UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Whether or not you have started learning how to ride a bike, you should already know that there are major differences between riding a motorcycle and operating a car or truck. Likewise, there are many differences between insuring a motorcycle and insuring a car or truck.
What you probably didn’t know is that motorcycle insurance is actually cheaper than car insurance. For starters, insuring a car, truck, or SUV is for more expensive. Totaling a new car, for example, will cost you tens of thousands of dollars to replace. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are sometimes not even worth $5,000, let alone $10,000. Of course this can vary greatly for higher end bikes, but in most cases, motorcycles are cheaper than cars to buy. Therefore, you’ll find that motorcycles, overall, are much cheaper than cars to insure.
Additionally, the damage you can cause to other vehicles and people is greatly reduced. But don’t forget that driving a motorcycle is exponentially more dangerous than driving a car. As a result, if you would like your motorcycle insurance to cover your personal injury and medical bills, you can expect to pay a great deal more.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance?
In the United States, if you ride a motorcycle, you are required to carry a dedicated motorcycle insurance policy in most states, with Washington and Florida being the only exceptions. However, even if you live in an area where insurance isn’t required, it’s still a wise idea to purchase a policy. Why? Because it protects you from incurring any costs that may arise as the result of an accident, and those costs could be financially devastating. For example, if you are involved in an accident and someone else is injured or you damage someone else’s property, your insurance will help to cover the cost of the necessary medical care, as well as the repair or replacement of the damaged property.
In the 48 states that do require motorcycle insurance, you will have to provide proof of your insurance before you will be allowed to register your bike. In order to legally drive a motorcycle, you need to have a license plate, and you cannot get a license plate unless your bike is registered.
What Types of Motorcycle Insurance are There?
Like auto insurance, there are several different types of motorcycle insurance, including:
- Liability insurance. This type of motorcycle insurance provides coverage for bodily injuries, as well as property damage. In most states, you are required to carry a minimum of motorcycle liability insurance. This type of coverage protects you from having to pay for the medical care or damages that can occur in a motorcycle crash; costs that can be exorbitant if you have to pay them on your own. For instance, if you are in a crash with another vehicle, the driver of that vehicle was injured and you were responsible, your liability insurance would help to pay for the cost of his or her injuries.
- Collision insurance. This type of coverage will help to pay for any repairs that your bike may need after an accident. It can also cover the cost of any safety equipment that may have been damaged in an accident. For example, if you skid out after hitting a patch of dirt, your collision coverage will help to pay for any repairs your bike may need, as well as your helmet.
- Comprehensive insurance. If your bike is ever damaged as a result of something other than an accident or it is stolen, comprehensive insurance will kick in and cover the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle. For instance, if a tree limb falls on top of your bike or if it is vandalized, your comprehensive policy will assist with the repairs.
You may also want to consider getting Guest Passenger Liability coverage if you plan on having a passenger ride along with you on your motorcycle. Given the higher chance of accidents on motorcycles, if you ever plan on having a passenger, we highly recommend this type of motorcycle insurance.
How Much Insurance Should I Get?
While motorcycle insurance coverage is required in most states, the amount of coverage varies from state to state. The minimum requirements for liability coverage is different in each states; however, in most locations, you must have at least $25,000 per person for bodily injuries, $50,000 in coverage for each accident, and a minimum of $10,000 to cover the cost of property damage. To find out how much insurance you coverage you should have, speak to a reputable agent that specializes in motorcycle insurance.
Save Money on Your Motorcycle Insurance
If you understand auto insurance fairly well, it’s likely you’ll recognize quite a few similarities with saving on motorcycle insurance coverage.
Many states already require you to graduate from a motorcycle driving class to get your motorcycle license, and many motorcycle insurance companies will offer you a discount to do so. You can expect to save a minimum of 10% on your premiums by completing one of these classes. Those are some huge savings, take advantage of them, at the same time, insuring your safety.
Another way to save money is to get seasonal insurance rates. Chances are you don’t drive your bike during the winter. Then why pay for it? Many motorcycle insurers allow you to put your insurance and payments on hold during the winter, when you won’t be riding anyway. This is what they call a lay-up policy. Not all states and companies have these policies available, but they should be taken advantage of when available.
The general rule of thumb with getting discount auto insurance can be applied to motorcycle insurance as well – just ask. Insurance companies want your business, yet for some reason they don’t reveal their discounts as openly as they should. Just ask, and they will be more than happy to let you know how you can save.