Published: February 2015
You took great care in finding the right motorcycle and investing in the right gear, and you're ready to make the most of your time on the road. But since motorcycle accidents are a possibility — some 112,000 occurred in 2012 according to the Insurance Information Institute (III) — it only makes sense to put the right protections in place to safeguard it all, too.
When it comes to motorcycle insurance, liability coverage is likely your first order of business. That's because most states require riders to have it. Typically, insurance providers offer three types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability, property damage liability and guest passenger liability. Guest passenger liability is sometimes purchased separately as an additional/optional coverage.
Liability is the coverage that kicks in if you cause an accident that results in injury to another rider or damage to somebody's property while on your bike.
But, liability doesn't cover the cost to repair or your motorcycle — that's what additional coverages like collision and comprehensive are for. Here's a breakdown of these coverages to help you decide what's right for you:
Collision Coverage. As the name might suggest, collision coverage helps cover damage to your bike if you happen to collide with another vehicle or some other object, like a tree. If you were to get into an accident, your insurance company would typically pay the cost to repair the damage, minus any deductible you've set in place on your policy.
But if you total your bike, collision coverage normally will pay you the actual cash value of your bike at the time of loss, the III says.
Comprehensive Coverage. Comprehensive is a coverage that kicks in to help repair your bike when a mishap other than a collision takes place — because there are other risks to your bike than just a crash. Threats like fire, theft, vandalism and other scenarios are commonly covered when you have comprehensive coverage.
If you're one of those people who go to great lengths to personalize your bike, it's important to know that both collision and comprehensive coverage typically only cover the standard parts your bike was fitted with when it came off the line, says the III.
So, if you have aftermarket accessories, a trailer or a sidecar, or a custom paint job designed to turn heads, you may find that these enhancements aren't protected by standard coverages. Ask your agent about optional equipment coverage to help you acquire the right protections for all these parts.