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Motorcycle insurance is similar to automotive insurance in the way it incorporates deductibles. Generally, your coverage costs are lower if you’re willing to pay more out of pocket for repairs.

If you prefer a lower deductible, you’ll pay more each month or year for the motorcycle insurance coverage you choose.

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It’s essential to remember that insurance is meant to protect you from suffering a financial setback. A motorcycle policy does not cover the small losses you can pay without filing a claim.

Choosing a high deductible to get low monthly payments might seem like a great choice to save money, but that isn’t always the case. The risk balance is usually in the middle, somewhere with a monthly cost you can manage while having a deductible that won’t send you toward bankruptcy.

What Does a Deductible Mean for Motorcycle Insurance?

Motorcycle insurance is not like health insurance. You don’t need to meet an annual deductible to start receiving benefits.

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A motorcycle insurance deductible is an amount you pay before your coverage starts providing benefits.

If your bike is involved in a damage-causing incident that your insurance covers, a qualified mechanic or inspector will review the issues with the motorcycle. They’ll determine an estimate to fix the problems.

For this example, let’s say the cost is $2,500 to complete the repair. When looking at your motorcycle insurance policy, it shows that you have a $500 deductible. That means you’d receive compensation for $2,000 from your coverage if your limits supported that amount.

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If you have a $250 deductible, you will receive $2,250 (or the amount up to your policy limit). When your deductible is $1,500, you’d only receive $1,000 toward the repairs.

Now let’s say that the repairs to your motorcycle total $1,350, but your deductible is $1,500. Since you’d pay for those repairs out of pocket because the cost is less than the deductible, filing a claim might not be necessary.

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You may need to inform the insurance company that damage occurred to the motorcycle, even though you’re not filing a claim for it.

How to Set My Motorcycle Insurance Deductible?

The most common motorcycle insurance deductibles found in the industry today are $500 and $1,000. You’ll pay less per month or year for your coverage when they are higher because you’re taking more risks.

A lower deductible means the insurance company is taking more risks with the coverage, so your monthly and annual rates are higher.

You’ll find two primary areas of motorcycle coverage to consider: liability and collision/comprehensive insurance. Most riders have no deductible on the first portion of their policy.

If you can afford a lower deductible, you’ll receive more financial protection if an accident or incident occurs. When you don’t ride much, having a low deductible may not make sense because you could pay more to the insurer than you would to repair the bike if something happens.

The deductible range for collision/comprehensive insurance is typically between $0 to $2,000. Your agent or broker can help you decide how high to set yours based on your current situation, riding needs, and financial situation.

The deductible you select should be something you can afford to pay if you must make a claim.

How Can I Avoid Paying a Motorcycle Insurance Deductible?

There is no way to get around paying a deductible. If your comprehensive policy has a $1,000 requirement, you’ll pay that amount out-of-pocket for a claim. Should your loss be less than that, the insurer would require you to pay for the repair, making a claim essentially worthless.

When a repair cost is your responsibility and less than the deductible amount, the best option is not to file a claim and pay for the work directly. If your deductible is $1,000, but the repair is $775, you’d pay for everything through a claim or directly to the professional completing the job.

If you are in an accident and the other driver is at fault, filing a claim still triggers the deductible. In this situation, the insurer can pursue those funds from the other individual or their insurance so that you’re not experiencing a financial loss through the actions of another. You must wait to schedule the repair until those funds become available.

FAQ on Motorcycle Insurance Deductible

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Does All Insurance Have a Deductible?

Collision and comprehensive motorcycle insurance policies typically have a deductible, but you can pay a higher premium to eliminate this potential cost. 

There are no deductibles for liability insurance, the coverage that pays someone else if you cause an accident.

Can I Change My Deductible After an Accident or Before Filing a Claim?

No. Changing your deductible to obtain better coverage before submitting a claim is considered a form of insurance fraud. This action could bring criminal charges.

Is It Better to Have a $500 or a $250 Deductible?

A $500 deductible will be cheaper each month, but you’ll have less risk to manage if you opt for a $250 one. Everyone has different comfort levels, so it depends on whether you prefer reducing costs after a claim or paying less and taking on more of the costs if something happens.

Can You Get a Refund of the Deductible If You’re Not at Fault?

Your insurer might try to recover the deductible amount on a claim if the other party is primarily at fault. This process is called subrogation. It isn’t a guaranteed payment, but your representative can usually get at least a portion of these funds. 

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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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