When you take your motorcycle out for a ride, you need insurance just like anyone else on the road. You may also want to take advantage of special coverages to give yourself extra protection.
What is Motorcycle Insurance?
Motorcycle insurance is car insurance but for motorcycles. It works almost exactly the same way.
Do You Have to Buy Motorcycle Insurance?
A motorcycle must have the same minimum liability and uninsured motorist coverage as a car in Wisconsin. Not carrying at least the minimum coverage is a violation of the law. It’s also a smart financial move to make sure that you have enough insurance to protect your assets.
What Will Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
Motorcycle insurance has several coverage options that you can select to match your needs. These are the most common things you can get coverage for.
You Injure Someone In An Accident
If you cause an accident and someone gets hurt, you’re responsible for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Your bodily injury liability protection will pay them up to your limits. This is one of the mandatory coverages.
You Damage Someone Else’s Property in An Accident
If you hit another vehicle, a building, or another object, you’re responsible for the repair bills. Property damage liability is a separate coverage from bodily injury liability, even though you usually select the limits at the same time. Property damage liability is also a mandatory coverage.
Your Motorcycle is Damaged in an Accident
If your own motorcycle gets damaged in an accident regardless of fault, your collision coverage will pay for the repairs. It can also pay towards a new motorcycle if yours is totaled.
Your Motorcycle is Stolen or Has Non-Accident Damage
If your motorcycle gets stolen, has a tree fall on it, or has just about any other type of damage, comprehensive insurance will pay for the repairs or replacement.
You Get Hit By an Uninsured Motorist
Just like you would have to pay if you caused an accident, you would expect another driver or their insurance to do the same. The problem is that not everyone is as responsible as you are, and they may not have purchased insurance. Your own insurance will only protect you if you’ve selected the uninsured motorist option. Uninsured motorist coverage replaces the liability coverage the other driver should have had. Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in Wisconsin.
You Get Hit By an Underinsured Motorist
If you get hit by a driver who has $25,000 in liability coverage but your medical bills are $100,000, you have to find a way to get the other $75,000. You can try to sue them, but they may not have the money, and lawsuits cost time and attorney’s fees. If you add underinsured motorist coverage, it will pay you the difference between your expenses and the other driver’s insurance policy up to your own coverage limits.
You Have an Expensive Helmet or Accessories
If you have an expensive helmet or other accessories, they are also at risk of accident damage and theft. You can add on special coverage to protect the value of your accessories.
You Get Stranded on the Side of the Road
If you run out of gas, have a flat tire, or have some other mechanical problem, you may find yourself stranded. The roadside assistance option sends someone out to fix the problem or give you a tow. Many basic services have no extra cost.
Something Happens to Your Motorcycle on a Long Trip
If you get stranded far away from home, you may need to rent a car to get back home, get a hotel room, or pay for long-distance towing. Trip interruption coverage protects you against the extra expenses that you might face until you can get back underway.
Your Brand New Motorcycle Gets Totaled
Like any vehicle, a new motorcycle can depreciate quickly once you drive it off the lot. Typically, insurance only covers the current value of your motorcycle, even if you just spent much more to buy it. New motorcycle replacement coverage allows you to get a new motorcycle instead. This option is usually available and valid for a limited amount of time such as within one year of buying a new motorcycle.
What if Your Motorcycle Isn’t Your Only Ride?
You may only use your motorcycle for recreation or alternate with your car based on the weather. There are several options you can take advantage of. If you put all of your vehicles on the same policy, you may be eligible for a multi-policy discount. You may also be able to take advantage of low-mileage or other usage-based discounts. If you ride seasonally, some programs allow you to insure your motorcycle for storage only during the off months.
Can Motorcycle Safety Courses Help You Save?
Yes, taking a motorcycle safety course qualifies you for a discount with many insurance companies. This can include the mandatory course you need to ride a motorcycle as well as a refresher or more advanced courses. How long the course helps your rates will also vary based on the insurance company.
Talk to Your Insurance Agent
To learn more about motorcycle insurance, or to get a quote, talk to your independent insurance agent. Adam Johnston Insurance serves the Janesville, WI, area. Contact us now to discuss your options or to get quotes from multiple insurance providers.