Tips for Buying Motorcycle Insurance
Most states require motorcycle riders to have a motorcycle insurance policy that includes liability insurance coverages. This will help ensure that you are able to pay for property damage or bodily injuries suffered by others in an accident that you cause.
We’ll provide a basic guide for buying both the required and optional types of motorcycle coverage.
Get Motorcycle Insurance Quotes
This is arguably the most important tip regarding shopping for motorcycle insurance: don’t just get one motorcycle insurance quote.
Get multiple insurance quotes. You should get at least three quotes to compare rates. Keep in mind the more quotes you get the easier it is going to be for you to get the best motorcycle insurance policy at the best price.
Remember to have insurance companies factor in any optional coverages you wish to have on your policy to your quote.
You should also note that a quote is not a final price.
After you agree to purchase your motorcycle insurance with a company, they will go through the underwriting process. After this process, your final rate may be different from the original quote, especially if there are discrepancies between the information you provided to the insurance company and the information verified by the underwriters.
Choosing a Motorcycle Insurance Provider
Once you have received your motorcycle insurance quotes, you should consider additional factors. Remember, cheap motorcycle insurance is not necessarily the best motorcycle insurance. You need to look at the whole picture.
As you evaluate motorcycle insurance providers, think about the following:
- Longevity: It's generally safer to go with an insurer with a long track record.
- Financial stability: Choose a carrier with solid insurance ratings; you can learn about an insurer's credit ratings through your state insurance department.
- Broadness of coverage: Pick an insurer that offers excellent motorcycle insurance coverage. It can benefit you in the end to pay a little more for better coverage.
- Ease of handling claims: Do some preliminary work and find out how to initiate a claim (online, by phone, etc.) and how the company will respond to your claim notification.
- Fairness in handling claims: Check your family, friends, and colleagues to discover any claims experience with a particular carrier.
- Evaluate a company's complaint record with the Better Business Bureau or the state insurance department.
- Customer service: Attempt to get a feel for how easy it is to reach a company by phone or online.
- Agents: Traditional insurance companies typically have insurance agents with offices nearby, and you can stop by or call whenever necessary.
- Discounts: Most motorcycle insurance providers offer similar types of discounts. However, several companies offer very unique policy discounts.
- Example: Some companies will offer you a discount just for graduating from a regional university.
Motorcycle Endorsement vs. Motorcycle Insurance
As you shop for your motorcycle insurance, you may find you have the option to simply add a motorcycle endorsement onto your car insurance policy. Generally speaking, this endorsement will extend your car insurance coverages to your motorcycles.
The appeal of a motorcycle endorsement is that your car and your motorcycle will be on one policy, making it very simple to manage, especially when it comes to bills.
The downside to adding a motorcycle endorsement to your car insurance policy is that you will have little to no flexibility when it comes to insurance coverage for your motorcycle. Coverage will be limited to the same coverage you receive for your car.
Motorcycle insurance, as opposed to a motorcycle endorsement, has the advantage of being customizable to your coverage needs in regards to your motorcycle. If you don’t want the same liability limits for your motorcycle, for example, you can purchase a motorcycle insurance policy with different limits.
NOTE: Several states do not allow motorcycle endorsements on car insurance policies. This means you will have to purchase a separate motorcycle insurance policy. To learn more, contact your car insurance provider.
Review Your Policy
Once you have made a decision and purchased your motorcycle insurance policy, remember to review your policy.
As stated earlier, you will have to wait for your motorcycle insurance company to finish the underwriting process before you get your finalized policy. Once you receive it, take some time to study it.
Understanding your policy will go a long way in helping you if and when you need to make a claim.