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   "For The Motorcycle Enthusiast"

 

Insiders Guide to Motorcycle Insurance
How To Get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance and
where to find Motorcycle Insurance Quotes

Yes, it is the dreaded motorcycle insurance word. If you own a motorcycle or plan to buy, then you have to have motorcycle insurance. This informative guide gives you tips and information on the types of motorcycle insurance you need for your bike and the best way to get cheap motorcycle insurance. This is a must read for any motorcycle enthusiast.

Ok, you have acquired your “dream machine” and are ready to roll. Well, if you plan to cruise on the road, motorcycle insurance is something we all hate to pay for but know we have to have. (One of those things in life that is not fair).

                  

If you want cheap motorcycle insurance and want to get the best deal, you have to educate yourself and have a thorough understanding of what types of coverage is needed and how much the insurance company determines a risk you are.

This ensures that when you shop around you can find the best motorcycle insurance coverage for you and your bike, and save a great deal of money in the process….always a good thing.

Motorcycle insurance or any type on insurance is a world of confusion. But the harsh truth is that if you do not have the right kind of coverage, you are going into battle with holes in your armor.

If you get in a wreck you are liable for any bodily injury or property damage you cause. In some cases you can be ticked for not having liability insurance if you are in involved in an accident.

To increase your chances of getting cheap motorcycle insurance, READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION BEFORE YOU CONTACT ANY INSURANCE COMPANY.

 


How The Motorcycle Insurance Company rates you and how motorcycle
 insurance premiums are determined

Types of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

Tips on how to get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

What you should do if you have an accident


How the Motorcycle Insurance Company rates you and how motorcycle insurance premiums are determined

Insurance, especially motorcycle insurance, is basically odds and statistics.  The motorcycle insurance company through the following criteria, determines how much risk is involved if they insure you. The higher the risk you are to them the higher your rate will be. The following are the key elements that are used by motorcycle insurance companies to determine your risk rate.

1.      Your Age: As with auto insurance, usually the older you are, the cheaper your rates will be. But, if you are new to operating motorcycles you will probably be in a higher rate category until you gain some riding experience.

 

2.      The type of bike: If you have the latest and flashiest bike, that will cost you more than an older, basic motorcycle.

 

3.      Your Address/Garage Location: Sometimes the high insurance rates you receive can be greatly influenced by where you live. If you live and/or regularly drive in a high crime or high accident area, your rates will likely be higher than someone in a zip code with less crime and accidents.

 

4.      Your Driving Record: All accidents count. Even if you are new to a motorcycle, the accidents you had in your automobile will count against you. Therefore, the cleaner your driving record, the cheaper your insurance will be.

 

5.      Your Job: Where you are driving to and parking your bike will influence your rate. If you have to keep your bike parked on a construction site, you insurance may be increased due to the increased risk of injury to your bike. 

 


Types of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

Similar to automobiles, there are a few different types of motorcycle insurance coverage available. Some of the types of coverage are required by law, and some that you have to determine if you think you need. As stated before, insurance is statistics and odds. You may not think you need a certain type of coverage to save money. And you may never use that coverage. But if just one incident happens that you do not have protection by a certain type of coverage, it can cost you big time.

 

Bodily Injury/Property Damage Liability Insurance

Bodily injury liability is another type of motorcycle insurance coverage that you are required by law to carry in most states. Legal minimum in many states is as little as $10,000 per person, per accident. Your coverage pays for injury to others when the accident is your fault. Most insurance experts recommend that you purchase as much as three times the minimum in this day of litigation and lawsuits.

If you are legally liable for an accident, your insurance will pay for the following:

  The cost to repair or replace damaged property

   Medical bills incurred by injured parties (may include coverage for guest passengers)

   Lost wages of injured parties

   Other damages you are legally obligated to pay as a result of an accident.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident and the other driver is at fault, then the other driver's property damage liability coverage pays for your motorcycle damage. Property damage liability insurance is required by law, but the legal minimum amount for this coverage in some states is only $5,000 per accident. So, if a driver with the $5,000 minimum totals out your $15,000 bike, his insurance company will pay you only $5,000. How will you get the other $10,000? If the other driver files for bankruptcy, you end up with nothing.

