Before you put on those shades and don that leather jacket, you may want to ask yourself some important questions about motorcycle insurance. Understanding what motorcycle insurance covers, and what is required of you, are key factors to safe riding.
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Like auto insurance, motorcycle insurance is mandated, to a degree, by all 50 states. The type of coverage you need and the best way to find affordable rates are detailed below.
What the Law Requires from Motorcycle Riders
For the most part, if you own a motorcycle then you do need motorcycle insurance. Whether or not there is an exception to this law depends upon the state. Legally speaking, in most states, motorcycle insurance separate from car insurance is required.
While always having coverage is advisable, states such as Florida do not require any type of minimum insurance for a motorcycle.
Nevertheless, the state may require medical insurance coverage of $10,000 for those who ride without helmets.
Of course, insurance or not, you are still financially responsible for injuries and damage done to other people’s vehicles or property because of your mistakes. Even if you own a moped or any other two-wheeled types of transport, you should look into motorcycle insurance for your own liability protection. Even if you are only an occasional weekend rider, the law for motor vehicles in most states still applies, and you will need to be covered.
Basic Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage
Basic motorcycle insurance normally covers similar items that your car insurance would cover, such as damage to your ride from an accident and liability protection for hitting other cars or persons. Unlike car insurance however, this policy may also cover important motorcycle accessories such as your helmet, goggles, gloves and your backrest. Damage to your bike from poorly executed custom work, as well as other off-road damage, may not be covered by all policies. Weather related damage is also a coin toss, and totally dependent on the insurance provider.
If you are involved with an organization that does motorcycle stunts or any kind of racing and an accident occurs, you will probably not be covered. Coverage varies widely from state to state, so always read the fine print and ask your insurance agent questions until you completely understand what is and what is not covered by your particular insurance policy.
Comprehensive motorcycle insurance can cover things that the basic polices will not cover.
Are you worried about civil unrest in your area? Protests, riots, and wars that cause damage to your motorcycle may be covered under comprehensive insurance.
This type of motorcycle insurance may also cover you in the event of damage from falling rocks, trees and street signs and polls. Collisions with deer, moose, cows or other wildlife may also be covered, as well as damage from sinkholes, hail and other unpredictable acts of nature. Theft and vandalism may also be included under comprehensive motorcycle insurance policies. Another great perk to look for is roadside assistance.
How do I find motorcycle insurance that I can afford?
If you are concerned about the cost of motorcycle insurance there are things you can do to lower your premiums.
- Type of Motorcycle- Some types of motorcycles have higher accidents statistics overall. Before purchasing your ride, you may want to call an insurance agent and ask what makes and models tend to be on the lower end to insure.
- Driving Record- Just as with car insurance, your driving record can have a big impact on the price you pay.
- Safety First- Always ride with safety in mind; wear a helmet, and avoid riding in bad weather since that would increase your risk of an accident.
- Lay-up Periods- You can also ask your agent about a “lay-up” which is basically a period of time when you are not riding (very cold icy winters, for example). Some companies will charge you lower premiums for less coverage throughout the year, while others will stop your coverage all together for this time period and pick it back up later on. Be sure that you don’t ride when you are not covered, unless you want to risk paying out of pocket for any accidents.
The best way to save money and find out what motorcycle insurance covers, is to get quotes online. Here you can see many different insurance companies prices all at once, and read through what the policies cover. Remember not to be so focused on price that you end up buying coverage that doesn’t really meet your needs. Instead, ask each provider about additional discounts that may apply to you after getting the most efficient policy.
Motorcycle insurance varies widely from state to state and company to company. Discover your options by typing your ZIP code into the motorcycle insurance rates box now!