According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle riders face higher accident risks than passenger car occupants. Even the most cautious, experienced bikers have at one time or another dealt with adverse weather conditions or careless drivers sharing the road. Depending on the level of coverage selected, insurance can protect riders in the event of an accident, including losses from injury, medical bills, vehicle damage, and theft. In fact, insurance is legally required in most states before operating a motorcycle on the road, with some states requiring proof of insurance prior to purchasing a new bike.
Due to a higher possibility of injury, motorcycle insurance tends to be more complex and can be very expensive. However, finding the best possible coverage while minimizing costs does not have to be a tedious process. The key to finding the right coverage for the lowest cost is to shop around. Paying to protect against losses can be affordable if an individual takes the time to research and compare companies, and it doesn’t have to be a difficult task. There are many insurance companies to choose from with rates varying widely, so it pays to take the time and compare quotes, both by calling agents and searching online.
The following are some useful tips to lowering motorcycle insurance costs:
Maintain a good driving record
A key factor in getting cheap motorcycle insurance is maintaining a good driving record. Insurance companies check individuals’ points on their record for previous auto accidents and speeding tickets. Those with a clean record generally pay cheaper rates for motorcycle insurance, and may qualify for additional discounts.
Research rates before purchasing
Some bikes are more expensive than others to insure. If cost is a consideration, consider purchasing a bike that does not carry a premium surcharge, such as a sport bike. Also, buyers can inquire as to which motorcycle models may be more prone to theft, avoiding models which result in higher rates.
Invest in a motorcycle safety course
It pays to learn to be a safer rider and reduce the risk of having an accident on the road. Most insurance companies offer discounts to riders who get extra certification beyond a motorcycle license from an approved safety course, such as through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or through an independent company. Once the course is completed, it is important to keep any proof of certification to provide to the insurance company.
Consider riding frequency and seasonal insurance
Rates are affected by the frequency that an individual rides. It usually pays to inform the insurer if mileage is low because the bike is not used often. Seasonal insurance, or insuring your motorcycle only for the months that it is actually ridden, can also be considered if the motorcycle is only used a portion of the year. For instance, riders living in cold climates can opt for a lay-up policy, paying only for comprehensive coverage during the winter months.
Keeping the motorcycle secure at all times can result in cheaper rates. Installing anti-theft systems such as security alarms and immobilizers on the bike may reduce the risk of theft or vandalism. In addition, parking the motorcycle in a garage or shed also increases security and may lead to discounts on rates.