 

Explanation of Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability limits:

If you select 15/30/10 limits, your liability coverage will pay up to $15,000 per person and no more than $30,000 per accident for Bodily Injury and up to $10,000 per accident for Property Damage.

 

Guest Passenger Liability

This type of coverage provides protection for legal liability in the event that a guest passenger is injured on the insured motorcycle.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist


If you purchased underinsured property damage coverage, you may be able to collect the other $10,000 to fix your bike. This insurance is used to "fill the gap" between the actual amount of damages and what the other driver's insurance paid, but only if the other driver caused the accident and only if you purchased limits high enough to cover all of the remaining damage. In other words, if the legal minimum requirement in your state is $5,000 for property damage liability, and you drive a $15,000 bike, you should have at least $10,000 limits on you underinsured property damage.

Underinsured motorist coverage picks up where the other driver's insurance runs out. This type of insurance is very important. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, break you leg, spend a week in the hospital and are off work for six months and experience a great deal of pain and suffering. You need coverage high enough to pay for your damages. The other driver only has a minimum policy of insurance (i.e.) $15,000. You will be left holding the bag. It is common that the injured persons medical expenses and wage losses are higher than the other persons insurance. Also nothing is left for pain and suffering or permanent disability.

Therefore, you need underinsured motorist coverage to pick up the difference. This type of coverage is strongly recommended because of its importance. It is suggested that you carry a minimum of 100/300 coverage (100 per person/300 per accident) this will also protect your passenger.

Uninsured motorist coverage is the most important insurance you can buy. In many metropolitan areas the other drivers are uninsured. These uninsured drivers can make up as high as 40% of the drivers on the road! As you know, the motorcycle driver is not at fault in most accidents. Therefore, you have a high probability of being hit and injured by a driver who has no insurance. The only way you can protect yourself is to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage pays for medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering (however, there are limitations in no-fault states). I strongly recommend that you purchase this insurance and do not drive without it. Many riders mistakenly believe uninsured motorist coverage pays only for medical bills, and that they do not need it because they carry health insurance. WRONG!-- it pays for medical expenses, as well as loss of earnings, and pain and suffering.

It is a good idea to talk to your agent, or talk to several agents, to determine the best coverage that will provide the most protection against loss. You need to remember that different insurance companies have different exclusions to their insurance policies. The most common for motorcycle policies is the passenger exclusion, which means that your insurance company will not pay for injuries to, your passenger under your bodily injury liability coverage if you were at fault. There are other types of exclusions that, unless you ask, you may never know about until it is too late. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is to fully understand you entire coverage.

 

In a nutshell:

 

Underinsured coverage is coverage that protects you if the person who hit you does not have enough insurance to cover all of your damages.

 

Uninsured coverage is coverage that protects you if the person who hit you does not have any insurance at all. This type  of coverage covers your medical bills and any lost income you would incur while you are out of action.

NOTE: This coverage can be argued to be the most important coverage for a motorcycle rider and passenger. This is the only type of coverage that you can purchase that protects you. Most motorcycle insurance protects someone else or someone's property, or your bike for damage. This is the coverage you collect from if you are injured by, a person who has no insurance or a person who does not carry enough bodily iniury (BI) to cover your claim. This coverage can pay your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even future damages.

What to buy: as much as you can afford. Riding without this coverage is about as dumb as riding without a helmet, in a bathing suit, with no shoes.


 

Collision/Comprehensive Coverage


Comprehensive and Collision coverage covers the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle if it is stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. You select a deductible for each coverage, and once the deductible is met, the insurance company pays for the remaining damage. The higher the deductible the lower the premium. Hint: On smaller bikes the difference between deductibles is not as great as on larger more expensive models.  

