Motorcycles can be exciting. But they aren’t all fun and games. Bikers are required to get insurance on their motorcycles in the U.S. While this may feel like a major pain, there are good reasons for it. If you’re in an accident, you’ll be covered. It can also prevent you from facing fines.
If you are new to the world of motorcycles or a veteran rider looking for a better deal, we can detail the basics for you.
Do you really need motorcycle insurance?
Whether you like it or not, yes, motorcycle insurance is required. Accidents will probably happen, so it’s better to be insured and know you don’t have to worry about repairs and bills, especially if you’re injured in the wreck.
The Motorcycle Legal Foundation reports, “The usual body parts outside of the head that incur injury are the hands (riders usually try to catch themselves with their hands), their feet and ankles (they are already close to the ground and could be trapped under the motorcycle in a fall), and the shoulders and arms.”
What insurance options are available?
There are some great insurance plans out there — and some will give you nothing but headaches. So the first thing you need to do is figure out what you need. In order to do this, you must know which options are available to you. Thankfully, it’s similar to car insurance, so if you have a car, you’re already ahead of the game.
Collision insurance will protect you in the event of a wreck you caused. It pays for damages that happened to your bike. Determining which driver is at fault is not black and white, unfortunately. According to Wood Insurance, factors include eyewitness statements, photos of the accident, and police reports. If you are found to be the guilty party, you’re going to want collision insurance.
Med pay covers you if you sustain injuries in a wreck. It kicks in if you are the party at fault. If the other party caused the wreck, their insurance will pay for your injuries. Unfortunately, not everyone has insurance, so if you’re in a wreck and the other party is at fault and uninsured, there is a plan for this. Uninsured and underinsured insurance covers you in this case.
Liability insurance pays for medical bills the other party may have if the accident was your fault. This also covers passengers in the other party’s car, as well as any repairs that must be made to their vehicle.
Another important type of insurance is comprehensive insurance. Like your home and your car, not all damage comes from wrecks. Mother Nature can do a lot of damage, too. A hail storm could leave unsightly damage that will be your responsibility to pay for if you don’t have comprehensive.
Add-ons are something you probably won’t need, but it comes in handy if you find yourself in an odd situation where you’re stranded. Add-ons include features like towing or rental bikes.
Shop around for your insurance
Motorcycle insurance is more expensive than car insurance, thanks in large part to statistics. With a bike, you don’t have four walls to protect you in an accident. While riders know and accept the risks, insurance underwriters have other things to consider. This translates to larger insurance premiums for riders.
This doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive policy out there. Determine your needs and go from there. One thing you must consider is whether you really need add-on insurance. After all, if you have a car, you don’t need a rental bike.
Something else to consider is how much you need to insure your bike for. Consider its value and if it’s worth the premium you’ll pay every month. As Financial Cents explains, “A bike worth $5,000, for example, won’t need $12,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage.” It might work out well for your insurance agent, but you’ll do yourself no favors if you get tricked into paying more.