It’s May in Michigan, and that means motorcycles are hitting the roads in my area once again. While I must confess I prefer to be fully enclosed when traveling 70 mph on the highway, my late husband was definitely a motorcycle man, with his last bike being a treasured Star Roadliner.
If you, too, would rather spend your summers atop a bike, we’ve got some tips for you. Motorcycle insurance is a necessity, but it isn’t necessary to bust your budget. Here are 10 tips to keep your costs down.
1. Choose your motorcycle carefully
George Rudy / Shutterstock.com
If you already have your motorcycle, you can skip to the next section. However, if you’ll be making a purchase this year, the first step to keeping motorcycle insurance premiums reasonable is to buy the right bike.
Here are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind:
- Newer and more expensive bikes will be more expensive to insure. (Obviously!)
- Larger engines typically result in larger premiums. In other words, think twice before buying an 1100cc bike when a 750cc one may be perfectly suitable for your riding needs.
- Bikes with lots of chrome will cost more to insure.
- Sports bikes may be deemed high-risk by some insurers and could cost more to insure than comparably priced and sized cruisers.
Motorcycle.com has lists of the 10 most expensive motorcycles to insure and the 10 cheapest motorcycles to insure, providing a good place to start researching individual models. However, your best bet may be to simply find a couple of bikes you like and call insurance companies for quotes.
2. Get a quote from your car insurance company
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com
When it comes to getting quotes, you have plenty of options. Virtually all auto insurance companies offer coverage for motorcycles, and some specialty carriers, such as Rider Insurance, provide bike coverage exclusively.
But before you run out and find a new company, start with the one that already has your business. Many insurers offer multiple policy discounts, which means you might get a better deal if you combine a motorcycle policy with your current auto coverage.
3. Shop around for a better deal
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock.com
You might get a better deal if you stick with your current insurer, but don’t assume that’s the best place to park your coverage.
Instead, take that quote from your existing carrier and compare it with quotes from other companies.
4. Look for companies that offer the most discounts
Natali_ Mis / Shutterstock.com
If you want the best price, you want to look for the company that offers the most discounts. These are some common discounts for motorcyclists:
- Mature rider discount (not necessarily for “old” riders but for those with several years of riding under their belt)
- Paid-in-full discount for those who pay their premium in one lump sum
- Responsible driver discount for those with no claims
- Multibike discount
- Anti-lock brake discount
- Continuous coverage discount (i.e. don’t cancel in the winter then sign back up in better driving weather)
5. Take a motorcycle safety class
sonsam / Shutterstock.com
Speaking of discounts, one of the best ways to get a discount is to take a motorcycle safety class. Not only will it save you money on insurance now, but it could reap benefits in the long run if it helps you ride better and keep your record claim-free.
Geico is one company that will offer a 10 percent discount for those taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation or Military Safety Course. If you have some free time on your hands, you could double that and become a Motorcycle Safety Foundation instructor, a job that comes with a 20 percent discount from Geico.