The Basics of Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycles offer riders a lot of freedom. However, this ability comes with a responsibility to ensure the safety of yourself and other people on the road. The III reports that 68.71 per 100,000 registered motorcycles are involved in a fatal accident and 992 per 100,000 registered motorcycles are involved in an accident that results in an injury. That is why a motorcycle rider’s responsibility isn’t merely an individual choice but actually mandated by law.

Almost every state has specific insurance coverage requirements for motorcycle riders. If you’re a motorcycle rider and unsure where to start, our guide to the basics of motorcycle insurance can help below.

Finding motorcycle insurance

Not every insurance provider offers motorcycle insurance. However, many of the well-known insurance companies in the US like Foremost or Progressive do provide comprehensive packages for first or multi-time owners.

Experts recommend considering options that are local to your area for more competitive prices. When you purchase your motorcycle from a reputable store, it is also likely that your seller could offer a list of insurance recommendations or even packages.

Average costs

The cost of your insurance will vary depending on your state and the coverage type. For one, prices for coverage tend to be higher in places where the weather is warmer for longer. You can expect to pay $60 a month in Wisconsin while paying $514 in sunny California, where riders are likely to take their bikes out more often.

On average, however, the cost of motorcycle insurance in the U.S. is $178 a month. Other particularities will boil down to your age, your driving record, the type of motorcycle you own and its age, and your place of residence.

Types of motorcycle insurance coverage

Most states require that you carry a minimum amount of liability coverage. Other types of coverage are usually optional. Let’s take a closer look below.

Liability coverage
The popular forms of liability coverage are bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. This is usually included in property and casualty insurance. Sound Dollar outlines how property and casualty insurance helps cover you when the harm you caused someone results in a financial loss for that person, either by causing them physical harm or by damaging their possessions. Here, medical bills or lost wages are reimbursed alongside the cost of repairs to any of their affected properties.

Comprehensive coverage
If you want to extend your coverage, opt for comprehensive coverage. The Balance explains that comprehensive coverage can also protect you from losses in cases of theft — the insurance company will pay for the loss of the bike or any repairs if the bike was found but damaged. This also works for other incidents that were out of your control such as vandalism.

Collision coverage
Collision is another optional coverage for damages to your motorcycle after a road accident, regardless of fault. This usually amounts to the book value of your bike before the loss occurred, minus your deductible.

Personal injury protection coverage
This reimburses your medical expenses after an incident, regardless of fault. This can also include lost wages and even replacement services such as house cleaning or child care. This makes this a very attractive offer despite being mostly optional. However, this isn’t available in states such as California, Missouri, or Chicago where there are higher rates of motorcycle accidents.

Safety should be the priority of everyone on the road. Besides carrying insurance, you can look into carrying tools like locking pliers to fix your bike during any mid-road incident, as well as tools to fix yourself. As we’ve previously discussed in a First Look post, carrying a first aid kit can go a long way in keeping you well in times of accidents and easing your peace of mind.