All About Motorcycle Insurance

By: Melissa Jordan
As we near May and (hopefully) less rainy days, there will be more motorcycles coming out of storage and hitting the road. At BIG, we insure all sorts of motorcycles from Harley to Honda and everywhere in between. If you’re new to motorcycles and thinking of buying one for the first time this year or if you’ve owned one for years, you may not know about all of the coverage available to you or understand the coverage you have. We’re here to help!
There are several different kinds of motorcycles from 2-wheel to Trikes, sport bikes, vintage bikes, custom, and many more! Some companies insure the motorcycles on your auto insurance policy, like Erie Insurance, while some companies offer separate motorcycle policies, like Progressive. Depending on your type of motorcycle and what coverage you are looking for, one way of insuring your motorcycle could Triumph (get it, Triumph?!) over the other. If you are a casual rider and have a more traditional cruiser type bike with very few accessories, adding it right onto your auto policy would work out just fine. If your bike is customized, goes to higher speeds, is vintage or has many accessories, looking at a separate motorcycle policy would be your best bet. We can definitely discuss your options, just give us a call!
Each and every motorcycle policy will offer coverage for Bodily Injury. This coverage works the same way as your personal auto policy. You can even carry the same liability limits of 100/300 if you like! This coverage, along with Property Damage, will cover you in the event you are in an at-fault accident and your motorcycle injures someone else or someone else’s property.
You can also elect to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist’s coverage on your motorcycle policy just like on your auto policy. This coverage works for you in the event you are in an accident where the person who is responsible doesn’t carry insurance or enough insurance to cover damages to you, like medical treatments or lost wages. This coverage could come in very handy on a motorcycle! Did you know according to a survey done in 2014, 1 in 8 drivers were uninsured in 2012? Ref: http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/uninsured-motorists
If you have a loan or lien on your motorcycle, most banks require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage on your motorcycle. If you currently have an auto policy, you’ve heard these terms before. Just like the coverage on your car, if you are involved in an accident, collision would cover damage to your motorcycle itself. Comprehensive would cover things like fire, theft, or vandalism. You can carry similar deductibles on your motorcycle that you carry on your personal auto. Just like with an auto policy, a higher deductible means lower rates and vise versa.
Another coverage that you’ve seen on your personal auto policy that also can appear on a motorcycle policy is Medical Payments. Similarly to the auto policy, medical payments would cover necessary medical care you received after an accident no matter if it was your fault or the other driver’s fault.
Separate motorcycle policies, like those offered by Progressive or Safeco offer great extended Custom Parts and Equipment coverage. This is where letting us know what kind of accessories you have on your bike is important! Most policies include coverage up to $3,000 but all of that chrome can add up quickly and we can definitely extend that coverage up to $20,000 or even $30,000! Be sure to let us know what kind of accessories and customization you’ve done to your bike, and we can make sure you have the coverage that is right for you!
You could find yourself on a road trip needing Roadside Assistance any time of year. Most policies offer Roadside Assistance coverage that can be added on for very little additional premium. Roadside assistance covers you in case of breakdown, dead batteries or flat tires, lockouts, running out of gas, and more! If you’re driving around town or going on road trips, it could be worth looking into just for piece of mind.
One thing to consider when looking at motorcycle policies is what kind of settlement the company is offering. You could be getting quotes for Actual Cash Value or Agreed Settlement amounts and not be sure what they even mean! Actual Cash Value means if you are in an accident, and your bike is totaled, the company will pay you whatever the current value is of the bike. This works similarly to an auto policy. If you’ve ever known someone to have a totaled car, the insurance company paid the value of the car. Agreed Settlement is useful for customized bikes or even vintage motorcycles. You and the insurance company would agree on an amount for the motorcycle, and if the bike was a total loss, they would pay you based on that agreed upon amount. If you’ve ever had a classic car policy, they normally work in this manner. If you choose an Agreed Settlement, be sure to check that the amount is enough to cover your motorcycle.
If you belong to a motorcycle association, have taken safety classes for operating a motorcycle, or get a motorcycle endorsement on your license, be sure to let your agent know. Many of our companies offer discounts for these changes! Who doesn’t like to save money?
Each and every policy is different, and this blog entry is intended to be general in nature. To discuss your policy specifics or quotes, give our office a call.
April 24th, 2015 by BIG Agency