What to Know About Warranty and Insurance for Your Motorcycle
Contributed post for our North American readers
Buying a motorcycle and hitting the open road is exciting. Filtering through different types of insurance and warranties? Not so much.
Insurance costs money and doesn’t seem necessary – until you actually need it. The same can be said for additional levels of warranty to protect the bike. Once something goes wrong, you’ll be grateful for the extensive coverage that has you covered.
If you are new to motorcycle insurance and warranties, you’ll need to learn a few things before settling on coverage.
Yes, You Need It
If you are debating whether insurance is worth the monthly payment, the answer is yes.
Anyone who has been in some sort of accident will tell you just how useful the coverage is as soon as you need it. It is better to have insurance and not need it than to not have it and definitely need it.
There are also legal requirements. Most states will mandate minimum levels of liability coverage before registering. Legally, you can face some heavy fines if you are discovered riding without insurance.
So, bottom line, yes you need it. More importantly, you need good coverage.
You May Already Have It
For warranty, you may already have some coverage. New motorcycles will typically have basic warranty – some level of top to bottom coverage for a certain amount of time or mileage. This can cover some issues – but not all.
For insurance, you can stop at minimum liability insurance, which meets state requirements and covers the other party when you are at fault. Most states have minimum coverage levels around $US25,000 of bodily injury coverage, about a total of $US50,000 per accident, and certain levels of property damage.
Depending on where you live, those levels might not cover much. If you want to play on the safe side, opt for higher levels of coverage.
If you are in a serious accident, you could find yourself filing bankruptcy after maxing out on the insurance coverage levels. Don’t be stuck paying someone else’s medical bills and keep yourself covered.
So far, we’ve dived into just liability coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage are other types of coverage that are equally important.
Collision coverage kicks in when you damage another vehicle or cause damage to your bike. It can also help pay off any remaining loan balance. Comprehensive coverage is important when your bike is destroyed, disappears, or is damaged by something other than another vehicle. This can include theft, fire, and more. These two cover a lot more than liability, especially when you are fault in the accident.
To be transparent, the cost of insurance for motorcycles, especially for younger people, can get quite high. If you are willing to make the commitment to being a motorcycle owner, expect to take the insurance hike that comes with it.
Don’t Forget About Yourself
In all of this worry about what happens to the other people in the accident, don’t forget about yourself. It is important to have insurance that will cover bodily damage to you as well.
Medical payment coverage can help with broken arms and broken legs, as well as time away from work. Health insurance can only go so far, and sometimes it is not enough.
Know What You Already Have
When you buy a motorbike, it comes with lots of paperwork and confusing language, especially for someone new to all of it. As mentioned, you will have some level of warranty, sometimes from the dealership itself. Take the time to understand the language and know what is there to keep both you and the bike covered in times of need.