What Kind of Insurance Coverage Should I Consider for My Motorcycle?

So you  either talked your wife into letting you buy a motorcycle, you don’t have a wife to talk into it, or you are expecting a big fight when you get home. No matter what, you need to figure out how to insure your new motorcycle, and not break the bank when you are doing it. As a new owner, you need to understand some differences between your new motorcyle insurance and your auto insurance.

1. A motorcycle is not a car. This may seem pretty self explanatory, but you would be surprised how many people use their auto premium to figure out if they are getting a “good deal” on their motorcyle insurance. The two are unrelated! Well, I suppose that  you are a driver on both policies, but the liablitites and risks are different for both types of vehicles.  Your car can do more damage, but your bike might be worth more, and is for sure easier to toss in the back of a pickup truck.


Some people don't even need pickups.

2. Fast bikes are more expensive to insure than cruisers. However, both can be very expensive to insure if not done correctly. Every company has a different set of customers that they are interested in – some companies want young guys on fast bikes; some companies want older guys on cruiser type bikes – but they don’t want any cruisers that have lots of accessories on them. Likewise, some companies are not at all interested in people that have no prior insurance on a bike – while others don’t care. IF you choose a good agent, he will know the appetites of each company.


It's even harder to find a company that wants monkey motorcyclists.

3. Most policies come with coverage for accessories – and riding gear. Be sure to ask what sort of coverage you are buying, and what limits are available to you. Most companies cover around $3000 in accessories standard, but if you have more than that, it pays to ask. Also, that coverage often goes to cover any motorcycle specific gear as well. If you have $3000 in custom parts and equipment and another $1200 in leathers and a helmet, you need to talk to your agent about what is available to protect your investment.

While there is no accounting for taste, this can certainly be covered.

4. Ask what “extra” coverages are available. Different companies have different options; some offer trip interrruption, so if your Hog breaks down in the Dakotas, the company will put you up overnight until your part can be found. Likewise, “Roadside assistance” is often available as well – so if you lock yourself off your bike, you can call someone and explain just how you managed to do that. There are also endorsements that will get you a brand new motorcycle of the same make and model if you wreck yours, and other endorsements that will even get you a rental bike if yours breaks down.

But will they wash it if I get it dirty?

As you see, motorcycle coverage can be complicated. It’s different than auto insurance, so you would be well served to seek out an agent who is well versed in how to write a proper motorcycle policy. Maybe then your wife will believe that you have actually thought this out, rather than assuming that you made a crazy impulse purchase.

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