As a motorcyclist, you should be aware that having good motorcycle insurance cover places you in a better position to enjoy your ride. Plus, it will give you the confidence that, in the event of any unfortunate incident, it will provide protection.
For example, in the event of an accident, having motorcycle insurance guarantees you the opportunity to receive the compensation that you need to get back on your feet. Essentially, a motorcycle insurance policy contains various fundamental aspects that you need to be fully conversant with.
For instance, you need to know the kind of protection that you’ll need your insurance agency to provide for you. Additionally, it’s vital to comprehend the scope of the financial risks that you might encounter in the unfortunate event of an accident. These financial risks could include major medical bills of you’re severely injured in an accident.
In the same vein, what model or type of bike do your own? The type of bike that you ride plays a big part in defining how your insurance agency will provide protection for your asset.
Therefore, it matters that you develop a deep comprehension of motorcycle insurance coverage. This will allow you to know how your agency will provide protection for you and your bike.
What Does Your Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
Fundamentally, a typical motorcycle insurance cover provides protection for your bike by offering to cover some of the costs related to damages after a particular incident.
Furthermore, a standard insurance policy offers compensation in case you cause harm to another party or damage property belonging to them. Additionally, normal motorcycle insurance takes care of any legal fees that will be needed in the event of an accident.
In other words, if you’re at fault in an accident, your insurance agency takes care of the liabilities facing you. By paying for the expenses of liability claims and legal charges that ensue following an accident, your motorcycle insurance company will provide protection.
Better still, you can modify your insurance coverage to include more than just the above-mentioned. For example, you can have your policy cover the full replacement of your motorcycle in case it’s beyond repair.
Additionally, you can choose to have comprehensive coverage. This caters for any loss or damage resulting from other causes apart from collisions. Plus, you might need to cater to your medical costs after being involved in an accident.
The medical expenses might be so high that they become a financial burden to you. The good news is that your motorcycle insurance will provide protection to you in this regard. This is especially important if you’re laid up for some time and unable to work after your accident.
Therefore, it’s important to do some research. This will allow you to understand the various policies on offer to know which one serves you best.
To What Extent Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
The extent to which you’ll need to provide protection for your bike will depend on the specific type and how you intend to use it. For example, if you own a sports bike you’ll have to pay a higher premium to have it protected. This is because it’s more expensive than for standard bikes, which cost less.
Also, a motorcycle that has a high horsepower-to-weight ratio has a higher speed compared to other bikes. Thus, motorcyclists tend to ride them faster. This attracts higher risks of accidents, injuries, and damages.
For this reason, motorcycle insurance companies charge higher premiums to policyholders who own such bikes. If you don’t want to pay higher premiums, you should consider owning a less expensive one. Plus, you need to make sure that it’s safer to ride than other bikes.
Motorcycle insurance companies will demand cheaper premiums from you if the level of risk associated with your bike is less. In essence, the more the risk of injury and damage, the more insurance coverage you’ll need.
Also, you may need a higher motorcycle liability insurance cover as well as an increase in your medical care coverage. Therefore, you’ll need a higher insurance cover to provide protection to you.
How Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy Works To Provide Protection
Motorcycle insurance policies provide protection the same way car insurance does. For example, if you have bodily injury and liability coverage, in the event that you cause damage to another person’s property when riding your bike, it’s your insurance policy that covers the damages.
It’s however imperative to note that the damages are covered according to the limits of your policy. Moreover, if an injured person files a claim against you, your liability coverage will take care of some of the legal fees.
It’s worth noting, that the amount that your agency will cover for the legal fees will depend on the limits of your insurance policy. What this implies is, if the total cost of the claims is more than what your policy can cover, you’ll have to settle the damages and legal fees through other sources.
More importantly, depending on the type of insurance coverage you buy, you can also have your insurance agency cover your medical costs.
Having adequate knowledge on how your insurance policy works will help you to understand how much protection you have.
Different Types Of Motorcycle Insurance Options In Illinois
In addition to the standard motorcycle insurance that riders have to have by law, there are other types of coverage that you should look into. The reason that different coverage options are available is simple. Everyone has different needs. No one insurance policy will suit everyone, so there are different options.
As mentioned above, basic liability insurance in Illinois will cover any injuries or damages you cause, up to the policy limits. Additional covers are optional, but you should definitely consider getting them because of the greater protection that they provide. What are some of these additional insurance coverage options?
