The sound and throb of an idling V-Twin motorcycle is music to my ears, especially with a nice set of pipes. After listening to a beautiful Harley, I thought it was time to revisit motorcycle insurance with an overview. This will be the first in a two part series. In this post, I’ll provide an overview of the sections of a motorcycle insurance policy and will follow it next week with an outline of factors that impact a policy’s rate.
A motorcycle insurance policy is laid out almost identically to a car insurance policy. They are comprised of several sections consisting of required and optional coverage.
Liability Coverage: Liability coverage is specified as bodily injury / property damage and is the only required section of a Texas motorcycle policy. It pays for damages to someone else’s vehicle or property you hit in accident that is determined to be your fault. Limits can be written as split or combined single limits.
Split limits are usually represented by three numbers such as 30/60/25, 50/100/50, etc. The first number is the amount of medical coverage for any one person in the other vehicle you hit with the second number being the total amount of medical coverage available for all the people in the other vehicle. No one, however, receives more than the first number. The third number is the total amount of coverage available for property damage.
Coverage may also be written as a single number and is referred to combined single limits. It’s represented in a number like $100,000, $300,000, etc. with the entire amount available for both bodily injury and property damage. Which level and type of coverage is dependent on several factors such as household income, what you do for a living, and how nice a ride you have.
Uninsured / Under Insured Motorists: This is coverage to protect you and anyone riding with you if hit by someone with no or not enough car or motorcycle insurance. Limits are expressed in similar fashion as BIPD limits (split or combined) and may be equal to or less than the BIPD limits.
Medical Coverage: Provides medical care (or funeral) for you and a rider, although some policies offer separate rider coverage as an option. The amount of coverage ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 usually.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Provides for medical care, as well as, lost wages, personal care, etc. It’s usually available in 3 levels $2,500, $5,000, $10,000.
Policy Deductibles: The two most common deductibles on a motorcycle policy are comprehensive and collision. Comprehensive covers property damage to your bike caused by theft, fire, flood, falling objects (hail, trees, etc.), or running into an animal (deer, cow, etc.). The collision deductible covers anything related to an accident, and is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before the policy repairs or totals your bike.
If you don’t have a comprehensive or collision deductible, then you don’t have that coverage on your policy. Coverage amounts for both deductibles typically range from $100 to $1,000 although some companies offer deductibles of $1,500 or higher.
Roadside Assistance: Need a tow, help changing a tire, or maybe a gallon of gas to get you back on your way? These are the types of services provided by towing and roadside assistance coverage, and they can be a huge help!
Rental Vehicle Reimbursement: Provides a rental ride when your vehicle is in the shop due to a claim. Coverage amounts range from $25 to $50 per day for up to 30 days.
Options: There are a ton of options on a motorcycle policy including accessory (and customization) coverage to protect your options (seats, saddle bags, faring, heater, etc.), transport trailer coverage if you trailer your bike to Sturgis, trip interruption and more. Determine what meets your needs and goals.
Have a question, comment, experience, or have a picture of your ride you’d like to share? Post them on our Google +, Facebook, or LinkedIn page. I’d love to hear from you!