Written by Malcom Lee
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to ride through some really interesting parts of the world, and the one thing that police the world over love to see is a foreign number plate.
In a remote part of Greece, a police officer pulled me over just for a friendly chat about my travels without even mentioning my insurance and license. Whilst in the west of France, I was threatened with a fine for not producing my documents fast enough!
Meanwhile, in Vietnam, a roadside chat with the local law enforcement started with a thorough check of my complicated set of documents. Even though they were in order, it still ended with a voluntary contribution of ‘coffee money.’
But whether you’re exploring the roads of another county or another county, it pays to have the right paperwork, and that most definitely includes insurance. Making sure you get the right cover is key, but equally important is not paying through the nose, so here are ten sure-fire ways to reduce your motorcycle insurance costs.
10 Ways to Pay Less for your Motorcycle Insurance
#1 Check Out your Existing Insurance Company
If you already have auto insurance, the chances are your existing company may offer a multi-policy. Once an insurance company has its hooks into you, they don’t want to give you an excuse to look elsewhere.
For this reason, many insurance companies offer flexible or extended policies that cover multiple drivers or vehicles within your family. The incentive to stay with your existing insurer is generally a discount on the extended policy that works out cheaper than buying stand-alone insurance.
This type of policy works particularly well if you made no claims on your policy or you’re a more mature rider.
#2 Get the Right Coverage
Whether you’re sitting in front of your computer screen or face to face across a desk, insurance companies have an uncanny knack of making the world sound like such a dangerous place. Show any hesitation or lack of knowledge and before you can say ‘Alien Abduction Coverage’, you’re weighed down with add-ons and upgrades.
You may end up paying big bucks for more coverage than you realistically need, so make sure you assess your needs first. This particular scenario is especially relevant if you have a cheap motorcycle, in other words, a popular make and model of older bikes in less than spectacular condition.
In some cases, repairing it yourself or even scrapping the bike may be cheaper than the deductible or premium, so for example, you can save money by going with personal injury and liability instead of comprehensive insurance.
#3 Recognized Anti Theft Measures
Having your motorcycle stolen sucks like you wouldn’t believe, so it makes perfect sense to invest in some anti-theft security. As mentioned in some of our previous articles, at least two methods of securing your motorcycle are advisable.
Before you buy though, check which insurance companies give the best discount for installing anti-theft devices and if so, check if they need to be a specific make or rating. The company may also offer decent discounts if your motorcycle is garaged.
#4 Multiple Choices
Even if your existing car insurer offers motorcycle coverage, get a quote but keep looking. Giving yourself more options is one of the best ways to lower your insurance costs. For North American riders, we have a guide to the best motorcycle insurance for you.
Although all the big insurance companies will have an online form to fill in to get a quote, doing so on multiple sites can take a while. To save time, there are a number of comparison websites where you can fill in your details once and get a whole list of insurers and prices.
This method is a real time-saver, but be aware, not all insurance companies participate. Some insurers prefer to pass on savings directly to their customers rather than paying a finders fee for a referral, so do your homework and shop around.
#5 Safety First
Knowledge is power and when it comes to two-wheels, that power can save your life. Taking additional motorcycle safety courses is not only a great idea to increase your riding skills, but it can also lower your insurance cost.
As motorcycle training courses are offered by a number of organizations though, before you sign on the dotted line, find out if there are specific courses more favored by insurance companies in terms of discounts.
#6 Money Saved is Money in the Bank
All insurance companies offer their products slightly differently so as to make direct comparisons trickier, but when it comes to saving money on motorcycle insurance, discounts are like money in the bank.
Unfortunately, when it comes to discounts, there’s no alternative to pounding the keyboards, but surfing yields results, it’s as simple as that. Discounts to look out for are mature rider, (mature refers to how many years experience, not how much snow on the roof), multibike (own more than one bike), while some companies offer money off if you pay for the policy all in one go.
One or more years without a claim is also good for a few bucks off as is touring bike discounts and a few companies even do ABS discounts as long as its factory fitted.
#7 Clubbing Together
Some companies will give you an extra 10% off your insurance just for being a member of a motorcycle club! Now, before you go wondering why Philo Beddoe’s arch-nemesis the Black Widow get money off, they’re not talking about that kind of motorcycle club.
The discount relates to owners clubs and touring clubs, such as Harley Owners Group, BMW Owners, Gold Wing Touring Association, etc. If you’re a member of the American Motorcycle Association or Motorcycle Safety Foundation, you’ll probably get 10% too.
#8 Offer More to Pay Less
Somewhere in the small print of every insurance policy is a figure relating to the deductible. This is the amount you are liable to pay in the event of a claim before the insurance company pays out a bean.
Most people don’t take much notice of the amount, but did you know that if you agree to a higher deductible it can actually lower your insurance? So, if you live in Supai Arizona and only ride your bike to church once a week, a higher deductible is probably for you.
#9 Seasons Greetings
Not everyone lives in California and if your part of the world gets serious winter weather, then obviously you have to garage your wheels and hibernate. It doesn’t make sense though to pay for twelve months insurance when you’re snowed in for five of them.
The easy way out would be to simply insure your bike for the time it’s on the road, but leaving your pride and joy uninsured, even if it’s locked up, is just asking for trouble. The answer is to ask your insurer if they offer storage cover.
This type of coverage will still give you peace of mind and maybe a few bucks off.
#10 Pay As You Go
Last but not least is payment by installments. Generally paying over a number of months usually attracts an additional cost, but not always. Once again, it’s a case of digging around and making inquiries.
Paying monthly without an installment fee does not technically save you money overall as your insurance cost remains the same. However, only having to find a fraction of your annual insurance premium per month can definitely ease the burden on your finances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need insurance for my motorcycle?
Yes, you do. Apart from some form of insurance being a legal requirement, it makes total sense. Crash without it and you could find yourself in a whole world of pain up to and including, jail time, humongous medical bills, and being sued for every penny you have.
What American States can I ride in without motorcycle insurance?
Montana, Florida, Washington, and New Hampshire.
Having said that, however, it’s not as black and white as it sounds. In Florida, for example, you don’t need insurance to register a motorcycle, but you do need bodily injury and damage liability protection.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, you do not need insurance to ride a motorcycle, but the NH DMV can force you to prove you are sufficiently financially responsible to operate a motorcycle.
How many different types of motorcycle insurance are available?
Broadly speaking there are three, but there is a whole slew of different motorcycle policies and every insurer tries to make theirs slightly different to give them a unique selling point. Basically speaking though it boils down to three basic types, liability insurance, economy insurance, and complete or comprehensive coverage insurance.
What is the average cost of motorcycle insurance in the USA?
$702. That may technically be the correct answer, but it depends entirely on your zip code. For example, the average cost in California is $1360 while in North Dakota it’s $382 (as of writing).
How do I lower my motorcycle insurance?
Pick a number between 1 and 10 of the ways we mentioned in this article so that you can pay less for your motorcycle insurance.
Reprinted with permission from our friends at MotorcycleSecure.com