If you own and drive a motorcycle, motorcycle insurance is the best way to protect your finances in the case of an accident. In this article, we’ll cover the basics about motorcycle insurance, so you can make the right insurance decision for your biker needs.
What is motorcycle insurance?
Motorcycle insurance is like auto insurance, but for your motorcycle. It protects you from major costs that could be financially devastating in the case of a motorcycle accident.
If you get into an accident while on your motorcycle or something unexpected happens to your bike, you want to know you’re covered for the cost of your motorcycle and any potential liabilities that come your way. That’s the purpose of motorcycle insurance. Check out our full motorcycle insurance guide for more.
Learn more about our motorcycle insurance offerings.
What does motorcycle insurance cover?
Standard motorcycle insurance helps cover liability, comprehensive, collision, uninsured/underinsured, and medical payments. It does not cover maintenance or general wear and tear. Some insurance carriers offer additional, optional forms of coverage as well.
Liability coverage is required in most states, both for auto and for motorcycles. This part of your policy can step in if you are found responsible for someone else’s injuries or damages in an accident. This includes:
- Damages to other vehicles (cars, motorcycles, etc.)
- Damages to objects (mailboxes, homes, telephone poles, etc.)
- Other driver’s and passengers’ physical injuries
- Lawsuits if you are sued due to the accident
Liability coverage helps pay for the other party’s (or parties’) damages if you are found at-fault for an accident caused while using your motorcycle.
Comprehensive coverage can help cover any damages to your own motorcycle, due to uncontrollable events or “acts of God.” This includes things like:
- Theft of bike
- Vandalism, riots, explosions
- Rocks, debris, or flying objects
- Falling trees or other objects
- Storms, wind, hail, lightning
- Floods (ask insurance agent to see if this is covered)
- Earthquakes (ask insurance agent to see if this is covered)
- Accidents with animals
- Windshield damage
- Bike knocked over
This part of your policy helps cover an event that damages your vehicle that’s not a collision and not your fault (due to negligence or otherwise).
Collision coverage helps pay for damages to your motorcycle if you collide into another vehicle or object, regardless of who is found at fault. This helps make sure you get appropriate payment for your bike quickly after the accident, so you can get back on the road.
If the other driver is found at fault for the accident, your insurance carrier might go to the driver’s insurance directly for reimbursement.
Medical payments can help cover your own injuries in the case of an incident, regardless of who is found at fault. This works in tandem with your health insurance to make sure you can get the medical attention you might need after a motorcyclist accident.
This part of your policy can step in to cover your bike or injuries if the other party is found at fault, but they are uninsured or underinsured (don’t have enough insurance to cover all of your costs).
Your insurance company may choose to sue the responsible party to reimburse what they paid you in the claim, but uninsured/underinsured coverage ensures you will be covered up to your limits either way.
Some insurance carriers will offer additional motorcycle coverage, based on your needs. Supplemental policies may include and cover:
- Custom parts and accessories
- Original equipment and manufacturer parts
- Total loss coverage
- Roadside assistance and towing
- Carried contents and personal belongings (property like phone or camping gear that was damaged on or stolen from bike)
Do I need motorcycle insurance?
Like auto insurance, the requirements for motorcycle insurance vary by state. Most states require motorcycle insurance in order to drive a motorcycle. Many even require proof of insurance in order to register your motorcycle and get a license plate.
Each state also has its own minimum requirements for each type of motorcycle insurance. Most states require at least $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 in property damage coverage. (On your policy, this would read on coverage: 25/50/10.) However, these limits might be higher depending on the state.
Even in those states that don’t require motorcycle insurance, you are still responsible to pay for any damages you cause in the case of an accident. You are also responsible for any damages to your own bike. That means you could be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars for your own bills and those of anyone else involved in the accident. That’s why it’s highly recommended for all bikers to get motorcycle insurance, regardless of state requirements.
Some states also require motorcycle insurance for mopeds and scooters. You’ll want to know what your state requires for your vehicle, so you can drive it safely on the road.
Don’t know if motorcycle insurance is required in your state? Reach out to an InsuraMatch advisor to see what the limits and requirements are where you live by giving us at a call at (844) 824-2888.
Note: Most lenders will require motorcycle insurance. So if you’re leasing your motorcycle, you’ll definitely be required to hold motorcycle insurance.
Do I need motorcycle insurance all year?
Motorcycle insurance is billed annually. It usually doesn’t usually make sense to cancel your policy during the off season, because events covered under comprehensive coverage can still damage your bike—like fire, theft, or extreme weather. Plus, you can keep your rates low by demonstrating continuous coverage throughout the year.
Learn how to save on motorcycle insurance in the offseason.
Get your bike covered
Not sure if you need motorcycle coverage? Don’t know where to start with a policy? Chat with an InsuraMatch advisor to find the right insurance carrier and plan to keep your motorcycle—and all your assets—safeguarded and insured.
Compare quotes and save by calling one of our expert insurance advisors today at (844) 824-2888!
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