This is the first in a series of articles we’re going to call Ask MO Anything, in which we invite you to ahhhh, ask us anything! Motorcycle-related is a good place to start, but the MO staff is amazingly well-versed, collectively, on a wide range of topics from animal husbandry to zoology. Whether it’s the first in a series or not will be determined by whether anyone actually asks us a question. If not, we’re not above making them up like the big magazines… Send your questions to: AskMoAnything@motorcycle.com.
Our very first question comes from the Unknown Triker, whereabouts also unknown.
I’m looking to insure my 2013 Victory Cross Country Tour. I bought a Motor Trike conversion for this bike and it’s going to be installed in a few weeks. My current insurance is with Allstate and I’m told they can’t insure the trike conversion because it’s an altered motorcycle. The conversion is being done by a Motor Trike trained installer and is covered by a three-year, 60k-mile warranty. I of course want to make sure I’m covered for the value of the motorcycle with the conversion added. How do I figure the value of the completed unit to make sure it’s covered in case of an accident?
—The Unknown Triker
Seems like with all the trikes out there already and with more Boomers segueing into them, finding insurance shouldn’t be too difficult, UT. MotorTrike seems like a legit business that makes trikes out of all sorts of motorcycles and claims more than 200 dealers.
Since I was already sitting at my computer, I went to Progressive Insurance’s site (which may be a MO advertiser off and on). After entering in 2013 Victory Cross Country, I answered a bunch of questions including one that asked, surprisingly to me, is this a trike? Why, yes it is! After entering a bunch more personal information including my zip code and my squeaky clean driving record, I was eventually rewarded with three quotes ranging in price from $91 annually (bare bones liability and less than I pay on my 2000 Yamaha R1) to $509 for comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible.
Then I noticed a small Allstate ad on MO and clicked it. It asked me mostly the same questions, one of which was, is my Victory Cross Country a trike conversion? The end result was roughly the same, with a variety of coverages available ranging from $254 to $534 annually. Allstate offers its “Genuine Parts Guarantee so you can be certain that your bike will always be fixed with original manufacturer’s parts,” which tells me that should include the MotorTrike bits as well, but we’re journalists not lawyers. You’ll have to parse the fine print yourself.
Hagerty Insurance advertises its stated-value collector car policies a lot wherever gearheads gather, so I checked their site too even though your 2013 is neither collectible nor a car. I typed in a stated replacement value of $20,000 for your Victory trike ($12,800 for your bike’s trade-in value plus $9k for the conversion kit minus a little because they’re insurance companies); their online calculator coughed up what appears to be a good comprehensive policy for $551 per annum. Of course, all those companies sweeten the deal if you insure all your other worldly possessions with them too.
The moral of the story is insurance salespeople are like buses; if you miss one, well, okay, they’re nothing like buses. Buses are useful. If you have an internet connection (which you must if you’re reading MO), you don’t really need an agent. Yours, by the way, sounds worthless.
Actually, that’s not fair. I’ve had the same independent insurance broker since before the www was invented, and trust him to get me the best deal from among an unknown number of insurance companies. If you like to have somebody hold your hand in these matters, google up independent insurance brokers in your area.
Enjoy your trike! While you’re doing that, I’ll be dodging phone calls from all the insurance websites I gave up my email and phone numbers to to get those quotes.