The more you know and understand about motorcycle insurance, accident coverage, and your own policy, the better off you are.
Visit your insurance company's site for background information, descriptions and definitions of insurance terms. Then meet with your agent to discuss available options, coverage types and factors that can increase or decrease your rates.
Here are some "starter" questions, but feel free to ask others.
WHN Expert Tip: What Does That Mean?!
"Have the agent take the time and walk you through the insurance process. Ask them to go through the coverage terms and options for you to choose from. Don't understand terms? Ask questions!" Thom D'Angelo, Motosport Brokerage
Questions About the Company
How long have you insured motorcyclists or scooter riders?
WHN Expert Tip: History Matters
"Make sure that this insurance company has a history with insuring motorcyclists. Do they know the difference between a hard bag and a soft bag? Are their customers satisfied?" Denise Maple, founder of VaVaVroom, designers of motorcycle wear for women riders
What discounts do you offer? Many insurance companies offer a discount if you have multiple policies (home, theft, auto, business, etc.) or multiple bikes.
WHN Expert Tip: Safety Courses
"Many insurance companies offer discounts if you take a motorcycle safety course such as the ones offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)." Denise Maple, founder of VaVaVroom, designers of motorcycle wear for women riders
WHN Expert Tip: Winter Months
In many northern states, riders may save money by buying a "lay-up" policy. With a lay-up policy, all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months. Ask your agent about this option. Insurance Information Institute
What is the length of time that a policy is in effect? What can result in the policy being canceled or premiums raised?
Questions About Motorcycle Insurance
What are the levels of coverage that are available for my motorcycle's make and model?
What is included in the basic coverage?
What are the costs and coverage details for these types of insurance: liability, comprehensive, collision and full coverage?
WHN Expert Tip: Liability Insurance
Pay particular attention to liability. Many states only require that you have a minimum of $20,000 of coverage. That's not very much. If you ride your bike into a crowd of people and cause injuries, you will be held liable for their medical bills, which could be a lot more than $20,000." Dean Akey, Allstate insurance agent and founder and president of Rescue Riders
"You should be more concerned about liability insurance then protecting your motorcycle. If you're held liable for damages, you have more to lose and your assets could be in danger." Thom D'Angelo, Motosport Brokerage
Are there certain models that cost more to insure?
What motorcycles/scooters get the lowest insurance rates?
WHN Tip: Costs May Vary
"Your policy costs may vary depending on your age, the type of bike, your zip code, driving record, if it's parked in a garage or carport, if it is financed or owned outright, and deductible levels. The bottom line is to do lots of homework and shopping around with various insurance companies or a good independent agent that represents multiple companies." Ron Arieli, president and owner of T.E.A.M. Arizona Motorcyclist Training Centers.
What factors increase a policy cost?
WHN Tip: Super Bikes
"Do you really need a high-performance machine? If so, you'll pay a ridiculously high rate just for basic coverage. A more sensible motorcycle may meet your needs." Dave Mannato, sales agent at the Matador Insurance Agency, Latham, NY.
Questions About Your Current Coverage
Who or what is covered under my motorcycle insurance? Are other licensed drivers (friends, family members) covered if they drive my motorcycle?
Does my model cost more to insure than other types?
How much it cost to insure myself at the level I'm comfortable with?
Does my policy include roadside assistance?
If so, what geographic areas does it include?
If not, does the company offer it and how much does it cost?
Are there certain times and services (flat tire, towing, accident, etc.) that are/aren't included?
Does this insurance policy cover me anywhere in the country? What about outside of the country?
Are personal items/features on my motorcycle covered in case of an accident or theft? Do I need a rider on certain items if I'd like that option?
WHN Tip: Add-Ons
"If you make improvements or add extra features to your bike, upgrade your policy. I bought a new Road King for $17,000 but with all the work I put in, it's probably worth close to $40,000 today. Unless you add the new features to your policy, they won't be covered" Dean Akey, Allstate insurance agent and founder and president of Rescue Riders
Tell me where I fit in with national averages – am I paying average, more, or less, and what factors into your answers?
What are my payment options and related discounts? Annual payments, bi-annual, monthly, etc.?
The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional advice. These tips are from experts and people who have shared their real life advice; always check with appropriate professionals you trust in making your purchasing or life-related decisions.
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