Understanding Comprehensive Collision Coverage
In most cases, comprehensive coverage has deductibles from $0 to $1000. As you would expect, premiums go up when you choose a lower deductible. But there’s a limit in change, so ask the difference in price. A great example of this is a dual-sport bike. It’s usually just a few dollars of difference between a $500 and $250 deductible for a guy over 25 years of age. So, in this case, pick the low deductible.
If you own a full-blown custom motorcycle worth $35,000 or more, then you could not only afford the financial responsibility of a $1000 deductible, but we’d encourage it. Customs are difficult to insure and the rates are usually not far off what some kid on a liter-class sportbike would pay in premium. You might as well keep that premium low.
If you ever believe you have a comprehensive claim, take pictures of everything for documentation.
What’s Comp coverage cover? It covers theft, fire, vandalism and acts of nature. Theft is self-explanatory. Fire insurance covers spontaneous or malicious (by anyone but you or a family member) incidents.
The family member rule also applies to Vandalism coverage. Spontaneous acts of nature, like a tree falling on your bike, flood and a few highly unlikely things that you can read in your policy documents. If you ever believe you have a comprehensive claim, take pictures of everything for documentation. Get police reports if possible.
Collision is easy. You wreck it and it gets fixed, less the deductible. The deductibles are the same $0 to $1000. If you low-side or high-side your bike and it was not due to another vehicle making contact with you, then you will be responsible for your own medical treatment and the bike will be considered a collision claim.
Is hitting sand in the road an “act of nature”? No! It’s more likely it’s because of a lazy D.O.T., but it will be counted as a collision claim. You control your bike and it’s your duty to be aware of the roadway. Again, fully documenting the incident can drastically shortcut headaches.
If you’re street rider who likes to occasionally ride at the track, ask your insurance agent, broker or underwriter if “track days” are covered. Unless it’s stated clearly in your customer documents that it’s not, if you go down at a track day you can get your bike fixed. It will not be covered if it’s a “timed and sanctioned” event. That means no AMA, WERA or CCS events with your streetbike or dual-sport enduros will be covered.
Kirk Harrington is a longtime rider and avid motorcycle enthusiast, and he’s one of the nation’s only specialized motorcycle insurance agents, operating from his location north of Atlanta, Georgia.