What Does Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

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Full-coverage motorcycle insurance covers repairs or replacement if your bike is damaged or stolen, as well as damages you may cause in an accident. Typically, it includes comprehensive and collision insurance, in addition to any state-mandated coverages. A full coverage policy is the best way to protect your bike, however it's not cheap; these policies are usually much more expensive than those that include only the state-required liability coverages.

What's Included In A Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Policy?

The defining feature of a full-coverage motorcycle policy is that it includes collision and comprehensive insurance, though these policies also have all of the coverages required by your state. State-mandated coverages for riders can include:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Personal injury protection

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive and collision coverage are first-party coverages that pay to repair or replace your motorcycle in the event of a covered loss. Collision coverage pays for damage that results from an accident with another vehicle or object—including incidents like hit-and-runs—while comprehensive coverage covers theft as well as what is classified as "act of god" incidents. This includes damage to your bike from flooding, fires, hail and falling objects.

Comprehensive coverage can be particularly helpful for seasonal motorcycle riders, as it protects your bike while it is stored. So when it's not riding season—which can be a significant amount of time for some—or you don't get your bike out very often, you still are covered for possible damages.

When you file a collision or comprehensive claim, your insurer will pay to repair or replace your bike up to its Kelley Blue Book value, minus your deductible. It's important to point out that you may not be covered if your bike has a lot of custom features that contribute to its value, as these factors won't be reflected in the KBB value. To ensure that you are covered in this situation, you may have to get a custom motorcycle insurance policy, which will typically operates on an agreed value.

Motorcycle accessories—which include fairings, saddle bags, windshields and luggage racks—may not be covered by a full-coverage motorcycle insurance. While some insurers automatically include a certain amount of accessory coverage—such as Markel Insurance, which includes $1,000 in accessory coverage—others may not offer it at all or have it available as an optional add-on coverage when you buy collision and comprehensive coverage.

Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability

Bodily injury and property damage liability insurance cover damages that you may cause to other motorists and their property in the event of an accident. For example, if you crash your motorcycle into someone's car and cause $10,000 in damages—in medical expenses to the other driver as well as repair costs for their vehicle—that would be covered by liability insurance. These coverages are required for riders in all states, except Florida and Washington. However, even if it isn't required, we recommend that you buy a policy that includes liability coverage to protect your assets if you are at fault in an accident.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, covers losses you may experience in an accident caused by a driver who doesn't have sufficient liability insurance or isn't insured at all. There are two kinds of UM coverage—bodily injury and property damage—which function the same as liability insurance that we discussed in the previous section. In some states—including New York, Virginia and Minnesota—UM insurance is required of all motorists.

UM bodily injury coverage will pay for medical bills if you are injured by a motorist that doesn't have insurance or has insufficient bodily injury liability limits to cover your bills. Similarly, UM property damage insurance covers damage to your bike caused by a motorist without sufficient property damage liability limits.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is a first-party insurance that pays for your own medical expenses and lost wages due to an injury that occurs in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP is required in a few states, but it is available in nearly half. Because PIP is a no-fault coverage, you can expect to get your medical bills paid more quickly than with liability insurance, where an insurer will only pay out when one party is determined to be at-fault.

How Much Does Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Cost?

While your rates will depend on a variety of factors—including your driving record, age and motorcycle—full-coverage motorcycle insurance is typically much more costly than a basic policy with just liability insurance. Based on the quotes we gathered, full-coverage motorcycle insurance policies that include the minimum required liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive insurance were 500% more expensive than just purchasing the state minimum of liability insurance and PIP (when required).

Full-Coverage Motorcycle Cost Vs. Just Purchasing The State Minimum Requirements

Why Is Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance So Expensive?

The main reason that full-coverage motorcycle insurance is so much more expensive than a basic liability policy is that motorcycle riders are seen as very likely to get into an accident by insurance companies. This means that your insurer assumes that you will probably end up filing a collision claim—and therefore will be more costly for them to insure.

Should You Get Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance?

Whether you should opt for full coverage—over just the required liability coverage—will depend of two factors: the value of your bike and if your motorcycle is your main mode of transportation.

If your motorcycle is worth more than $5,000—or is a classic or custom ride—you should strongly consider getting full-motorcycle coverage. For bikes of this value, the increased premiums for comprehensive and collision coverage are justified when you consider the potential loss.

For bikes worth less than $5,000, the huge increase in insurance costs will likely surpass what you can expect to get out of the coverage. Therefore, the cheapest options may be to buy a policy without collision or comprehensive coverage, save the money you would have otherwise spent, and simply pay out of pocket for any necessary repairs. However, we recommend that riders gather their own quotes and also consider their riding safety before ruling out a full-coverage policy.

You should also consider getting full-coverage if you rely on your motorcycle for everyday transportation. With collision coverage, if you get into an accident, you won't have to wait for another driver's insurance to pay out for repairs. This means that your bike is back on the road sooner than if you only have liability coverage. Similarly, with comprehensive coverage, you won't be left in the lurch if your bike is stolen and you don't have the cash on hand to replace it.

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