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Riders are drawn to motorcycles for the thrill and freedom, but riding a motorcycle has inherent risks involved. Given the design of bikes, motorcycle accidents are significantly more dangerous than car accidents, and insurance companies take into consideration all risks when insuring a rider. Similar to car insurance, your age, the type of motorcycle you have, the area you live in and your driving history all affect your motorcycle insurance cost. However, there are ways you can save money on insurance for your precious ride, and some may even help you be a safer rider.
1. Take a motorcycle safety course
Motorcycle accidents have a 28 times higher fatality rate than cars. It’s important for riders to follow safety precautions, like wearing a helmet and other protective gear while riding in order to reduce the risk. Riders can also take safety courses to educate themselves on safe driving.
Motorcycle safety courses are designed to make you a safer motorcycle driver, therefore making you less likely to have an insurance claim and less of a risk to your insurance company. Companies often offer a discount between 10 and 15 percent for taking a course.
Some states may require young drivers under 21 years old to take a safety course. but it’s a good idea for every biker. Check with your state’s DMV to find courses approved by your state. You can also visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website to find courses in your area.
2. Keep your driving record clean and become a “preferred operator”
Just like car insurance, your driving history is one of the factors that affects your motorcycle insurance cost. You can earn a lower rate by remaining ticket and accident free. You can also become what is known as a “preferred operator” if you have been a motorcycle rider for a while and have a clean record. Preferred operators have benefits, including a lower motorcycle insurance cost.
3. Get the right motorcycle coverage
If you ride your bike infrequently, you may be able to get a discount by being a part-time rider. You can also consider lowering your coverage during the off season if your bike stays tucked away in the garage all winter. Only paying for the coverage you need is a great way to save money on your motorcycle insurance, but you may only be able to do this as long as your don’t have a loan on your bike. Having a loan may require you to have full coverage year round.
Low mileage motorcycle insurance may also be an option if you don’t ride your bike on a regular basis to rack up the miles. You can get a policy that limits the amount of miles you can drive each year, such as 2,000 miles. While this can earn you significant savings on your motorcycle insurance, be sure you don’t go over the miles as you may lose coverage if you do.
4. Secure your bike and add safety features
Motorcycles are an easy target for thieves. Over 44,000 motorcycles thefts occurred in the U.S. in 2017. Protecting your bike from theft has personal benefits, but it can also save you money on your motorcycle insurance policy.
Parking and storing your bike in a secured area can help you save money on insurance because it’s less likely to be stolen than if you park it outside in an unlocked area. Keeping it in a locked garage not only reduces the likelihood of it being stolen, but it also protects your ride from the weather.
Anti-theft locks are also a good option to deter bike thieves, but not all are made equal. A disc lock is a good choice because it doesn’t have chains that can be broken. Disc locks attach to the bike’s brake rotor to prevent the wheel from turning. Some locks even have alarms built in that will sound if a criminal is able to break the lock so you can be alerted and the thief might be scared away.
When riding, always make sure to wear proper clothing and motorcycle safety gear, including helmets and jackets or vests, for protection.
5. Biker club discounts
Are you part of a motorcycle riding club or organization? Your organization membership may qualify you for a discount on your motorcycle insurance premiums. A few examples of organizations include the American Motorcycle Association and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Many groups exist and may be subject to your area. Check with your insurance company to see if your club membership qualifies you for a discount.
When looking for motorcycle insurance, it’s important to do your research to find the best company that offers the features you need. Be aware that modified or customized bikes may be more expensive to insure. Additionally, if you’ve customized your bike with a unique paint job or added a sidecar, those things may not be covered under your standard policy and may require additional coverage. Make note of the coverage you need and want for your bike so you can make sure you get a policy that has the proper coverage for you.
Visit Clearsurance's motorcycle insurance rankings page to see which motorcycle insurance companies consumers say are the best in your area.
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