Bike Insurance

What you need to know

If you are financing your motorcycle then you will be required to have solid motorcycle insurance on it. Even if you don't finance your bike you will need to at least have liability insurance. Some insurance companies are very motorcycle friendly, others prefer to deal in other areas.
Motorcycle Insurance Information and Tips

The first step in purchasing motorcycle insurance is to contact your agent or broker with whom you currently have auto or home insurance. If your current insurance company does not cover motorcycles, talk with friends or others who already have coverage. This way, you'll be able to work from a good list of recommended agencies to start out. You may also gain information through your salesperson and motorcycle magazines.

HOT TIP: If you are a first time, or even an experienced rider who has not taken a motorcycling safety course, put it on your "to do" list. Not only will it sharpen your street survival skills, but it will also bring you a discount on your insurance premium.

Things To Keep In Mind

Your premium will be based upon several key factors involved with your motorcycling situation. They include, but are not limited to:

• The motorcycle engine displacement size in cubic centimeters (cc)
• Type of motorcycle
• Brand of motorcycle
• Your age
• Your driving record
• Your driving experience
• Is the bike garaged?
• Location
• Number of intended miles driven weekly

The majority of the time, you'll receive a higher premium with a larger displacement engine. These bikes are more expensive and provide higher performance.

The type of motorcycle you plan on insuring also affects premium price. A 500 cc cruiser will be cheaper to insure than a 500 cc sport bike. Sport bikes usually have fairings (plastic covers that shroud the engine), and other various pieces of bodywork that can make them expensive to repair in a crash or accident. The make (brand) of your motorcycle is not such a big factor, but it is taken into consideration. A brand with models few and far between will run higher than a common brand. Your age will affect your premium. Older drivers tend to experience cheaper rates than their younger counterpart, on the same motorcycle. Statistics show that riders under the age of 25 tend to be involved in the most accidents. Driving record and experience both affect your premium. If your record is blemished with tickets and accidents, then expect to pay more. Experience tends to go hand in hand with your age. Will your motorcycle be garaged, or parked out along the street? If you plan on leaving it out on the street, then you'll experience a higher rate than if it is garaged. Leaving it parked along the street leaves the bike open to theft and accidents. If you live in a big city, your rates may slightly be higher than if you live in a rural area. Will the bike be your daily driver, or used for leisure? The mileage you tend to put on the bike on a weekly basis will push your premium up or down. If the motorcycle is your main mode of transportation, expect a higher rate.

Keeping Costs Down

Any of the following can increase your insurance costs:

• 3 or more riders or motorcycles
• Licence suspended in the last 3 years
• Insurance policy cancelled/refused in the last 3 years
• 2 or more minor convictions in the last 3 years
• 1 or more major/criminal convictions in the last 3 years
• Licensed less than 4 years and 1 or more at-fault auto/motorcycle accidents
• Your motorcycle is a replica/homebuilt/rebuilt/vintage model
• The value of your motorcycle exceeds $45,000

Your insurance costs can be reduced by:

• Having impeccable driving and claims records
• Being an experienced rider
• Insuring more than one motorcycle with your insurer
• Taking an approved motorcycle safety course