Compared to auto insurance coverage, motorcycle insurance policies tend to be significantly cheaper. However, you can purchase a variety of additional coverages on top of standard motorcycle policies. A typical motorcycle insurance policy includes liability coverage and state-mandated insurance coverages. Liability insurance will not cover you but will cover people that sustain damage from you, and may also extend to your passenger (dependant on your policy).
The following vehicles can also be insured using motorcycle insurance:
- Trikes (Three-wheeled Motorcycles)
- Motorcycles with Sidecars
How Does Motorcycle Insurance Work?
Motorcycle insurance functions similarly to auto insurance; you pay a monthly premium, and in exchange, you receive financial protection for injuries or damages you might sustain. However, if you borrow a bike, or are traveling, your motorcycle insurance may not fully cover you. Typically, only liability insurance follows you when you travel, but this may vary between providers. Check with your insurance company to learn exactly when and where your insurance policies apply.
How To Read Your Insurance Policy
Typically your insurance coverage will be delineated by a series of three numbers, each separated with a slash, i.e. $15,000/$30,000/$5,000. The first number is the maximum amount your insurance policy will cover per person injured in an auto accident. The second number shows your claim limit per accident, and the third number is the maximum amount your policy will cover for property damage per accident. Typically, you can choose your coverage limits, and customize your policy to meet your needs. Like auto insurance, if the cost of your accident exceeds your insurance policy, you will be financially liable for any remaining costs.
Motorcycle Insurance Types:
Full Coverage Motorcycle Insurance
Full coverage motorcycle insurance covers repairs to your bike or the replacement of it; if stolen or damaged. This plan typically includes comprehensive and collision insurance, as well as any coverages required by your state. However, these policies are usually a lot more expensive than standard motorcycle insurance policies. Insurance companies tend to view motorcyclists as ‘high-risk’ customers; meaning they are more likely to get in an accident, making them more expensive to insure in the long run.
The premium for full coverage motorcycle insurance will depend on your age, driving record, longevity of motorcycle experience, and they type of motorcycle you are trying to insure. However, this is not a complete list of factors that can affect your insurance premium.
State Mandated Insurance Coverage/Standard Motorcycle Insurance
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Liability insurance provides coverage for any damages or injures caused to another motorist or their property. Every state, except Florida and Washington, requires motorcyclists to have liability insurance. However, liability insurance will not cover you, or your own property damage in the case of an accident. Conversely, this insurance covers injuries and property damage to the other party and may extend to your passenger. However, coverage for your passenger will depend on your insurer, as some companies will require you to purchase separate insurance for passengers. Additionally, if a lawsuit is brought against you, your liability insurance may cover some of the legal costs up to your policy limit.
Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage provides coverage for injuries and property damage that cannot be covered by the at-fault driver’s insurance; in the case that they do not have adequate insurance coverage, or if they do not have any insurance. New York, Minnesota, and Virginia require all drivers to purchase this type of insurance.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
Personal Injury Protection is required in all no-fault states. The term ‘no-fault’ means you will receive insurance coverage after an accident regardless of fault. This insurance can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and may provide death benefits up to a certain limit.
Other Optional Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Total Loss Coverage
Total Loss coverage is the equivalent of gap insurance for motorcycles. If your insurance company declares your motorcycle as totaled, they will pay the suggested retail value toward its replacement, minus your deductible. However, this coverage may only be available for the first few years of a motorcycle’s life.
Motorcycle Repair Insurance, a.k.a. Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
This coverage will pay for certain repairs to your bike, specified in your policy. This insurance is the equivalent of an extended warranty that you can purchase for your regular automobile.
Carried Contents and Personal Belongings Coverage
This coverage applies to items you carry while on your bike, i.e. tools, motorcycle gear, personal belongings, etc.; if lost, damaged, or stolen. However, the contents of your bike don’t necessarily have to sustain damage from an auto accident to receive coverage.
Roadside Assistance/ Towing Coverage
Roadside Assistance/Towing insurance may provide free or discounted towing to a local repair shop. Some states require this type of insurance before you can legally ride a motorcycle. This insurance may also cover dead batteries, flat tires, mechanical/electrical breakdowns, and the free delivery of water, oil or fuel. However, you may receive this type of coverage with membership to AAA.
What is SR-22 and FR-44 Insurance?
If you have motor vehicle violations on your driving record, you may have to purchase a specific type of insurance for your motorcycle, called SR-22 or FR-44. Your insurance company must complete and submit a form on your behalf declaring you have purchased the appropriate amount of insurance for your motorbike. However, not all insurance companies offer this type of specialized insurance.
What is a Lay-up Period?
Generally, each year there is a time period where motorists do not ride their motorcycles. This period of time, a.k.a. a ‘lay-up’ period, exists to reduce the cost of annual premiums. The motorcycle will still be insured against theft and damage, but it will not have the proper insurance coverage needed to be driven on the road. If you ride your bike during a lay-up period and get into an auto accident, your insurance will not cover you.
Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to be connected with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!
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