Laws requires that anyone with a driver’s license carry insurance on any vehicle they drive, this means cars, trucks and motorcycles. Just like car owners, to carry a minimum of liability insurance coverage. For instance, California rider minimums are 15/30/5, which covers $15,000 for bodily injury to one person, $30,000 for more than one person and $5,000 in property damage you cause with your motorcycle. Riders must carry proof of insurance at all times. If you are caught riding without proof of insurance, you can face having your license suspended for up to a year. Proof of insurance can be obtained from your insurance company, and proof of financial responsibility certificates can be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Keep in mind that if you are involved in an accident, the your state likely requires you to report it within 10 days if the damage exceeds $750. You can report an accident by requiring the proper form from the DMV’s website.
The Factors that Affect your Motorcycle Insurance Rates
Much like shopping for auto insurance, motorcycle insurance requires some shopping around and doing research before you find a company that provides all your insurance needs at a reasonable rate. There are factors that affect the amount you pay for motorcycle insurance, and you rates can vary quite a bit between insurance companies. Below is a list of some of the common things that can affect your motorcycles insurance rates:
Where you live
Whether you know it or not, where you live can have an effect on what you pay for motorcycle insurance. If you live in a suburban area, chances are your rates will be affected the least, if you live in remote rural areas or big cities, you will probably pay more. Living out in remote rural areas with higher speeds on two-lane roads tend to have more accidents, so the higher your rate will be as well. Living in big cities, you are more apt to get into an accident due to the increased population, and there is a higher instance of theft in highly populated areas.
Riders under 25 and those over 70 have a tendency to pay higher rates for insurance. Younger riders have less experience and are more likely to take risks and get in accidents. Older people can have less visual acuity as well as slower reaction times that can lead to accidents as well. There is really not much you can do about your age, but if you do your best to keep your driving record clear until you turn 25, you can expect to see a marked decrease in your rates after your 25th birthday.
Your driving record
Although it may sound like common sense, the better your driving record is the less you will pay for insurance. It is easy enough to obey the law, even when it comes to parking, to lessen your chances of receiving moving violations. If your driving record is not spotless, ask your insurance company if they are any remedial driving courses in your area that you can attend to help lower your rates.
Another common sense factor when it comes to insurance rates is your claim history. Obviously the more claims you file, the higher your rates are going to be. If you do have a few recent accidents on your record, some insurance companies can deny you motorcycle insurance. In order to keep claims down, if you are involved in a minor incident and you can pay for it out of pocket, do not file a claim. In some cases if you do some research you can find body and repair shops that will give you a discount when you pay for repairs in cash, as it saves them the headache of working with your insurance company.
There are many personal demographics that you have no control over that can affect your motorcycle insurance rates as well. Per insurance statistics, women are considered more responsible drivers, while men are typically considered better drivers. Married riders are also said to be more cautious than single people are as well. Insurance research has proven that married drivers have fewer accidents, so married woman by insurance standards will have the lowest rates. Although most of these circumstances are things you cannot control, you can do your best to maintain the best driving record you can.
The value of your motorcycle
The more you pay for your motorcycle the more expensive it will be to insure. This is especially true if you are required to pay comprehensive and collision coverage if you have a loan on the motorcycle. You definitely want to think about this cost when you are shopping for a motorcycle and consider buying a less expensive used counterpart to the motorcycle you may be interested in purchasing.
Now that you know what is required and what will affect your rates when it comes to motorcycle insurance, you can be a more educated shopper when searching for a motorcycle and motorcycle insurance. If some of the things that do affect your insurance rates are things you can change, do your best to fix them before you purchase that new motorcycle and an insurance policy to go with it.