The Basics Of Motorcycle Insurance

You went to different dealers to pick out your perfect motorcycle.  Then, after you picked out your new motorcycle, you spent time trying on different helmets, jackets, gloves and other gear.  You also may have looked over a list of accessories available for your bike and chose a few to get installed right away.  Then before you rode off into the sunset, you made a quick call to your insurance company to make sure the bike was insured.  A few days later the bill arrives and you are shocked by the amount you owe the insurance company.  Just as picking out and purchasing your motorcycle was a well thought out process, so should be purchasing the insurance for your motorcycle.

You should contact at least five different insurance companies.  The first should be the company where you have your car insured.  They already have a relationship with you and can sometimes offer better discounts.  However, everyone is competing for your business, so don’t limit yourself when looking for an insurance company that can offer you the best coverage.

Being prepared and being honest will make insurance shopping much easier. Having the information below available to provide to insurance companies, as well as some questions you should ask them, can help make buying motorcycle insurance affordable and suitable to your needs.

  1. Ask each company if having a DMV certification for motorcycle driving or taking motorcycle safety courses will help reduce your premium.  Some insurance companies require you have the proper certification from your DMV before they will even insure you. This may be something you want to investigate before the purchase of your motorcycle; a little research can prevent disappointment on the day you go to purchase your bike.
  2. Be prepared to tell them where you will be keeping your motorcycle.  A garage is great, but may not be an option for you.  If you live in an apartment and will be leaving your motorcycle outside at night, installing an alarm, LoJack, or other anti-theft device, may help you save on your premium as well.
  3. Most insurance companies will provide compensation for gear, like helmets and Kevlar pants, you should be sure to ask each agent what the percentage of compensation would be for gear.  You should also include any accessories purchase on your insurance policy.  It is usually very inexpensive to add a couple thousand dollars of accessories to your insurance policy.  If you don’t install the accessories right away, you should at least ask about how much it will cost when you do. As you accessorize your motorcycle, make sure you save your receipts and take pictures, this is information you will want at your fingertips should the need for it arise.
  4. How often will you be riding?  Is it your daily commuter (if so, this information may help reduce your auto premium), or are you just riding on the weekends?  More importantly, if you live in a place where your riding will be weather driven, find out what happens to your motorcycle insurance when you won’t be riding it over the winter months.  Some companies require you to maintain insurance year round, while other companies will allow you to reduce the coverage on your motorcycle when you won’t be riding it for a while.
  5. Finally, consider your deductible and get quotes for different deductibles.  If you are financing your motorcycle, the finance company will probably require you to get full coverage, if you are buying your motorcycle outright, you can pick and choose additional coverage beyond what is required by law.  The deductible can make a large difference in your premium and may be worth the savings.

When choosing your insurance company, although cheap may be good, you may want to stay away from a company no one has ever heard of, or a company that is just starting to insure motorcycles.  Referrals from other riders are a great place to start and so is the dealership where you are planning to purchase your motorcycle from.  Quite often local agents will send their business cards and other information to the local dealers and having a relationship with an agent in your area can come in handy when you need to make changes to your policy.

Although choosing insurance for you motorcycle may not be the best part of buying your motorcycle, it is definitely one of the things you should do when buying a motorcycle.  Even the best of us can have a mishap or get in an accident, and having the proper insurance in place can make an unfortunate incident a lot less painful.