Motorcycle Insurance

Anti-Theft Devices And Motorcycle Insurance Rates

The majority of motorcycle insurance companies offer discounts to owners who use anti-theft devices. While using any anti-theft device might deter thieves, only some qualify owners for discounts.

Devices That Help Save On Premiums

Most insurers offer about a 10% discount on motorcycle policies if the owner has a tracking or disabling system professionally installed on their bike. Tracking systems allowing owners to use radio or GPS signals to locate their motorcycle. This can be crucial to helping law enforcement locate and retrieve a bike that has been stolen. 

Owners should never attempt to reclaim a stolen vehicle. There is no telling what has been done to motorcycle that could make it unsafe to ride, or what a thief would do if they caught the owner taking their bike back. Leave tracking down and repossessing a motorcycle to the authorities if you have a system that can locate yours.

Disabling features -- which render a motorcycle inoperable -- are sometimes part of tracking systems and there are two distinct types. Active disabling systems must be turned on by the owner and can be engaged to prevent a thief from driving their motorcycle away. Passive disabling systems can activate themselves if a motorcycle is driven a certain distance or running for a certain period without some detection of the owner. 

Both can be as much as $500 or more to install, but they are commonly recommended and the protection and savings might be worth it to a bike owner.

Saving 10% on a motorcycle premium might not seem like a lot, but depending on the cost of a policy, it might be significant. The average annual motorcycle insurance policy in the U.S. is $519. A 10% discount on that rate is something that could pay for itself in savings after a number of years.

What About Other Anti-Theft Devices?

Although most anti-theft devices for motorcycles do not qualify owners for a discount on the premiums, they are strongly recommended by insurers, the motorcycle community, law enforcement agencies and former thieves. Protecting a motorcycle from being stolen also can mean significant savings when it comes to insurance.

Anti-theft devices such as disc locks, U-locks, chains and audible alarms all make a motorcycle more difficult to steal. The more difficult, or the more time it takes to steal a motorcycle, the more it will deter thieves or prevent them from getting away with your bike.

Many motorcycle riders choose to purchase comprehensive coverage, which will replace their motorcycle if it is stolen. But the coverage significantly increases an owner’s rates and if they have to file a comprehensive claim, they will likely be raised higher. 

Comprehensive coverage should be a safety net for a bike owner, not something they depend on instead of anti-theft devices. Security options outside of tracking and disabling systems are an excellent layer of added defense.

Michael Thrasher

Michael is a former research analyst at ValuePenguin covering property and casualty insurance, including homeowners and renters insurance.