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Motorcycle Insurance Guide

    Rating Factors

    • Like with standard auto insurance, motorcycle insurers will collect certain data about you and the bike before assigning you a premium rate. Though each insurer is able to set its own rating criteria, according to state law, most of the rating factors are fairly standard. Provide the agent with your legal name, driver's license number and Social Security number, because the insurer will check your past driving history. Your address helps the insurer rate the likelihood of an accident in your area. The type of motorcycle you buy, and the purpose and frequency you use it, also impacts your premium rates.

    Liability Coverage

    • Basic motorcycle insurance includes liability coverage, which pays for injuries and damages you cause to another person. This coverage is mandatory nearly everywhere. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage pays for your own injuries when the responsible party does not have adequate coverage to pay directly. This is an important coverage for motorcyclists, because it is easier to get injured on a bike than in a car. Medical coverage pays for your injuries, and those of your passenger, regardless of fault. Medical coverage also pays immediately, rather than waiting for medical bills to compile before settling the claim.

    Physical Damage Coverage

    • Chances are you want to protect your investment in the motorcycle. To do this, buy comprehensive and collision coverage, collectively called physical damage coverage. They pay to repair your bike after a loss, or pay its actual cash value if it is stolen or destroyed. Some insurers may require you to take safety measures, such as garaging the motorcycle or fitting it with an alarm or other theft deterrent, before insuring it for physical damage. There is a strong correlation between the cost of your motorcycle and the cost of physical damage coverage.

    Optional Coverage

    • Two common types of optional coverage on motorcycle insurance policies are custom parts and equipment coverage, and roadside assistance. Roadside assistance is similar to that for automobiles; it pays to assist your bike when it is disabled, for such things as changing flat tires, providing additional fuel, jump-starting a dead battery or towing it to a repair facility. Custom parts and equipment supplements collision coverage. Collision may only protect stock factory parts, but the optional endorsement protects any modifications or aftermarket parts you may add after your purchase the bike.


    • Contact your existing insurer to see if it insures motorcycles. Many insurers provide policy discounts for bundling policies together. Additionally, you may be able to take a motorcycle training or safety course for additional insurance discounts. Ask your agent if your insurer provides any training, or what third-party training it does accept for discount purposes. Your local DMV office may hold periodic motorcycle safety classes you can attend.

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