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Guide to Motorcycling
Section One 1/2: Insurance
One potentially big mistake is buying a motorcycle to find out that either: Insurance is very expensive for it, or Insurance isn't available! Always check before you but any motorcycle to see how much insurance will be for it. All models, makes, and years can easily be a different price!
It is best to check with your existing insurance company to see if they cover motorcycles. Not all insurance companies do, or will give you a good price. It is always best to shop around for the best rates before you commit yourself.
Step One: Insurance Agent, Insurance Broker, Insurance Company.
This can be hard to understand if you don't know the difference.
Insurance agents are employees who deal with one or more insurance companies on your behalf. They specialized in knowing the insurance companies they carry but might not be able to offer the lowest price over an Insurance Broker. There is nothing wrong with choosing to go with an Agent, because when it comes time to collect, they might be able to help you out more than the Broker.
Insurance Brokers are employees who deal with many insurance companies, they usually offer the best prices since they can shop around and also be able to get you hard to get insurance because of your age, driving record or motorcycle. They may not be as informative on each insurance company they carry as the Agent, but if price is important...
Insurance Companies are the businesses they offer their insurance to the Agents and Brokers. Jevco Insurance is such a company. Each company offers different rates for different motorcycles, some will want to insure your motorcycle and others might not even touch it! Remeber, shop around.
Step Two: Understanding Insurance:
Insurance is a necessity to operate a motorcycle, and choosing not to have motorcycle insurance at all may land you a large fine and/or jail time in many parts of the world.
But it doesn't mean you cannot choose what insurance and coverage you want for your motorcycle. You choices are open to take very basic or total coverage insurance and everything in between.
Unfortunately, I can only tell you about the Canadian insurance system since I've never insured a vehicle in another country. But it should be close to your own insurance system if you live outside of Canada.
Where you live: You will find insurance costs will vary depending on where you live in the country. Generally, the more people who live in your city/town, the more your insurance will cost since it is more likely you'll make a claim.
How old are you?: You will find age will either work for you, or against you. The younger you are (below 25) or older you are (senior), the more your insurance will cost. The middle ground 30-50 is the highest discounts. They figure it like this:
Young (below 25): You have great reflexes and eye sight, but really
lack riding experience.
The Middle Ground (30-50): You have good reflexes and eye sight as well as having good riding experience.
Senior: While you have great riding expereince, your reflexes are decreasing.
Your driver's licence:
What class of motorcycle licence do you have? The better the class, the more discount you will get on your insurance. If you have a learners or a graduated licence, expect to pay more until you have a full licence.
When did you get this licence? The more years of riding experience you have will reward you in greater insurance discounts.
Your riding/driving history:
Tickets (minor, major), Accidents (at-fault, not-at-fault) will work against your discount, raising the cost of your insurance. The fewer of these two the better. The more years behind you they are, the less they will raise your insurance costs.
Taking a rider safety course will work to lower your insurance costs. It is a reward for learning to ride safer. This discount could easily pay for your safety course costs!
How long have you had insurance for? Some companies will reward you by having insurance for longer than 1 year and give you a discount.
Has it ever been canceled on you? Bad. Expect your insurance costs to go up a bit.
Make, model, value, engine size and year of your motorcycle: This is where everything (costs) will be based from. Since every motorcycle model will be a different cost, it is impossible to list them all. But here is a guide to what is going to be lower in cost and higher in cost:
|Smaller CC's (engine size)||Large CC's (engine size)|
|Older motorcycle||Newer or new motorcycle|
|Cruiser, Standard, Dirt Bike||Sport Bike, Race replica, racer|
|Japanese or Other Manufacturer||Harley-Davidson, BMW|
|Low horsepower||High horsepower|
Standard Coverage: Liability. Liability insurance provides coverage for you if someone else is injured or killed. It also provides coverage if their property is damaged as a result of a motorcycle accident. Accident benefits, Uninsured motorist, and Family protection may also be included. This is the very basic insurance package you MUST take but can add on to if you like. It is always better to take the maximum amount of Liability insurance you can (it is generally cheap) just in case your accident causes a person damage. Bills can go into the $100,000's of dollars for personal injury.
Physical damage coverages: (pay options on top of Liability)
Limitation of amount payable (Restrictive endorsement): Some
insurance companies set a maximum they are willing to pay in the event of
a claim. This maximum is either the actual cash value of your bike (or its
damaged parts) or the limit specified in the policy endorsement. Whichever
Fire and theft deductible (Restrictive endorsement): By having this option on your policy, you agree to pay your full deductible if your motorcycle is completely written-off or not recovered due to fire or theft. If your deductible is $2,000 you would have to pay that much for them to replace your motorcycle.
Collision Coverage: Collision coverage pays to fix or replace
your motorcycle if it is damaged in a collision. By choosing a deductible
here, you are choosing to include collision into your insurance coverage.
A deductible is the portion of a claim that you would pay. For example, let's
say your deductible is $500. If you made a claim for a collision and the damages
were assessed at $2,000, you would have to pay $500 towards the repairs, and
your insurance company would take care of the balance. The amount of your
deductible affects the price of your insurance policy. The higher your deductible,
the less the cost of your insurance premium.
Comprehensive / Specified perils coverage:
Specified perils: Specified perils covers you for specific accidental damage caused only by fire; theft; lightning; windstorm; hail or rising water, earthquake; explosion; riot or civil disturbance; falling or forced landing of aircraft or parts of aircraft; or the stranding, sinking, burning, derailment or collision of any kind of transport in, or upon which the vehicle is being carried on land or water.
Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage includes the items listed in
specified perils and in addition covers falling or flying objects, missiles
Step Three: Online Motorcycle Insurance Quotes:
Now that you have an idea what motorcycle insurance is, how much it could cost and the different types of coverage try out these free online insurance quote companies. While you may not go with any of their choices, it is a good idea to fool around with different models, years, makes and see how much they vary in cost to you.
Step Four: Off you go!