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Motorcycle Insurance: Choosing the right policy for you

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Choosing the right motorcycle insurance policy is very similar to choosing the right motorcycle. You are going to consider if it fits your personal needs and lifestyle, but at the same time you dont want it to cost the earth! Although most states in the US and countries around the world require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, other types of coverage are usually add-ons which dont always suit everyone . Always ask your motorcycle insurance agent or company representative which laws apply in your particluar case.

In order to find out what coverage is best for you, it is important to understand all the options available.

Liability coverage

Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident. It doesn't cover you or your motorcycle. Find out if your coverage includes Guest Passenger Liability, which provides protection in the event that a passenger is injured on the motorcycle. Whether or not this is included depends on the laws of your state and the company issuing the insurance policy.

Collision coverage

Collision insurance covers damage to your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident. Your insurance company pays for damages, minus your deductible, caused when you collide with another vehicle or object. Collision insurance usually covers the book value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. However, just like collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for damages, minus your deductible, and will cover only the book value of the motorcycle.

Keep in mind most comprehensive and collision coverages will only cover the factory standard parts on your motorcycle. If you decide to add on any optional accessories such as chrome parts, a custom paint job, trailers or sidecars, you should look into obtaining additional or optional equipment coverage.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage. This is a type of cover available in the US which covers damages to you and your property caused by another driver, who either doesn't have insurance (thats unisured) or doesn't have adequate insurance (thats the underinsured part) to cover your damages.

This coverage typically pays for medical treatment, lost wages and other damages. If your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage includes property damage, then your motorcycle would also be covered under the same circumstances. Check with your insurance professional to see if property damage is included or needs to be purchased separately.

Tips for the cost-conscious rider

  • Many factors can play a role in determining what your insurance costs will be such as your age, your driving record, where you live and the type of motorcycle you own, or being a graduate of a rider-training course.
  • Many companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course. Riders under the age of 25, who for obvious reasons are usually considered a higher risk, might see some savings by taking this training. It’s also a good idea for motorcyclists who have already had accidents and are looking to reduce the cost of their motorcycle insurance
  • Keeping a spotless riding record with no violations will also help reduce your insurance premiums.
  • In many northern states of the US, or in some Northern European countries, motorcycle riders may save money by buying a "lay-up" policy. With a lay-up policy, all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months. Of course, riding in the months when you have no coverage is a big no no!
  • Find out what discounts your motorcycle insurance representative offers. Some examples would be multibike discounts for those insuring more than one bike or organization discounts.Others would be if you’re a member of a motorcycle association, and mature rider discounts for experienced riders, are just a few possibilities. Discounts can range anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent, depending on the company and your state or country. Availability and qualifications for discounts vary from company to company and location to location.
  • Please bear in mind that the type, style (such as a sports bike vs. a cruiser) and age of the motorcycle, as well as the number of miles you drive a year and where you store your bike may also affect how much you pay for your premium. You are never going to insure your Hayabusa for the same price as your daughters Vespa, so get over it!

    Choose the agent or company that's right for you. If you already have auto insurance, you can contact the same insurer. for your motorcycle insurance .In my experience going to specialised motorcycle insurance companies is often the best way forward. Otherwise, ask friends, relatives and co-workers where they bought their auto or motorcycle insurance. Your local motorcycle shop may have a company they refer customers to. Or you can check local motorcycle magazines and newspapers for insurance professionals advertising motorcycle insurance.

    So there you have it, my take on getting the best motorcycle insurance for you.

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