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Purchasing a motorcycle for the first time comes with anticipation and concern about what is needed to insure the bike. While everyone fairly knows about car insurance in the US, motorcycle insurance may be a mystery to some.

What follows are the basics of how motorcycle insurance works. Plus, motorcycle owners have some of the most common questions about this form of insurance.

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How does Motorcycle Insurance work?

Insurance on your motorcycle works in many ways, like insurance on your car or truck. Different types of coverage provide various types of protection. As with car insurance, motorcycle insurance covers the cost of causing an accident to another vehicle. Plus, the cost of the damage to your own motorcycle is covered as well.

You can find motorcycle insurance from the same companies that sell car insurance. Plus, some companies specialize in motorcycle insurance. If you already have car insurance, you may save money by purchasing motorcycle insurance from the same company and bundling the cost.

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Most of the states in the US require motorcycle insurance. You must check with your state rules and regulations covering motorcycle insurance requirements. Motorcycle insurance companies will offer the minimum coverage that the state requires. However, the suggestion is that you purchase insurance with greater coverage than the minimum.

The cost of motorcycle insurance does vary depending on several factors. Some factors that go into the cost of motorcycle insurance include the following.

Additional costs may include where you live, what you may carry on your motorcycle, and other factors that affect the cost of your coverage.

Differences Between Car and Motorcycle Insurance

Because most motorcycles cost considerably less than cars and trucks, the overall cost is not nearly as great as car insurance. In addition, you are more likely to carry passengers in a car than a motorcycle which also increases the costs

However, you are more likely to be injured in a motorcycle than in a car accident. Thus, the personal injury protection that is part of your motorcycle insurance will probably be more expensive than car insurance.

Another difference is that your basic insurance may not cover the items you carry on your motorcycle. Things such as add-ons, accessories, additional helmets, radios, and the like will need separate insurance coverage. This is often called added equipment or accessories coverage.

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Does My Motorcycle Insurance Cover Other Riders?

Even state minimum motorcycle insurance carries with it liability coverage. This means that if you cause an accident with another motorcycle or vehicle, your insurance will cover the damage and medical expenses that arise.

Law about Motorcycle Helmet

Virtually all states require liability coverage for motorcycles. In addition, if the accident was the fault of the other driver or rider and they have no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover the damage and medical expenses, the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides protection.

However, liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage come with caps regarding how much money is offered and in terms of deductibles. The higher the deductible and the lower the payment amount, the less the insurance cost. Here, you want to boost the coverage above the state minimum to ensure that you have enough coverage.

The deductible you can keep at a high amount if you have money in the bank to cover it. It may not be worth reporting as a claim if you are involved in a minor fender-bender. This means you can use the money to pay for any repairs on your bike that you saved for the deductible. Just save back up to the deductible amount after spending the money.

If someone else borrows and crashes your bike, here is what happens.

Can I Ride Another Motorcycle on My Insurance?

Whether you can ride another motorcycle on your insurance will depend on the insurance company. When you purchase motorcycle insurance, it will state whether it is transferrable to another bike. Be sure to read the fine print and discuss it with your insurance company or agent.

In addition, some insurance will cover liability for the other motorcycle but not the one you are operating. In other words, the liability may transfer, so it covers the damage you caused to a third party. But any damage to the motorcycle you are operating is not covered.

Again, this depends on the insurance company and your state. Generally speaking, if you only have the state minimum liability coverage and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you should not expect it to transfer to another motorcycle.

Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Passengers?

Basic motorcycle insurance meets the state minimum requirements and does not provide passengers coverage. As mentioned above, motorcycle riders are less likely to have passengers than car owners.

A separate guest passenger liability is offered for motorcycle riders who carry passengers. This works the same as personal injury protection covering your medical expenses. By purchasing guest liability protection, you cover passengers injured in an accident.

Does My Motorcycle Insurance Cover Me to Drive a Car?

While motorcycle insurance provides coverage for different types of vehicles, cars are not one of them. You will need car insurance to have coverage for your car or truck. This is because the differences between motorcycles and vehicles are too significant for motorcycle insurance. However, there are vehicles other than cars or trucks that are covered.

  • ATVs
  • Mopeds and Scooters
  • Motorcycles w/Sidecars
  • Trikes

These vehicles are covered under motorcycle insurance. Depending on the engine size of the moped or scooter, you may not be required to carry insurance. However, you will need to check with your state laws about what types of vehicles must be covered. Generally speaking, basic motorcycle insurance will cover scooters, sidecars, ATVs, and trikes if listed in the coverage.

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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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