If you opt for Personal Injury Protection, you’ll have cover for medical expenses, lost wages, and any damages that you sustained in an accident. If you opt for comprehensive insurance, you’ll also be covered in the event of vandalism, theft, or damage to your motorcycle caused by natural phenomena such as storms.
In simple terms, this means that should your motorcycle be stolen or vandalized, this type of insurance would cover your losses. Having collision insurance will cover you if your motorcycle suffers damages following a collision with a person, stationary object, or another vehicle.
The last type of additional coverage that is available is uninsured and under-insured driver cover. This policy will cover your expenses in an accident if the other driver as at fault and lacks sufficient insurance. This type of coverage is beneficial for riders who want to protect themselves from other drivers that may not be able to pay for injuries and damages that they cause you.
How Much Coverage Do You Need To Provide Protection For You And Your Bike?
If you go by the guidelines set forth by the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles, you’re required by law to have the following coverage:
- $15,000 worth of property damage coverage in the event of an accident
- $20,000 of bodily injury or death to a single person following an accident
- $40,000 worth of bodily injury or death if more than one person dies in an accident
The amounts listed above are the minimum amounts that riders in the state of Illinois must have. However, it’s important that all riders have coverage that surpasses these minimum limits. Having an insurance policy that gives you additional cover will also give you peace of mind.
What Factors Influence Your Motorcycle Insurance Rates In Illinois?
Several factors can influence your motorcycle insurance rates in the state of Illinois. One factor that heavily influences your rates is the type of motorcycle you ride. If you ride an expensive motorcycle, your insurance rates will be higher. But, if you ride a cheaper motorcycle your rates will be lower.
What can you do to lower your rates? If you take a motorcycle safety course your insurer may be willing to offer you better rates. This is because your risk of being in an accident is lower. A more prominent factor is whether or not you’re an experienced rider. An experienced rider with a good record will get better rates than an inexperienced one.
Understanding The Different Classifications Of Insurance For Motorcycles
To help you make the correct decision, here are the different classifications of insurance that you should be aware of.
This is the standard motorcycle insurance that motorcyclists should have in order to be adequately protected from the liabilities that they may face. Most of the states in the US require motorcycle owners to be holders of this classification of insurance.
Legally, in a state like Illinois, if you fail to purchase a liability insurance policy, yet you continue to ride your motorcycle, you’re breaking the law. Liability insurance offers compensation in case you’re at fault of causing bodily injury or property damage after an accident.
Any legal fees involved as a result of the accident are also catered by the insurance company. It’s worth pointing out that the coverage only caters for liability claims and legal charges to the extent of your policy’s limit.
If the liabilities demand more compensation than your policy is able to pay, you’ll have to pay the extra costs from your personal finances.
Consequently, liability insurance is vital since it allows you to have peace of mind. This is because you have coverage for any injuries or damages when you’re at fault in a motorcycle accident.
Comprehensive insurance is the highest level of insurance classification that you can have for your motorcycle. With this insurance classification, you’re able to insure yourself and your bike in the event of an accident.
Even if you were the one at fault in an accident, this coverage pays for any damages to your bike. In case there’s a need for a replacement, the coverage will also pay for it.
Moreover, comprehensive insurance covers incidences like fire, vandalism, theft, or natural occurrences that might warrant the replacement or repair of your motorcycle.
If for instance, your bike is stolen or has damage from a natural phenomenon like a storm, your insurance company should compensate you accordingly. Especially, if you have comprehensive insurance coverage.
Therefore, you should consider having this classification of insurance if you want to have a broader insurance plan. Fundamentally, you’ll be able to protect both you and your motorbike. However, this is not the case if you just have liability insurance.
Basically, collision insurance pays for the repair or replacement of your bike after being involved in an accident with a car, motorcycle, or any other object. Any damage to your motorcycle gets compensated through this insurance policy.
Therefore, if your bike hits a stationary object like a tree or a fence, your collision insurance cover should compensate you for any repairs or replacement needed.
However, it’s important to note that there are situations where collision insurance does not cover you including:
(1) any damage to your motorcycle that does not have a relation to riding. For example, in cases of theft or vandalism
(2) damage to another person’s motorcycle or vehicle
(3) medical expenses
Personal Accident Cover
Personal accident cover is another classification of insurance for motorcycles that you should have a good understanding of. This coverage involves an extra cost. It covers injuries that you and the passengers you carry sustain in the unfortunate event of an accident.
The policy covers the medical expenses to treat the injuries that you and the passengers you were carrying incurred during the accident.
