Motorcycle Insurance vs Car Insurance: What You Need to Know

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There are key differences between motorcycle insurance vs car insurance coverage. Read about both here in our post!

motorcycle insurance vs car insurance

The last time you went through your car’s seasonal care routine, did you think that it would look even better with a motorcycle by its side? Or are you already the proud owner of a brand-new bike? Either way, you need to know everything about motorcycle insurance if you are considering ownership of one. It turns out that there are some important differences between motorcycle insurance and car insurance that every vehicle owner should know about when they switch between the two.

Understanding these differences will make it easier to compare car insurance quotes with motorcycle insurance quotes and find motorbike and car insurance quotes suitable for you. Now let's compare motorcycle insurance vs car insurance.

Motorcycle Insurance Tends to Be More Expensive than Car Insurance

The first thing motorcycle riders may notice is that a motorcycle policy will run you more money on average than traditional automobile insurance.

When you compare car insurance quotes with motorcycle insurance, motorcycle insurance will almost always be more expensive at face value. The noticeable price difference stems from the fact that motorcycles are nearly four times more likely to be in an accident than a regular passenger car in the USA. Unfortunately, insurance providers will pass that extra overall expense right on to their consumers– regardless of how great your driving history may be.

In 2019 alone, 59.49 motorcycles per 100,000 were involved in crashes compared with just 15.06 per 100,000 passenger vehicles. Higher numbers of motorcycle accidents mean a greater chance of someone making a claim, which is why motorcycle insurance tends to be higher. Fortunately for any future motorbike owners, the cost of insurance can go down if you own a cheaper motorcycle and if you already have a good riding record.

A good driving record is important to maintain to avoid paying very high insurance premiums. Costs may also vary with your location and state of residence.

Personal Injury Protection Laws May Not Include Motorcyclists

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) normally covers injuries that you sustain from an accident. Laws can vary between states. It's important to know that states requiring PIP coverage for standard vehicles often do not require it for motorcyclists. That said, is it a good thing to have? Yes! You can purchase it separately and have piece of mind you are covered for personal injury costs. So, even if you find yourself in an accident and require the aid of a car accident lawyer, you will have this coverage in the background while you work on your claim.

If you are a motorcycle owner, you may have to purchase PIP coverage separately from your regular motorcycle insurance policy, depending on the state that you are in. Although PIP coverage is essential for both cars and motorbikes, it is much more important for a motorcycle rider to have it. In most accidents, the motorcycle rider be more likely to sustain injuries.

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Passenger Coverage Differences

When you shop for car insurance, you don’t have to consider whether or not your passengers will also be covered. This is normally part of your comprehensive coverage and something you need to make sure is detailed in fine print and also explained to you by your agent. It's a very important part of insurance coverage.

This is not always the case for motorcycles, as they are often assumed to only transport one person. Be savvy about your policy and know before you transport a passenger, what your policy includes. Know whether or not any passenger coverage will be included with your motorcycle insurance policy.

In some cases, a passenger’s injuries from a motorcycle accident won’t be covered by their regular health insurance, making passenger coverage essential. As with motorcycle drivers, passengers can be exposed to a higher risk of injury if an accident were to happen. This isn't to scare you, but in the event of an accident your policy restrictions will be very important to covering the costs of any medical bills and damages.

If you are having trouble finding passenger coverage for your motorcycle, try searching for guest passenger liability coverage, also called pillion cover, which will cover any injuries that your motorbike passenger experiences providing you were not at fault. Additionally, medical payments coverage is another option you can consider if you want coverage for your passenger regardless of who was liable for the accident.

Save Money During the Winter

Unlike a new car, a new motorcycle will probably be indoors in the winter months. Especially in North Dakota and South Dakota where bikes are very common, riders do not want to pay full premiums for the winter months. Motorcycle insurers understand that if the bike isn't on the road, the liability lowers as well. So, motorcycle insurance premiums can actually drop in the winter.

Laid-up insurance options are more common in the northern states, where winters create dangerous driving conditions. They provide an opportunity for you to reduce insurance expenses when you can’t take your bike out. This option isn’t generally offered to cars as vehicles with four wheels can navigate wet or icy conditions more safely than motorbikes.

Laid-up insurance policies follow the assumption that you cannot or will not take your bike out during the winter season. If you choose this option for your motorcycle, you won’t have any coverage if you decide to go for a winter ride and get into an accident. These insurance policies cover your motorbike against theft, fire, and other damages that do not involve winter driving– all for a cheaper rate. This type of coverage is ideal if you are a weekend rider or recreational rider, and do not plan to use the motorcycle for part of the year.

motorcycle insurance

Variations with Add-On Options

There are many different insurance add-ons that both motorcycles and cars share. Some of these include roadside assistance, engine protection cover, tire protection cover, key replacement, and much more. Of course this will vary by state and type of insurance, carrier and other factors.

However, there are other add-ons that motorcycle owners should know about that are unique to them. Some unique additional coverage options for motorcyclists include transport trailer coverage, insurance coverage for custom parts and accessories such as saddlebags and modifications, and coverage for your helmet and leather protective clothing.

These add-ons are not things you have to consider when you shop for car insurance. In an accident these add ons can help with less property damage loss. When you transition to riding a motorcycle, you might not be aware that they are available and even necessary in many instances. New motorcycles their accessories can definitely add up in cost, so these add-ons are one of the key differences you need to know about!

At face value, when you compare motorcycle insurance vs car insurance, motorcycle insurance is almost always more expensive due to the increased risk of an accident. If you are currently riding a bike or want to purchase one after driving a car, remember that you may also need to purchase Personal Injury Protection, passenger coverage, and additional add-ons unique to motorcycles. If you live in a region that experiences severe winter weather, you can also save money by switching to a laid-up insurance option.

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