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Motorcycle Insurance - Coverage Basics for Motorcyclists

Feb 10, 2008
Buying the right kind (and the right amount) of motorcycle insurance can appear complicated - but it doesn't have to be! When shopping for insurance, there are three main types of policies to be considered:

Liability:
Liability insurance is the least expensive policy you can buy, and for good reason. It's basically designed to protect the other guy and his bike - not you or yours.

Collision:
Collision insurance, on the other hand, will help pay for your bike's repairs in the event of an accident.

Comprehensive:
Comprehensive is well, shall we say, the most comprehensive policy you can buy covering everything from, fire, theft and vandalism, as well as accidents.

When shopping around for motorcycle insurance, it's important to understand every limitation of the policy you choose. For instance, a higher deductible will help lower your monthly premiums, but in the event of a claim, you will pay more out-of-pocket expenses. Another thing to consider is whether or not your policy will pay to replace your bike in the event it is totaled, or if the insurance company will pay your claim based on your bike's depreciated value. This can make a huge difference between having enough money to buy the new bike and getting stuck taking whatever you can afford.

Of course, there are ways to get your premium down. Some of thing's an insurance carrier will consider when setting your rate includes:

-The size of your motorcycle.
-What kind and brand it is.
-How old you are.
-Your driving record (have you had any previous accidents, claims or speeding tickets?).
-What you will use the bike for ex: to ride to work or for enjoyment.
-How many miles you'll be wracking up on your bike every year.
-Where you live.
-What type od extras your bike has (face it, all the customized stuff that makes your bike great will also cost the insurance company more to replace should it be involved in an accident or stolen).

While every insurance carrier will consider these things when setting your individual insurance rate, there are ways to lower your premium - now and in the future. The first is to pay off any loans you have on your bike as soon as possible. When you finance your motorcycle, the bank requires a certain amount of insurance to cover the loan, but once it is paid in full, how much and what types of coverage you carry is totally up to you, leaving you to decide how much risk you want to take.

The second is to keep your driving record clean. Every claim you submit and every traffic violation you receive will add cost to your insurance premiums. Keep that in mind the next time you speed down the highway.

Make sure you tell your insurance agent if your bike is stored during the winter months (or any time of the year). The less it's on the road, the less you will pay for insurance.

Also, keep up your credit score. It's a little known fact among the general population, but more and more insurance companies are looking at a client's credit score to determine how responsible they are. And how much they should charge them for their insurance. Statistics have shown that those with higher credit scores submit fewer claims - which is good business for insurers.

Buying motorcycle insurance is much like buying any other type of insurance. The key to getting a good deal is shopping around and making sure that you clearly understand the policy that you've chosen. Just because one company's premiums are lower, doesn't necessarily make it a better deal.
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