• Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
• Collision Coverage
Owning a motorcycle is lots of fun, but the fun comes with a certain level of risk. Thousands of motorcycle accidents occur each year, and the settlements that come from these accidents total billions of dollars. While every Vermont resident who gets on a motorcycle considers and accepts the associated risks, it’s also important to prepare for what could potentially happen. One way to prepare is to get motorcycle insurance.
Motorcycle insurance is similar to auto insurance, except it’s specifically designed for people who own motorcycles. The coverages found in motorcycle policies are frequently similar to those contained in auto policies, but they’re often slightly altered to address the unique needs of motorcycle riders.
Vermont residents who own a motorcycle generally should have insurance for it. In order to legally ride on public roads in the state, motorcycle owners need motorcycle liability insurance coverage that at least meets the state’s minimum requirements. In addition to motorcycle liability insurance coverage, riders who have financed or leased their bike are often obligated by the terms of their agreement to carry comprehensive and collision coverage for the bike.
Even if a bike isn’t being taken on public roads, riders still often should have motorcycle liability insurance coverage and other protections. Accidents can occur on trails, private drives and even in garages.
As is true with auto policies, the exact combination of coverages contained in motorcycles policies can vary. Nonetheless, there are several coverages that most policies offer as standard or optional protections. Some of the more common coverages include;
Personal Injury Protection, which might cover injuries sustained by a rider or passenger
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage, which may cover injuries caused to pedestrians or other vehicles’ passengers
Collision Coverage, which might cover damage sustained by a bike in a multi-vehicle accident
Comprehensive Coverage, which may cover damage sustained by a bike in non-accident incidents
Property Damage Liability Coverage, which might cover damage caused to other people’s property
Motorcycle policies’ premiums are based on many factors. Some of these, such as the policyholder's age and accident history, are similar to the variables that impact auto policies’ rates. Other factors are more specific to motorcycles. For example, insurers may also consider:
How many CCs a bike has
What style a bike is (e.g. cruiser, sport, etc.)
Whether aftermarket parts are installed on a bike
While some motorcycle policies cover riders’ helmets, not all policies include this coverage automatically. Furthermore, those that do sometimes have limits that are below a helmet’s value.
To make sure their helmets are fully insured, riders should ask a knowledgeable agent to check their policy’s coverages. An agent will be able to check what coverage the policy provides, and the agent will be able to assist with getting more coverage if more protection is needed. More coverage may be obtained by adjusting coverages, getting an endorsement or looking for a different policy.
For help finding a policy that will provide robust protection, motorcycle owners in Vermont should contact an independent insurance agent who specializes in motorcycle insurance. An agent who’s familiar with this particular type of insurance will know what coverages are available, and they’ll be able to make informed recommendations. If they’re independent, they’ll also have the freedom to show riders any insurance company’s policies.