It goes without saying that nothing beats the experience of owning and riding a motorcycle, but it’s important to remember that motorcycle ownership isn’t all fun and games. As is the case with owning a car, a truck, or any other type of vehicle, there are practicalities that definitely need to be considered as well. Motorcycle insurance is just one of those practicalities, but it’s a very important one.
Choosing the right insurance policy for your sweet ride is a critical part of protecting the investment you’ve made in your bike. It’s also how you’ll protect yourself and anyone who rides with you as a passenger should anything happen. Here are some pointers, tips, and considerations to keep in mind as you evaluate your various options.
How Much Liability Is Enough Liability?
Every state has its own requirements as far as what a motorcycle owner is absolutely required to buy when it comes to insurance. Although you should definitely double check to see what’s mandatory in your state, most states do require you to purchase bodily injury/property damage liability at the very least. This ensures that the damages are covered should you hurt anyone or damage someone else’s property in the event of an accident.
In most cases, the minimum amount of liability you’ll need to purchase will be equal to what you’d be expected to buy for a car or any other vehicle in the same state. However, it’s a very good idea to consider buying more if you can possibly swing it. It’s hardly unheard of for accidents to lead to lawsuits, and you’ll want to make sure any related costs are covered should that ever happen.
It’s also a really good idea to make sure the policy you buy includes passenger liability. In some states, this is the only way to make sure anyone riding with you would be covered if anything ever happened. Additional coverage that protects you in the event you collide with an uninsured motorist isn’t a bad idea either.
What Do You Want and Need in a Policy?
Buying motorcycle insurance isn’t just about making sure your legal bases and requirements are covered with the right amount of liability. This is the perfect time to think about how else you’d personally like to protect your investment in your bike (and in yourself).
Are you extra concerned about what might happen to you or your passengers if you ever do wind up in a wreck, especially if you don’t have health insurance? Look into policies that cover medical payments should anything happen. It won’t help you with issues like lost wages should you or your passenger be rendered unable to work, but it’s definitely something you’ll be glad you have if the worst does happen and you get hurt.
Do you have some serious coin invested in your ride or drive a type of motorcycle that’s considered extra valuable? Consider purchasing collision coverage that will compensate you for any damage done to your bike if anything happens. Comprehensive coverage is also a great option to look into, as that protects you from even more possible mishaps. Think collisions with animals and damage that could be caused by something other than a garden variety accident! Comprehensive coverage will have your back if your bike is ever stolen as well.
Most insurance providers even offer extras you can purchase in addition to your policy, and many of them are well worth the money if you really have a lot invested in your bike and riding experience. You can cover yourself in the event you need roadside assistance or wind up in an accident while far away from home. If you have a transport trailer for your bike, you can have that covered as well if you like.
Do Any Insurance Discounts Apply to You?
Naturally the idea of protecting yourself, your passengers, and your bike with an abundance of insurance coverage sounds good, but you still need to consider the money factor, right? Before you decide on a particular policy and sign on the dotted line, you’ll want to look into any possible discounts you might be eligible for.
For instance, many major insurance providers will offer riders safety discounts on their policies for completing an approved safety course. Although pursuing this particular type of discount can benefit any motorcycle owner, it’s especially useful for new riders. The choice to ride a motorcycle at all comes attached to its fair share of risk, so a young or inexperienced rider is at a disadvantage and will likely have to pay higher premiums than someone else would. Safety courses can do a great deal to offset this effect and prove to your insurance company that you’re serious about safety.
Safety consciousness isn’t the only way to get a sweet insurance discount though. Do you collect bikes or otherwise own more than one? You may want to see whether the policy you’re considering offers discounts for insuring multiple bikes at the same time. If you qualify as a safe driver (meaning you’ve gone a year or more without any sort of mishap) or have a squeaky clean driving record in general, you’re likely going to be eligible for future discounts on your policy. Lots of companies will reward policy holders with discounts just for renewing every year as well.
Only the Best for Your Bike
As is the case with any other important decision you might make about your bike, it’s important to take your time and compare your options when it comes to motorcycle insurance. Shop around, ask questions, and see what different insurers are willing to offer you. Your policy will be with you for some time to come, so you definitely want to make the right decision.
Make sure you’re taking care of your bike on every other level as well. Always equip your bike with the best accessories, perform routine maintenance on time, and address any potential issues promptly. While it’s great to know you’re covered should the worst happen, it’s still much better to avoid getting into trouble in the first place to the greatest extent possible.