If you are purchasing a motorcycle for the first time, getting the best motorcycle insurance will require following a different path compared to vehicle insurance. Although the two are quite similar in many ways, there are some important differences to know if you have never purchased motorcycle insurance before.
The first place to check is with the insurance laws governing your state. Except for New Hampshire and Florida, you are required to have motorcycle insurance or financial proof of responsibility. Plus, some states require personal injury protection while others do not. Be sure to check out the laws and requirements of your state before purchasing a motorcycle.
Table of Content
- Do You Buy Insurance Before or After Purchasing the Motorcycle?
- Which Comes First, Registration or Insurance?
- Important Factors for Buying Cheaper Motorcycle Insurance
- Average Rates for Motorcycle Insurance
- How to Lower the Rates?
- Do You Need Full Coverage on a Motorcycle for New Riders?
Do You Buy Insurance Before or After Purchasing the Motorcycle?
Before you can purchase insurance, you will need to get a motorcycle. An insurance company provides coverage for the motorcycle you own, not the one you have not purchased yet. This is because all motorcycles are different, and at least part of the premiums will depend on the type of motorcycle you are buying.
The same is valid for vehicles, as sports cars are more expensive to insure than pickup trucks. While the differences between motorcycles may be less dramatic than vehicles, a high-powered motorcycle designed for speed is generally more expensive to cover than a standard motorcycle.
Which Comes First, Registration or Insurance?
To have insurance, you must own a motorcycle. And to own the motorcycle, it must be registered. The registration process is associated with the purchase of the bike as the title is transferred to you. You have a limited amount of time to purchase insurance for your motorcycle once it is in your possession. This means that you can drive it for a short time, but you must get insurance to keep driving your motorcycle legally in most states.
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Important Factors for Buying Cheaper Motorcycle Insurance
Just like buying insurance for a car or truck, some factors will affect the type and price of your motorcycle insurance. What follows is a general guideline of what to expect.
If you are under the age of 25, you will pay considerably more than someone who has reached 25. This is because statistically, you are more likely to be involved in an accident.
The cleaner your driving record, the lower your premiums will be. And, accidents and incidents on your driving record will be removed over time.
Type of Motorcycle
Just as certain vehicles are more expensive to cover with insurance, so too are certain types of motorcycles. For example, a motorcycle that is considered a sports bike will be considerably more costly to cover. This is true even if the motorcycle you purchase as the size and power of a sports bike but is not considered to be in that category.
The type of insurance required will depend on whether you own the motorcycle outright or used a loan. If you received a loan, then full coverage is required. However, if you own the motorcycle outright, you can choose a lower level of insurance coverage.
Arguably the most popular question about motorcycle insurance is the cost. How much it cost will depend on the factors already listed, but you can get a general idea of what will cost you.
Average Rates for Motorcycle Insurance
The general average for motorcycle insurance rates across the US is $702 annually. Of course, the rates vary from state to state, with California being the most expensive at $113 per month. In contrast, North Dakota comes in last at $32 per month.
Of course, the average rate is based on many different factors, but in general, the rates are affected by age, statistics, and the laws or requirements in each state. This means that in a state like North Dakota, the rules and regulations have fewer requirements than a state such as California.
How to Lower the Rates?
There are ways to keep the rates you pay for motorcycle insurance down, even if you are under the age of 25.
Take Safety Course: Taking a recognized motorcycle safety course may lower the rates you pay from 5% to 10%. You will need to check with the insurance company first to find the courses which will result in a lower rate.
Seasonal Driving: If you put your motorcycle away for the winter, you can get a reduced coverage rate. This means not driving your motorbike for a pre-set period such as the winter months. You may save 25% or more, depending on the coverage.
Mileage: The less you drive your motorcycle, the less you may pay. If you drive under a pre-set amount, you may pay less for your insurance. This may save you 10% or more.
Bundle: Another way to pay less is to bundle your motorcycle insurance with other coverage, such as other vehicles and your home. This may save you up to 25% depending on the insurance company.
Remember to compare insurance rates between different companies. This will help you find the right one for your needs and budget. You may find that bundling does not save as much compared to getting motorcycle insurance from another company, so be sure to check out all options first.
Do You Need Full Coverage on a Motorcycle for New Riders?
The necessity of full coverage is based on how you obtained the motorcycle. If you have purchased the motorbike using a loan, then full coverage is required. This is to protect the lender in case the bike is damaged or stolen.
However, if you purchased or obtained the motorcycle without a loan, you can buy insurance with less than full coverage. This type of insurance is more affordable and better suited for motorcycles that were purchased used or otherwise have a relatively low value. If you own a used motorcycle, then you should begin with the minimum level of insurance required by your state.
For first-time riders, getting the best motorcycle insurance starts before you buy the motorcycle. Follow the proper steps, and you will get the best insurance for your needs.