Insurance can often seem excessively complicated and difficult to understand, but with state requirements for motorcyclists to be insured you need to understand how insurance works. Here are five commonly asked questions and answers regarding motorcycle insurance.
- Should I really submit a small claim to the insurance company, won’t it make my premium go up?
The answer to this is maybe. It depends on your particular situation. There are a number of different factors to take into account when deciding whether to file a claim. It helps if you have no or few claims filed previously. The biggest issue when determining if your rate will increase is fault. If you are at fault it is likely that your premium will increase. If you are not at fault, your rate will probably not increase.
Another factor to consider before you submit a claim is your deductible. If the damage to your bike is less than your deductible, then you probably don’t want to submit that claim.
Regardless of the amount of damage or fault, always tell your insurance carrier if you are involved in an incident that involves injuries to yourself or others.
- If I let my buddy drive my bike, does my insurance cover it?
Yes. This is based on the Permissive Use Policy. Basically, a rule of thumb is that insurance follows the bike, not just the driver. As long as your buddy has your permission to use the bike, it is covered.
You should still be cautious when you lend your bike to others. If they are in an accident you will have to file a claim against your insurance policy. The more claims you file, the more likely the insurance carrier will refuse to renew your policy, or to increase your premiums in the future. You should only lend your bike to a responsible, licensed motorcyclist.
- How does the insurance company decide how much my bike is worth?
Each bike is valued on an individual basis. Most adjusters start with N.A.D.A. guides or the Kelley Blue Book, but these are really just starting points. Since each bike is unique, a good adjuster must really focus on the specifics of your bike.
A good adjuster will consider the modifications you have made to your motorcycle, as well as other similar bikes in you area. This approach leads to a more precise and fair value for what your bike is really worth.
- Do I really need “accessory” coverage?
One of the most misunderstood parts of motorcycle insurance is accessory coverage. Many people simply don’t have sufficient accessory coverage to fully cover their motorcycle.
Accessory coverage covers anything that was not included as standard by the motorcycle manufacturer. This includes custom chrome, windshields, custom paint, performance modifications, saddle bags, and sometimes even your riding gear.
You must also include accessories that were added by the dealer or a previous owner before you purchased the bike. These items may make up a significant portion of the value of your bike. You don’t want to be underinsured. So, make sure you know what accessories you have and how much they are worth, before you decide how much accessory coverage to purchase.
- What’s up with “liability” coverage?
Liability is the coverage that you are required to have by the state. This covers losses that result from bodily injure to others or damage to the property of others for which you are liable.
Essentially, liability insurance covers damage you do to others, when riding your bike. This includes property damage, as well as bodily injury. It does not cover damage to your bike or your own bodily injuries.
Regardless of the amount or type of insurance coverage you own, if you or someone you know is or has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to consult with an attorney to fully understand your rights and remedies. Our attorneys are always waiting to serve you.