Insuring a Motorcycle can be expensive, but it is just as important as insurance for a car. While every motorcycle driver in Texas is required to have liability insurance, comprehensive coverage is optional.
Liability vs. Comprehensive
Liability insurance pays other individuals involved in the accident, if you mess up. That’s the long and the short of it. In Texas you will pay hefty fines and even face jail time if you cause a wreck and don’t have liability insurance. It consists of personal injury insurance for the other driver plus personal property damage.
Comprehensive covers your damage in an accident. Your fault, their fault, nobody’s fault, comprehensive insurance will pay your medical bills, loss of wages, and repair or replacement of your own property.
Comprehensive insurance is required if you have a loan on your motorcycle. This is because the bank, technically, owns your rig until you have finished paying for it. Therefore, if something happens to it, the bank will want the full value of their loan back.
Affordable Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance
If you own a car, your car insurance will not cover your motorcycle. But, it is possible to bundle motorcycle and car insurance. Bundling almost always saves you money. In fact, you may want to change insurance companies if they don’t offer a discount for multiple policies.
Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is just that – it is comprehensive. It covers more than accidents. If your motorcycle is damaged by weather, vandalism or completely stolen, comprehensive will pay to have it fixed or replaced.
Discounts on Motorcycle Insurance
Ask your agent about discounts that may be available. In some cases, you may be able to get a 15% discount by taking a motorcycle safety training course. Your age, of course, will also determine part of your rates, as well as your driving record. Insurance companies will also take education into account.
Not only your age, but also the age of your motorcycle figures in to the amount of insurance you need. Your agent will also need an estimate of how many miles you travel on your bike every year. In some cases, you may be able to get a “lay-up policy” that drops coverage during months when you won’t be riding. However, if comprehensive coverage is needed, you may not be able to take advantage of this break.
Another way to get affordable motorcycle insurance is to carry a high deductible. If you can keep a healthy savings set aside for repairs, then a $1000 deductible will save you a lot of money on your premium. In addition, if you can make the small repairs yourself, rather than making claims on your comprehensive insurance, you’ll qualify for lower premiums. Insurance companies don’t like their customers to make frequent, small claims, and will up your premiums.
Ask your agent about driver exclusions. This can save you a lot of money. For example, if there is a driver in your house who has a poor driving record, or who is under 20, excluding that person from your motorcycle policy can cut your premiums.
You can also exclude passenger liability. This means that you can’t carry a passenger, but liability coverage is much cheaper if you don’t. With cars, passengers are automatically insured. But with a motorcycle it is your choice!
Just as your education level may affect your premiums, so will your credit score. Believe it or not, your credit score can be an indication, in some insurance company models, of how dependable and responsible you are. Check your credit score and credit report, and clear up any mistakes. A poor credit report can be worse for your insurance rate than a speeding ticket.
When selecting motorcycle insurance, some of the same rules apply as with insuring a car. A sporty model will simply cost more to insure. Insurance on a sport bike can be 4 times higher than a standard model.
While you are checking your credit report, check your driving record, too. You may find that there are mistakes that make you look like a higher risk. Working with an independent agent can allow you to potentially hide a poor record. Some motorcycle insurance companies evaluate driving history for 3 years, while others look as far back as 5 years.
There are quite a few variables that can affect the cost of your insurance. To get affordable comprehensive motorcycle insurance, check on the following:
- How do you store your bike?
- Where do you live?
- What style of motorcycle do you have?
- What is your credit score?
- What is your driving record?
- Will you ride on dirt or pavement?
- Will you carry a passenger?
- Do you ride year-round, or only seasonally?
- Do you have Motorcycle Safety training?
- Can you bundle your policies?