Motorcyle Insurance

The Guide to Motorcycle Insurance You Need

Enjoy the ride with Beacon Point's Motorcycle Insurance Program

You can be a seasoned road warrior with miles under your belt, or a novice biker looking for a new way to get around. Either way, you need insurance.

When it comes to driving a motorcycle, there’s nothing quite like it. The wind in your face and the rattle under your legs make any ride feel more exciting. Safety is still of the utmost importance. Like with any car, you need to have motorcycle insurance to protect yourself, riders, and the bike itself.

When you got car insurance, you likely shopped around first to find your best option. You should do the same when it comes to protection on your motorcycle.

Navigating the world of motor vehicle insurance can be confusing. We’re here to simplify your process with our guide to buying motorcycle insurance. Keep reading below to learn everything you need to know about protecting yourself and others on your motorcycle.

What We’ll Cover:

  • What Motorcycle Insurance Is and Why You Need It
  • Your Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles
  • Your Coverage Options for Motorcycles
  • Your Insurance Lay-Up Periods for Motorcycles
  • Your Motorcycles Than Can Get Coverage
  • Your Insurance Discounts for Motorcycles
  • Your Insurance for Stolen or Destroyed Motorcycles
  • Your Motorbike Insurance Providers
  • Understanding How Motorcycle Insurance Costs are Calculated
  • The Factors That Influence Your Premium
  • What to Consider Before Purchasing

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What Motorcycle Insurance Is and Why You Need It

Motorcycle insurance is a contract signed between you and your insurance company that outlines:

  • The terms of your payment to them
  • The terms of their coverage if your bike gets stolen or hit in an accident
  • The exchange of these two things.

Your policy will help you get transportation temporarily. It will also help pay for repairs, liability claims, and so much more.

Each state has its own laws concerning the requirements for motorcycle insurance. You should speak to an agent before signing up for anything so you can be sure you’ve asked about every discount. That will ensure you get the best rate possible.

Bad things happen more often than we’d like to admit. Insurance will keep you protected if or when something bad happens to you. You’ll be glad you have it.

Your Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles

Most states will require motorcycle drivers to buy liability insurance coverage. This kind of coverage is almost always a mandatory law. It will take care of paying for someone else’s injuries or damages to their vehicle if you should get in an accident. You’ll find that the lowest amount of liability insurance you’re able to purchase will be the same amount as your state’s individual car insurance minimum.

On top of that, Florida also requires all of its motorcyclists to carry an additional $10,000 of medical coverage. That can come from your health insurance, but that’s a different story.

You should consider buying more liability coverage than the minimum amount your state requires. It will protect your assets in case you ever get sued because of an accident. The minimum liability amount might not cover your legal costs if you get sued. That could lead to creditors going after your own assets.

You should also check with your provider whether bodily injury liability coverage will cover your passengers. In some places, you might have to add that on separately.

You may also learn that your state requires you to have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage for your motorcycle insurance. In the case that someone who is uninsured or doesn’t have enough coverage hits you, you’ll be able to cover injuries.

Some of these policies will include coverage for damage to your property as well. It’s smart to double-check the details and check with your insurance agent.

Your Coverage Options for Motorcycles

The options you have for motorcycle insurance will be similar to the ones you’d find when searching for traditional auto insurance. On top of liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured driver coverage, you’ll also find these coverage options:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • MedPay
  • PIP

Collision

This coverage will pay out if there is damage to your motorcycle. You’ll be responsible for paying your deductible. Anything on top of that should be covered. You can select your deductible amount when you set up your policy.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage pays out if your motor bike is stolen or damaged by something that’s not a vehicle collision. This often includes things like animal collisions. Like most coverage options, a deductible will apply in this case.

Medical Payments

MedPay is not available in all states. When it is, MedPay will cover the medical bills if you or your passengers get injured in a motorcycle accident. This is different than Personal Injury Protection. Unlike PIP, it won’t cover any lost wages or additional costs incurred. This can be a good idea to have on hand in case you don’t have health insurance. It can also be helpful if you only have a small amount of health insurance.

Personal Injury Protection

PIP will generally pay for the medical bills incurred by you, your passengers, or pedestrians. It doesn’t matter who was at fault; these rules will vary by state. It’s a good idea to look at this portion closely. You may even find that your state does not allow PIP coverage on motorcyclists because the rate of accidents is so high.