 

Collision coverage will pay for damages to your bike, less your deductible. This coverage applies without regard to fault. Even if the damage is your fault the coverage will apply. You also can use this coverage when you have been hit by another person and they are at fault. Note: Coverage extends only to the factory parts of your bike. If you get fancy and add anything extra—like nifty chrome accessories - additional coverage will be required for compensation.

   

Comprehensive coverage will pay for theft, fire and vandalism. This coverage is subject to a deductible.

The time to find out about coverage and exclusions on any policies is before you buy it. Before you sign anything, ask your insurance agent if there are any exclusions or notice requirements in the policy. Always ask to have all exclusions and notice requirements explained to you before you buy any insurance.



 

Medical Payments

 

Medical Payments coverage pays the cost of necessary medical care you receive as a result of a motorcycle accident and can be used regardless of who is at fault. The coverage often is limited to medical treatment received within the first three years after an accident and is limited to a specific dollar amount. In some states, Medical Payments only applies after other medical insurance is exhausted.


Very few motorcycle riders buy this insurance. My guess is that they have great hospital coverage from their employer or purchased their own coverage and feel that this is a duplication of coverage. If you do not have hospital insurance buy as much of this coverage as you can afford.

Hint: If you do not have hospital insurance and are injured in an accident that is your fault this is the only coverage you will collect on for your medical expenses. If you carry your own medical and have a deductible or co-pay plan you need this coverage to fill in the gaps. Limits of $500.00 to $10,000.00 are available, a small deductible may apply varies by company.


Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE)

When Physical Damage Liability coverage is purchased, $1,000 of Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE) coverage is included. Additional CPE coverage can be purchased to cover equipment, up to $30,000 in value.

 

CPE covers equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements and changes, other than those that the manufacturer originally installs, that alter the appearance or performance of the motorcycle or ATV. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Any electronic equipment, antennas and other devices used exclusively to send or receive audio, visual or data signals or play back recorded media, other than those that the manufacturer originally installs, that are permanently installed on the motorcycle using bolts or brackets, including slide-out brackets

  • Sidecars

  • Trailers designed to be pulled behind a motorcycle or ATV

  • Trike conversion kits

  • Custom paint, custom plating or custom exhaust

  • Mower blades, plow blades or winches

  • Safety riding apparel, including helmets. (Coverage is provided in the event of a Collision loss. Theft is not covered.)

Note: You should retain photos of the motorcycle and all receipts for custom parts.

 



Roadside Assistance

 

Roadside Assistance coverage provides towing to the nearest qualified repair facility and necessary labor at the place of disablement when your motorcycle is disabled due to any of the following:

  • Mechanical or electrical breakdown

  • Dead battery

  • Flat tire

  • Lockout

  • Insufficient supply of fuel, oil, water or other fluids

  • Entrapment in snow, mud, water or sand within 100 feet of the roadway

Roadside Assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 


Tips on how to get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

Now that you know how the motorcycle insurance company will view and rate you, and what types of coverage are available, here are some tips on how to get a good deal:

 

1. Shop, Shop, and Shop More: Insurance can vary widely in the same region. Do not assume that your existing insurance company for your car, home, etc. will offer you the best deal. Take a whole day to call as many companies as you can to get a rate quote. Shopping around for insurance can sometimes be the single best way to cut your insurance costs. The more companies you call the better chance you will find a great deal on cheap motorcycle insurance. When you are comparing companies, reduce your best quote by 5 - 10% to see if it can be matched.

2. Securing Your Bike: What can you do to keep your bike more secure? If you can garage your bike, alarm it, or secure it somehow while it is parked, you may be able to secure yourself some discounts on your insurance.

3. Don't Over insure: Remember, if something happens to your motorcycle, you will only receive the market value so over insuring will not help you get a higher price for your bike.

