Motorcyclists come in all shapes, sizes and tribes, but if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we hate paying a lot for motorcycle insurance. Sure, we grudgingly accept that it’s important to be properly insured, but the less we have to pay, the better.
We were all beginners once, right? Whether it be motorcycles, soccer, ballet, etc., the unknown pitfalls of any new venture can cause excitement and joy or, more often than not, leave you scrambling in a fit of confusion. So let’s take a look at tips for helping new motorcyclists navigate their way through the tricky insurance web of deceit! Motorcycle insurance for beginners, take one.
What’s the least fun thing to spend money on? Insurance. It costs a bunch of money, and then you don’t really get anything for it… until you need it. But then, you really need it. So yes, it’s no fun, but you should have it anyway. Here are some basics if you are new to this very-not-fun, yet very-necessary product.
Because there is such a variety of vehicle and driver characteristics taken into consideration in order to derive a premium rate, it really depends. For example, vehicle make and model are two characteristics we have to consider and some two-wheel motorcycles will cost more, some will be less expensive, and some will be the exact price (given that vehicle make and model are the only differences in comparing two policies).
Most Test Rides Require Signing an Insurance Waiver Making the Potential Buyer Responsible for Any Damage During the Test Ride. Do ANY Companies Sell Test Ride Insurance?
Options vary from insurance company to insurance company, but at Progressive, our contract doesn’t typically offer comprehensive or collision damage during a demo ride, but the Liability coverage from the policy would transfer to the customer. So, to simplify the insurance jargon, damage to the bike wouldn’t be covered, but the Progressive rider would be covered if he or she hurt someone or someone’s property while on the test ride. There are state exceptions, but generally only liability coverage is the norm. From the dealership’s perspective it’s typically the opposite, in most cases the waiver simply releases the dealership from responsibility of any damages to others that might occur, but they cover any damages to the bike. My advice is to ask the dealership to walk you through their specific waiver before you test ride.
What Insurance Coverage Do I Minimally Need as a Foreigner When I Want to Ride My (U.S. Bought) Bike Through the U.S?
When riding as a foreigner through the US, the rider would need at a minimum Liability (BI/PD) coverage. This is required in almost every state to show financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Beyond that, the other coverages like Comp and Collision are optional, albeit recommended!
We all know that insurance premiums can be affected by a number of factors. If you’re under the age of 25, ride a high-performance sportbike and leave it parked by the curb unchained overnight, you’re probably going to pay more than a middle-aged rider with a small-displacement commuter that gets tucked into a locked garage every night.
If the question refers to having a basic driver’s license, then the answer is yes but there will often be a surcharge on the premium. This may vary by state, however. If the question refers to having a motorcycle license endorsement, then the answer is still yes, except for in the state of Louisiana, where the law requires insurers to obtain proof that the insured has a motorcycle license endorsement.
If I Sign up and Pay for an Insurance Policy to Start on May 1 but I Get Into an Accident on April 15 (let's Say Under Another Insurer's Policy), Will the New Policy Be Affected?
This depends on the timing of the purchase. While it varies by state, insurers generally have a couple of months to underwrite a policy and review driving history. If the accident date is just a short time before the new policy is written, you might get lucky and it may not yet be reflected on the MVR at the time the insurance company does its underwriting review. Even if that is the case, however, there is a good chance that the accident will affect your rate when the policy next comes up for renewal.
Does Usage-based Insurance (or Pay as You Drive Insurance) Work for Motorcyclists? Is It a Reasonable Way to Save Money If You Don't Ride Much?
Usage-based insurance is a very real way for drivers to save money and earn the rate they deserve. To date, more than 1.6 million people have tried our UBI product, Snapshot, in their cars. There are no immediate plans to bring usage-based insurance to motorcycle policies but we’re constantly looking for ways to bring our customers savings right now through our many available discounts.
If I Get in an Accident and the Other Driver Doesn't Have Insurance and It's Their Fault, Who Pays Their Medical (and Mine)?
Each state may have different coverage available on a motorcycle policy. When purchasing a motorcycle policy it is best to speak with a licensed insurance professional about your options for coverage. Contact your major medical carrier and find out if they cover motorcycle related injury with or without safety gear (Boots, Gloves, Helmet, Eye Protection etcetera). You should ask questions about coverage and be sure you purchase adequate limits based on your specific needs.
