Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Are Motorcycle Riders Covered By Insurance For Their Own Bikes Or All Bikes

Whether or not motorcycle riders are covered under their motorcycle insurance just covered for riding on their own bikes or for all other bikes depends on the policy as underwritten by the insurance company.

Motorcycle insurance policies cover riders who take, in the insurer’s eyes, additional risks.

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These riders must purchase motorcycle insurance coverage, which is not the same thing as a typical auto insurance policy. Even if you drive your bike occasionally, some sort of motorcycle insurance is legally required.

What does a motorcycle policy cover?

This type of insurance policy typically covers liability damage for other vehicles as well as comprehensive insurance for the two-wheeled vehicle, if the driver requests such. Though this insurance policy operates similarly to an auto insurance policy, there are a few important differences.

For example, you can and should ensure motorcycle accessories like:

  • Backrests
  • Helmets
  • Leather pieces
  • Saddlebags

If you have pieces that are unusually expensive, the same insurance provider that you use for riding insurance may not cover these items. For the most part, weather damage is not covered by a motorcycle insurance policy, unless the damage resulted while the vehicle was stored.

What about other motorcycle riders? Once you buy one policy does that entitle you to peace and love among all other bikers’ hogs? Don’t be so sure.

Before daring to take another’s bike out for a spin, you had better be sure that your insurance policy covers the ride. Just because you have auto liability insurance does not mean you have the right or the coverage to hop on a motorcycle.

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Should you let other people ride your bike?

Many motorcycle insurance policies offered are based on a rider’s individual circumstances. Therefore, you may have a policy that covers practically every situation, if you are willing to pay higher premiums. In general, a biker must choose between two types of motorcycle insurance.

  • First, he or she can choose a specified rider policy, which covers the motorcycle rider’s liability and medical treatment.
  • Second, a biker can choose a policy that specifically covers the motorcycle, but not the rider.

What does all of this mean for you? Simple. If you have your precious ride and would sooner get into a bar fight than lend someone your pride and joy, then you need a motorcycle insurance policy that covers your bike when you are riding it. If you want to be covered for liability and have a half-dozens hogs in your garage, then you might do well with a rider’s insurance policy.

However, if you have a dozen or so buds that occasionally hop on the same ride then the second type of policy is appropriate; this policy covers the bike and not the rider. The policy may include liability as well as comprehensive coverage.

Keep in mind that policies that only cover the rider will often specify which types of motorcycles the rider is authorized to ride. The contract might list specifics like the proper size of the bike and type. If a rider ignores the listed bikes and rides whatever he wants, he may forgo insurance coverage.

What could happen in a motorcycle accident?

What happens then when someone borrows your bike and gets involved in an incident? As long as you can prove that the other rider has permission, and that you are within the legal bounds of
your contract, the claim can be paid. Bear in mind that just because legal possibility does exist of multiple drivers to one vehicle, many insurance companies will specifically state that they do not cover other motorcycle operators unless they are specifically listed on an insurance policy.

Never presume in this case. If you make a mistake, the insurance company may cancel the claim and your insurance policy if you report an incident where an uninsured motorist damaged your bike. You also have to beware of loan companies canceling the loan, if and when they discover the unauthorized rider.

What might help is to start looking for motorcycle insurance quotes online. Once you find an agreeable policy you can talk to the insurance company representative and learn if they have any special policies that allow more than one rider to one bike.

Enter your zip code and start comparing motorcycle insurance rates today!