motorcycle insurance faqs

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about motorcycle insurance? You've come to the right place. Review our comprehensive bike insurance FAQ for complete answers to some of your most pressing bike insurance concerns.

Why compare motorcycle insurance quotes online?
Pay LESS. Save hundreds of dollars off your next motorcycle insurance rates by generating online quotes for competing policies. Prices for comparable insurance policies from different carriers often vary. Get MORE for your money. Discover which motorcycle insurance rates offer the best benefits and value at the lowest price for different riders and bikes. Save TIME and effort. Spend minutes, not hours or days, comparing prices for motorcycle insurance online from top-rated carriers.

What should I expect from my motorcycle insurance policy?
Quality bike insurance polices include liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Most states require riders to have liability insurance by law.

  • Liability: Covers injury and property damage to other motorists.
  • Collision: Pays for damages to your bike caused by an accident.
  • Comprehensive: Protects bike against fire, theft, or vandalism.

Be sure your motorcycle insurance policy covers the replacement cost of your bike (if it is totaled in an accident), not just its depreciated value.

How are motorcycle insurance rates determined?
Several factors determine one's premiums: the displacement size of the bike's engine in cubic centimeters (cc); the type and brand of the bike; the policyholder's age, residence, traffic record, and driving experience; and the bike's function (pleasure, commute, etc.), status (garaged or active), and annual mileage. Riders with clean records and proof of training from approved programs pay lower rates. Riders under 25 years of age insuring extreme sport bikes can expect to pay more. Geography also affects pricing, for instance check out California motorcycle insurance.

Do motorcycle insurance companies offer policy discounts? How do I earn them?
Most insurers offer policy discounts, which can significantly reduce a rider's rates. Membership in motorcycle associations, such as the American Motorcycle Association, Harley Owner's Group, and Motorcycle Safety Foundation, qualify riders for discounts. Completion of approved driver-training courses also makes one eligible. Insuring multiple bikes with the same carrier also often reduces rates. Find out more about low-cost motorcycle insurance.

How else can I lower my motorcycle insurance rates?
Maintain a "clean" driving record (no tickets or accidents) and strong credit rating. Both can affect your premiums, as they are used to grade your risk. Find bike insurance carriers that offer multi-vehicle discounts. Wear approved safety gear and install anti-theft devices on your bike.

Also, complete driver-training programs, related to your type of riding, such as touring or off-roading, reducing your motorcycle insurance rates as much as 15 percent. This is especially important for high-risk groups, such as riders under 25 or those with spotty records (Visit www.ama-cycle.org and www.nsc.org.) Store your motor cycle inside and perform regular maintenance. Bikes parked outside are more prone to theft, increasing insurer risk. Deteriorating bikes also break down more frequently, raising insurer liability.

Why purchase from a specialty motorcycle insurance company?
Specialty motorcycle insurers know motorcycles, particularly custom bikes. As a result, they can tailor policies to individual bikes and riders, reducing the likelihood of overcharges. For instance, specialty motorcycle insurers won't erroneously base a rider's premiums on engine size, which is appropriate for sport bikes, but not cruisers. They also offer special services, such as flatbed towing and roadside assistance.

What is a custom chopper?
Custom choppers are cruiser bikes "built to spec" by custom shops. They often are designed to resemble the modified highway bikes of the '60s, featuring low saddle seats, extended forks, "ape hanger" handlebars, and "chopped off" components. Originally, the term "chopper" came from the practice of halving the rear mudguard to increase bike speed. Custom choppers also are sold as kits to be assembled by the rider. Shop-built customs cost more than factory bikes from major manufacturers due to their construction, specialty parts, and premium paint jobs. Chopper motorcycles can retail for $40,000. A new, high-end Harley can sell for $20,000.

What are "Special Constructions?"
These are custom bikes assembled from a kit or built by a private shop. Special Constructions are generally harder to register and insure than mass-produced bikes or customs assembled by a recognized builder. In most states, Special Constructions must be inspected for safety by a highway authority. If the bike passes inspection, it then can be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Some states also require Special Constructions to pass semi-annual safety tests.

Do motorcycle insurance companies providers insure Special Constructions?
Not all bike insurance carriers insure Special Constructions, particularly custom choppers. The reason: many lack established bluebook values. Custom bikes from established shops with name recognition are more insurable as these companies' bikes often have historical-pricing data. Some carriers also avoid Special Constructions because of their high replacement cost. Simply put, insurers do not want to pay the high cost of replacing these bikes if they are stolen or damaged. Some insurers just sell liability insurance for Special Constructions, denying riders of these bikes collision or comprehensive coverage. Find out more about custom motorcycle insurance.

What is a minichopper or minibike?
Minichoppers and minibikes are miniature motorcycles, which typically feature four-stroke, 49cc engines from Subaru or Tecumseh. Mini choppers and mini bikes are designed for recreational use on paved surfaces. They are not for public roads, freeways, or long-distance travel, due to their limited fuel capacity (1 to 2 gallons) and small frames, engines, and wheels (8 to 10 inches). Most mini choppers and mini bikes reach top speeds between 20 and 40 mph with a teen or adult rider (150 to 200 pounds).

Some minibikes are more powerful, featuring 70cc engines. Both custom shops and larger manufacturers (Manco and Kikker) produce minichoppers, minibikes, and pocket bikes. Minibikes also can be purchased as kits and assembled. Most builders and manufacturers strongly recommend that individuals under 16 do not use minibikes and minichoppers without adult supervision. At purchase, they also require buyers to accept all liability for damages, injury, or death caused by the use of their products.

What are the steps for insuring a minichopper or minibike?

Inquire with your city and your state's Department of Motor Vehicles to see if minibikes are legal in your area and if you need to license and/or register them. Insurers that specialize in ATV insurance often also sell minibike and mini chopper insurance. Typically they offer liability and property coverage for these vehicles, covering injury to others and damage to property. Insurers usually only cover factory-made minibikes and mini choppers, not custom mini choppers or Special Constructions.

Does my motorcycle insurance cover me throughout the Americas?
In Mexico, you will need to buy Mexican bike insurance, the same as if you were entering the country with a car. (Mexican authorities do not recognize US insurance.) Buy your bike insurance before your take your trip to Mexico, preferably online. Not only will you be able to do some research and get a better rate, but also if you purchase your insurance at the border you run the risk of encountering paperwork delays. Unlike Mexico, Canada recognizes US bike insurance. In most cases, your current motorcycle insurance will cover you while traveling in Canada.

What if I need a loan for a motorcycle?

Learn all about motorcycle loans here on Motorcycle Insurance Quotes. Find out about motorcycle financing, motorcycle loans online, and bad credit motorcycle loans.

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