It’s not unlikely that you’ll see even more add-ons available through your insurance provider. Some of these specialty kinds of coverage include:

  • Trip interruption
  • Parts, equipment, accessories
  • Transport trailer
  • Roadside assistance

Trip Interruption

This will pay for your lodging, food, and transportation if you’re unable to ride your bike due to a collision that’s far from home. The distance of what’s considered “far” is determined in your policy. It’s typical to see it defined as 100 miles or more.

Parts, Equipment, Accessories

Most states will allow bike insurers to include some coverage over custom parts and accessories with traditional comprehensive and collision insurance. Sometimes bikers will splurge on special parts and need additional coverage. You can get up to $30,000 of coverage on accessories coverage.

Transport Trailer

You may be able to get coverage on your trailer up to $7,500.

Roadside Assistance

This can be a helpful add-on to have in case you ever break down or need help while on the road. The coverage can include labor at the breakdown site and even towing if needed.

Your Insurance Lay-Up Periods for Motorcycles

Many people will put their motorbike up in storage during the winter. This is because the weather isn’t as friendly to bikers.

During this “lay-up period,” you don’t need the same kind of coverage. You’ll still want protection from theft, fire and other events that can damage it while in storage.

Lay-up coverage was made exactly for this. Keep in mind that if you choose to take the bike out during this period, you’re not covered if there’s an accident.  Most people don't opt for this coverage because you don't really save that much and it is more of a hassle to remember to call in and activate the liability coverage.

Your Motorcycles That Can Get Coverage

You might think that you can use the term motorcycle to get your specialty vehicle covered. However, there are specifications that determine what can and cannot be considered a motorcycle for the sake of insurance coverage.

You won’t be able to cover:

  • Specialty show bikes
  • Homemade bikes
  • Bikes that are too extensively customized
  • Bikes used for commercial purposes

You can, however, get coverage on these kinds of vehicles:

  • Cruiser - These mimic the earlier style from the 1930s through the early 60s made by Indian and Harley Davidson. Manufacturers have improved the metallurgy and technology of these bikes over time. The basic structure is very much the same.
  • Chopper - This motorcycle is derived from removing parts from a traditional cruiser in order to make it lighter and faster.
  • Standard - This is a more basic kind of bike as the name implies. The riding position is similar to that of a cruiser, as it's upright, but with footpegs further back. This position, along with higher ground clearance, makes it easier to handle.
  • Off-Road - These are lightweight motorcycles with smaller engines, longer suspension travel, simply bodywork, and higher ground clearance than a typical model.
  • Touring - These are the longest and heaviest kind that can weigh upwards of 800 pounds. They offer wind protection, large fuel tanks, and the option to carry luggage.
  • Sport - Meant to be light and powerful, sport bikes have a great power-to-weight ratio that is made to be fast and fun.

Your Insurance Motorbike Discounts for Motorcycles

Looking for discounts on your insurance of bike can be a great way to stay protected while saving money. While they will vary by the insurance provider, most will have some sort of special discount offer. Some of the most common discounts come if you:

  • Bundle your policies (getting another policy like homeowner’s insurance or car insurance)
  • Keep a clean record of driving
  • Get coverage for more than one motorcycle
  • Complete a motorcycle rider safety training course
  • Join motorcycle riders association
  • Take advantage of any mature riders discount

Your insurance provider may have additional discounts available. It never hurts to ask! We can help you determine whether you are suitable for discounts. Contact us today to learn more.

Insurance For Stolen or Destroyed Bikes

It’s crucial to understand how your insurance policy will work if your bike gets stolen or destroyed. Typically, there are three kinds of settlements if something like this happens:

  • The actual cash value: This means your policy will pay out the cash value of what your motorcycle is worth. This value comes after the depreciation and deductible are accounted for.
  • The stated amount: This means your policy will pay out at most of the amount you selected when you purchased the policy, but not always.
  • The agreed value: This means your policy will pay out the amount that both you and your insurer agreed upon when you purchased the policy. This amount will remain. Make sure to ask for agreed value settlement option if possible for classic bike owners.  It might cost you a few bucks more but will make a world of difference if your bike gets totaled.

