You bought a new motorcycle and you're ready to hit the road. Right? Not so fast. You may think that safety gear is all you need to protect yourself, but if you don't know the basics of motorcycle insurance, you could injure your finances. (I know, I know, it's a terrible joke. But hey, I write for an insurance website, so cut me some slack!)
It's pretty simple. Motorcycle insurance is required by law in many states. Besides that, it can protect you from losing your house or life savings or both if you're responsible for causing personal injuries or property damage. It can also cover your medical bills, theft and damage from vandalism. And, if you have a loan or lease, the lender will usually make you buy coverage for the bike itself.
The big one: liability coverage
This is the legally required coverage most people think of when they talk about insurance. It breaks down into two categories:
This coverage will also pay for your defense costs if you're sued because of an accident.
Consider buying more than the minimum amount of coverage required in your state. Why? Well, if you have a lot of assets to protect, you'll want to make sure you're protecting those assets. And if you don't have a lot of assets, how will you pay the bills?
Optional but important: protection for you
Although these coverages are usually optional, they all protect you and your property directly. Unless you're rich, take a good look at them.
Even more coverage
These are some of the smaller and most-overlooked coverages, but they're all relatively cheap for the protection they provide. However, if you don't need them, they're a waste of money.
And if I buy all that, I don't pay anything else?
If you believe that, you'll believe anything! There's no such thing as "full coverage." It's just something people say so they won't worry. Here's what you usually end up paying for:
Discounts and savings
Many motorcycle insurance discounts are similar to auto insurance discounts. These are some special ones for riders:
Comparison shopping: boring but useful
Motorcycle insurance quotes for the same coverage on the same bike can be different from each company. If you're getting insurance for the first time or think you're paying too much, it pays to check prices. Just make sure you're comparing the same coverage and make sure the company has a good financial strength rating.
Looking for different information? Have questions or feedback? Please let us know.
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