If you file a claim due to damage from hitting a pothole, it would be paid under collision coverage. A situation like this would generally be thought of as a single vehicle accident and would be considered the fault of the rider. As such, most insurance companies would consider raising your premium as a result. However, if the company offers some form of accident forgiveness, your rates may not go up.
A trike in many cases is a two-wheeled machine that has been modified with a kit that coverts the machine to a three wheeler. In these cases the insurance will typically list the parts under accessories coverage. Much the same as you would list upgraded handlebars or a new exhaust. The trike conversion kit may have a price of $10,000 or more, not to mention labor to complete the conversion. Another example of a three-wheeled machine are the newer Harley Davidson Trikes. These are factory-built trikes and will not need to have the policy reflect additional parts as it is not a conversion.
How Much More Would the Insurance Cost for an 18-year-old (clean Driving Record) on a Kawasaki Ninja ZX -10R ABS Vs. a 30-year-old?
For an apples to apples comparison, the 18 year old would generally pay around 75% more than the 30 year old for the same bike. In reality, the difference would be greater if, for example, the 30 year old is married or is a homeowner and the 18 year old is not. In terms of the dollar amount this would generally translate to, it will depend on the age of the bike and the type and amount of coverage desired. On average, for a new Ninja ZX-10R ABS with full coverage, the difference in premium between the 18 year old and the 30 year old might come to around $500 a year, but so many other factors come into play, so this is just a rough estimate. Consulting with your local agent or current insurance provider is a great way to get the specific numbers for your situation.
Different finance options have different requirements. Some finance arrangements may allow you to ride without proof of insurance. However you should be aware that if your motorcycle is a total loss due to a comprehensive or collision loss you will still be responsible for the balance of your loan.
The answer depends on several factors. For example, buying a used bike that’s say, five years old, would save you less than buying a bike that’s 10 years old. Also, the type of bike you’re interested in makes a difference: at Progressive, a five-year old sportbike can be more than 50% cheaper to insure than a new sportbike of the same model, whereas a five-year old cruiser will be more like 30-40% lower than the same model, brand new.
If Somebody Hits Me and It's Completely Their Fault (say I'm Stopped at a Light), Do My Rates Increase? What If It Happens More Than Once?
If you’re in an accident that’s determined to completely be the other driver’s fault, your motorcycle insurance rates with Progressive would not increase, even if there were multiple occurrences. Our practice is to only charge for accidents in which you’re found to be at-fault. Other companies may treat not-at-fault accidents differently in their pricing, so if you’re insured with another company, it’s a good idea to check with your agent or your insurance carrier regarding their treatment of incidents like this.
Temporary insurance can be purchased. If you are visiting the US and wish to have insurance for a short time you can purchase coverage for 30, 60 or 90 days. The coverage options are much the same as any other policy. It is best to plan ahead as it may take a bit longer to get these types of policies in place, and if you are touring you will want to have the proof of insurance with you. Typically they can be paid for with a credit card.
I'm Under 25 but I Don't Want to Ride a 250cc Motorcycle. Is There Anything I Can Do to Keep My Premiums Reasonable on a 600-750cc Motorcycle?
Keeping a clean driving record is probably the best way to keep your motorcycle insurance rates reasonable. In addition, you should make sure that you are carrying an appropriate amount of coverage for your financial position. Consulting a local independent agent is a great way to determine the appropriate amount of liability coverage for your individual situation. Also, buying a used bike can save you money on your insurance since premiums tend to be lower for older bikes. Finally, since most insurance companies review your credit report when determining premiums, continuing to pay bills on time and keeping your credit card balances low can help control your insurance costs.
Each state has different laws and rules regarding insurance. There can be many correct answers to this question based on where you live. Verify that your passenger has medical insurance of their own, and that it does not exclude a motorcycle related injury. Contact your insurance agent or the company that insures your bike directly and ask questions.
As Someone Who is Still Fairly New to Motorcycling, How Much Would I Save by Buying a CBR600RR Rather Than a CBR1000RR?
It would be generally expected that the smaller cc’d motorcycle would be cheaper to insure. This, however, depends greatly on the rider and the area in which you live, as well as the performance of the cycle. It is always best to obtain a quote for each cycle, and compare from there. Prices for insurance may vary by brand of cycle as well. When you are getting insurance quotes ask the insurance agent to quote several bikes. This will give you a feel for the cost of different styles and sizes of bikes.