Another significant feature of personal accident cover is that it compensates your family in case you’re in a fatal accident. Even if you were the one at fault in the accident, your family will still be compensated accordingly.
However, you should take note that there are situations that you cannot be compensated for through this coverage. Some of these situations include:
(1) if you willingly put yourself at risk
(2) if the injuries you sustain are self-inflicted
(3) if you sustain injuries when under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The uninsured/ under-insured motorist coverage classification covers compensation when the other party at fault in an accident is either uninsured or under-insured.
Therefore, if the party at fault does not have enough insurance, the insurance policy takes care of the difference. In the same vein, if the one at fault does not have any insurance, this policy will cover the compensation required.
Thus, this insurance classification ensures that irrespective of the insurance status of the at-fault party, you’re able to receive compensation for the damages you incur in an accident.
Understanding How Full Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Works
Virtually every state in the US requires motorcycle owners to have insurance to legally ride. The exceptions to this are Florida and Washington. But, just because you aren’t required to have motorcycle insurance doesn’t mean you should avoid buying a policy. In the event of an accident, in addition to the severe injuries you risk, you may also be liable for property damage and for medical bills for the other driver. That’s why you need motorcycle insurance, the only question being, do you need standard or full coverage motorcycle insurance?
One thing that most states have in common is that riders have to have liability coverage if they want to ride a motorcycle. While liability is the minimum, there are other types of insurance. These provide more protection with the caveat that they cost a little more money.
For example, if you decide that you want more coverage, you can add comprehensive and collision coverage to your policy. Basically, this approach gives you the equivalent of full coverage insurance but, at a lower price point.
With a higher level of coverage such as this, you’ll have more financial protection in the event of an accident. Limiting your liability should be your main goal here. This is because the damages that could be levied against you from a single accident can easily end up in the ranges of well over ten thousand dollars.
Here’s a quick rundown of what is included in full coverage insurance and how these features protect you.
How Collision And Comprehensive Coverage Works
Full coverage motorcycle insurance includes collision and comprehensive coverage. These are first-party type covers that compensate you for the repairs or replacement of your motorcycle in the event of an accident.
What collision coverage does is pay for the replacement or repair of your motorcycle if you’re hit by another car or if you hit an object. This coverage is there to protect you for times when the at-fault driver either lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage. This type of insurance also protects you in the event of a hit and run accident.
What does comprehensive insurance cover? It covers the repair or replacement of your motorcycle if something happens to it that is not the result of an accident. For example, if someone vandalizes your bike or steals it, comprehensive insurance would provide you with the cover you need.
Comprehensive insurance will also provide you with coverage in the event of fire damage, hail damage, or any other type of accidental damage not related to a street accident.
One important thing to keep in mind is that if you need to file a claim to repair your bike, collision and comprehensive coverage will only pay for the cost of factory or standard motorcycle parts. Simply put, if you have additional parts added to your bike, you won’t be covered. This is unless you have an insurance policy that specifically covers these items.
How Bodily Injury And Property Damage Liability Protect You
One of the major components of full coverage motorcycle insurance is bodily injury and property damage cover. These types of coverage will protect you if you’re at fault in an accident. Especially if it results in the injury of another person or damage to someone else’s property.
Why is this type of coverage so important? Let’s say that you’re at fault in an accident and the other driver is injured. If this happens, this type of coverage would pay for their injuries. This policy will also pay for damages to property. With bodily injury and property damage coverage, you don’t have to worry about being financially liable if you’re at fault in an accident.
Except for Florida and Washington, bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is mandated by state law. While it may not be mandatory to have this type of coverage in these two states, riders in these states should still obtain it.
Did you know that if you’re the at-fault party in an accident your assets could be at risk? With liability coverage, you don’t have to worry about someone filing a lawsuit that can cost you money or assets. In an accident where you lack proper insurance coverage, things can get very expensive very quickly for you. This is why a full coverage policy is the best option for you.
How Uninsured Or Under-Insured Coverage Protects You
Having full coverage insurance also protects you if you’re in an accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver. When you have this coverage you have protection from losses when the other driver lacks sufficient insurance to pay for your damages.
What is especially useful about this coverage is that it covers both bodily injury as well as property damage. It works in the same manner as liability insurance. So, if you suffer injuries in an accident and your motorcycle has damage as well, this coverage will pay for both.
But, this policy only applies if the motorist who struck you is not able to pay for your medical bills and damages. It’s important to point out that in some states, this type of coverage is mandatory.