Insurance on Motorbike Providers

You’ll find that many of the largest auto insurance providers will also provide motorcycle insurance. Sometimes it comes in the form of an endorsement or as an addition to your auto policy. We dove into the top auto insurance companies to find motorcycle policies you can choose from. Of course, details and coverage will vary from state to state.

AAA Insurance - They offer a disappearing bundle option that will allow your deductible to decrease every year that you don’t file an insurance claim. There’s also a number of discounts available to motorcycle customers. This includes discounts for paying in full and for customer loyalty.

Allstate Insurance - Allstate will keep your insurance cost the same even after your first accident. The only caveat is that your policy must be at least 4 years old. There are additional conditions that may apply, so ask your agent. They have a “new motorcycle replacement” option. This will reimburse the cost of a new bike if yours (less than 2 years old) is totaled from an accident.

American Family Insurance - Their basic motorcycle policy will cover custom accessories up to $3,000. Higher limits are available. They also offer up to $1,000 of coverage on any safety gear like boots or helmets.

Amica Insurance - Amica offers discounts to customers that insure more than one motorcycle. They also lower rates for those who bundle their policies with Amica. You can even get a discount if you are willing to take a driving safety course.

Auto Owners - Auto-Owners insurance offers additional coverage on mopeds and scooters. They can also give you a price break if you put your bike into storage for the winter.

Country Financial - Country Financial will give you a price break for putting your bike away in winter. They can also offer up to 25% discount on your motorcycle policy when you bundle it with another.

Erie Insurance - Erie Insurance offers comprehensive and collision coverage up to $3,000 in damage to your safety gear. They also offer an increase in coverage if you’re willing to pay more. You’ll get roadside assistance for any breakdowns and towing too.

Encompass Insurance - Encompass Insurance offers One Policy which means One Deductible.  Package your motorcycle with your auto and home and if a single incident damages multiple covered exposures, you pay just one deductible

Farmers Insurance - Farmers' collision insurance will cover up to $1500 in safety gear. Their comprehensive policy will cover up to $3,500 of bike equipment. They even include coverage on things like transport trailers and trip interruption.

Foremost Insurance - Foremost offers some of the broadest coverages on the market which can include accident forgiveness, diminishing deductible, deductible waiver, enhanced rental, permissive use rental, total loss settlement, $3500 optional equipment, track day coverage.

  • As well as options for Vintage motorcycles over 25 years old that have been restored to original condition
  • Custom coverage for those with a limited production, one-of-a-kind motorcycles or bikes with more than $30,000 in optional equipment.

Geico Insurance - Geico offers comprehensive and collision insurance that covers CB radios, saddlebags, and chrome pieces. They have a number of discounts like mature driving discounts and renewed policy discounts.

Liberty Mutual Insurance - Liberty Mutual’s Better Bike Replacement coverage will pay for a bike that’s a year newer with 2,500 fewer miles on it. They offer to have new motorcycle replacement coverage. They will cover a new bike with no depreciation taken into account when it’s destroyed or stolen within your first year with it.

National General - They will waive your deductible up to $250 when a claim gets handled in a way you’re dissatisfied with. They also provide both collision and comprehensive policies that cover up to $2,000 in accessory damage.

Nationwide Insurance - Nationwide is on your side with up to $30,000 in coverage for vintage bikes and $50,000 for custom bikes. Every year you’re with Nationwide, they’ll even decrease your deductible by $100.

  • OEM Endorsement by request helps ensure your bike is repaired with original equipment from the bikes manufacturer when available.

Progressive Insurance - Their standard coverage will pay to fix your motorcycle with brand new parts if it's damaged. The best part? They won’t deduct anything for depreciation. They won’t count claims less than $500 against your record. They also won’t count your first accident against you if it’s been at least four years since your last one.  Disappearing deductible is also an available option as well as:

  • Automatic $3000 included with comprehensive and collision to pay for upgrades, customizations, equipment, and accessories. Up to $30,000 available by request.
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts will always be used to replace original damaged parts.

Safeco Insurance - Safeco will cover a broad range of motorcycles whether you are into cruisers, choppers, sport cycles, touring bikes, scooters, or dirtbikes Safeco has the ability to protect it.

