Buying a Motorcycle

Spring is here – and for you, that means the bike is coming out of the garage. As the days get longer and the sunshine more reliable, there’s nothing like the winding roads of the foothills, the small highways along the coast, or the country roads across the flats, enjoyed on two wheels with the wind in your face. You can’t wait to trade your stuffy car for the freedom of your motorcycle.

If you own a motorcycle, it’s important to have the right insurance to protect yourself. So before you get ready to chase the wind, give Eastern Insurance Group LLC a call at 1-800-333-7234. We can provide you with quotes, policy advice, and answers to questions like these:

  • Is my motorcycle covered under my auto insurance?
  • How much insurance do I need to purchase?
  • What is the most important coverage on my motorcycle insurance policy?
  • How can I get a discount on my motorcycle policy?
  • What about insurance for mopeds, scooters, or ATVs?

Is my motorcycle covered under my auto insurance?

Your car insurance and your motorcycle insurance are completely separate and will absolutely not apply for each other.

Don’t make a crucial mistake and assume that your auto policy might protect you. It won’t. That said, some states offer “motorcycle endorsements” that can be added to your auto policy. But beware: these endorsements are usually not as comprehensive as a stand-alone motorcycle policy, and they often come with a variety of exclusions in the fine print. If you own a motorcycle, we strongly recommend that you get a stand-alone motorcycle insurance policy. Give us a call. We can help.

How much insurance should I purchase or do I need to purchase?

Congratulations on your new bike! You must be thrilled!

You hadn’t planned on spending extra money on insurance, though. But now that you’re about to own this baby…. Well, it seems to make sense to protect her properly.

Then again, the odds that a biker is considered at fault in an accident are quite small. So why pay for liability insurance? What does a motorcycle insurance policy cover, anyways?

Congratulations on your new bike! You must be thrilled!

Motorcycle insurance is quite similar to auto insurance. It includes various coverages:

  • Bodily Injury / Property Damage Liability Coverage: This coverage applies if you are considered at fault in causing damage or injury to a third party, up to the limits you select. This can be very important for you, since this coverage helps you protect your own assets.
  • Comprehensive / Collision Coverage: This coverage pays for repairs to your bike if it is damaged in an accident, if it’s stolen, or if it’s damaged or destroyed by, for example, a fire.
  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM): If you are in an accident in which the other party is at fault, this coverage will protect you if they don’t have the insurance or resources to pay for your damages and/or injuries that they are legally liable for. That includes medical payments and loss of wages.
  • Medical Payments: Medical payments cover the cost of any medical treatment you receive, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is often limited to the first three years after an accident happened. Also, not all health insurance carriers cover injuries from a motorcycle accident, and if they do they may limit what they pay out.
  • Custom Parts and Equipment: This coverage provides protection for accessories and “extras” to your bike that exceed $1,000 in value, other than those originally included by the manufacturer. It also covers sidecars, trailers that are intended to be pulled by a motorcycle, custom paint jobs, safety riding gear and helmets, and trike conversion kits. Custom parts and equipment are covered up to $1,000 under comprehensive coverage.
  • Roadside Assistance: Provides immediate roadside repair services for breakdown, dead battery, flat tire, fuel depletion, and towing.

Even though the odds of being at fault in a multi-vehicle accident are very low for motorcyclists, liability often doesn’t clearly lie with the other party either. And even though bikers are often the victims when it comes to cycle–car collisions, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need liability insurance. What if you hit a bicyclist or a pedestrian? What if you accidentally scratch a car as you back out of your parking spot? What if a guest passenger gets injured?

Motorcycle insurance will help protect you and your bike, as well as your assets in case you ever find yourself in a liability lawsuit. Eastern Insurance can help protect almost any type of motorcycle, whether it’s a dirt bike or a street cruiser, a vintage bike or a customized high-performance machine. Give us a call at 1-800-333-7234 to learn more.

What is the most important coverage on my motorcycle insurance policy?

As you shop for your motorcycle insurance policy, keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to insurance. And motorcycle insurance policies aren’t always worth the money you pay for them. You want a policy that protects you when you need it. Cheap coverage usually only provides you with low liability limits and leaves out the most important coverages.

We have reviewed countless policies that did not include Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/ UIM) coverage. Yet this is probably the single most important part of a motorcycle policy. As a biker, your risk of being at fault in an accident is comparatively low. But your risk of being hit is relatively high. That’s where your UM/UIM coverage applies.

Your UM/UIM coverage kicks in if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have the insurance or resources to pay for your injuries, medical payments, loss of wages, and damage to your bike. If the person who hit you doesn’t have the money to pay for the damages he or she caused you, your own insurance will protect you. But only if you have the right insurance. This is what your UM/UIM coverage does for you.

You cannot buy stand-alone UM/UIM coverage. UM/UIM can only be obtained in combination with liability coverage, and it can only be purchased up to the limits of your liability coverage. You cannot carry low liability limits but high UM/UIM limits.

To sum it all up: get motorcycle insurance to protect yourself. A driver who isn’t responsible enough to look for motorcycles on the road may not be responsible enough to carry adequate insurance limits.

We can help you find a motorcycle policy that provides you with the protection you need while giving you the best value for your dollar.

 

How can I get a discount on my motorcycle policy?

Depending on the company, a variety of discounts are available:

  • Claims-Free Discount: If you didn’t have any claims or accidents during the previous policy period, you could qualify for this discount when your policy renews.
  • Homeowner Discount: If you own your home, condo, or rented residence, you qualify for this discount. Why? Because insurance companies assume that if you take the time to insure your home or its contents, you are a responsible person. Responsible people are responsible drivers (or riders) and deserve a discount.
  • Safe Driver Discount: If you’ve had your motorcycle license for six years or more and have ridden with no accidents or violations for five years or more, you qualify for the Safe Driver Discount.
  • LoJack Discount: You can save on your motorcycle policy if your bike is equipped with the LoJack tracking system.
  • Safety Course Discount: ß Safety Course Discount: Completing a safety course can save your life and offer you a discount on your motorcycle policy. Sign up for a class today. To keep the insurance discount active, you have to complete a safety course every three years.

Keep in mind that your insurance rates depend on your bike’s type and brand, MSRP value, engine size, and level of customization. A customized street race machine that you use every day will bring you much higher insurance bills than a vintage cruiser that you only use every now and then. As you search for your perfect bike, keep these factors in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises. Don’t hesitate to give us a call for more information, even before you purchase your bike.

What about insurance for mopeds, scooters, or ATVs?

Mopeds and scooters, both electric and gasoline-powered, can be insured on a motorcycle policy. All the same discounts and options apply for big bikes as well as smaller mopeds and scooters. However, in order to purchase insurance you must maintain at least a motorcycle permit.

ATVs and snowmobiles, on the other hand, take a special place. An ATV may be covered under your homeowner’s policy, but only if it’s driven exclusively on your own property and used to service your property. There is absolutely no coverage if you take the ATV off your property and drive it on public roads, even if it’s only across the street. If there is any chance at all that you might take your ATV or snowmobile to a dirt track, into the mountains, or elsewhere, you should get ATV or snowmobile insurance.

For more information, please call us at 1-800-333-7234.