man riding a motorcycle

What To Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Whether you use your motorcycle for commuting or strictly for weekend rides, motorcycle owners have the same obligation as car drivers when it comes to insurance.

The level of motorcycle coverage depends on what is mandated by individual states and a general responsibility to cover damages you may cause to others or their property.

During the process of getting a motorcycle insurance quote, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

How Much Motorcycle Insurance Do I Need?

Multiple Bikes Can Be Included on One Policy

When requesting a motorcycle insurance quote, make sure to let the provider know if you own more than one. Many motorcycle enthusiasts own multiple bikes. Some may be vintage models. Some may even be trikes. You can make your life simpler but including all of them on one motorcycle insurance policy, even if you only ride some of them occasionally.

Modified Bikes May Increase Insurance Costs

Part of motorcycle ownership is the pride that comes from bike modifications. Any change that you make post-manufacture is something that needs to be shared with your insurance carrier, from engine guards to tinted windshields. Whether you make the change for mechanical or aesthetic reasons, they may be factored into your motorcycle insurance quote, and generally this means your premium will be higher. If you make the change after your coverage begins, you still need to inform your carrier.

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Insurance Requirements Differ by State

Since there are no federal mandates for motorcycle insurance, check state requirements to make sure you have the appropriate amount and type of coverage for where you live. Liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage are required in most areas.

Motorcycle owners have a third type of liability insurance to consider: guest passenger liability. If you will be transporting anyone on the back of your bike, his or her safety is also a concern. This type of liability insurance provides medical coverage if your passenger is injured. Some policies automatically include guest passenger liability in the overall bodily injury coverage, but for others it may be an option.

Collision Coverage Protects Your Bike

Where liability insurance covers damage to other people and their vehicles, collision coverage is what will pay for damages to your own bike whether caused by another vehicle or from contact with a non-moving object such as a tree or streetlight. Events involving wildlife, such as hitting a deer also are covered.

It can be devastating to see your bike damaged after an accident. Scrapes, bent pegs, broken shocks and paint scratches are just a few of the things that may need to be repaired. With collision coverage, your insurance should cover the cost of all repairs after your deductible. If your bike is beyond repair, it may also cover total replacement.

motorcycle insurance

Comprehensive Coverage Protects Against Theft and Vandalism

Motorcycle theft is a real risk. Easier to steal than a car, thieves can swiftly disable locks and ride away on your bike without raising much suspicion. Protect your investment with comprehensive coverage. This type of insurance pays for damages when your motorcycle is vandalized, stolen and even damaged by wildlife or natural causes such as storms and floods. In this case, the word comprehensive does not mean full, so you still will need separate liability protection. Leased and financed bikes will require this kind of coverage.

Under the Umbrella 

Umbrella insurance is designed as an added security measure to protect you from personal liability above and beyond your regular home and auto insurance policies. If you have an umbrella policy or eventually switch to one, make sure that it extends to your motorcycle. In some instances, it can be excluded but can be added as an endorsement to provide coverage. Find out  more about umbrella insurance.

Roadside Assistance Is Advisable

Even on the calmest of rides, you can experience an unexpected issue such as a flat tire, failed battery or lack of oil. In addition to your insurance policy, make sure you pick up motorcycle Roadside Assistance from AAA. Eligible Plus and Premier AAA members can get battery jump-starts, emergency tire inflations and towing for your ride. Learn more.

Appraise Vintage Models

If your motorcycle is damaged beyond repair, an adjuster will work with you to determine the fair market value of your bike.  Most of the time, industry publications and classified ads provide reliable information to help in determining this amount.  However, it can be harder for an adjuster to determine the value of a vintage model.  If you own one, you should have a specialist appraise it so that you have solid documentation of its replacement cost.

While motorcycle owners have liability requirements like other vehicle drivers, they also have specialized insurance concerns. From motorcycle roadside assistance to modifications and vintage models, make sure your insurance has you covered for your unique circumstances.

Get in touch with a AAA Insurance agent for help with all your insurance needs. 

Are you ready for riding season? Get your bike prepared for the road with this spring motorcycle maintenance checklist

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