4. Mileage: If you only ride your bike once in a while during the summer for pleasure, you should be able to get a better rate if you can keep your mileage low. Also, if you do not carry passengers, this can lower your rate as well.

5. Special Motorcycle Training: Taking special DMV or other motorcycle classes can help decrease you rate. Just make sure you keep your certification documents handy for the insurance company to view. Also, some associations have contracted discounts for their members. It cannot hurt to check this out as well.

 

6. Provide Honest Information: If you falsify information in obtaining a quote and coverage from the motorcycle insurance company, if the need arises to file a claim and the motorcycle insurance company determines you have provided false information, they will not process your claim and you can be pretty sure that they will drop your coverage.


NOTE:
  There is no reason to overpay one insurance company when another one is willing to give you a better deal. If an accident would occur you will get the same value for your bike regardless of what company you choose. By taking the time to find out how the insurance company will view you, your bike, and your riding habits, you can learn how to save while still getting a great policy.

Talk to the cyclist or salesperson who sold you the motorcycle, and also look through motorcycle magazines, motorcycle Web sites and the yellow pages. Dealerships don't always work with the best companies, and you might get talked into a policy you don't want.  

 


What you should do if you have an accident

Statistically your chances of avoiding an accident throughout your riding career, are low, so its
important to be prepared.

If you have an accident with another motorist, there are a number of things which you must do.

  • You must exchange your details if there is damage to either vehicle.  Try to get name, address, telephone number, - but most importantly get the registration number, make, model and color of the car.

  • Try to get details of witnesses who may have seen the accident.

  • If someone is injured, you must notify the police, if you are injured, you should either visit your Doctor or go to Hospital for a check up.  Failure to do this will limit any personal injury claim that you may later wish to make.

  • Do not admit liability, even if it is obvious that you were in the wrong.  Don't accuse or be rude, if you are courteous and polite, they’ll be less likely to lie in their statement.

  • Don't accept a payment at the scene - you may not fully appreciate the cost of repair.

Collecting Evidence

It will help if you collect as much information about the scene, damage and injuries sustained.  Obviously, you can't easily carry a camera, but it may be worth returning to the scene later.
 

Evidence Collection Kit

Keep a pen, pencil, some paper and a disposable camera in a waterproof bag under your seat.  In the event of an accident you'll be able to take pictures of damage, road layouts etc.  A copy of the high way code can also help resolve any disputes.

You should collect details of:

  Road names, direction, road signs and speed limits
  Condition of the other vehicle, weather and road conditions.
  Take pictures of: Any injuries you sustained, damage to your bike,    clothing etc.
  Keep receipts for: Repairs, expenses and a log of all dialogue with insurers and 3rd parties.

Completing your claim statement

Your statement needs to tell your insurer what happened, who was in the wrong, how the accident could or could not have been avoided.  Always state the lane, speed and direction you were going and the position of the other vehicle when you first noticed it, estimate their speed if necessary.  Did you have your lights on? Did you have any high visibility clothing? Did you flash, sound your horn or indicate. Clearly state the actions of the other motorist.  State if you think they could see you.  If it was their fault say what they did wrong.  Did they indicate in anyway.  Did they admit liability. Try to include a diagram if it helps clarify the situation.

Was the road surface to blame

If you've had a spill for no apparent reason and no other vehicle was involved, it may well be due to poor road surface.  Pot holes, gravel, sand and diesel spills are major causes of motorcycle accidents, but don't despair, you could get your bike fixed without claiming on your insurance.  Your local council is responsible for maintaining the roads.  If you suffer loss or damage as a result of poor surfaces, you may be able to claim compensation.  Some authorities take the irresponsible attitude of paying out claims rather than fixing the roads, as many people don't bother claiming.  You’ll need to collect evidence of the fault and show receipts for repairs etc.  Be sure to act quickly as you may find your evidence gets swept up.

 

 

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