Maybe you’ve dreamed of owning a motorcycle your entire life or maybe you switched to two (or sometimes three) wheels because motorcycles get better gas mileage. Whatever your reason, now that you have your bike, it is imperative that you get motorcycle insurance. It’s too risky not to when motorcycles are inherently dangerous.
Nearly all states require motorcycle operators to have liability insurance. Motor scooters and mopeds are more of a mixed bag. Here’s a complete rundown of insurance requirements.
Unfortunately, motorcycle insurance, like most other insurance, involves a labyrinth of unfamiliar terms and hoops to jump through when it comes to getting the cheapest insurance. And most of the time you are paying hidden costs you never realized existed. If you already have motorcycle insurance, it is never too late to discover the many tips and tricks that can lower your premium and give you extra spending money. Studded leather gloves, anyone?
Safety Courses–When it comes to getting cheaper motorcycle insurance, “safety” is the magic word. Taking extra safety courses gets you special discounts because it shows the insurance company that you are invested in being a safe rider. When deciding which course provider you will choose, it is best to use a Motorcycle Safety Foundation-based course. They are known for their high standards, commitment to using regularly inspected bikes and for certifying their own coaches. Whatever course you choose, expect to pay between $125 and $250, depending on the course you take and your class location. You can offset the cost by getting in touch with safety awareness organizations and motorcycle manufacturers who sometimes offer tuition discounts to riders.
Take the stress out of paying your insurance premium–Paying your premium once a year is not ideal if you rarely have extra room in your bank account. Take the stress out of paying your insurance instead of paying your insurance in one lump sum at the end of the year, set up monthly payments, to take the sting out of the cost. Go one step further and save even more money by increasing your deductible. When you pay a couple hundred dollars more on your deductible, your premium lowers and that can save you up to 30% on your insurance.
Store your bike and save–“Safety” is not strictly defined by courses you can take or your driving record. Insurance companies also recognize motorcycle safety when your bike is not even in motion. Keeping your bike safe, either by storing it in a garage or installing an alarm might get you some discounts on your insurance.
A club that saves you money–We’re not talking about that kind of club. Riders’ clubs provide training to improve your riding skills. Proof of membership coupled with skill training will get you a discount from some insurance companies or reduce the overall cost of your insurance. The cool club t-shirts you’ll get to wear and the camaraderie you’ll build with fellow riders are just added bonuses.
Shop around–Choosing an insurance company based on how much their commercials make you laugh is ill-advised, as tempting as it may be. Since the cost and benefits of insurance carries varies from driver to driver, it pays to shop around to see what carrier will save you the most money. We did a side-by-side comparison of the big three of motorcycle insurance: Allstate, Geico and State Farm.
Geico has the highest customer rating out of the three, with a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Allstate and State Farm trail behind with their ratings of 4 out of 5.
Learn more about Geico’s motorcycle coverage.
When it comes to coverage, Allstate serves the largest area, and is only not available in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
Learn more about Allstate’s motorcycle coverage.
Geico’s insurance plan includes accessories, bodily injury liability, collisions, incidents from theft, fire or vandalism, medical payments, property damage liability coverage, and injuries caused by an uninsured driver in a crash that’s not your fault. Allstate’s insurance plan includes a first accident waiver, accessories, rental reimbursement, towing and labor costs and lease/loan gap coverage. While State Farm’s insurance plan includes accident damage, incidents from theft, fire or vandalism, injuries caused by an uninsured driver in a crash that’s not your fault, bodily injury and property damage caused while riding your motorcycle, attached side cars, and custom motorcycle work.
J.D. Power Ratings are sourced through user reviews. Therefore, a Lexus J.D. Power Rating is based on the opinions of Lexus owners and the J.D. Power Rating for motorcycle insurance is based on customers of insurance carriers. Their research practices are the standard when it comes to any sort of ratings, making them a trusted source on any topic they cover. State Farm has the best J.D. Power rating with a 3.5 out of 5, Allstate comes in second with a 3 rating and Geico lags behind with a 2.5 rating.
Learn more about State Farm’s motorcycle coverage.
Insurance costs depend on your location, age, driving record, type of bike, address and your job. And the cheapest option for you may not be the cheapest option for the next person. Devote some time to inquiring on the phone or online about the different insurance carriers’ quotes.
When researching quotes, make sure to have the following information handy: your motorcycle VIN, or a description of your motorcycle’s make and model, the year you registered your motorcycle, detailed information about past claims, auto accidents, and auto losses, and information concerning custom accessories.
Now that you have the information you need to find the insurance that fits your needs, it’s time for some fun. Go out and ride. Feel the wind in your hair (the hair that is not covered by a helmet, that is). Relax knowing that your insurance has got you covered.