Whether you’d like to embark on a cross-country adventure or you just
enjoy riding around town, all motorcyclists need protection from
unexpected circumstances. From accidents to breakdowns and property
damage, motorcycle insurance is something that every responsible rider
should have. In fact, it could be required depending on the state in
which you live. Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle insurance
policies and safe riding.
What Is Motorcycle Insurance?
Motorcycle coverage protects you, your passengers, and your motorcycle
in the event of an accident. Most states require motorcyclists
to purchase insurance when they start to ride, usually to the same
degree as auto insurance minimum requirements. Depending on the type of
motorcycle insurance policy you invest in, you can reduce your financial
liability for medical expenses, repair costs, and more.
Motorcycle insurance is similar to automobile insurance in coverage, but
differs in a few key aspects:
Passenger coverage is usually a separate purchase in motorcycle
coverage, since passengers are a rarer occurrence on a motorcycle than
they are in a vehicle.
Motorcycle accidents are more likely to yield injuries than a car
accident, so you may need to purchase a higher amount of personal
injury protection coverage than you would for a vehicle.
Motorcycle coverage isn’t always year-round. Many motorcycle
insurance policies offer “Lay Up” options
where you can reduce your monthly premiums by suspending some of your
insurance during periods where you do not use your motorcycle, such as
the winter months.
How Does Motorcycle Insurance Work?
If you have auto insurance, then you already have a good idea of how
motorcycle coverage works. Just like auto insurance, motorcycle
insurance policies help cover any related costs in the event of an
accident. Depending on where you live and what type of insurance you
have, your motorcycle insurance policy can cover the costs of any
injuries and damages incurred by all parties and their property if you
are found at fault.
After you are in a motorcycle accident, you will file a claim with your
insurance company and discuss the facts of your accident. You can then
receive compensation for your injuries and damages. If you were
at-fault, the other party or parties will receive compensation as well.
In the event of an accident,
motorcycle insurance is a serious financial advantage.
Some motorcyclists believe that they don’t need insurance because
it is simply an additional cost and is not useful; however, this is not
true. Motorcycle insurance is beneficial to all riders, regardless of
how often they ride their motorcycles, in a number of ways.
If you cause an accident and the other driver or rider suffers serious
injuries, you could be responsible for their medical expenses. To
avoid paying thousands of dollars in liability,
motorcycle insurance policies will pay for these damages on your
Because you don’t have the same protections in a motorcycle as
you would in a car, motorcycle accidents often result in serious
injuries – which can lead to very expensive medical bills.
Motorcycle insurance provides funds for your medical expenses so that
you don’t have to drown in debt.
Since motor vehicles are significantly heavier than a bike,
motorcycles tend to bear the brunt of the damage in a
collision. These repairs can be very expensive and replacing your bike
is just as costly as repairing it. When you have a motorcycle
insurance policy, you can protect your bike, receive funds for your
repairs, or even replace your motorcycle if you have a total loss.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Insurance Policy?
Motorcycle coverage may seem like an unnecessary cost for many riders.
These individuals may believe that, since they are safe riders, they
don’t need motorcycle insurance and can get away with riding
around unprotected. However, motorcycle insurance is not only the
smartest financial investment you can make for your bike –
operating a motorcycle without it could be against the law.
In the majority of states across the country, all motorcyclists must
carry a minimum amount of insurance coverage to
lawfully operate their bikes. The requirements for these motorcycle
insurance policies vary from state to state.
For example, California requires the following minimum insurance amounts
$15,000 per person injured in an accident (bodily injury liability)
$30,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
$5,000 for property damage per accident
California offers a standard plan for motorcycle coverage, but other
states have greater minimum requirements. In contrast, Texas requires
the following minimum motorcycle coverage amounts:
$30,000 in bodily injury liability per person
$60,000 for total bodily injury per accident
$25,000 in property damage per accident
If you do not have motorcycle insurance in a state that requires it,
then you can face penalties that range from fines to losing your
license. Only two states in the country do not require motorcycle
coverage: Florida and Washington. Florida, however, does require some
form of insurance in certain circumstances.
You should still consider making an investment in motorcycle coverage
even if it isn’t legally required in your state. If you do not
have this coverage and you cause an accident, then you could be on the
financial hook for any injuries or losses. If you live in a state that
requires personal injury protection insurance and you are in an accident
that you did not cause, you cannot receive compensation for your own
losses. In this case, you could find yourself injured and in thousands
of dollars of debt. Having the means to financially protect yourself in
the case of a motorcycle accident is the reason why so many states
require at least a minimal level of coverage.
What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
When you purchase motorcycle insurance, you will have to decide what
types of motorcycle coverage to purchase. Your state will require you to
carry some types of coverage, while other policy options are additional
but cover all of your bases in case of an accident. Listed below are the
different types of motorcycle insurance coverage you could purchase and
what they cover.
Liability coverage is the most common type of motorcycle insurance you
can purchase, and most states usually require some amount of it. This
motorcycle coverage includes
bodily injury and property damage in the case of an
accident. Liability motorcycle insurance helps cover your financial
bases in the event you cause an accident, keeping you from having to pay
for other people’s injuries.
