How to choose the Best Motorcycle Insurance
Competition in the motorcycle insurance industry can work to a rider’s advantage when searching for the best motorcycle insurance quotes. Even the most experienced motorcyclists need adequate insurance coverage for financial losses in the event of an accident, as well as if the bike is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by fire or weather-related incidents.
Motorcycles provide little protection in a crash, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Foundation reporting that approximately 80 percent of reported motorcycle crashes result in death or injury, versus approximately 20 percent for cars.
A common mistake buyers make is to choose insurance based solely on the cost of the premiums without fully understanding the coverage options or researching the quality of the insurer. In the event of an accident, motorcyclists do not want to be in the position of realizing that their low cost policy has inadequate coverage or their insurer has poor customer service and is not responding timely to a claim. The best motorcycle insurance should provide good protection at a competitive price.
While finding the best policy might seem confusing to a new insurance buyer, with a few tips and a little guidance it is easier to understand how much insurance is ideal and factors to consider other than price. No two insurers and policies are exactly the same, and there are several criteria to look for other than the cost of the premium.
The First Step – How Much Insurance is Needed?
The best motorcycle insurance will provide enough monetary protection for any injuries or damages, including any potential lawsuits filed against the rider. Most states require motorcyclists to meet minimum liability coverage amounts which include minimum amounts for bodily injury and property damage caused to other individuals involved in an accident. It is important to understand that this does not include coverage for the rider or his or her motorcycle.
Required liability coverage for motorcycles differs from those required for cars, so it is important for riders to review their state’s requirements carefully.
In general, legal minimums are not sufficient to cover damages or injuries resulting from an accident, so many insurance professionals recommend that riders consider carrying additional coverage over those amounts. Additional coverage options include comprehensive, collision, uninsured/underinsured motorist, medical payments, and guest passenger liability insurance. Depending on the insurer, additional options may be available including coverage such as roadside assistance or for custom or classic parts and equipment.
Individuals should review their budget and decide on the amount of desired protection to determine the appropriate coverage level. For instance, owners of older motorcycles may decide it is unnecessary to purchase collision or comprehensive coverage, while owners of new bikes may choose to include them in the policy. No state requires collision or comprehensive, although if the motorcycle is being financed, the bank may require that this coverage is included until the loan is paid off. While each situation is different, all riders should avoid over-insuring which will only result in incurring unnecessary costs. As with automobile insurance, riders can find the best insurance coverage by shopping around and obtaining quotes from several insurers. In addition to quotes, it is also important to compare options regarding deductibles and limits, and inquire about any policy restrictions or additional fees that may apply.
To help you in choosing the best motorcycle insurance, we’ve put together a list of coverage requirements by state. Choose your state in the menu on the right side of this page to find out the minimum motorcycle insurance coverage requirements in your state.
The Next Step: Tips for Shopping Around
Once coverage levels are determined, it is time to shop around! To find the best insurance it is important to keep the following tips in mind:
A little time and research among several insurers can help find the best motorcycle insurance policy for a rider
- Insurers do not have one set price for everyone. Take the time to learn how insurers rate riders and understand various factors such as age and gender, location, type of bike, riding experience, driving record, credit history, and occupation, among others. Understanding these factors can help get a terrific policy while trying to save money at the same time.
- The best insurance may not be with the same home or automobile insurance carrier, although it is always a good idea to start with any current insurers to see if they offer multi-policy discounts. Some may offer packages to existing customers, but it is also important to ensure that it is the appropriate coverage. Don’t be shy in discussing research among companies so each insurer is aware that the best deal is being sought.
- Research the financial strength and customer service ratings of each insurer done by ratings companies such as Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best, and J.D. Power and Associates. Insurance buyers should look for stable companies that treat their customers well. In the event of a claim, low premiums become less important. Riders generally want insurers that are accessible when needed, and are prompt with service requests and payments.
- Be sure to inquire about insurance discounts such as those for members of certain associations such as the American Motorcycle Association, as well as discounts for anti-theft systems or to riders who complete an approved safety driving course. Some of these may equate to substantial savings on a policy.
- Finally, do not skimp on research and call several insurance companies as well as check for information on the Web and talk to family and friends. There is no reason to settle for an unsatisfactory policy or one that is too expensive. Even within the same state, offerings and rate quotes can vary widely among companies. After taking the time to buy the perfect motorcycle, it is well worth the time to search for the best insurance!