Some of the states that require this coverage are Minnesota and New York. Whether or not you have to obtain full coverage protection, it’s still a good idea to have it. This way you can protect yourself from drivers that lack sufficient insurance.
How Personal Injury Protection Protects You
What is personal injury protection? It refers to the protection that covers your medical expenses following an accident. On top of that, this insurance also covers any lost wages resulting from your accident.
It’s important to note here that personal injury protection pays for your expenses. This is regardless of who was at fault in your accident. The difference between it and liability insurance is that with liability insurance, the company will not pay out a claim unless someone is at fault in the accident.
So, if you have no-fault coverage, you can get your medical bills paid more quickly than if you simply had liability insurance. This is a big perk and it’s a big reason why having this type of cover is beneficial to riders. Because of the benefits you receive and the additional protection, all riders should strongly consider getting this coverage.
Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Customized Motorcycles & Accessories?
Did you know that if your customized motorcycle is in an accident, your standard motorcycle insurance policy may not cover for accessories fitted to it? Essentially, motorcycle insurance companies view customized motorcycles and motorcycle accessories as separate entities from the original motorcycle itself.
What this means is that the basic motorcycle insurance policy only covers your motorcycle in the condition it was in when it was manufactured. Most motorcycle insurance companies cover customized motorcycles and accessories as optional coverage.
Thus, if you want your insurance company to cover your customized motorcycle and accessories, you’ll have to add extra insurance coverage on top of the basic cover.
So yes, motorcycle insurance has the capacity to cover customized motorcycles and accessories through additional coverage. However, this will only apply if the modifications do not affect the safety of a motorcycle.
Therefore, if you have a customized motorcycle and accessories that you want to insure, there are significant steps to follow.
Identify The Items That Were Stock On Your Bike
Insurance companies want to know what was stock on your bike when you purchased it. The features and parts that were originally on the motorcycle are the ones that they will take into consideration when providing insurance cover.
So, if you need to make sure that your customized motorcycle and accessories are covered in the event of an accident, you need to find out which parts and features of your motorcycle were stock standard when you purchased it.
The reason for doing this is so that you know exactly what accessories and modifications were on your bike when you got it from the dealership. You may find it surprising that your dealership added parts and features. Your insurance policy might well consider these as accessories and modifications.
In this case, the best thing to do is to find out more about the exact specifications of your motorbike at the point of manufacture. You can consider visiting your manufacturer’s website to get that information to be sure.
Compare Your Motorbike To The Manufacturer’s Specifications
Now that you have the specifications from your manufacturer, you need to evaluate your motorcycle against them. Get to know whether there’s any part or feature on it that does not form part of the original specifications.
You can use your already customized motorcycle and accessory list to find out whether there’s anything that’s on your bike that was not when it left the factory.
Some of the accessory items and customizations that you might have to include are saddlebags, fairings, light bars, custom paint, and cruise control. If you find that there are items that were not on your bike when it left the factory, then that’s an accessory you should be aware of.
You should take that into consideration so that you don’t fail to have it covered by your accessory insurance policy. Also, don’t forget to include your riding gear as part of your inventory.
This includes helmets, gloves, boots, pants, jackets, and goggles. You should also insure these items, given their cost and significance in your riding. The evaluation process above is vital. It will allow you to find out the magnitude of your motorcycle’s modifications and the number of accessories you have.
Establish The Value Of The Accessories And Modifications On Your Bike
At this point, you need to be sure of the value you assign to each accessory. This will determine how much compensation you’ll get in the event of an accident. You can check websites or stores that sell the accessories to determine their value. Better still, check the purchase receipts to be sure of the correct value.
After you’ve established the value of each accessory and customization, it’s important to note them down. This will allow you to refer to them in the future whenever a need arises.
More importantly, make sure that you factor in depreciation when ascertaining the value of each accessory. This way, you can ensure that your customized motorcycle and accessories are covered by your insurance agency.
Establish The Total Value Of Your Bike’s Accessories
After assigning values to your bike’s customizations and accessories, it’s imperative to determine their total value. Make sure that you include all your accessories in the total value. This will play a vital role in knowing how much premium you pay. Plus, you’ll determine how much compensation you’ll receive in the event of an accident or incident like theft or vandalism.
If you find that the total value of your customization and accessories is more than 50% of your motorbike’s value, you should consider consulting your insurance company. Talk to them about an agreed value policy to ensure that your assets get the best protection possible.
