that comes with being fully insured, come hell or high water. So do you have enough motorcycle insurance to protect against anything and everything that may come your way?
How much motorcycle insurance do you really need?
Liability insurance refers to bodily injury and property damage liability. Liability pays another party/parties if you are found responsible for an accident that causes physical injury or property damage. Bodily injury liability would help pay for the injured party’s medical bills, while property damage would cover any damages to their vehicle or other property (like a fence, mailbox, etc.)
You’ll usually see motorcycle liability coverage written with three limits like this: 25/50/10. This means you have $25,000 in bodily injury protection per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability.
Most states (49) require motorcycle liability insurance. You may even need to show proof of insurance in order to register your motorcycle, and you need to register it in order to get a license plate and drive legally on the road.
Not all states have the same minimum requirements for your motorcycle liability insurance, so you’ll want to ask your agent what the limits are in your state. The motorcycle liability limits are usually the same or similar to the requirements for auto insurance.
How much motorcycle liability insurance you really need
Still, the minimum required by the state usually isn’t enough for full coverage. Just like auto insurance, we recommend you have enough liability insurance to protect all your assets.
If you are found at-fault for an accident, you could be sued for medical bills, property damage, loss of income, pain and suffering, etc. In some cases, the other party or parties could come after you for “everything you own.” To protect your motorcycle, home, assets, and family, you want enough liability insurance to cover the value of everything you own.
If your insurance company doesn’t offer motorcycle liability coverage limits that cover your assets, you can consider purchasing an umbrella policy. Umbrella policies offer a blanket of liability protection to help protect you against a variety of liability concerns. Umbrella policies usually start at $1 million in coverage limits, but the premiums are generally inexpensive for the amount of coverage you get.
Some states also require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as well. This helps protect you if the other person in an accident is found at-fault and they don’t have enough insurance to cover your injuries or damages.
For example, someone runs a red light and hits you. You come out unscathed, thankfully, but your bike has $12,000 in damage. If the at-fault driver who hit you doesn’t have insurance or only has $10,000 in property damage, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage could step in to help you cover the rest and get your motorcycle back on the road.
Most insurance agents will let you know what the standard coverage is for your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Your agent will know the rules of your state and also consider your policy on the whole to determine the most effective limits.
Collision and comprehensive
Collision and comprehensive coverage are “optional,” meaning they’re usually not required by the sate. However, these are the only types of coverage that help cover damages to your own motorcycle, so we don’t see them as just optional.
Collision can help cover the cost to repair your motorcycle if you are in a collision with a car, another motorcycle, or a stationary object. Comprehensive can help cover damage to your motorcycle caused by “everything else” that isn’t a collision, such as falling objects, theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire, and impact with animals
Keep in mind that both collision and comprehensive insurance have a deductible. That means you are responsible for paying that deductible out of pocket before your insurance can step in to cover the rest. (Learn how to select a motorcycle deductible here.) Also, these still have coverage limits, meaning they will only cover up to a certain cost.
So what limits for motorcycle collision and comprehensive do you need?
There are two types of settlements for stolen or “total loss” motorcycles:
- Actual cash value: This pays what your bike is worth at the time of loss, minus depreciation (and your deductible).
- Agreed value: When you buy the motorcycle insurance policy, you and your insurance company agree on the value of your bike. This amount remains fixed, and that is the number you are paid out in the case of a total loss. (There’s no deductible in this case, since you are paid exactly the amount agreed upon.)
Actual cash value typically has a less expensive premium, but you’ll generally get paid out a lot less in the case of a total loss. It may not offer enough to replace your bike, since it includes depreciation (and your bike starts depreciating the moment you drive it off the lot). With agreed value, you know how much you’d get in the case of a loss, but the premiums are often higher monthly.
That is the “limit” you have. Then, any covered damages will be paid out based on a trusted mechanic or professional opinion. So the actual cash or agreed value is your “limit,” and you want it to cover the total cost you would need to replace your bike.
Medical payments and PIP
You’re more likely to suffer a personal injury on a motorcycle than a car, since there isn’t as much protection around you. So you really want to make sure you have enough medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) to help cover the costs of any personal injuries. Both PIP and medical payments work in conjunction with your health insurance to help cover your medical bills if you are injured in an accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP) can help cover your medical bills as well as loss of income, physical therapy, and other related costs due to an accident (whether or not you are found at-fault). This also usually helps cover your passengers, but you want to double check with your insurance company. Unfortunately, some states don’t offer PIP for motorcyclists because of the high rate of accidents, so make sure you chat with your insurance agent about how you can best protect yourself.
Medical payments (MedPay) is only offered in some states. It can help cover the medical bills for you (and sometimes a passenger) if you’re injured in an accident. Unlike PIP, though, it doesn’t cover lost wages or associated costs of the injuries.
