A Complete Guide to Motorcycle Insurance
Did you know that researchers found that riding a motorcycle can lower stress markers by at least 28%? The study also noted that 20 minutes of motorcycling had effects akin to light exercise. Moreover, motorcyclists seem to have a sensory focus better than those who drive cars!
Let’s not forget that riding a motorcycle can be fun, thrilling, and exciting. Considering all these, it’s no wonder that over 13.15 million motorcycles are now in circulation in the US.
If you plan to become a rider yourself, it’s best to learn more about motorcycle insurance first. This is especially true if you live in Massachusetts. Compared to other states, MA’s motorcycle insurance laws are more stringent.
To that end, we’ve compiled this list of motorcycle insurance frequently asked questions. Read on to learn more about insurance for motorcyclists in the Bay State.
What Is Motorcycle Insurance?
Motorcycle insurance is much like auto insurance, except that it’s specifically for motorcycles. Like car insurance, it also provides liability protection in the event of an accident. It provides coverage for accidental losses, damages, and theft.
The most important aspect of motorcycle insurance is its liability coverage. This is the part of the policy that helps pay for the costs of accidentally injuring someone else. It also provides coverage for damages that you may cause to other people’s property.
Is Motorcycle Insurance Mandated by Massachusetts Law?
To legally ride a motorcycle in MA, you must register it with the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles first. Registration, in turn, requires you to first purchase motorcycle insurance. This is the only way to establish financial responsibility in the Bay State.
How Does the Bay State Define Motorcycles?
Under MA law, a motorcycle is a motor vehicle with a seat or a saddle and travels on no more than three wheels. Such vehicles include bicycles with a motor or an attached driving wheel.
In this way, Massachusetts classify mopeds as a form of a motorized bicycle too. As such, you also need to register mopeds with the MA RMV, which in turn, requires motorcycle insurance. Please note that the same rules apply to scooters and Segways.
What Are Motorcycle Insurance Requirements?
As with car insurance, MA also sets state-required minimum limits for motorcycle insurance. This means that your motorcycle insurance policy must meet these requirements. Only then will you be able to ride your motorcycle without going against the law.
The term “limit” refers to the maximum amount of money that insurers pay toward covered claims. So, if you only buy the state-required limits, then that’s the highest amount of coverage you can get. To clarify things, let’s take a look at MA’s compulsory motorcycle coverages.
Bodily Injury to Others
In Massachusetts, the minimum requirement for this coverage is $20,000 per person. Per accident, the minimum required limit is $40,000. Again, you must have this in your motorcycle insurance policy so that you can stay on the good side of the law.
Bodily injury to others protects you against liabilities if you accidentally injure others. It also safeguards you from liabilities in case you cause an accident that leads to the death of others. Please note that this part of your policy only kicks in if the accident happens in the Bay State, though.
Also, keep in mind that this coverage doesn’t apply to you, the motorcycle operator. It also excludes your motorcycle’s passengers.
Damage to Someone Else’s Property
The minimum state-required limit for this coverage is $5,000. This part of your policy helps pay for damages you cause to another person’s property. It includes coverage for anyone else you allow to ride your bike, as well as a household member.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection is a no-fault statute. This means that, regardless of who caused the accident, this coverage kicks in.
In MA, PIP provides coverage of up to $8,000 in medical bills and replacement services. It also pays up to 75% of wages that you may lose in case you can’t work due to the accident.
Aside from you, the motorcycle operator, PIP also covers any other authorized rider. The same goes for any household member, passengers, and even pedestrians.
Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto
An estimated 13% of motorists in the United States don’t have insurance. Massachusetts, fortunately, has a much lower rate, with only a 6.2% uninsured motorist rate.
6.2% is still high, though, so there’s always a risk that you can get into an accident with one of these uninsured drivers.
As such, the Bay State requires a minimum limit of $20,000 per person for uninsured motorist coverage. Per accident, the minimum required limit is $40,000.
This coverage protects you from losses if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. It also protects you against losses caused by a “hit and run” or unidentified motorist.
As the term implies, though, this motorcycle coverage is only for bodily injuries. It doesn’t pay for damages to your car if you get into an accident with an uninsured/unidentified driver. It also excludes coverage for other types of property damages.
What Are Other Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Options?
Please keep in mind that 80% of motorcycle crashes lead to injury and even deaths. That’s 60% higher than injuries or deaths that occur in car crashes. Therefore, it’s best to purchase motorcycle insurance that goes beyond the state requirements.
The great news is that there are other motorcycle coverages that can protect you better. Below are some of the optional motorcycle coverages you should consider getting.
Medical Payments Coverage
The NHTSA once estimated that motorcycle crashes led to an average hospital bill of $14,377. This amount, however, was for riders who wore helmets at the time of the accident. For those who didn’t, the hospital charges spiked to $15,578.
