The Basics of Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Season is here! So is Motorcycle Insurance.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures mean one thing: it’s time to get the bike out for that long-awaited wind therapy. And if we’re talking bikes, we need to talk about motorcycle insurance.

Whether you prefer group events such as Bike Week at the beach and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, or you prefer the relaxing tour of the Tail of the Dragon in the Great Smoky Mountains, the risks are the same.

But if you search for motorcycle insurance online, all you get are sites promising “cheap rates” and “get a quote.” No one tells you what it actually does.

So, are you protected? Contrary to popular belief, that motorcycle or trike is not protected by your homeowner’s policy in that garage. And it’s not an add-on for your auto policy either.

What exactly does your motorcycle policy cover you from? Does what kind of bike you have change anything? And what are the factors in how much it costs?

Motorcycle Insurance Basics

In some ways, motorcycle insurance is a lot like auto insurance. Each policy contains sections like Liability coverage, physical damage coverage, and other optional coverages that help you protect the particular needs you may have.

But in other ways, it is very different. After all, motorcycles aren’t cars or trucks, and motorcycle riding and bike culture create different risks and different habits around the use of these amazing machines.

We will break down each coverage type, talk about how it helps keep you protected if something happens, and the ways they can be more expensive as well.

Motorcycle Liability

First, let’s protect you from what could happen if you’re responsible for an accident.

Liability coverage is the most basic part of any policy. And let’s face it, it’s the law.

This protects others from damage or injuries if the unexpected happens.  No one expects to wreck. That’s why we call them accidents. But, with this coverage you are protected for your actions.

Much like auto insurance, motorcycle liability protects you from damage to other vehicles, damage to people in those vehicles, and any legal troubles that come from the accident.

You may be thinking, “I’m on a bike. How am I going to cause a lot of damage?”

Consider this situation: You’re running late to get home and you make a left turn into oncoming traffic, right in front of a moving car. You are hit and your motorcycle is thrown, hitting another car in the same lane.

If you have low liability limits, you could be on the hook for all of this. But with the right policy, you can be protected from this massively affecting you – at least financially.

The cost factors for liability coverage are what you might think – how likely it is that you will be in an accident.

If you have a great driving record and a safer bike, getting a very high amount of coverage may not be that much more than getting minimum limits. Seriously.

But if you have several accidents and a fast, accident-prone speedster, you could pay a ton for high limits of liability, so watch out for that.

Motorcycle Physical Coverage

Half built motorcycle.

Now, let’s protect your bike.

If something happens and your motorcycle is damaged but there is no one else at fault, you could be responsible for paying to have your bike repaired.

Collision will help repair or replace the bike due to damage you may have caused in that accident. It will also step up for some of those frustrating moments when you find someone has struck and damaged your bike but didn’t leave their information.

If your motorcycle has been damaged but it wasn’t from an accident, that’s when Comprehensive coverage steps up to bat. This is also known as Other-than-Collision coverage. It protects you from theft, vandalism or surprises that may jump in front of you on the road like deer.

Both of these coverages are based on the value of your motorcycle and other factors like age, modifications, etc.

Optional Motorcycle Coverages

As we said before, motorcycle insurance is mostly like auto insurance. There is one BIG exception: guest passenger liability coverage.

Motorcycle coverage is designed to protect you, the bike owner and operator. If you have a passenger, you need additional coverage to make sure they are protected if something happens.

Sometimes this is added standard on a policy. But it is just as likely to be an optional coverage that most assume is included.

Always check to see if you have guest passenger liability. Or better yet, ask your agent.

You can also add a little Towing and Roadside coverage for those unexpected breakdowns. Coverage like these come in handy when you least expect it, and they’re super affordable.

And don’t forget to add optional coverages for your gear, additions or any other optional parts you’ve added to your bike.

All Bikers Need Motorcycle Insurance

If you ride on a state road, you need motorcycle insurance. Period, exclamation point, end of story.

If you have a license plate, you need motorcycle insurance. You’d rather have your insurance agent remind you of that instead of a police officer.

But your coverage doesn’t have to be a pain in the tailpipe. In fact, if you have a motorcycle you probably have other policies like auto and homeowners as well.

And if you combine your policies with the same company, you can get some amazing discounts.

And the right coverages can be much more affordable than you think. Usually increasing your liability costs a fraction of what you think it does.

So insuring your bike the right way may be the best for your wallet, too.

Do You Have the Right Motorcycle Coverage?

motorcycle insurance Wintson-Salem NC

Now that we’ve had this discussion, are you protected?

You might be – but what you have may be way less than what you THINK you have.

The good news is that you’re not alone. We love helping bikers of all kinds with their motorcycle insurance.

Whether you’re a Harley-Davidson road warrior, or a Kawasaki weekend speedster, or an Indian traditionalist, there is a policy that is perfect for you.

Let us help you find it.

We can look over your coverage and give you advice on what you really need. Not satisfied with your current policy? We can get you a new one so you can be calm and cool out there on the road. The way it should be.

Fill out the form below to get our FREE Personal Insurance Checklist. Look and see what you’re missing – and how we may be able to help.

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Alliance Insurance is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!

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