Since you’re more likely to suffer an injury on a motorcycle, you’re considered a higher risk so the premiums may be more expensive than auto PIP. However, it’s also more important to have because you’re a higher risk. Definitely don’t underestimate your need for PIP coverage. Motorcycles are a blast, but they are also dangerous—so don’t take a risk with your health and finances.
How much PIP or MedPay you need depends on your health insurance and your risks. Most insurance agents will be able to help you find the right amount of coverage to help protect your health, wellness, and wallet in conjunction with your health insurance.
Keep in mind that if the other party in a collision is found at-fault, you could also sue them to pay for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, etc.
Motorcycle insurance also offers a lot of add-on options. Each of these are usually set at a defined coverage limit based on the insurance carrier, so you just need to decide if each type of coverage is right for your motorcycle needs.
Some optional motorcycle add-ons include…
Roadside assistance: If your bike breaks down, this add-on includes coverage for towing and at-site labor.
Trip interruption coverage: This helps cover lodging, transportation, and food if you get into a collision and can’t ride your bike. This usually has to be if something happens 100+ miles from home.
OEM coverage: Original equipment manufacturer parts guarantees that any repairs to your bike will use the original manufactured parts, not cheaper or different-maker replacements.
Additional accessories coverage: If you have custom parts and accessories on your bike, collision and comprehensive may not cover them. You’ll need to pay for an endorsement for custom parts, equipment, and accessories; this includes chrome parts, saddlebags, and personal touches.
Carried contents coverage: This covers damage to or theft of items you often carry on your bike, like camping equipment, radios, cell phones, etc. You need to specify the items on your “carried contents” list, though, so make sure you keep this list up-to-date to ensure you’re fully covered.
Guest passenger liability insurance: You’re less likely to have passengers on your bike than in a car, so some insurance companies don’t extend PIP/MedPay coverage to your passengers. This add-on works like PIP but it’s specific to any passengers injured while riding with you.
Not sure if you need these add-ons? Chat with one of our experienced InsuraMatch agents to find the policies that will work best for your individual motorcycle needs at (844) 300-3294.
Insuring a motor scooter or moped? It may be covered under your motorcycle insurance, or it might be a subcategory underneath motorcycle. Chat with your agent to make sure your vehicles are fully protected before going out on the road
How much does motorcycle insurance cost?
The cost of motorcycle insurance can vary from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand per year. The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on a number of different factors:
- Where you live (state, risk of area for riding a motorcycle)
- Driver age
- Driver record
- Driver experience (younger drives tend to pay more)
- Value and type of bike (size of engine)
- Risk level
- Coverage limits
- Insurance carrier
Insurance companies are going to look at your risk level. If you are in a high crime or densely populated area, you’re at a greater risk of theft or collisions, so your premiums will likely be higher. If you’re a new or young driver, you’re more likely to be reckless, so premiums will be higher. If you can prove you’re a lower risk, you may be able to get a discount on your motorcycle insurance premium cost.
Along with risk, the cost of premiums depends on how much coverage you need. The more protection you buy, the more you’ll pay. That’s why you want to find a good balance between getting the most coverage at a reasonable price.
That’s what we do at InsuraMatch. Our licensed agents help you build the best coverage for your motorcycle, while comparing quotes to find the right price for your budget.
How can I save on motorcycle insurance?
You want enough motorcycle insurance to protect your bike and assets, no matter what comes your way. Don’t skimp on coverage, especially since there are ways you can save on motorcycle insurance premiums. Here are some ways to minimize the cost of your premium, without losing out on coverage:
- Bundle your motorcycle insurance with other types of insurance, like home and auto.
- Insure all of your motorcycles with the same company.
- Inquire about a “safe drivers” discount if you have a clean driving record in the last 3-5 years.
- Take a motorcycle rider training course. This can help you get a safe driver discount and demonstrates you’re a lower risk on the road. (This is especially useful for younger or less experienced drivers.)
- Join a bike organization or club that offers discounts.
- Ask about a mature rider discount if you’re a long-time rider or over the age of 55.
- Prove that you store your motorcycle in a safe, secure, enclosed garage. This minimizes risk of weather damage and/or theft.
- Check out these ways to save on motorcycle insurance during the offseason.
- Learn how to save on auto insurance. A lot of the discounts are similar for motorcycle insurance.
The best way to save on your motorcycle insurance is by shopping around. With InsuraMatch, you can compare quotes to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your coverage. We’ll compare similar quotes based on a policy that works for you, so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
Talk to an InsuraMatch agent now at (844) 300-3294 and compare motorcycle insurance quotes in just minutes!
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