If you plan to ride your motorbike on public roads, most states require you to have some form of “financial responsibility.” Financial responsibility is a commitment that you can pay if you cause property damage and an accident or injuries. Most bikers fulfill the financial responsibility laws by buying a motorcycle insurance policy.
So, we take a look at motorcycle insurance coverages and put up the following recommendations.
But first, let’s understand why you need motorcycle insurance coverage.
Why You Need Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
In most states, motorcycle insurance is a requirement of the law to prove financial responsibility and commitment. But, motorcycle insurance requirements usually vary by state. Some states may require very little, while other states can equate it to car insurance.
Motorcycle insurance also protects you financially in case of theft, an accident, loss, or damage, including property damage. For example, motorcycle insurance gives you liability coverage such that if you’re legally held responsible for an accident where you injured another person, the policy will cater for the medical bills and even the legal fees if you get sued.
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Recommendations
Here we’ll give you general motorcycle insurance coverage recommendations. But your choice of motorcycle insurance depends on several things, including the kind of bike you’re riding.
Here are some motorcycle insurance coverage recommendations that you can consider:
- Liability Insurance
- Collision and Comprehensive coverage for motorcycles
- Medical Payments Coverage
- Guest passenger liability
- Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist coverage
- Personal injury protection
- OEM Parts Coverage
- Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage
- Towing and Emergency Assistance
Forty-seven states, including Arizona, require motorcycle riders to have liability coverage. Liability insurance provides coverage when you cause damage to property or individuals during an accident while riding. Depending on your policy, liability coverage can take care of the injured victim’s medical expenses and even lawsuits if you’re sued.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage for motorcycles
Collision and comprehensive coverage cover loss or physical damage to your motorcycle in the event of a crash or any other covered situation.
Your insurance policy will cover the repair or replacement of the motorcycle in the event of a total loss.
Some of the cases covered under collision and comprehensive coverages include:
- Damage, for example, damage by an animal on the road
As in car insurance, you will need an insurance deductible for collision and comprehensive coverages during claims payout.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage is also called MedPay coverage. It pays the medical expenses incurred during an accident. The difference with the medical payout in liability insurance is that Medpay coverage pays for you and your passenger’s medical expenses, without regard to who caused the accident or who is at fault. Depending on your insurance provider and state, MedPay could cover:
- Hospital bills
- Emergency and Ambulance medical expenses
- Professional nursing services
- Copays and Health insurance deductibles
Note: Health insurance typically covers medical expenses but MedPay is valuable because it also covers copays and deductibles.
Guest Passenger Liability
Guest passenger liability coverage is almost like Medpay but is only for your guest passenger. If you are at fault in a motorcycle accident, guest passenger liability coverage pays for your passenger’s medical expenses. Otherwise, it doesn’t apply if you’re not at fault.
Some states require riders to have a guest passenger liability, but it is optional in many other states. You can also include guest passenger liability as part of your liability coverage or buy it separately.
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) will pay your medical expenses if a driver or rider who doesn’t have auto insurance or motorcycle insurance crashes on you. On the other hand, you will benefit from Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage when the at-fault rider or driver has insurance but is not enough to pay your medical expenses.
If you own a motorcycle, it’s a smart move to have both UM and UIM insurance coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance Coverage
PIP insurance is almost similar to MedPay, except that it covers more. In addition to paying for you and your passenger’s medical expenses, regardless of the at-fault rider, PIP also offers coverage for lost wages if the accident makes you unable to work and services for tasks you’re unable to do, such as laundry and house cleaning. PIP is optional in some states, mandatory in some, and unavailable in others.
Note: If both MedPay and PIP are available options in your state, we recommend PIP as the better option because of its additional coverages.
OEM Parts Endorsement Coverage
An OEM endorsement coverage means that the insurer will cater to the motorcycle repairs while ensuring original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts are used. This is only for motorcycle repairs that are covered under your policy. If the insurance provider cannot find OEM parts, you’ll receive a payment of the same based on the OEM part’s fair market value.
Also, depending on your insurance provider, OEM parts coverage might be limited to a given age of motorcycles, for example, motorcycles that are less than 10 years old.
Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage
We recommend this motorcycle insurance coverage if you’d wish to customize your bike with aftermarket parts. Your Custom parts and equipment insurance will pay to replace or repair aftermarket additions to your bike if they are destroyed or damaged by a covered problem.
Unlike comprehensive and collision coverages, you won’t need to pay an insurance deductible with custom parts and equipment coverage.
But, keep in mind that custom parts and equipment coverage often has a limit, depending on your insurance company. For example, if your insurer uses the custom parts and equipment coverage limit at $2,000, but you customize your seat at $3,500, you will pay the $1,500 out of your pocket.
Towing and Emergency or Roadside Assistance Coverage
If your motorbike breaks down on the road, your insurance policy will cater for the assistance or towing charges.
Problems covered by towing, emergency and roadside assistance coverage might include Dead battery, flat tire, empty gas tank, Lost key, and Low oil, fluids, or water. On the other hand, the insurer’s expenses might include towing, fuel delivery, and labor at the place of breakdown.
Trip Interruption Insurance
If a mechanical or electrical breakdown puts your road trip on a damper, your trip interruption insurance will pay for your emergency lodging, food, and replacement transportation. However, this coverage has limits, such as:
- You’ll need to be a given distance away from home
- Reimbursement for your lodging and meals will be capped
- Reimbursement for your lodging and meals will be between the time of your motorcycle breakdown and the time of arrival at your destination (or primary residence)
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Discount Recommendations
We recommend that you take advantage of motorcycle insurance discounts. Depending on your insurance company, you can get discounts if you meet certain requirements, for example:
- Multi-policy discount for bundling your policy with your home or car coverage
- Transferring coverage discounts
- Multiple motorcycle discounts
- Renewal savings
- Safe driver and taking/teaching a motorcycle safety course
- Paid-in-full discounts
- Accident forgiveness
Before you buy your motorcycle insurance coverage, you need to shop around to get a better deal. Many auto insurance companies also carry motorcycle insurance. Some companies may offer motorcycle insurance as an endorsement or add on to your car insurance policy. You can talk to your insurance agent to help you understand the best policy for your needs.