In order to drive a motorcycle legally on any road in America, it’s mandatory to get at least the minimum liability insurance coverage required by your state. Just because a motorcycle rider is covered by automobile insurance when he drives his car doesn’t mean that riding his motorcycle is automatically covered.
Minimum insurance requirements for motorcycles vary from state to state, with some states allowing motorcycle owners to self-insure by providing certain documents regarding income with an application in addition to posting security collateral. Most states require liability coverage of at least 15/30/5, which means at least $15,000 in coverage of bodily injury protection for one person involved in an accident, $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for all injuries or deaths occurring to more than one individual, and $5,000 in property damage protection for one accident. In addition to being insured with the minimum limits, motorcycle riders must also carry proof of insurance with them, either a policy declaration page or an insurance identification card provided by the insurance company.
Motorcycle liability insurance coverage covers the damage or injury a motorcycle rider may cause to other people or their property if they are judged to be at fault in the event of a collision or accident. Some policies cover another rider riding with the driver, but this is not automatic. Motorcycle riders should be aware that minimum liability coverage does not cover injuries they sustain or any damage that occurs to their bike in the event of accident or collision.
Enhancing your basic liability coverage with the purchase of collision insurance is a good idea for peace of mind when motorcycle riding. Collision insurance helps to pay to repair damages to your motorcycle after you have first kicked in the amount of your policy deductible. Collision insurance also pays for damage to your bike even if the accident was your fault. Comprehensive coverage is another motorcycle insurance option that increases your rates but prevents you from financial melt-down in the event your bike is damaged or totaled due to an event which is non-accident related, such as a theft, act of vandalism or fire. Underinsured/uninsured motorcycle coverage will help to cover your medical payments, lost wages and other damages sustained when the other driver involved in the accident either has no insurance or has insufficient coverage amounts.
Ways to Lower Premiums
Just as automobile drivers can get insurance discounts for taking defensive driving courses, so too can motorcycle riders take a training course on motorcycle safety that can qualify them for discounts up to 15% on their policy. In states where inclement weather causes motorcyclists to store their bikes part of the year, cheaper “lay-up” policies are offered which reduce costs by eliminating premiums on months the bike isn’t ridden. When you are comparison shopping for the most affordable motorcycle insurance rates, remember that the type and age of your bike, it’s current condition, where it is stored when not being ridden as well as the number of miles ridden annually are all factors the insurance company takes into consideration when determining motorcycle insurance rates. Discounts are typically offered for insuring more than one motorcycle with the same insurer, insuring your car as well as your motorcycle, and having a no-accident or insurance claim driving record that qualifies for a good driver discount.