Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance?’ Your Questions, Answered
More than eight percent of American households own at least one motorcycle or high-powered scooter. If you’re one of them, you know that there are few things greater than hitting the open road on your two-wheeled steed.
While having fun on the road is important, you also need to make sure you’re safe at all times. If you’re like most riders, you’ve already invested in riding leathers, a high-quality helmet, eye protection, and gloves. But what about insurance for your bike?
One of the first questions many new motorcycle owners ask is, “do I need motorcycle insurance to protect my ride?” Here’s what you need to know to fully protect your motorcycle both on and off the road.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance, Really?
Unless you’re driving a small, low-powered scooter, you’ll need to register your motorcycle with your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Failure to register puts you at risk for costly fines and fees. But before you can register your bike, you need to have a valid insurance policy in place.
Each state has minimum insurance requirements in place to protect both you and other drivers on the road. If you don’t have insurance that meets or exceeds those minimum requirements, you won’t be able to register your motorcycle.
Without a valid registration, you can’t ride your motorcycle on city streets legally.
The best thing you can do is buy coverage as soon as you buy your motorcycle. This will make it easier for you to complete the registration process so you can get out on the open road faster.
Isn’t My Motorcycle Covered by My Car Insurance?
One of the most common misconceptions new riders have about their bikes is that their car insurance extends to cover the bike itself. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Your car insurance policy only protects your car or provides coverage for you while you’re driving another car, truck, or SUV.
Since motorcycles are a completely different class of vehicle, you’ll need a different type of insurance policy to stay protected on the road. That said, you may be able to purchase motorcycle insurance through your car insurance company. If you want to work with the same provider, call your agent and let them help you find the right type of coverage for your needs.
What Type of Coverage Should I Get?
Each state expects motorcycle riders to have a minimum amount of liability coverage in place before they can register their bikes. That doesn’t mean you should stick with the bare minimum coverage.
Instead, think about how you use your bike and choose a policy that makes the most sense for your needs.
For example, if you’re riding the bike in traffic often, choose a policy that has collision coverage. If you keep the bike on the street or uncovered in your driveway, invest in comprehensive coverage to protect against theft, vandalism, or other types of damage.
The more coverage you have, the better protected your bike will be. If you’re not sure what types of coverage are best for your needs, speak with your agent.
They’ll be able to look at your riding style and other risk factors to determine the best policy for your motorcycle.
How Much Can I Expect to Pay for Coverage?
The amount you’ll pay to insure your motorcycle largely depends on the types of coverage you buy, the value of your bike, and the deductible you choose to pay out of pocket.
The more comprehensive your coverage is and the larger your coverage limits are, the more you’ll pay for insurance. The smaller your deductible is, the more you’ll pay each month for coverage.
That said, most motorcycle riders end up paying less for coverage than they do for car insurance. The best thing you can do is shop around and get quotes from several providers.
Compare the quotes closely and choose the company that offers you the best rate for the most comprehensive coverage.
Does the Insurance Company I Choose Matter?
While it’s important to choose a policy that fits with your budget and look for a cheap motorcycle insurance quote, you need to make sure you’re choosing the right insurance provider, too. Not all companies handle claims the same way. Some are more willing to pay fair rates for your repairs and settlements than others.
Take the time to research each insurance provider you’re considering working with. Read up on reviews and see what people have to say about the quality of their service.
The best insurance company will offer great customer service and will take the time to make sure you understand how each coverage option works. You may end up paying more for a higher quality insurance company, but it will be worth the extra investment if you ever need to file a claim.
Are There Discounts I Qualify For?
Though it’s important to pay attention to how much each insurance provider will charge you for coverage, you may be able to lower your costs further. One of the many motorcycle insurance benefits is that most riders can qualify for discounts on coverage.
You just need to ask your provider if there’s anything you can do to lower your monthly premium costs.
Most companies offer discounts for riders that bundle motorcycle, car, and home insurance together. Others offer discounts for completing additional rider training programs in your area.
If you’re looking to save money, talk to your insurance agent. They’ll be able to help you identify ways to save quickly.
Invest in Coverage as Soon as Possible
If you’re asking yourself, “do I need motorcycle insurance?” it’s time to invest in coverage. Call your insurance agent and get a quote as soon as you can. Then, shop around and compare the costs and coverage limits offered by other providers.
The sooner you start your search, the easier it will be for you to ride with confidence in all conditions.
Finding the right motorcycle insurance policy to protect your ride is just one part of being a responsible biker. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you care for your motorcycle for years to come.