This is why getting extra coverage for potential medical expenses is a smart idea. Medical payments coverage does exactly that. It helps pay your medical bills for injuries that you sustain due to a motorcycle accident.
What’s more, medical payments coverage will help no matter who caused the accident.
Nationwide, there were a total of 41,674 motorcycles reported stolen in 2018. That’s a considerable 6% decrease from the reported motorcycle thefts back in 2017. Despite this decreased rate, it’s still a risk you don’t want to take when it comes to your precious ride.
Comprehensive motorcycle coverage protects you from the loss of a stolen bike. It also helps pay to fix or replace damages caused by other accidents that aren’t a collision. These often include fires, theft, and vandalism.
An estimated 10.4 million crashes in 2018 led to property damage and non-disabling injury. This estimate accounts for all motor vehicle crashes, including motorcycles. Together, they resulted in a total cost amounting to $445.6 billion.
Those figures further highlight the importance of getting property coverage for your motorcycle. This is especially important as MA doesn’t require you to get such coverage for your bike.
Collision coverage can protect you and your bike in case it gets damaged in a collision accident. It helps pay for the cost to fix or replace your motorcycle damaged by the crash. Moreover, it kicks in regardless of who caused the incident.
Optional Bodily Injury to Others
Do you plan to ride your motorcycle outside of Massachusetts? If so, then you should consider getting optional bodily injury to others. This way, you can receive liability protection for accidents that may occur outside of MA.
With this optional coverage, you can also protect your motorcycle’s passengers. In case your bike’s guests sustain bodily injuries, they will receive coverage.
How Is Your Motorcycle Insurance Calculated?
The cost of motorcycle insurance, like auto insurance, also has a lot to do with the bike’s year, make, and model. The fancier and pricier the bike is, the more expensive it is to insure. Motorcycles with larger engines, as well as sportbikes, may also cost more to insure.
Your riding and driving record can also affect your insurance premiums. The cleaner it is, the more affordable your motorcycle insurance may be. Having a clean record, after all, often indicates that one is a low-risk motor vehicle operator.
Low-risk riders or drivers, in turn, are those believed to be unlikely to file an insurance claim. As such, insurers tend to favor them with lower rates and premiums.
Also, the manner in which you store your bike during the off-season can affect your rates. Keep in mind that your home insurance policy may not cover your motorcycle while you keep it in storage. If possible, consider purchasing a motorcycle storage insurance policy.
If you’re still in the market for a new motorcycle, consider shopping for one the same way you’d do with a new car. There are similar factors that drive the cost of insurance for new autos and motorcycles. As such, it’s a good idea to know what may affect your motorcycle insurance costs before you even buy a new bike.
How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?
Motorcycle insurance costs can vary widely, as there are so many variables involved. As such, it can be hard to estimate how much it will cost you without considering all these factors.
The best way to get an accurate estimate, therefore, is to seek the help of an independent insurance agent. They can give you more precise figures, as they know what factors influence premiums. Moreover, they will use the exact information you give them to provide you with quotes.
How to Get Motorcycle Insurance
An insurance agent can also be your best source for motorcycle insurance. Working with an authorized Bay State insurance agent is the fastest way to purchase a policy. Moreover, your agent can make sure that your coverage meets the mandatory limits.
Possibly the best reason to seek an insurance agent, however, is to get dedicated help. Your motorcycle insurance needs are unique, so it’s best to have a personalized policy. This helps make sure that you have full protection without paying for coverage you don’t need.
A Massachusetts insurance agent can also help you find the best insurance discounts. For instance, you may be able to qualify for discounts if you have an excellent driving record. You may also be able to get a better deal if you buy multiple policies from the same insurer.
Are There Any Other Ways to Lower Motorcycle Insurance Cost?
One of the best ways to cut insurance costs, including those for a motorcycle, is to compare offers and deals. Remember, there are thousands of insurance companies throughout the US. Comparing them, therefore, gives you an advantage, as you can use this as a point for negotiation.
Having a spotless driving record is also a tried and tested method to keep insurance rates low. As such, if you’re a new rider, you may want to boost and hone your skills with motorcycle training. This way, you can avoid road violations that can ruin your record (and cause your insurance rates to go up).
If you’re also in the market for a car and home insurance, consider grouping them with the one for your bike. Doing so may unlock more discounts that can further lower your total insurance costs.
Start Shopping for the Best Motorcycle Insurance Policy Now
Motorcycle insurance is more than just a law. It’s also for your own sake, as it can protect your finances in case you get into an accident. However, to fully protect yourself, it’s best to go for limits that are higher than what the state requires.
Would you like to have a motorcycle insurance policy that’s a perfect fit for your needs? If so, then please know that our team here at LoPriore Insurance Agency is ready to help. Please get in touch with us or request your insurance quote now.