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What Is Covered Under Various Motorcycle Insurance Plans

So you've decided to buy a motorcycle. Maybe your old man had one, and you've been around them most of your life. Perhaps this is to combat rising gas prices and get around town cheaper. Maybe you're just looking for something fun to ride around on weekends. Whatever the reason, owning and insuring a motorcycle is different from an automobile, and you'll want to be prepared before you saddle-up.

First and foremost, it's recommended that you to take a safety/defensive riding course in order to lower your motorcycle premium and better prepare you for the dangers present in riding. Ideally you will want to complete the course before you make your purchase. That way you can enjoy the insurance savings from the moment you ride off the lot.

So what exactly does a motorcycle insurance policy cover? Some components of a motorcycle policy will look familiar from your normal auto policy while others you may have not seen before. Let's look at the two most familiar coverages first and then those that are more specific to motorcycle riders.


Just like with your car/truck, to drive a motorcycle legally requires you to purchase at least the state minimum liability protection. This will cover third-party damages if you're found to have caused injury or property damage as a result of a motorcycle accident. An example of liability coverage will look like 10/20/10 - which reads you are covered up to 10k per person, up to 20k per occurrence, and up to 10k in property damage. Some states also require you to carry Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage as well. This kind of liability protection pays for your damages or medical bills in the event you are hit by a motorist without adequate coverage while riding.


If you own your motorcycle outright, having "full coverage" is usually optional. If you financed your purchase, you would likely be required to carry both products by the lender/lien holder. As with an auto policy, these two coverages pay you (regardless of fault) if your bike is damaged in an accident or other covered event. These products come with a deductible amount that you choose to pay in the event you file a claim. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will generally be.

Custom Parts and Accessories

Most collision coverage pays for some amount of custom equipment or accessories in addition to the value of your motorcycle, but some policies only allow for an additional $500 or $1000. That amount alone is hardly enough to cover most custom equipment. Ask your insurer about adding additional limits to your collision coverage for any upgrades or modifications you’ve made to your bike in excess of those amounts. You may also be able to get an "Agreed Value Policy" which allows you to negotiate your bike’s value with your insurer up-front. This agreed valuation can eliminate additional stress after an accident, theft, or act of vandalism.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

This component of liability insurance is optional in most states but can be mandatory in others, as with third-party liability. PIP pays for necessary medical care you or your passenger receive as the result of a motorcycle accident, regardless of who is at fault. In most states, you can buy coverage limits up to $25,000 per person. Also of note, this coverage can be primary or supplemental, depending on your state. This means it may only apply after other sources medical insurance are exhausted.

Whether you're a seasoned rider or looking to purchase your first bike, you will benefit by being well informed on motorcycle insurance laws unique to your state. Knowing the details of what you are and aren't protected from can do a lot to ease your peace of mind when riding. It will also serve you well financially to be on the look out for available discounts. Many companies, such as Insurance Land, offer discounts for helmet use, protective gear, motorcycle safety courses, and mileage limitations on your bike. With motorcycle insurance being more expensive than auto insurance, you'll want to offset these costs as much as possible. Physical health when riding is of greatest importance, but smart insurance shopping and knowing what to look for will help protect your financial health as well.
Brian Levesque is a freelance writer and professional student who contributes articles and advice on a variety of issues affecting modern life and challenges facing the small business owner and operator.

What Is Covered Under Various Motorcycle Insurance Plans Reviewed by Brandon on 11:51 PM Rating: 5

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