Driving a motorcycle is an entirely different experience than operating a car. However, the machines are still similar in some ways. You need a license to drive both of them. You should also purchase insurance on both of these vehicles.
In the United States, every motorcycle owner must have insurance. This protects the driver in case of an accident and keeps them from having to pay fines. You can check out a complete guide to motorcycle insurance on NerdWallet, but we’ll give you the basics here.
Where can you buy motorcycle insurance?
Most companies that offer car insurance will also supply you with motorcycle insurance. This includes popular organizations like Progressive, Geico, and AAA. However, not every insurance provider will offer every kind of protection available, so do your research and ask your potential provider about their policies.
What’s included in your insurance?
The exact amount of insurance you’re required to buy will vary from state to state. At the minimum, motorcycle drivers usually need liability insurance. This will cover any injuries or damage that you were responsible for during a crash.
To cover personal injuries you sustain from an accident, you should get Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Make sure to check with your insurance provider in your specific state, since some of them are not allowed to sell PIP to motorcyclists. This will also cover medical expenses for any passengers and pedestrians involved.
If you’re worried about your bike being stolen or vandalized, a comprehensive insurance policy can reimburse you for your loss. Depending on the plan, you will either receive the actual cash value of your bike or an amount stated when you signed up for the policy. For damages caused to a motorcycle during accidents, collision insurance plans are also an option. Both of these plans have deductibles.
Optional insurance plans include roadside assistance, trip interruption, and trailer coverage. Many insurance providers also offer a lay-up period plan, which will put a hold on your PIP or liability plans while your bike is in storage.
How are insurance rates decided?
As with car insurance, motorcycle insurance rates may be higher or lower depending on certain factors. For example, if you have motorcycle experience as well as a pristine driving record, your insurance premiums will likely be lower than someone who just received their license. Your insurance premiums may also be cheaper if your bike has a smaller engine size, which is the case with mopeds.
If you have a big cruiser motorcycle or expensive sports bike, you can expect to see a spike in your insurance premiums. You may also have to pay more if you live in a city with high crime rates or rough neighborhoods with a higher possibility of theft. If you have a lot of speeding tickets or accidents in your driving history, this could also mean higher premiums.
Are you eligible for discounts?
Most insurance carriers have a few motorcycle insurance discounts, so be sure to ask when shopping. If you have another type of insurance from the same company, such as home or car, the company may let you bundle them together. By doing this, you’ll only pay the cost of one deductible.
As you get older, you’ll likely see more insurance discounts. Companies feel the most comfortable insuring customers over 55 years of age with clean driving records. If you’re a member of a motorcycle organization or want to complete a safety training course, these can also qualify you for a discount.