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I'm A New Motorcycle Owner: What Are My Insurance Options?

Updated: July 2019

Before you ride a new motorcycle, it's important to make sure you have a motorcycle insurance policy with the coverages that fit your specific needs.

As you start shopping for motorcycle insurance, consider these common types of coverage.

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Motorcycle coverage that helps if you cause an accident

Most states require motorcyclists to carry liability insurance. Each state sets minimum liability limits that drivers must purchase.

Liability coverage typically does not pay for your own medical bills after an accident or repairs to your bike. Instead, it may help pay for someone else's medical bills or damage to their property if you're at fault for an accident. There are typically two types of required liability coverage:

  • Bodily injury liability.
    If you're at fault for an accident that injures another driver or pedestrian, bodily injury liability coverage may help pay for expenses related to their injuries. In some states, bodily injury liability coverage automatically helps protect passengers on your bike, while in other states you must pay an additional premium for the coverage to apply to your passenger.
  • Property damage liability.
    If you cause an accident that damages another person's property, this type of coverage may help pay to repair it.

Learn more: Bikers: You Have an Accident and It's Your Fault — What Insurance Coverage Should You Consider?

Coverage That Helps Protect Your Motorcycle

While coverage for your bike is not typically mandatory, collision and comprehensive coverage helps you avoid paying out of pocket for repairs or a new bike after an accident or theft. If you are financing or leasing your bike, be sure to check with your lender or dealer to see if they require either or both of these coverages.

Collision coverage.
This coverage may help pay to repair or replace your bike if it's damaged in a collision with another vehicle or object.

Comprehensive coverage.
Collisions aren't the only way your bike can be damaged, and that's where comprehensive coverage can help. For example, comprehensive coverage may help pay for your bike if it's stolen, or to repair it if it's damaged by certain risks, such as fire, hail or vandalism.

Both collision and comprehensive coverage typically come with a deductible, which is the amount you pay out of pocket toward a covered claim before your insurance benefits begin.

Learn more: What Do Collision and Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

Optional equipment coverage.

If you've upgraded your motorcycle with custom paint or parts, you may want to buy this protection in addition to collision or comprehensive to help cover modifications to your bike. Optional equipment coverage typically also helps protect safety gear such as your jacket or boots.

Motorcycle Coverage That Helps If You Are Injured

The following coverages are designed to help protect you against paying out of pocket for medical expenses resulting from an accident on your motorcycle. The laws around insurance coverage for medical bills vary from state to state, but you'll need to have at least the minimum coverage if it's required where you live.

Medical payments coverage.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle riders have a greater chance of injury in an accident because they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. That's why this type of coverage is important for bikers. Medical payments coverage may help pay for your or your passenger's medical bills after an accident.

Personal injury protection.
While it's only available in some states, personal injury protection may help pay for expenses related to an injury from an accident, regardless of fault. Personal injury protection may also help cover expenses related to your injuries, such as lost income or child care costs.

Learn more: Medical Payments Coverage and Personal Injury Protection for Motorcyclists

Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
This coverage may help pay for your medical treatment and lost wages if you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Some motorcycle insurance policies may also include coverage for uninsured motorist property damage, which helps pay for repairs to your bike if its damaged by an uninsured driver. Otherwise, it may be available as an additional coverage.

Finally, it's important to keep in mind that all coverages have limits. A limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a covered loss.

Have questions about your motorcycle insurance options? Talk to a local agent, who can help you choose the coverages and limits that are right for you and your new bike.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2020 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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