Motorcycle Insurance 101

Taking a few minutes to shop motorcycle insurance coverage can help you save money on what can be a huge expense.

Since motorcycles are considered much riskier to drive than cars or trucks, good motorcycle insurance can cost more than auto insurance or other types of coverage. However, it is vital to have excellent insurance before you take your first ride.

Even experienced cyclists must carry motorcycle liability coverage for any property damage or injuries incurred during an accident. Major insurers make it easy to get a motorcycle insurance quote online, while smaller companies require preliminary conversations with an agent beforehand. Keep reading to find out the basics of purchasing motorcycle insurance and ways to get a good deal.

How to Get a Motorcycle Insurance Quote

Although you may not be able to get a truly instant motorcycle insurance quote, most insurers provide quotes online within a matter of minutes. Getting an insurance motorcycle online quote is usually a simple matter of answering a few questions about your motorcycle and the type of coverage you need.

You can often buy motorcycle insurance online by replying to the offer you receive. While it is not a path to instant motorcycle insurance coverage, you will be covered as soon as the company verifies your information and receives your first payment.

Information Needed to Get a Motorcycle Insurance Quote

You will discover there are many motorcycle insurance companies to choose from, and it is wise to get quotes from most of them. Note that the cheapest place to get motorcycle insurance may not be the best. Before you begin asking for quotes online, note that insurers will use certain factors to determine how much you pay for coverage. These include:

  • The type of motorcycle you have, its age and features.
  • Your age and how much experience you have driving a motorcycle.
  • Your address, because where you live influences the risk the company takes by insuring you. For example, you will pay more if you live in a high-crime or high-accident area.
  • Your driving record, including accidents or citations you received while driving a car.
  • Your job, not only for income verification, but because where you park your motorcycle during the day can have as much influence as your home address.

What is full coverage motorcycle insurance?

Most motorcyclists assume they need full coverage bike insurance, but that may not be the case. Good motorcycle insurance companies will explain your state’s minimum coverage laws, which is the minimum amount of coverage you must purchase.

While the cheapest motorcycle insurance may fit your budget, your entire livelihood can be affected by not having enough coverage. Cheap motorcycle insurance may not be enough to cover legal costs if you are sued after causing an accident, especially if you decide not to use a traffic accident lawyer. Some states also require motorcyclists to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Even the cheapest full coverage motorcycle insurance plans will include your state’s basic liability coverage along with collision and comprehensive coverage. It may also cover bike replacement and medical coverage.

What to Know Before You Shop Motorcycle Insurance Policies

Before settling for the most inexpensive motorcycle insurance you can find, you should make sure you understand the terms used to describe insurance policies. Familiarize yourself with these commonly used insurance definitions:

  • Deductible: The amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance company pays the rest. When you get motorcycle insurance quote offers, make sure the deductible does not exceed your motorcycle’s value.
  • Collision: This is the coverage that pays for your motorcycle repairs in the event of an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Liability: This is what motorcycle insurance companies pay out to cover damage or injuries incurred by others in an accident where you are at fault.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance coverage pays for non-accident damages, such as vandalism, theft or natural disasters. It only pays for the vehicle’s current market value, regardless of how much you still owe on your bike.
  • Underinsured/Uninsured: This type of coverage covers the cost of bike repairs, bodily injury and the resulting pain and suffering if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
  • Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance: GAP insurance covers the difference between the market value of your motorcycle and what you still owe a bank or other lender.

Tips to Get the Most Affordable Motorcycle Insurance

Every consumer hopes to pay the lowest motorcycle insurance premiums while still getting the level of coverage they want and need. When looking for the best place to get motorcycle insurance, keep in mind that there are things you can do to make your insurance more affordable.

First, ask for a motorcycle and auto insurance bundle from your current car insurance company if you also own a car, SUV or truck. Many insurers offer big discounts to customers who purchase more than one policy.

You may find your motorcycle insurance quotes falling after you take a motorcycle safety course. Some states require all motorcyclists younger than 21 years of age to take a class. However, good motorcycle insurance companies know that bikers of all ages become safer drivers after taking a motorcycle safety course.

Just make sure to receive your certificate of completion to provide proof that you received this vital education.

If you have a safe driving record, you will be eligible for more affordable motorcycle insurance plans. If you do not have a safe driving record, work harder to avoid tickets and accidents. The savings can really add up over time. Also, consider joining a biker club to receive special club insurance discounts.

Finally, invest in motorcycle anti-theft devices or other safety features and be sure to park in safe areas. If you park your bike at night in a locked garage, you may qualify for cheaper motorcycle insurance premiums because of the reduced risk of your motorcycle being stolen.