Safe Riding

Be Safe, Be Insured!

Written by  March 31, 2004

Doesn’t it seem odd to pay for something you hope you never have to use? With the price of today’s motorcycles and the increased cost in medical care, although many view insurance as a necessary evil, when you need it, you’re really glad you have it!

Most riders don’t think about insurance until after they’ve had an accident or their bike has been stolen, however, nothing gives you more peace of mind than knowing you, your passenger, and your bike are fully covered in case something happens.

Therefore one of the first things you do when you buy a new motorcycle is call your insurance agent and get yourself covered.

Chances are you’re in a big hurry to ride off, and who cares what kind of coverage you have as long as you can get your financing and tags, right?

Many riders don’t take the extra time to learn what is and is not covered by their insurance policy. For example, if you are injured by the guardrail that jumped out in front of you, who pays for your medical bills and time off work? Most riders exclude Personal Injury Protection from their bike policy because most of the time it doubles the rate. However, hopefully you have medical or hospitalization coverage which would pay for your injuries.

Collision covers the bike if you crash it or someone else crashes into you.

Comprehensive covers the bike if it is stolen, catches fire or is damaged in a storm.

How many bikes do you see that don’t have fairings, windshields, saddlebags or some type of additional equipment? It's usually not covered unless you tell your insurance agent to make sure it is. Some insurance companies charge you a rate per $1,000 of customization. Other companies charge a flat fee. No matter if you have $10 or $10,000 of customization, the rate is the same. It's always a good idea to document the customization with pictures and receipts.

It’s also important to have enough liability insurance to protect you from a lawsuit. Make sure it includes Guest Passenger liability. Should you be involved in an accident where you're determined to be at fault, the other party could make you pay for injuries and property damage.

When faced with an accident, it is important to remember to always write down the names, phone numbers, addresses, insurance company names and policy numbers of the other parties involved. Also write down the names of any witnesses.

Now that you have the right coverage, have fun, wear your helmet and keep the shiny side up!

Story by Jeff Harville