At Progressive, our motorcycle insurance premiums are based upon three years of claims history. Many other companies also use a three-year period but some companies may look back further, up to five or even seven years. However, not all claims will affect insurance premium. For example, a claim which is filed due to an accident which is someone else’s fault will not result in an increase in premium at Progressive, nor will a claim filed for theft or acts of nature. Also, Progressive Motorcycle customers who file a claim with a payout of less than $500 will not be surcharged, thanks to Progressive’s Small Accident Forgiveness.
How Much Can I Expect My Insurance Premiums to Change If I Make a Claim - Say for $1,500 Worth of Damage?
Each insurance company will handle this differently. You should check with your motorcycle insurance provider to see if they offer small accident forgiveness and what the maximum claim amount is for this to apply. Some insurance companies will offer this option based on how long you have been a client. The longer you keep your policy the more benefits you can earn. For instance, Progressive Insurance offers a loyalty rewards program. If you leave an insurance company to go to another be sure to check what type of rewards you may lose. If the premium savings is small then it may not be worth it when it comes time to file a claim.
As for the short term insurance policies, I would suggest that most policies are written on a six month or annual basis. You could chose to cancel mid-term, and some insurance carriers may offer a lay-up period during the winter months. However, keep in mind should you get that beautiful day during the lay-up dates, you’ll need to contact your motorcycle insurance agent to see about rewriting or having coverage fully reinstated before you ride.
Insurance companies will have different rules. On a state by state basis the guidelines for an endorsement can vary. You may be able to purchase the motorcycle but not insure it without the endorsement. Some insurance companies may allow you to insure the motorcycle without an endorsement but be aware that if you get pulled over without the proper motorcycle license you will be subject to penalty. In some cases you could have your motorcycle impounded, and face stiff fines. It is best to verify with your local Driver’s License Bureau first. A simple phone call or a few moments of online research could save you a great deal of inconvenience – and money.
If you are a young rider there are several things you can do. One is to purchase a motorcycle that is not high risk. Sportbikes will be rated higher than cruisers. Also completing a motorcycle safety course may help to reduce your insurance cost. Get insurance quotes before you buy. Once you have a quote on one cycle you should be able to easily get other cycles priced. Insurance prices can vary greatly between models and getting prices before you buy will prevent buying something you cannot afford to insure.
Completing a motorcycle safety course will help to lower insurance rates with most insurance carriers. The percentage will vary from company to company. Completing the course is important, and many motorcycle associations offer some sort of reward for completing a course. In some cases it is a patch or pin and in others it may be a monetary reward. The course must be state approved/recognized and offer a certificate of completion. Your insurance carrier will want proof that you have completed the course to offer any available discount to you.
If you are at fault for an accident and the medical bills from the injuries or property damage that you cause exceed your limits of liability, you are responsible for the remaining damage, which might put your personal assets at risk. Obviously you will need to carry enough insurance to prevent unnecessary risk to all you have worked for.
Most carriers will not cover your bike while it is being used in any sanctioned event (ie: Track Days, organized racing, speed contests, or stunts). If you take your motorcycle to the track your coverage may not pay out in the event of an accident. If you are going to take your motorcycle to a Track Day be sure to contact your insurer and verify the limitations of your insurance policy.
The insurance will always be rated on the motorcycle and the driver. Once again your driving record will be considered in addition to the cycle type. Electric motorcycles are typically just as reasonable to insure as a gas motorcycle. Some manufacturers may be more readily accepted than others by insurers.
When purchasing what may well be your first street bike there are a number of considerations. Completing a Motorcycle Safety Course and obtaining a Motorcycle endorsement will gain discounts from many insurers, and give you basic skills that will carry you safely down the highways. The type of cycle you select will have the greatest effect on the price of your insurance. For instance a Sportbike may cost thousands of dollars a year to insure and a reasonable size Cruiser-style bike may only be hundreds. Keeping your cycle in an enclosed locked structure will earn a discount from some insurance companies.
Wrong! Its just the start if you have yet to check out your Insurance options. Know this: motorcyclists cannot operate their bikes on public roads or highways without insurance. There are penalties for riding un-insured, not the least of which is getting ticketed for not having liability insurance. In certain states, such as California, you cant even purchase a new bike without your insurance lined up.