Motorcycle Insurance Is Your Shield Against a Cold, Hard World
Driving an uninsured vehicle in the United States is punishable by – depending on where you live – anything from a relatively small fine to a nice little jolt in prison. In some states, if you can’t prove that you have insurance if you’re pulled over by the police, you might get your license revoked – immediately – without further adieu.
All that is bad news, but riding without insurance can cause you some serious pain above and beyond legal problems. If you’re the cause of an accident where someone is injured, and you don’t have an insurance company backing you, the injured party or their insurer may sue you personally for damages.
Could you pay a fork over to the tune of $100,000 in hospital bills out of your pocket? Well, if you can’t and you find yourself in that unenviable position, the parties involved might just decide to make a run at all your assets, like say, your house, in an effort to recover damages. And it’s well within their legal rights to do it…
If you ride a motorcycle, you need insurance. Period. If you have it, your insurer will be the target of any lawsuit and not you. Every state requires you to prove that you have at least a minimum amount of motorcycle insurance, and think of it this way, it’s for your protection as much as for the protection of others.
What Motorcycle Insurance Does
Motorcycle insurance, also called liability insurance, acts as a financial buffer between you and the hard, cold world if you’re involved in a traffic accident or if your bike is stolen or damaged. Your policy is a contract between you and your insurance company, and here’s the gist of the contract: You agree to pay regular monthly or an annual premium, and the insurance company will pay for any losses that are covered by that policy should they occur.
The policy you take out is specific to the vehicle for which it was written, and you can’t transfer it to another vehicle or to another person. Depending on the coverage you select, your policy will protect you in these types of situations:
- If your motorcycle is stolen or totaled in a wreck, the insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of the vehicle.
- If you motorcycle is damaged in an accident, the cost of repairs will be paid by your insurance company.
- If you’re involved in an accident and injure someone else, the legal damages you’re liable for (including the victim’s medical bills if there are any) will be taken care of by your provider.
The most common types of insurance coverage are liability, collision and comprehensive, medical, personal injury protection (PIP), uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage, and “no fault” coverage if you live in a state which has this type of insurance laws like Michigan.
Some companies give you a discount if you insure both your home and motorcycle with them, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping for the best rates.
What Influences Insurance Rates
Insurance premiums are higher than average for male riders under age 25 and females under age 21, and it’s pretty easy to understand why. Statistically, riders in those age groups are involved in the highest number of accidents. If you’re already past your prime, like me, you should be aware that discounts are available for riders over the age of 50. What else helps you save money? An accident-free driving record will reduce your premiums, and you can get a discount if you insure two or more bikes with the same provider.
Antitheft devices such as alarms or ignition locks fitted to your motorcycle can also reduce your premiums, because they’re likely to reduce the risk of your bike being stolen, and insurance companies are all about managing risk.
What can really cause you to be a bad risk, and therefore cost you more money in premiums? The age of other licensed drivers and riders who live in your household can impact your rates. Teenage drivers and riders hanging around the house makes insurers jumpy, and a single conviction for a criminal driving offense such as a DUI or DWI can double or triple your premiums – for many years down the road.
We’re here to help you find the right motorcycle insurance, whatever you ride…
Tips for buying your motorcycle insurance, coverage
- Collision to pay for damage caused to your vehicle in an accident with anothervehicle or any stationary object.
- Comprehensive to cover such things as fire, hail, wind, vandalism, hitting ananimal, etc.
- Towing / Pickup
- Medical payment or personal injury protection to cover the medical bills resulting from an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist to protect us when the other driver is at-fault and does not have coverage or assets out of which your bills can be paid.