  • New Harley-Davidson Replacement Cost coverage is included out of the gate for the first two years for brand new Harley motorcycles.
  • Gear Replacement at NO EXTRA COST OR DEDUCTIBLE! $1000 per person per incident to replace your helmet, jacket, boots, gloves, and other safety apparel lost or damaged in a collision.
  • OEM Parts coverage is automatically included in Safeco's basic motorcycle coverage.
  • Custom parts and equipment is automatically covered upto $3,000 per bike, but you have the option to increase it to $20,000 per bike upon request.

State Farm Insurance - State Farm will cover a range of motorcycles, like classic and custom-built ones, factory-built models, mini bikes, trail bikes, and even motor scooters. Their roadside assistance, trip interruption, and protective gear coverage can come in handy, too.

USAA - USAA offers insurance on motorcycles through Foremost Insurance Group. They offer active members a 5% discount. Additional discounts are available for a clean driving record, passing a safety course, or insuring more than one bike.

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Understanding How Motorcycle Insurance Costs are Calculated

As you’re shopping around and seeing a variation of insurance costs, you’re probably wondering how each provider calculates their costs. Once you apply for coverage, your application will be evaluated for your particular level of risk. Factors like gender, age, and location each have costs associated with them from historical trends and data.

After that, they’ll add up all the risk factors that apply to you individually. Next, they'll consider their profit margin. Finally, they’ll have an idea of what your premium will be. Since there is competition with other insurance agencies, they might even lower it to stay in the game. Then, they’ll consider any discounts they can offer you.

The Factors That Influence Your Premium

Above, we mentioned that there are several risk factors that can determine what your premium rate will be. These are the factors you should consider before applying for motorcycle coverage:

  • Your expected mileage per year
  • Your address and the location you plan to store it
  • Your bike’s model, make, and year
  • The main use you have for the motorcycle. Is it used to commute to work? Do you take long group rides? Do you display it mainly for bragging rights? DO you perform dangerous stunts regularly?
  • Your age
  • Your driving record
  • The ages and driving records of anyone else that might potentially drive it
  • The kind of coverage that you need. Do you need coverage for towing? Roadside assistance? Safety gear?
  • Your credit history - and the credit history of anyone who will drive it

It’s important to remember that these factors do not all hold the same weight. Some are more important than others. Together, they help the insurance agency understand what your risk is.

What to Consider Before Purchasing

Before you pull the trigger and purchase a policy, there are three things you should always consider.

Consideration 1: An Airtight Quote

What you want is a quote that is airtight and won’t change. There have been far too many instances when a rider has accepted a quote only to later have something change.

For example, they may find out that their bike qualifies as a sport vehicle or was rebuilt and therefore expensive to insure.

Do your homework on your bike and any caveats with the agency that might adjust your rate. Make sure your chosen provider is able to explain in great detail the implications of your insurance coverage.

Consideration 2: Honest Answers

Did you answer all the questions on the insurance application honestly? It’s crucial to tell the full truth on these documents. You’ll simply waste time and energy if you’re being too vague or evasive. Be upfront about things like:

  • The number of traffic tickets you’ve incurred
  • The number of previous policies you’ve canceled
  • The number of accidents you have been in
  • Any additional drivers you might have on your vehicle

If you’re not totally sure of these details, get a copy of your driving record to be sure. Being honest will result in better coverage for your scenario.

Consideration 3: Ask the Questions

An educated consumer will always ask questions. There is no such thing as a perfect insurance policy. You should still try to find one that covers your top priorities. There might be a discount or a recommendation that you won’t know about unless you ask. A responsible insurance broker will be able to answer all of your questions and guide you through the process of making your decision.

Conclusion

Motorcycle insurance is a no-brainer. If you want to be protected in the case that anything bad should happen while you’re riding, you need insurance for bikes. There are many different kinds of coverage, but you should at least have comprehensive and collision coverage.

Requirements will vary by state and by the insurance provider, so be sure to ask questions before you buy. It’s smart to compare options before you pull the trigger. That way, you’ll get the very best policy for what you care about.

If you need help finding the best provider for you, request a proposal today. We'll help you get set up with insurance for motorcycles that benefit you..

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