Top tips on motorcycle insurance

motorcycle insuance crash accident

Getting good value and relevant coverage in motorcycle insurance is a tricky business, but with some help from our friends at review.com, here are some handy tips to help you.

Some of the references may refer only to American insurance, whereas some terms may differ from Australia, for example third-party. However, the general tips are very useful.

Our overriding tip would be to shop around and don’t re-insure with the same insurer every year until you have shopped around again as prices and conditions may have changed in the past 12 months.

COVERAGE OPTIONS

The best motorcycle insurance providers will also offer a variety of coverage options in addition to the required liability or third-party coverage. You should look into purchasing collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and roadside assistance coverage.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the most important:

  • Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your bike from non-accident-related incidents, such as theft, fire, vandalism, or severe weather.
  • Collision coverage will help pay for repairs if your bike is damaged in an accident.
  • Guest passenger (compulsory third-party) liability protects you financially if you’re found to be responsible for the medical expenses or death of a passenger of your vehicle.
  • Medical payments coverage helps cover your medical expenses if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident. While your health insurance should also kick in, this coverage can go toward co-pays or your deductible.
  • Property damage liability covers costs if you’re found to be at fault in an accident that results in damage to other people’s property.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for losses in an accident where the other driver is at fault, but they don’t have insurance, or don’t have enough insurance to cover your costs.

Collision coverage is more important than, say, Actual Agreed Value, a coverage option that’s mostly useful to folks with a vintage or collectible ride. Could self-cancelling indicators prevent T-bone crashes? safety contract

DISCOUNTS

While your individual premium cost will ultimately be determined by all kinds of details, such as the make of your bike, your age, and your experience level, there’s another factor at play: discounts. Motorcycle insurers, just like auto insurers, often offer a number of discounts to shave dollars off your premium.

These discounts can take a buck or two (or 20) off your bill:

  • Safe driver discount
  • Safety course discount
  • Motorcycle association membership discount
  • Bundling discounts
  • Theft device discount
  • Paid-in-full discount
  • Anti-lock break discount
  • Renewal discount
  • Mature rider discount

SAFETY COURSESjake Dolan racer and learner rider at AMA training motorcycle insurance

Take steps to stay safe on the road. If you have completed a safety course, it will actually reduce your premium.

Art Friedman, former editor of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine and member of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Technical Working Group, told us he always recommends safety courses.

“I take them regularly, and I always come away with something — a reminder, or something that I realize I could be doing better,” he said.

Friedman pointed out that, statistically, taking a safety course is not proven to make riders safer over time. The most impactful safety measures a rider can take are things like always wearing a full-coverage, appropriately certified helmet, and wearing brightly coloured gear to be more visible when riding, Friedman advised. But still, he thinks riders should take the course — it can’t hurt, and it can definitely help when it comes to premiums.

A lot of the insurers offer a discount for riders who complete a safety course. There are plenty to choose from — beginner courses that last two or three days and involve 15 hours on-cycle, to advanced courses involving complex traffic scenarios, and even e-courses you can take online.

TAILORED INSURANCE

Motorcycle insurance is not one-size-fits-all

By this point, you get it: You should get more than the minimum liability coverage that your state requires. So what exactly does that mean for you? Figuring that out can feel like ordering off an a la carte menu: a little guest passenger liability here, a little medical coverage there, and I should be set — right?

Friedman, who’s been riding motorcycles for more than 50 years, says he turns to an independent insurance agent to talk through his needs, and explain his best options for coverage. Chatting about your situation with an independent insurance agent can help make sure you’ve got the right coverage for you.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Shop around for your best premium rate, but remember to also evaluate your providers coverage options, discounts, and claims process. Also, buy the most insurance you can afford — not just what your state’s minimum liability coverage requires.

AMERICAN INSURANCE

Our American readers should click here to read reviews of the best motorcycle insurance available.

4 Comments

  1. For my birthday my wife got me a motorcycle and I want to make sure I’m covered when I ride it. I really like how you mention that taking safety courses with your motorcycle could actually reduce your premium so you pay less. Not only will that help me learn how to be safer while driving on the road, but it will save me money. I’ll have to talk to my insurance company to see if they offer something like this.

  2. Remember the commercial to crap ratio.
    The more they advertise how wonderful they are the crappier they are!
    Just think where is all the money for advertising coming from?
    Answer screwing the people silly enough to buy their products!
    This rule applies to just about every thing from toilet paper to movies. If the number and timing of ads is greater than those for a similar product (excluding blitzes for new products) or just seem to be trying too hard or they start using testimonials you know they’re selling snake oil.

  3. just continually save, so that if/when a accident a accident does occur & the insurance company does play/toy with your emotions/mental health – well being, (“screw you over” to use the vernacular), as is their Job, you have some $ put away for a bike or @ least a hefty? deposit on your next bike, & the scr 950 is looking good as a road bike:> even though -truth be told’ Shannon’s is the Go.

  4. And most importantly read the fine print on excess, doh. Just got stung $1225 oxford scholars, for an animal strike.
    If I had run into a another vehicle, $500 my fault, Run into another vehicle no fault $500. But when a Roo slams into me, from the side, $1225. WTF.

    More Grumpier than usual, Old Bastard.

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