Monday, 23 January 2012

What You Need to Know about Motorcycle Insurance


Owning a motorcycle gives you the opportunity to experience one of the best feelings possible--cruising down the highway without a care, letting the miles melt away the pressures of everyday life. It’s not all a bed or roses, however. Because they only have two wheels, motorcycles are fundamentally unstable, which means they’re dangerous. Add to that the fact that they’re relatively small, so motorcyclists run the risk of a car or truck suddenly pulling out in front of them at an intersection. These facts, among others, make carrying adequate insurance necessary. Following are a few tips concerning what you need to know about motorcycle insurance.

Street Legal

In all 50 states, you need a minimum amount of coverage to legally ride a motorcycle on public roads. In most states, you can ride legally with only liability coverage. This means that if you’re in an accident, your insurance policy will provide monetary reimbursement for any damage done by your motorcycle to any person or property involved in the accident--if you’re deemed to be at fault. If you want protection beyond the basics, you’ll have to pay extra for the coverage.

Liability Coverage

Carrying liability insurance provides protection for other parties, but doesn’t cover you or your machine. If you believe you need additional protection, you’ll have to get more coverage. You need to determine exactly what your needs are and how much you can afford to pay for it. If you’re in an accident, your liability insurance will cover the damages to the other person and their property. You will have to pay for any repairs to your own motorcycle. It will also be your responsibility to pay for damage to any associated equipment, such as helmets and safety clothing. You would also have to pay for repairing or replacing any accessories, such as a fairing, saddle bags, safety clothing, special lighting, or any other accessories you may have added, out of your own pocket. If you suffer an injury, the costs associated with hospitalization and doctor’s visits will also be your own responsibility.

Comprehensive

Most people don’t have that kind of cash lying around, so carrying additional--comprehensive--insurance is something you should seriously consider. In addition to paying for repairs to yourself and your equipment due to an accident, comprehensive insurance will also protect you if your motorcycle is stolen. You can also get coverage expenses associated with trip interruption. If you’ve had custom work done, it may be a good idea to get coverage for that, as well. Keep in mind that additional coverage means your insurance premiums will be more.

Different Bikes--Different Prices

Some types of motorcycles will cost you more to insure than others. For instance, if you ride a large, high-powered touring motorcycle, you will have to pay more for insurance than if you ride a scooter. The reason is obvious--touring bikes are bigger, faster, have more moving parts, and cost a lot more money to buy, and repair. The saving grace concerning touring bikes is that they generally tend to be owned by older riders, who are considered to be more reliable and don’t take unnecessary chances, so they may get a price break. Cruisers and standard motorcycles don’t usually cost as much as touring machines, so the insurance costs will be slightly less. Sport bikes, on the other hand, although they’re middle-of-road pricewise, are very expensive to insure. The reason is that sport bikes are usually owned and operated by young riders who are perceived by the insurance industry to be prone to riding aggressively. The machines themselves are marketed as street-racers, which means that even if you don’t intend to ride assertively, the insurance company will charge you as if you will. Therefore it cost more to insure a sport bike.

Shop Around

As with any other type of insurance, you can get the best price on motorcycle insurance by shopping around. Go online and get some insurance quotes from insurance companies that do business over the Internet. Use these prices for comparison when you begin calling the more traditional brick and mortar insurance agencies. Your motorcycle dealer may also be a good source, since they deal with getting insurance coverage for their customers on a regular basis. After you’ve gotten a number of quotes, take the time to go over them and determine which company can offer you the best coverage at a reasonable rate. Don’t forget to ask the different companies about the possibility of discounts. The company you presently insure your home, health, life and automobile with may be able to offer you a combined policy, which will save some money.
Guest post from Sydney Sommers. Sydney writes about motorcycle insurance quotes for MotorcycleInsurance.com.