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What does my Motorcycle insurance REALLY cover?

June 17, 2016

If you own a car with auto insurance, you likely already know that your motorcycle insurance policy coverage can vary between different insurance companies. (Coverages can also vary between states.) Like an auto policy, standard motorcycle policies will typically cover part of the replacement cost associated with loss, theft or damage to your bike as well as give you financial piece of mind through state-mandated minimum liability requirements. But, what does all of that really mean?

Wrecked Harley-Davidson1

What is Liability?

If you are cited as “at-fault” for an accident, the liability coverage you purchased fixes The Other Guy (TOG) and is designed to provide restitution for both their injuries and property damage they experienced as a result of the “at fault” accident. Not surprisingly, coverage for injuries is called the Bodily Injury limit (typically policies carry a “per person” limit as well as a combined or “aggregate” limit) and coverage to fix TOG’s bikes’ property damage is…..wait for it…..the Property Damage limit.

What about Me?

Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorists coverage gives YOU bodily injury protection when TOG is “at fault” and Comprehensive and Collision coverage protects YOUR bike – whether it is TOG, Mother Nature, or a deer jumping on the road in front of you. Don’t forget: Comprehensive Coverage is everything OTHER than a collision. An example of a comprehensive claim is to find that your parked bike was run over by something while you were inside having lunch with your riding buddies. That said, be aware that laying the bike down due to debris washed onto the road by Mother Nature is considered by some claims adjustors to be a “collision with the road”. In this example, you might be considered “at fault” because you were not driving for the conditions.

Included Coverages

Comprehensive and Collision coverage for your motorcycle policy usually pays for costs associated with loss, theft, and damage including renting a motorcycle, custom parts and equipment; some carriers also cover safety gear (leathers, helmets, boots, and gloves).

Excluded Coverages

Most policies specifically exclude Racing, Stunts, and Delivery Service. Some policies specify that the bike may only be used for EITHER off-road or on-road depending upon the bikes configuration and license/registration. As a side note, should you borrow a friend’s bike and YOU do not have motorcycle insurance, should something bad happen do not assume that your Auto policy will pick up coverage….it likely won’t.

Again, insurance company policies can vary between carriers and states. Get your policy out of the drawer, dust it off, and double check what protection you do and don’t have. Don’t get caught thinking you had coverage for something when you need it the most.

To read more on our thoughts about motorcycles, general insurance topics, or tricks and tips from the trenches, subscribe to the Avanti Reader via RSS, follow Avanti Business and Insurance Services on Facebook or Twitter (@AvantiInsurance) to receive notifications of future posts. Thanks for reading!

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