Liability insurance covers costs such as:
Past and future medical expenses
Pain and suffering
Collision coverage is another type of motorcycle insurance that kicks in
when you cause an accident while riding. While liability insurance
covers the losses of the other driver, collision coverage helps pay for
your injuries and losses. Collision coverage pays for any damage to your
bike, as well as your riding apparel, helmets, and other forms of
property damage. You can use collision coverage if you collide with
another driver while on the road.
Not all motorcycle incidents involve another driver or a collision
– in these situations, your
comprehensive coverage helps you cover your losses.
When a non-collision incident harms your motorcycle, comprehensive
coverage can help you pay for the damage or replace your motorcycle.
Some examples of situations where you can use comprehensive coverage
When someone steals your motorcycle
When a falling object, such as a tree limb or debris, crashes on your
bike and destroys it
When a hail storm damages your motorcycle
When vandals destroy your motorcycle
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage
While all states across the country require motor vehicle operators to
carry a minimum amount of insurance, not all drivers abide by this law.
Sometimes, you might find yourself in an accident caused by an uninsured
or underinsured driver – and if you need compensation for your
injuries and losses, you could find yourself in a tricky situation. In
the event that a driver cannot pay for your losses in an accident s/he
causes, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help. This
motorcycle coverage pays for your property damage, lost wages, medical
expenses, and other losses if you encounter an uninsured driver on the
Property Damage Liability Coverage
Most states require motorcycle coverage to include funds for property
damage liability. If you cause an accident while riding and damage
someone else’s property, including other vehicles and homes, you
could be responsible for paying for this damage. Property damage
liability coverage helps cover this physical damage for you, providing
compensation for the people who need the repairs and helping reduce your
out of pocket liability.
Medical Payments, No-Fault or Personal Injury Protection
If you live in a state that operates on a no-fault insurance system, you
may need to purchase additional motorcycle coverage to pay for your
losses. Unlike a traditional fault-based system, each driver or rider in
an accident in a no-fault state is responsible for paying for their own losses. Personal injury protection coverage helps compensate for your
injuries, providing funds for medical expenses such as:
Lost wages due to recovery time
Any other past and future medical costs associated with the accident
Multi-Policies for Multiple Bikes
Motorcyclists are often collectors, keeping multiple makes and models in
their garages. Purchasing individual motorcycle insurance policies for
each bike can become very costly. To combat this, you can invest in a
multi-bike policy. Many insurance companies will allow you to cover up
to four bikes under one policy, with further coverage available for
additional bikes. With multi-bike motorcycle coverage, you can ride all
of your bikes with the same peace of mind, knowing they are all
Multi-bike insurance will look at each individual motorcycle you own and
how you use it. Different bikes will receive different premiums from the
insurance company, based on the road risk of each motorcycle. Insurers
will usually charge you the premium on the most expensive motorcycle and
you can add on your additional bikes for a much cheaper price. These
policies include all of the same types of motorcycle coverage we
discussed above, from comprehensive and collision coverage to bodily
injury liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
The amount of motorcycle insurance that you need to purchase will depend
on a number of factors. First, you will need to look at your
state’s motorcycle insurance requirements and ensure that you
purchase at least the minimum amounts. In many cases,
it is a smart investment to purchase more than the minimum insurance
you need to ensure you have enough protection in case of a severe
Next, you will need to consider that not all insurance companies build
motorcycle insurance policies the same way. Some policies have a lot of
shortcomings and many holes in their coverage, such as not providing
options for uninsured and underinsured motorists or personal injury
protection. You will need to read these policies very carefully to
ensure you receive the coverage you need.
Your specific coverage needs will depend on where you live and what your
potential risks are – for example, if you live in a high-crime
area, comprehensive coverage is very important. If you live in a safe,
quiet area with a temperate climate, this type of coverage may not be a
top priority and collision coverage may be more important. Traditional
fault-based states will not require personal injury protection, while
this coverage is a necessity in a no-fault state.
Motorcycle insurance is not one-size-fits-all. If you need to
build a motorcycle insurance policy that fits your situation and risks,
speak to a motorcycle insurance professional as soon as possible. A
knowledgeable insurance agent can help you discuss your insurance
options and learn more about the types of coverage that could benefit
you. At the end of your meeting, you will receive a comprehensive and
customized plan that fits your lifestyle and needs.
Invest in Motorcycle Insurance Today
Motorcycle coverage is one of the most important investments you can
make as a responsible rider. If you need a helping hand designing the
best motorcycle insurance policy for you, contact
Acceptance Insurance today. Our insurance experts will
guide you through your insurance policy options and help you create a
plan that covers all of your bases, taking into account your state
requirements and your location-based needs.
The 79th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is right around the corner! It's happening August 2-11, 2019 in Sturgis, South Dakota and we want to help you make the most of your trip! Aside from hanging out with other riders, you'll have the chance to show off your bike, listen to live music, sightsee, and more! Every year brings different activities but one thing is for sure, if you're a motorcycle enthusiast, Sturgis is the place to be! We've put together a short list of events that we recommend if you're making your way to Sturgis this year.
Summertime, and the living is easy, at least that’s what Ella Fitzgerald says. The weather is warm, the kids are out of school, and family BBQs are happening. It’s time to take your warm weather toys out of storage and get ready for trips to the river, the lake, or the ocean. The living might seem easy but an accident involving your boat or ATV could complicate things. No matter what your summer plans are, we’re here to make sure you and your toys are covered this summer!
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