Live to ride, ride to live. But save a few bucks while you're at it.
When I was a teenager, my parents were dead-set against two forms of transportation: convertibles (they could roll over and crush the occupants) and motorcycles (no explanation required).
As you might expect, the result was a life-long love affair with both.
For a large part of the nearly 40 years I’ve owned bikes – my current is a 1999 Softail Custom – I never gave much thought to insurance. I just surrendered my bike business to whatever company was insuring my car. Mistake. Because some insurers specialize in motorcycle policies, shopping companies can reward you with major savings – as much as 50 percent.
Want to quickly learn what I had to find out the hard way? Check out the following video and meet me on the other side for more…
Shopping is one way to save on motorcycle insurance, and the reason I added motorcycles as a category in our insurance rate-shopping tool. Take it for a spin and see if you’re getting the best deal. Then check out the list below for more ideas to save.
1. Join the club
Members of motorcycle clubs sometimes get discounted rates. They’re also a great way to compare notes with other bikers, get recommendations, and see who’s paying what. Examples include Harley Owners Group, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, and the American Motorcyclist Association.
2. Infrequent rider discount
If you ride only on the occasional sunny weekend, ask about discounts for part-time or occasional driver. You might also ask about lowering the coverage (and cost) if you don’t ride in the winter at all. If you have a loan on the bike, however, the lender will require full coverage on it year-round.
3. Drop full coverage
You’ve got to have liability – insurance that covers damage you do to other people and their property. But if your bike is old and/or not worth much, you might consider dropping comprehensive and collision – coverage that pays for theft, vandalism, or damage to your bike in the event of an accident that’s your fault. (The other person’s liability insurance should pay for damage that’s their fault.)
Whether this makes sense depends on how much you’re paying for full coverage and how much your bike is worth. Weigh the cost/benefit, then decide. As with the tip above, however, if you have a lien on the bike, the lender will require full coverage.
4. Choose the right bike
Some bikes cost more to insure than others. For example, sport bikes often sport higher premiums than traditional road bikes. Never replace your bike without first calling your insurance company to see if the new bike will cost more to insure than the old one.
5. Raise your deductible
No matter what kind of insurance you’re paying for – homeowners, renters, health, car, or motorcycle – the more of a claim you’re willing to pay, the lower the premium. If you’re comfortable raising your deductible from $250 to $1,000, you could easily save 10 to 20 percent. See what your deductible is now, then call the company and ask how much you’d save by raising it.
6. Ask about discounts
It will probably come as no surprise that your insurance company isn’t going to call and inform you of potential discounts. Call and ask about anti-theft devices, keeping your bike in a locked garage, age-related discounts…whatever you can think of. Simply say, “What discounts do you offer?” You might be pleasantly surprised to learn you already qualify.
7. Get additional coverage for extras
Regular motorcycle insurance policies don’t cover any enhancements you have made to your bike, such as chrome accessories, custom paint, or a sidecar. Look into supplementary coverage for these upgrades.
You can find lots more information about all kinds of insurance on our insurance page. But in the meantime, take a minute and use the insurance shopping tool above to see if you can save on motorcycle coverage. It doesn’t cost a dime and might save you some serious cash.