Insuring Your New Motorcycle

If you're in love with the idea of buying a motorcycle and spending sun-drenched days with the wind in your face (and bugs in your teeth), you may want to check out what it will cost to insure your new toy before you actually decide that you're going to become the next Easy Rider. While motorcycles do look and feel great, they also have a lingering reputation for ferrying somewhat risky and speed-prone drivers around the roadways. In the eyes of an insurance company, the higher risk of riding a motorcycle means that they're typically going to charge a bit more for covering this mode of transportation.

Here are a few things that often make a difference in the price of motorcycle insurance, so keep them in mind when shopping around:

  • State regulations – Every state has its own set of rules and regulations for insuring both four- and two-wheeled motorized vehicles. Whether its prescribed minimums for liability-, personal injury-, or other coverage types, you'll need to make sure that the insurance you purchase meets your state's requirements. Depending on the number of rules that are in place in your particular state, your policy premium could adjust higher or lower. The motorcycle dealer or your state's Department of Motor Vehicles will be able to give you the details of the necessary coverage.
  • Engine power –The size of the engine in the motorcycle you're considering will make a difference in what you'll pay for insurance on that vehicle. The larger and more powerful the bike's engine, the more insurance companies will be concerned that you may use it to race or show off and, as such, will consider you an even higher risk. The premiums will, of course, go up accordingly.
  • Age – Although it's something that you can't control, age is nonetheless a determining factor in virtually any insurance. The companies are going to take a look at your age and adjust your rate accordingly. Younger drivers (those below age 25) are routinely considered to be a much higher insurance risk because statistics show that these drivers are more likely to operate a vehicle irresponsibly and be involved in accidents. This, needless to say, also precipitates higher premiums.
  • Your driving record – What's in your driving past? If you've got some points against you from driving a car, insurance companies will typically assume that you're going to be no better on a motorcycle. They'll probably even think you may be worse, in which case you can just stand there and watch your premiums rocket skyward. It's important to note that if your driving record isn't perfect to begin with, do your utmost to keep it clean for a few years and then ask your insurance carrier for a safe driver discount. (And, yes, most insurance companies are going to check your credit, too.)
  • Safety courses – Many insurance companies will lower premiums if you've completed a motorcycle-safety driving course. Ask the companies that you're considering if this will make a difference, and if it will, sign up for one (better still, take a safety course regardless).

For many, the feeling of freedom that comes from riding a motorcycle is the vision of perfect transportation. While it can indeed provide such enjoyment, be sure to evaluate the insurance coverage you'll need and what it will cost you beforehand, so that your brand new toy doesn't become just another expensive and oversized paperweight because you can't afford to put it on the road.

 

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