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, some of the most common questions that motorcycle owners have about this form of insurance.
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How Motorcycle Insurance Works?
Insurance on your motorcycle works in many ways, like insurance on your car or truck. There are different types of coverage that provide various types of protection. As with car insurance, motorcycle insurance includes coverage that 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 some money by purchasing motorcycle insurance from the same company and bundling the cost.
Most of the states in the US require motorcycle insurance. You will need to check with your state rules and regulations that cover motorcycle insurance requirements. Companies that sell motorcycle insurance will offer the minimum coverage that the state requires. However, the suggestion is that you purchase insurance with greater coverage than the minimum.
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The cost of motorcycle insurance does vary depending on several factors. Some of the factors that go into the cost of motorcycle insurance include the following.
- Type of Motorcycle
- Your Driving History
- Type of Coverage
- Use of Motorcycle and More
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 accident compared to 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.
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 to occur with another motorcycle or vehicle, your insurance will cover the damage and medical expenses that arise.
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, both liability and uninsured/underinsured coverage come with caps as to 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 the state you live in. Generally speaking, if you only have the state minimum coverage of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you should not expect it to transfer to another motorcycle.
Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Passengers?
Basic motorcycle insurance, such as insurance that meets the state minimum requirements, does not provide passengers coverage. As mentioned above, motorcycle riders are not as likely to have passengers compared to car owners.
For motorcycle riders who carry passengers, a separate guest passenger liability is offered. This works the same as the 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.
- Mopeds and Scooters
- Motorcycles w/Sidecars
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 it is listed in the coverage.