What’s the least fun thing to spend money on? I think we can all agree it’s insurance. You spend your hard earned money and you don’t really get anything for it. That is, until you need it. So yeah, it’s no fun, but you need to have it anyway.
Here are some of the basics if you’re new to this not-so-fun, yet very-necessary product.
1. You need it…really.
Like most things in life, insurance is better to have and not need than to need and not have. For one, almost every state requires you to have minimum liability coverage just to register your motorcycle. You might be thinking, ‘Ehh I’m just going to risk it. If I get pulled over I’ll just pay the fine.’ In response, I’d say this, the next time you get pulled over or wreck your bike, you might have your bike impounded, plus pay a huge fine, or won’t be unable to recover damages regardless of fault, plus a myriad of other horrible things. The bottom line is don’t get caught without insurance. Just don’t.
2. Minimum Liability Coverage isn’t enough.
Liability insurance covers the other person when you mess up, and the cheapest policies usually offer your state’s minimum required level of coverage. In most states, it’s usually something like $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 per accident (if you hurt more than one person) and $10,000-20,000 of property damage. If you’ve ever been hospitalized or even broke a bone, you already know that $25,000 won’t cover a lot in the way of real medical care these days.
So, if you don’t like owing money for the rest of your life, get more coverage than you think you’ll need. It’s not that much more, and keep in mind that bankruptcy doesn’t protect you from personal-injury lawsuits. Pay the $100 or whatever it is for extra coverage. There are worse things than paying insurance…like paying someone else’s medical bills for instance.
3. Motorcycle Liability-only coverage is cheap.
If point number 2 has you feeling down, don’t despair, motorcycle liability-only coverage is cheap, at least compared to traditional auto insurance. This is probably due to the fact that motorcyclists are at-fault less often than cars, and honestly how much damage can a 500-pound motorcycle do to a 4,000 pound car and its occupants?
4. Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Aren’t.
Collision insurance covers you when you mess up and hit another vehicle. It also pays to fix your bike, or at least pay off what you owe on the loan. Comprehensive pays you when your bike is damaged or destroyed by things other than vehicles, like fire, deer. It’s typically a lot more than liability insurance.
Insurance companies understand this and price the risk accordingly, which is why the comprehensive/collision coverage on a brand new sport bike registered to a 20-something can basically cost the same as the bike itself. You can save money by buying used or salvage-title sport bikes and keeping liability only.
5. Don’t forget to insure your brittle body.
Even if you have health insurance, it might not be enough. You could have high deductibles, and you may not have disability insurance to compensate for any time away from work while you binge-watch with both arms in casts. Medical payments coverage will help with this, and consider uninsured/under-insured coverage as well. There are a lot of uninsured motorists out there, according to the Insurance Information Institute: 13% nationwide.