Motorcycle owners tend to be enthusiasts who have made riding an important part of their life, and their numbers are growing. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of registered motorcycles has been steadily increasing for years. Given the inherent risks of riding, and the increasing popularity of very expensive bikes, all motorcycle owners, not just the new ones, must have sufficient insurance coverage to protect themselves and their motorcycles.
Many owners are often surprised to discover that motorcycles are not covered by standard personal automobile policies. Coverage under these policies is typically limited to “automobiles” and “motor vehicles” with at least four wheels, so motorcycle owners need a separate insurance policy. Though specific to motorcycles, these policies offer coverages similar to automobile insurance policies, such as:
Liability: Covers bodily injury and property damage to others for which the motorcycle owner is responsible. This coverage does not pay for the motorcycle owner’s own bodily injury or property damage.
Collision: Covers damage to your motorcycle caused by a collision with another object, such as a motorcycle, car, tree or fence. This type of coverage is typically required by finance companies.
Comprehensive: Covers losses caused by something other than a collision, such as theft, vandalism, falling objects, fire and weather (wind, hail, etc.). This type of insurance coverage is also known as Comp or Other-Than-Collision coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Covers bodily injury and property damage caused by another who is uninsured (no insurance) or underinsured (insufficient) insurance. This coverage allows a motorcycle owner to collect from his or her own insurance company.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP): In the event of a loss, GAP coverage pays the difference between the actual cash value of the motorcycle and any outstanding balance due on a loan or lease.
Despite these similarities, there are some significant differences between motorcycle insurance and auto insurance. For example, Florida’s Motor Vehicle No-Fault law, which requires motorists to carry at least $10,000 of no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage, does not apply to motorcycles. However, Florida law requires at least $10,000 medical payments insurance coverage for those over the age of 21 who choose to ride without a helmet.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for motorcycle insurance:
- Make sure coverage meets or exceeds applicable minimum insurance requirements, which may vary by state.
- Motorcycles with customized parts or optional equipment worth more than a few thousand dollars will need additional accessory coverage.
- Premium discounts may be available for completing a certified motorcycle safety training course.
Though motorcycle insurance is similar to auto insurance, it’s not the same. A reputable insurance agent with access to multiple companies can help find the right insurance coverage for you and your bike.
If you would like more information about motorcycle insurance, please contact us.
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