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All About Insurance
Facts About Insuring Your Ride
Washington State does not require that you have insurance to use a motorcycle, but it certainly is a wise move. Liability insurance covers people and property that you might damage; comprehensive coverage includes you and your vehicle. When comprehensive insurance covers medical costs, it is a wise buy, especially if your personal health insurance has high co-pays and deductibles. Comprehensive coverage only covers the cost of damage to your bike, and since motorcycles cost less than cars, it will be cheaper than your automobile comprehensive insurance. Liability insurance can protect you from huge debts if someone is badly hurt in an accident you cause (or when you are part of the cause). Remember that passengers are only covered by liability insurance.
We can advise you in broad terms about cutting the cost of your motorcycle insurance, but your best bet it to use an agent you trust, who will know your state’s requirements and be familiar with the policies of several insurance companies. We’re using discounts offered by Allstate; other companies may offer more or less in percent discounted and may not offer all of the ones we mention or may offer other discounts. It pays to check around.
On American Pickers, Frank makes his best deals by bundling. That concept works when you buy motorcycle insurance, too. You can save up to 30% by bundling your motorcycle and automobile or homeowners insurance. Additional motorcycles on the same policy save 10% or more.
In general, the amount you pay for insurance depends on how much the insurance company thinks it is risking on you and your vehicle. Younger riders pay more than experienced riders, and if you have a track record of accidents and moving violations, you’ll pay more for insurance than those with a clean record. Allstate gives a discount of up to 10% if you’ve had only minor violations and no accidents in the last five years. In any case, you can often get a discount (5% at Allstate) by taking an approved motorcycle safety course. And belonging to certain specified organizations (American Motorcycle Association, for example) can give you an added 5% discount on your Allstate liability insurance.
Many factors go into setting the rate (before figuring discounts). For instance, an older, stodgier bike costs less to insure than a newer, flashier one. Older stodgier people get a break too—AARP members can get a discount at Hartford, for instance. And the more you drive, the more you’ll pay. Where you keep and ride your bike can also make a difference. If you live in a high-crime area, you’ll pay more. And you’ll pay more if you live in “tornado alley” or another natural danger zone. But, if you can keep your motorcycle in a garage, you may pay less (Allstate doesn’t mention this one).
A helpful website that reviews several insurance companies, giving an overview of their costs and their reputations is here. It’s a good place to start your pre-shopping research. Whatever insurance you buy, be sure it covers your worst-case scenario—that’s what it’s for.