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Choosing the Right Motorcycle Coverage

Choosing the Right Motorcycle Coverage

If you own a car, then deciding which insurance options make sense for your motorcycle may seem pretty straightforward.

The following coverage types are generally recommended for both passenger vehicles and motorcycle operators.

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage - Covers damages incurred by the other party when you are at fault in an accident.
    • Most states require a minimum amount of liability coverage.
  • Personal injury protection (available only in no-fault states) – Helps pay for medical costs to you and your passengers, regardless of fault.
  • Collision coverage – Helps pay for damage to your vehicle after an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage – Covers damage to your vehicle after an incident that wasn’t accident-related, such as vandalism or flooding.

The minimum coverage you’ll need to be legal will vary based on the state where your bike is registered.

The coverages recommended above are the same as those for car owners, but when you dig a little deeper you’ll find a number of optional coverages that can significantly benefit owners of motorcycles and scooters.

Guest Passenger Liability Coverage

If you’re like most motorcycle owners, you occasionally like to share your bike with a passenger. In these cases, you’ll want to be prepared in the event of an unfortunate accident.

You may assume your bodily injury liability coverage will pay for injuries to a guest passenger after a motorcycle accident you cause. However, this may not be true depending on where you live.

Some states require motorcycle owners to purchase a separate liability policy to provide injury protection for their passengers.This is known as guest passenger liability coverage and helps pay for medical expenses or death to a passenger on your bike.

You may be able to cut costs by not purchasing guest passenger liability, but doing so can be risky if you decide to let a guest ride with you.

NOTE: If you live in a no-fault state, your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage should help pay for both your injuries and those of your passengers after an accident. Do note that in some states PIP does not apply to motorcycles. If you have any questions about this, contact your car insurance agent.

Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage

Adding special features can add to the fun of owning a motorcycle. But adding shiny new accessories and equipment doesn’t come cheap.

Depending on your investment, you might want to consider custom parts and equipment coverage to help pay for damages to any additions or enhancements that change the look or function of your motorcycle.

Transport Trailer Damage Insurance

Say you’re driving your car to a relaxing vacation spot, and you’ve brought your bike along, this time on a trailer. During your trip, there’s an accident and your trailer and bike are damaged.

In this case, you’ll wish you’d purchased transport trailer damage insurance, aimed at protecting your bike (and the trailer).

This coverage typically helps you with costs associated with:

  • Collisions.
  • Rollover accidents.
  • Non-accident-related incidents such as theft.

Other Optional Coverages for Your Motorcycle

To ensure the best possible protection for you and your motorcycle, you may want to consider the following optional coverages available for both passenger cars and motorcycles:

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – Helps cover your injuries when you’ve been in an accident with someone who has no or inadequate insurance.
  • Medical payments coverage – Pays medical expenses, regardless of who caused the accident.
    • NOTE: You may be required to reach your health insurance limits before using this coverage.
  • Towing and labor coverage – Covers the costs of towing if your motorcycle breaks down while riding. It also covers labor costs, including those for:
    • Flat tires.
    • Dead batteries.
    • Fluid replacement.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage – Covers the costs of a car rental if your bike is damaged and you have no viable transportation.
  • Total loss coverage – Pays the actual cash value of your motorcycle if it gets totaled in an accident.

Costs vs. Benefits

Motorcycle insurance can seem costly, especially if you never need to make a claim. But don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s a “wasted” expense.

Insurance is all about managing your risks. Without insurance, all it takes is one accident to drain your hard-earned savings.

If you’re worried about the expense of insuring your motorcycle, check out our 9 Ways to Save on Insurance page.

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