When it comes to protecting your special bike, you will need custom motorcycle insurance to ensure that your investment is properly covered. However, you’ll have to know if your bike is considered customized, where to locate such insurance and how much will be needed that will protect your motorcycle.
What is a Custom Build Motorcycle?
Basically, a custom built bike is one that has a stylistic or structural change that goes beyond the standard in which the motorcycle was produced. Many custom bikes have been created under unique circumstances and in limited quantities that represent an off-shoot of another, standard design. The first custom bikes started appearing in the 1950s and have grown into a significant industry since that time. Today, not only are people creating custom bikes using different parts, but many manufacturers actually have lines of customized motorcycles.
Custom bikes are preferred for a variety of reasons starting with the physical characteristics of the rider being unusual and requiring modifications to the bike to simply creating a unique, individual impression out of the cycle. Modifications are often made through the purchase or creation of custom parts which are then added to a standard bike frame. From adding a new seat to changing the entire frame of the bike, there are many different modifications to be made. The most common are new handlebars, wheels, extensions and the like. There are several types of custom bikes that are sold by major manufacturers such as Harley Davidson, American Ironhorse and others, although technically anyone can create a custom motorcycle. Naturally, this will require custom bike insurance to cover.
Finding Custom Motorcycle Insurance:
To find custom built motorcycle insurance may seem difficult at first because the belief is that you have a bike which falls outside of standard motorcycle insurance coverage. However, most insurance companies do offer custom made motorcycle insurance and for rates that are not all that different from standard bikes. This is as long as your custom bike fits the description of a proper motorcycle; it can be covered under standard motorcycle insurance conditions.
The first step is to find the insurance providers who have the custom bike insurance that you need. While there are custom motorcycle insurance companies that specialize in this endeavor, you’ll want to check out the major carriers as well to ensure that you get the best rates for your bike. You can use standard search engines to find the type of insurance that you need if your custom bike falls within the general category of motorcycles.
The next step is getting the quotes from the different companies so that you can compare rates and find the one that works best for your needs. Be sure that you include any particular information about your custom bike which includes the overall value and special features that you would like covered. It is possible to cover your bike as a regular motorcycle if the customization is relatively small. However, you’ll want to discuss with the insurance agency all the particulars about your bike so that you know it will have the proper coverage.
Once you have looked over all the quotes, then you should determine which one offers the best rates while still being one of the most reliable companies on the market today. You do not want to buy insurance from some fly-by-night company and have it disappear after filing a claim.
Let’s find out the definition of actual cash value and agreed value for motorcycle insurance, that you must know before calculating and underwriting a policy.
What is Actual Cash Value?
Basically, actual cash value is a method of evaluating the actual value of the custom motorcycle which is not the replacement cost of the bike. In other words, just as cars and trucks depreciate over time, so too do custom motorcycles so its actual cash value physical damage coverage may have declined over the years in spite of the customization.
What is Agreed Value?
If the actual cash value is problematic in terms of properly replacing your custom bike, then the agreed cash value may be of assistance. Basically, this is what you and the insurance company agree is the actual value of your bike so that it is properly covered. If your motorcycle should be damaged in an accident, then the insurance company will pay the agreed value without hesitation. So, the language should be air tight in order to ensure that the company does pay the agreed value physical damage without a way to wiggle out of it.
What Kind of Coverage Do You Need?
The type of coverage needed for your modified motorcycle insurance will depend in large part on the value of your bike combined with the different accessories that you want covered as well. For example, you may want to have custom parts and equipment (CPE)/accessory coverage that will ensure if you have a valuable modification it will be covered in case of an accident.
In addition, you may want chopper motorcycle insurance if you have extended out the front wheel of your bike and want to take advantage of this particular type of coverage. Choppers are very popular custom modifications and many insurance companies will have this particular type of insurance as long as your bike falls within the local and state regulations of what constitutes a chopper.
You’ll also want to take into account any individual factors, whether you need theft coverage and the like in order to have the most complete amount of insurance to cover your bike.
Types of Customized Motorcycle Insurance:
There are many different types of custom motorcycle insurance which include, but are not limited to the following;
- Comprehensive: As implied by the name, this is full coverage for your motorcycle.
- Collision: If you are involved in a collision, this will pay for the damage.
- Liability: A state minimum requirement, this pays the other driver if their vehicle is damaged. Check out if your state requires an insurance for your motorcycle.
- Uninsured: If the other driver is uninsured, then you can still receive compensation.
- Theft: If your custom bike is stolen, you can be compensated through this insurance.
- Custom Parts & Equipment: Usually covers up to $3,000 of custom parts/equipment on your bike.
- Medical Payment: If you do not have health insurance, this will cover payments because of an accident.
- Roadside Assistance: From replacing flat tires to repairing your motorcycle. Read more about this policy here.
You can choose the best insurance available for your custom motorcycle as long as it falls within the requirements of your state.
Types of Customized Motorcycles:
There are many different types of custom motorcycles which include, but are not limited to the following;
- Café Racer
- Rat Bike
- Tribsa or Tri-B.S.A.
- Triton Motorcyle
- Home Built Kit and more
Although there are many different categories which are covered, your bike may fall outside of most of them. In this case, if it is a home-built or very heavily modified bike, you’ll need to discuss with your insurance agency just which category it will fall under. In this manner, you will get the best insurance for your customized motorcycle.
How to Get Lower Premium for My Customizable Bike?
When it comes to getting motorcycle insurance for your bike, you may find yourself facing premiums that are higher than you might have anticipated. While insuring a motorcycle is often less expensive than a vehicle of comparative age, it can still be a substantial drain on the budget.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that you can use to bring down the premium payments on your motorcycle. You can use one or more of these methods for paying less on your premiums especially if you own your bike outright and do not have some type of lien against it. Otherwise, you may be forced into paying for comprehensive coverage.
The is generally the most common way to lower the premium on your motorcycle insurance by raising the deductible or the amount you pay out of pocket before the insurance kicks in. Of course, you’ll need to have the money to cover the deductible, so be sure to have that amount in your savings account. In this manner, you will pay a lower rate and have money left for emergency use.
Liability and Uninsured Motorist
Almost all states require motorcycle insurance, but most of them only require that you have liability to cover the damage to the other vehicle and uninsured in case the person driving the vehicle striking your motorcycle has no insurance. By going with the state required minimum coverage, you can save a considerable amount on your insurance. However, this form of insurance is not comprehensive which covers far more.
If you only drive your motorcycle in the summertime, then you can apply for seasonal coverage which goes active for four to six months out of the year. In this manner, you can save a considerable amount if you only drive your motorcycle when it is warm outside. Many people have motorcycle insurance that goes active on April 1st and runs six months to November 1st.
Locking Up Your Bike
If you have theft insurance, then you’ll want to lock up your motorcycle in a secure place. A motorcycle that is stored in a locked garage is far more protected from theft than one sitting out in the driveway. So, by securing your motorcycle, you may get a lower rate. Get more tips to prevent motorcycle theft.
Safety Driving Course
There are many insurance companies that will provide you with a premium discount if you pass a safety driving course. You should use a safety driving course that is recognized by your insurance company in order to get the savings.
This is an often overlooked method of saving on your premiums. If you bundle you motorcycle insurance with the same company that carries your vehicle and home insurance, you may save a considerable amount on your premiums up to 20% or more.
By using one or more of these methods, you can reduce your premium payments and have more affordable insurance for your motorcycle. Be sure to check with us to find even more savings.