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Are you thinking about owning a motorcycle for the first time? If so, then congratulations! You’re in for a life-changing adventure.

Whether you are road-tripping to Yellowstone or investing in a cheaper way to commute, there is nothing like having some open road in front of you while in the saddle.

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Before you take that first ride, there are some insurance questions to clear up so you don’t find yourself in hot water.

Do I Need Insurance Before Buying a Motorcycle?

Should you consider purchasing motorcycle insurance before buying a bike? Absolutely!

Can you buy coverage before finishing the transaction? Not necessarily.

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Motorcycle insurance provides financial protection in case of accidents, theft, or damage to your bike. It’s a legal requirement in many places and an intelligent way to safeguard your investment and cover potential liabilities.

Before you can protect anything, you must have a vested interest in it. Therefore, the best time to buy a policy is when you’re at the dealership or about to close a private transaction.

Can I Get Motorcycle Insurance as a First-Time Rider?

You can obtain motorcycle insurance as a first-time rider because your overall record has no disqualifying item.

Suppose you’ve been convicted of certain offenses (reckless driving, DUI, DWI, OWI). In that case, you might need to work with a specialty provider before getting on the road.

As a beginner, you might face higher costs than experienced riders due to the increased risk associated with less experience, even with a clean driving record.

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It’s essential to shop around, compare quotes, and consider taking a motorcycle safety course, which can often lead to discounts on your monthly or annual insurance premium.

What Insurance Should I Get for My First Motorcycle?

For your first motorcycle, you should consider several types of insurance to ensure you have enough coverage to protect your finances if something happens. A few options are available to review.

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  • Liability: Often required by law, this policy covers bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) that you might cause. It is sometimes called “BI/PD Insurance.”
  • Collision: This option helps pay for repairs or replacement of your motorcycle if you’re involved in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.
  • Comprehensive: You can protect your ride from non-collision issues that cause damage, including theft.
  • Gap: If you finance your purchase, this option covers the difference between what you owe on the loan and the motorcycle’s current value.

If you work with a lender to purchase a motorcycle, they typically require liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. Some states require MedPay or personal injury protection (PIP).

Do I Need Temporary Motorcycle Insurance?

You probably don’t need temporary insurance if you don’t own a motorcycle right now. The only exception would be if you have an extended test ride on a bike with a private party sale in mind.

Some riders only use their motorcycles during specific seasons. In such cases, you can get temporary insurance for the riding season. Check if a seasonal policy would be cheaper than this short-term solution to maximize your savings.

When taking your motorcycle on a trip to another country, temporary insurance can provide coverage while you’re abroad.

What Happens If I Let My Motorcycle Insurance Lapse?

When your insurance lapses, you’re no longer protected. You’ll be personally responsible for all costs if an accident or theft occurs during this time.

In some places, there may be fines or penalties for riding without insurance. These can vary in severity depending on local laws. That includes license suspension or revocation.

In Florida, you can avoid this issue by filing a certificate of financial responsibility with the state since insurance isn’t mandatory.

You might have agreed to maintain full coverage (liability, comprehensive, and collision) as part of your terms for a loan, which could result in repossession attempts in some circumstances.

When you decide to reinstate your coverage, the premiums may be higher than before because insurance companies often view a lapse as an increased risk. Some insurers might even reject the request.

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to maintain continuous motorcycle insurance coverage.

Can I Add Other Riders to My Policy?

You can typically add other riders to your insurance, especially if they are part of your family. Spouses and children are the most common additions, and the cost is relatively low in most circumstances.

If you live with a roommate or domestic partner, you can often add them to your motorcycle insurance without much difficulty.

Some insurance policies may restrict who can be added, such as requiring proof of a motorcycle license or endorsement before proceeding with the request.

You can sometimes add friends or occasional riders to your policy, but this may come with higher premiums. The insurer will evaluate the individual risk factors for each operator.

It’s essential to remember that adding more riders to your policy could impact your coverage levels and premiums. It helps to shop around and request quotes from at least three companies to ensure you receive the best rate.

What Should I Do If I’m in an Accident?

Accidents happen. If you drop your motorcycle or collide with something, the first step is to check for injuries. Call 911 if needed as you move to safety.

motorcycle falls on road after a severe accident

It is helpful to call the police regardless of the accident’s severity. They can create an official report, which might be needed for your insurance claim. You’ll want to exchange information with the other people involved, including contact details and insurance info.

Take photos of the scene, including damage to your motorcycle. Anything relevant, from road conditions to appropriate traffic signals, could support your claim.

Most importantly, don’t admit fault. Don’t even apologize! Let the authorities and insurance investigator determine the outcome.

Once you are safe and have reports, notify your insurer about the accident and start the claims process.

What Happens If Someone Steals My Motorcycle?

If someone takes your motorcycle without permission, the first step is to contact the local authorities. When filing a police report, the necessary details include the make and model, distinguishing features, and the manufacturing year for the bike.

Once you have the report, you can contact your insurance company to file a claim.

The next step is to inform your DMV or equivalent agency about the theft. You’ll need to cancel the registration and plates to avoid potential liability issues.

Does Owning a Vespa or Scooter Lower My Insurance Costs?

Owning a Vespa or another moped/scooter can help you save on insurance costs because of their lower engine displacement ratings.

Insurance rates are highly variable based on where you live and your driving record. Your coverage levels also directly impact what you’ll pay each month or year.

You might qualify for lower rates if you only ride it occasionally or for short distances.

The bottom line is that you likely need motorcycle insurance to protect your finances if an accident occurs. Investing in an affordable policy that covers all the basics ensures you have a cost-effective way to keep premiums low.

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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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