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Motorcycles create opportunities to explore independently while expressing individuality. This unique lifestyle offers numerous ways to customize a bike by installing different parts and accessories.

If you ride a bike the way the factory made it, that is considered “stock.” When you change that initial setup, your motorcycle becomes “custom.”

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Although that designation seems minor, it can significantly impact your motorcycle insurance. A standard policy might not cover the additional parts and accessories added to the bike.

It might be beneficial to add motorcycle accessory coverage to your insurance package. This policy helps replace or repair the parts and additions if damaged.

What Is Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage?

Motorcycle accessory coverage is officially called Custom Parts and Equipment insurance. It protects the components you’ve added to the bike after it has left the factory or dealership.

You don’t need to be the one who added the custom parts to the motorcycle to qualify for this insurance coverage. Anyone who modifies the bike with your permission creates the groundwork where this policy would be necessary.

Here are some examples of the parts you want to have covered with Custom Parts and Equipment insurance.

  • Audio devices, electronic equipment, and various antennas.
  • Trailers that you can pull behind a motorcycle or trike.
  • Sidecars or trike conversion kits.
  • Custom painting and bodywork.
  • Exhaust system upgrades, including custom plating work.

Some Custom Parts and Equipment insurance policies include safety apparel, such as leather jackets, body armor, and helmets. This safety gear might be a separate add-on for some insurers, so you’ll want to ask your agent or broker about what you’ll need in your circumstances.

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The actual coverage varies between insurers, especially when extensive modifications have been made to the motorcycle. You’ll want to read the terms and conditions carefully before agreeing to any policy so that your parts and accessories receive adequate coverage.

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How to Ensure You Get the Most Value for Custom Parts

Custom parts either replace or add-to factory-installed components. The insurance company might not have information about these items, so it is up to you to ensure the value you put into each one receives appropriate coverage with your policy.

Before applying for Custom Parts and Equipment insurance, it is highly recommended that you document each modification extensively.

Try photographing all the custom parts before they get installed on the motorcycle. It also helps to keep the receipts for the components during your ownership. Although depreciation could apply, it is still essential to have coverage available for the entire repair or replacement.

Why Do I Need Custom Parts and Equipment Insurance?

Most motorcycle insurance companies offer limited coverage for custom parts through collision and comprehensive protection. Your modifications might not be included in a full-coverage package with liability.

Those three options are considered full-coverage insurance from a lender’s perspective, but they don’t always help cover extensive modifications.

Adding separate Custom Parts and Equipment insurance to your policy furthers financial protections without a significant expense.

It’s not unusual to have an offer of $30,000 in protection for a few extra dollars per month.

Why Is Motorcycle Accessory Coverage a Necessity?

In Texas, there are approximately 400,000 motorcycles registered to operate on the state’s roads and highways. That means bikes (including trikes) represent about 2% of the total number of vehicles registered.

Motorcyclists in Texas represent about 13% of the statewide traffic fatalities that happen in the state annually. These statistics are significantly lopsided, which is why a specialized insurance policy is helpful.

If you have custom paint, chrome accents, and other additions to your ride that make it unique, having accessory coverage ensures that your financial well-being is managed if the unthinkable happens.

Deductibles typically apply with motorcycle accessory coverage, so you can save some money by agreeing to a higher one. If you have a $500 deductible, that amount is what you’d pay when making a claim.

What Is Content and Possession Coverage for Motorcycles?

Content and possession coverage is separate from Custom Parts and Equipment insurance.

With possessions coverage, you have financial protections if your items are damaged in a collision or stolen from your motorcycle. This coverage might include your clothing, safety apparel, smartphone, and similar necessities.

Since motorcycles are more exposed than vehicles, this coverage helps to replace them if something happens. You’ll need to speak with your agent or ask for a quote that covers the maximum amount required to safeguard everything.

Some exclusions, including electronic devices, might be part of some policies. You’ll need to ask about the ones that might exist to ensure everything gets protected.

How Much Motorcycle Accessory Coverage Do I Need?

The goal should be to cover all your motorcycle accessories with Custom Parts and Equipment coverage. If you spent $10,000 on modifications to the bike, you’d want that amount returned to you should the components receive damage.

Some insurers cap how much you can add to your motorcycle insurance when you need accessory coverage. You’ll want to verify what is available during the application or quote process to ensure the required protections are available.

If you add more accessories to your bike after obtaining insurance, don’t forget to contact your insurer to adjust your coverage accordingly. Keep your receipts for each part, any labor you paid for the installation, and the safety gear you typically wear.

Pictures of the items make it easier to find replacements while offering evidence to the insurer that you own those components.

You can create a motorcycle insurance policy that covers all your core needs by taking these steps.

Author

Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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