Evaluate The Existing Motorcycle Accessory Coverage
The need to evaluate the existing motorcycle accessory coverage on your motorcycle insurance policy is paramount. This should help you understand whether you’ll be able to have all your motorcycle customizations and accessories covered in case of any necessary compensation for repairs or replacement.
Therefore, you need to compare the total value of your accessories to the amount of accessory coverage listed on your motorcycle insurance policy. If the amount of accessory coverage is not equal to or higher than the total value of your customizations and accessories, you need to increase the amount of accessory coverage.
The accessory coverage should be equal to or higher than the total value of your accessories. This will ensure that you have sufficient insurance cover for your assets.
Important Motorcycle Insurance Tips To Protect Your Interests
Given the imperative nature of motorcycle insurance, you need to get as much information as possible to make the right decisions regarding your insurance cover of choice. That’s why it’s vital to follow these motorcycle insurance tips to protect your interests accordingly.
Broaden Your Insurance Cover
Liability insurance is the basic insurance cover that riders are mandated to have by law. This insurance covers any expenses required to compensate for bodily injury and property damage after being involved in a motorcycle accident.
With this cover, you don’t need to use your personal finances to pay for the injuries and damage caused after an accident. However, since this is only the basic motorcycle insurance, it has limitations.
Therefore, to address this limitation, you can broaden your insurance cover. This will cover other aspects that cannot be addressed by liability insurance. One of the ways you can increase your cover to protect your interests is by purchasing a full-coverage motorcycle policy.
This policy covers aspects that the standard insurance policy does not. For example, comprehensive insurance covers repairs or replacement of your motorcycle in case it’s stolen, vandalized, or destroyed by a natural phenomenon like a storm, fire, or strong winds.
Also, collision insurance covers repairs and replacement of your bike when it’s in a collision with another motorcycle, vehicle or a stationary object.
Enroll In Motorcycle Safety Courses
Motorcycle safety courses are important. They equip riders with the necessary skills to improve their standards of safety when riding their motorcycles. Whether you’re an experienced or a new rider, these courses are paramount. They can increase your knowledge of how to ride your bike safely and also how to avoid accidents.
Those who attend these courses have a lower risk of causing an accident compared to those who have not attended. Insurance companies often give discounts to riders who have gone through the safety courses and completed their learning successfully.
Thus, you can use this as an essential motorcycle insurance tip to protect your financial interests. The premise behind this idea is that motorcycle insurance companies prefer insuring riders who have reduced risks of being in an accident.
Usually, riders who enroll in motorcycle safety courses are more likely to avoid accidents. Therefore, if you would like to save money and still get good motorcycle insurance coverage, consider taking a motorcycle safety course.
Consider Accessory Coverage To Provide Protection
This is yet another motorcycle insurance tip that you can apply to protect your interests. Your motorcycle’s accessories cost you a valuable amount of money and that means that they need to be covered as well.
What some riders might not be aware of is that motorcycle accessories don’t have the same coverage as your bike. Insurance companies only cover what was stock on your bike when it came from the manufacturer.
Any additional components or features qualify as aftermarket accessories and can only be covered on their own. Some of these accessories include riding gear, custom paint, and seat covers.
In the event of an accident, your insurance coverage will only cover the features and components that were originally available on your bike at the time of manufacture.
Since accessories are valuable assets to you, you need to have accessory coverage to provide protection in the unfortunate event of an accident or any other incident warranting compensation.
Thus, it’s necessary that you protect your riding interests. You can do this by protecting your motorcycle accessories with adequate insurance cover.
Compare Different Insurance Quotes
It’s advisable to compare different motorcycle insurance quotes. There are many different motorcycle insurance companies to choose from and each of them will offer a distinct quote.
Therefore, you should compare the different insurance quotes in order to find the one that aligns best with your interests. Remember, the reason why you’re buying an insurance cover is that you want to protect your interests.
Therefore, if you settle on one quote without looking around, you might be limiting yourself. So, to provide protection for you and your bike, you’ll need to find the motorcycle insurance company that will address your insurance needs accordingly.
Conclusion On How Motorcycle Insurance Can Provide Protection
It’s important that you protect yourself and your bike. A motorcycle accident can have a devastating effect on you. Thus, it’s instrumental to buy motorcycle insurance which offers you the protection you need as you ride your bike.
What many riders don’t have is the knowledge of how motorcycle insurance works to protect them and their bikes. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the basic aspects of how motorcycle insurance companies provide protection for you and your bike.
With this information, you can then make a sensible decision regarding the insurance cover that you need.