How to Choose Motorcycle Insurance
Just like when purchasing a car, your first move after buying a motorcycle should be to find a motorcycle insurance policy that gives you the coverage you need at the rate you want. And just like auto insurance, motorcycle insurance policies have many factors to consider before you sign anything.
Getting a low quote on motorcycle insurance can start even before you purchase your bike. The value of your motorcycle is one of the main factors which will affect your motorcycle insurance quote. A brand-new model with performance upgrades can increase your rates dramatically. An older bike (which might be less safe than a new one, ironically) will usually cost less to insure.
Your driving record
How long or how well you’ve driven a car has little bearing on your motorcycle insurance rates. Even if you’ve been driving a car for years, if your motorcycle license is brand-new, the insurance companies will treat you like an inexperienced rider. Over time and with more experience, your rates will drop accordingly.
Insurance companies also will look at the locations of your home and your work. If either area has higher rates of crime and theft, your motorcycle insurance policy may cost more. Even your line of work may contribute to your quote. For example, a construction worker who has to park his bike out in the open will likely have to pay a higher premium than an office worker who is able to park their bike in a monitored company lot.
Companies may offer different discounts on your motorcycle insurance rates as well:
- Insuring more than one motorcycle through the same insurance company
- Belonging to certain riding associations
- Being an older or more experienced rider, or both
- Transferring your policy to a new company
- Renew the policy with the same company.
Motorcycles are unique in that you may also purchase supplemental coverage for your accessories. This is known as “Custom Parts and Equipment” coverage (CPE). Examples of items which may be covered by CPE include: sidecars, trailers pulled by the motorcycle, electronic equipment, conversion kits, custom paint or exhaust systems, and even safety equipment such as helmets and riding gear. While most comprehensive policies will include coverage on these items up to a certain amount, bikes with extensive accessories may be better protected by purchasing additional CPE bike insurance.
Now that you know some of the premium increases associated with bike insurance, don’t be afraid to shop around. Although most companies will take some similar factors into consideration, they will most likely vary as to what other kinds of discounts they offer. If you are able to take a motorcycle safety course or defensive driving class, this could lower your rates, as long as you have your certification prior to purchasing your policy. You may also be able to get lower rates on your motorcycle insurance if you choose a policy from the same company which offers coverage on your other vehicles, such as your cars, boats, or RVs.