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What is Motorcycle Insurance?
Operating a motorcycle is exhilarating but comes with notable risks, for many people are injured during crashes and there are damage-related risks as well. Motorcycle insurance won’t prevent something bad from happening on the road, but it could provide California riders with important financial protection in the event of a crash or other covered claim.
Motorcycle insurance is specialized auto insurance for motorcycles and riders. Because the insurance is specialized, riders should consult an insurance broker who knows these policies well when selecting coverages.
Who in California needs a Motorcycle Policy?
Most California residents who own motorcycles should consider purchasing a motorcycle policy. State law generally requires minimum coverages to be maintained when operating a registered vehicle on public roads, and this tends to be the best way for riders to obtain those coverages. Many riders also choose to get additional coverages so that they’re better protected.
Additionally, moped owners may want a motorcycle policy. Although mopeds are somewhat different, their insurance considerations and needs are similar to those of low-horsepower motorcycles. A knowledgeable insurance broker can help moped owners determine whether they should purchase this or another type of insurance.
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Should dirtbike owners purchase a Motorcycle Policy?
Although dirtbikes are similar in build to motorcycles, the two differ in how they’re used. Because dirtbikes generally aren’t taken on public roads and often are used in trail settings, underwriting considerations and coverage needs are often somewhat different with dirtbikes.
An insurance broker who’s familiar with motorcycle policies can check whether dirtbike owners should purchase a motorcycle policy. Assuming the answer is no, an broker can instead help dirtbike owners find a more suitable insurance option.
What protections are available through Motorcycle Policies?
The protections that motorcycle policies offer can vary, but most make the following coverages available:
- Bodily Injury Liability Coverage: May Cover injuries to pedestrians and other vehicles’ passengers
- Personal Damage Liability Coverage: May cover damage to other vehicles and other property
- Personal Injury Protection: May cover injuries to riders on the insured bike
- Collision Coverage: May cover damage to the bike that occurs during multi-vehicle accidents
- Comprehensive Coverage: May cover damage to the bike that occurs during non-accident incidents
- Accessories and Custom Parts Coverage: May cover aftermarket parts installed on the bike
- Personal Belongings Coverage: May cover belongings stowed on the bike
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: May cover accidents involving improperly insured drivers
Personal injury protection is colloquially referred to as “PIP.”
How are Agreed Value and Actual Cash Value Motorcycle Policies different?
Most motorcycle policies are underwritten on either an agreed value or actual cash value basis. The former normally provides comprehensive and collision coverage for a preset amount, which is agreed upon by the policyholder and insurer. The latter typically sets the limits for these coverages at the bike’s fair market value, as determined at the time of a claim.
Actual cash value is suitable in many situations, and it’s generally the standard for most auto policies (including motorcycle policies and others). Riders who have classic bikes, rare bikes or bikes with many customizations might want agreed value protection.
How much do Motorcycle Policies cost?
Motorcycle policy premiums are based on many factors and variables. Some details that can influence premiums are:
- Rider gender, age and marital status
- Rider driving record (for all types of vehicles)
- Average annual mileage
- Bike year, make and model
How can riders in California get Motorcycle Insurance?
For help insuring a motorcycle that’s registered in California, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers can help you decide what type of motorcycle insurance policy is right for you, and what coverages you need. Once these are determined, we’ll help you find the best policy that provides those chosen protections.