Motorcycle Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions
Posted July 3, 2014
What’s the best way to keep my motorcycle insurance cost down?
If you finance your motorcycle, typically the creditor will require comprehensive and collision coverage. This will typically account for 60-70% of your motorcycle insurance premium. So the obvious answer is to buy a bike that doesn’t require you to have this level of coverage. However, corner-cutter beware – this is the coverage that will come in most handy if repairs need to be made due to accident, vandalism or theft – so, if you elect to sidestep these additional layers of protection, know what you are getting into.
Secondarily, the “safety” record of the bike itself will have an impact on price. Consider this years’ Honda CBR vs. a 16 year old Yamaha Virago 250. From the perspective of your motorcycle insurance carrier, riders who invest in the new 180hp sport bike will behave in a more aggressive manner vs. the riders who are ok with a smaller displacement engine and an older bike. If you are riding a Suzuki GSXR, insurance carriers are expecting a higher likelihood of an incident and therefore will ask for a higher premium.
Lastly, new vs. older, engine size, class (cruiser, touring, sports bike etc.) will also determine the cost bucket that will drive your cost.
Are all motorcycle insurance policies identical?
Nope. Definitely read the fine print and see what you get from each carrier. The motorcycle insurance industry is not as standardized as say auto insurance, so the buyer needs to exercise a greater degree of care.
What about discounts?
Always ask! Membership in some motorcycle clubs may produce a reduction in premium alongside education, age, years of experience riding, marital status and profession.
Motorcycle Insurance Bottom Line
Motorcycle insurance, by definition is more expensive than auto insurance (comparing apples to apples). Why? For obvious safety reasons and the probability of an incident – which can increase over time. Recently in a discussion with a broker, he implied that insurance rates tend to go down after the first year of riding and then start to increase again after 5 years, especially if you haven’t had an accident within five years! The explanation – the likelihood, statistically speaking, that an accident will occur at some point is extremely high. Even if you have managed to avoid something for a long time, the actuaries insist that it is only a matter of time, and therefore the risk will increase.
Ride safe! Be smart.