We are under a constant barrage of ads on TV, in magazines, in mailers (that fill up the last little bit of space in your mail box between your bills and other junk-mail), on internet banners, pay-per-click, and my favorite, internet pop-ups. So you probably already know what bike insurance companies are out there, or at least those with the seemingly endless marketing budget. But, what are the basics that you really need to know when buying motorcycle insurance?
Besides the fact that it is going to be a heck of a lot easier for you to give them money than to get money from them, here is an overview of the basic types of coverages:
Liability: this is the insurance that covers bodily injury and property damage that you are found to have caused; it does not cover injuries sustained to you or your bike. Most states have a minimum liability coverage requirement, so make sure you know what it is.
It is often quoted like your automobile policy, for instance, 25/50/15 translates into coverages in an accident you caused of $25K for one person’s injuries/$50K for the total bodily injuries to all persons/$15K for total property damage in an accident you caused. Again, these liability coverages do not cover you or your bike.
Collision: this is the insurance that covers your motorcycle if you are found at fault in an accident. There is a deductible (typically $250, $500 or $1000) and this is the amount that is deducted from the total cost to fix or replace your motorcycle. If you own your bike straight out, it is your choice whether to have this coverage or not. However, if your motorcycle is financed, you will be required to have enough insurance to cover the loan on your bike.
Comprehensive: this is the insurance that covers your motorcycle in an event other than an accident, like theft or fire. Again, you will need to select a deductible (typically $250, $500 or $1000) and this is the amount that is deducted from the total cost to fix or replace your motorcycle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: this insurance will cover you and your bike in the event that an accident is caused by someone else who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries or the repair and/or replacement of your motorcycle.
Accessory: although a lot of policies cover some upgrades and accessories, including chrome and custom paint jobs, above the replacement cost of your motorcycle, if you have upgrades be sure to ask how much is covered.
Roadside Assistance: check with the motorcycle insurance company to see if this is included in their basic coverages or how much it will cost and what it includes. Roadside Assistance often covers the cost
Some additional information that you should know before purchasing a policy are the basic Motorcycle Insurance Discounts.
How much of each type of motorcycle insurance coverage do you need? Unfortunately, there is no clear standard. This is a question better suited for an insurance agent you know and trust or an attorney. What I can tell you is that finding the right insurance for your motorcycle isn’t something always quick and easy, but finding out after an accident that you don’t have enough or the right coverage makes an already bad situation a lot worse. Hope this helps and ride safely.