Your Insurance Coverage
In every state in the Union, you’re required to carry a certain amount of insurance to pay for injuries and property damage to others. This “minimum liability” amount pays for other victims in an accident, not you.
Here’s how it works in theory, if you’re the victim in an accident, then the other driver’s insurance will pay for your injuries or damage to your motorcycle.
This scenario assumes that the other driver is insured enough to cover you and your losses and damages, and the real fact of the matter is that it might not be the case. So where does any shortfall in what you’ll get to cover your total losses and damages come from if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured? From your insurer, and for your insurer to pay the difference, you have to have taken advantage of the option to purchase additional insurance.
The dollar amount of insurance coverage that your state absolutely requires you to have is often abbreviated as three separate numbers (for example, 20/50/10). Here’s what that means in terms of coverage and dollars:
- $20, 000 is the maximum amount to be paid per person for injuries from an accident when the policyholder – you – are at fault in the incident.
- $50,000 is the maximum amount which will be paid for all medical injuries related to any such accident, and that applies to more than one person.
- $10,000 is the maximum amount to be paid for any property damage caused by the incident such as damages to another vehicle, a building or other property.
Each state has their own formula which sets the minimum amount of coverage you must carry, so the formula and the numbers could be 15/30/15, 30/50/30, or some other combination. Industry experts recommend a policy that covers you for more than the minimums, and many say you should carry much more than those minimums.
Choosing a Policy
Certain insurance companies have taken advantage of Internet efficiencies to establish rates that are quite affordable for the consumer. These companies can provide online access to important details related to their policies – types of premiums, costs, liabilities, submitting a claim, and types of claims that are allowed. If the insurer you select has a help desk, you will be able to call for more information whenever you need it.
Here are some specifics to keep in mind when you are choosing an insurer for your motorcycle:
- Insurance rates depend on the model of the car being insured and its age. Expensive new motorcycles call for a higher premium.
- In general, a larger deductible results in lower premiums for the consumer. This means that you’ll pay more out of pocket should something happen, but if you’ve paid lower premiums for years it could be worth it.
- You’ll pay less if you take steps that could reduce the amount of any claims. Installing alarms, and other safety devices can help reduce your insurance costs.
- Your premium will be lower if you have taken a course in defensive driving, have not received any tickets, or were never at fault in a traffic accident.
The following factors will help you calculate what deductible you can afford to absorb:
- The amount you still owe on any lease or loan you took out for your motorcycle.
- The amount of cash you have in your savings account, the amount of credit you can assume, your monthly disposable income (after expenses), and the current replacement value of your motorcycle.
- The period of coverage.
- The crime rate in your area.
- The insurance payout to be made in case of an accident that was not your fault, or for one in which you were at fault.
Tips for buying your motorcycle insurance, coverage you need:
- Collision to pay for damage caused to your vehicle in an accident with another vehicle or any stationary object.
- Comprehensive to cover such things as fire, hail, wind, vandalism, hitting an animal, etc.
- Towing / Pickup
- Medical payment or personal injury protection to cover the medical bills resulting from an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist to protect us when the other driver is at-fault and does not have coverage or assets out of which your bills can be paid.