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How to Keep Motorcycle Insurance Costs Low

February 19th, 2010

motorcycle-insurance-cost.jpgTypically when a person buys a motorcycle, insurance costs are not a high priority. The average rider is more interested in the freedom a bike provides — the exhilarating liberation of riding on two wheels and having direct control of a machine whose power pulses directly beneath them. Nevertheless, insurance is an important consideration, and many factors dictate its cost. In fact, a motorcycle can be considerably more expensive to insure than an automobile, depending on such variables as the rider’s age, experience, and the specific motorcycle.

As a rule, most states require at least liability insurance for motorcycles with an engine displacement over 50cc. This takes you out of the category of mopeds — essentially motorized bicycles — into the land of serious machines that run on the streets with major traffic. If you do not want to pay to play, then stick with a low-power cycle. Further in your quest to keep costs low, do not scrimp on coverage. It may be tempting to purchase only liability, required in case you cause a loss to another person. But what if your bike is stolen or you sustain physical injuries in a high-side fall? Comprehensive and medical coverages will protect you here. A good insurance agent will honestly discuss the benefits of the various coverages.

Unfortunately, the first consideration associated with motorcycle insurance is increased risk; that is, the greater mortality rates motorcyclists face than automobile drivers. As the likelihood of death or profound injury is magnified in a motorcycle crash, insurers charge more for their coverage. However, those rates change with other factors.

Unfair though it may seem, younger riders pay more for their insurance. The sad truth is that, although they have quicker reflexes, they often demonstrate poor judgment. So they make more mistakes, and mistakes equate to accidents. Without being cavalier, the best solution is to live long enough to earn lower rates. Obey the traffic code, do not drive recklessly, wear a helmet and other safety gear. The longer you avoid accidents (usually referred to as “crashes,” as “accident” implies something unavoidable), the lower your rates will be. Seldom does one see an older driver on a “crotch rocket” popping wheelies on a city street. Similar driving behaviors, associated with young riders, drive up their insurance costs.

Tied to the rider’s age is the rider’s experience. Statistically, most severe crashes and motorcycle deaths happen with individuals who have been riding less than six months. Although you learn the basics of riding quickly, experience increases your chances of longevity. Past behavior being an indicator of future performance, insurance companies reward a good riding record with lower premiums (a safe driver or accident-free discount) with the expectation that you will continue riding safely.

Another way to lower your premiums is to take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s riding courses. Aside from the inherent value of these courses, most insurance companies give a significant discount to persons who complete the Basic Rider’s Course.

Finally, consider the type of bike you want to ride. As with automobiles, exotic, sportier bikes carry pricier insurance premiums. The same applies to larger engines. Think about your reason for riding before you make your purchase. If you just want to cruise around the city avenues, a smaller displacement bike will cost less to insure, yet still provide the freedom of motorcycling.

So here’s a checklist for a long, happy career as a biker. Take the MSF’s riding course and get your motorcycle endorsement. Make regular inspections of your bike to avoid unpleasant surprises when you are riding. Strap on your helmet and riding gear. Fill your tank. And get adequate insurance. Although that should be the least of your concerns on a beautiful autumn day on a winding road, if the unexpected happens you will be glad you have it.


This article was supplied to us by Mel MacKaron from Constant Content.


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