Your search is over. The perfect motorcycle is in front of you, waiting to be ridden home. Before you thumb the starter, consider the following scenarios. A careless driver backs over your bike in the parking lot. You’re clocked going 70 in a 50 mph zone. You forget to lock your bike one evening and the next day it’s gone. Insurance will cover your loss, but how can you get the necessary insurance without paying too much?
Several personal and environmental factors determine motorcycle premiums. Do you have a motorcycle endorsement on your license? You’d be surprised by the number of people who don’t. Most states require motorcycle licenses for bikes 150cc or more. Check the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) website for a list of motorcycle training courses where you live. Some courses are state sponsored while others are privately operated. Whether public or private, all instructors must be MSF certified. Successful completion of the course can result in an insurance discount.
You behavior on or off the bike can influence insurance rates. Moving violations such as speeding, even in your car, will hike rates. A DUI or felony conviction also will increase rates. Some municipalities offer a “traffic school” sponsored by local law enforcement that may improve your driving record. Your age also will be a factor for premiums.
The type of motorcycle you own will influence how much you’ll pay for insurance. In general, higher displacement engines (measured in cc) will cost the most to insure. High-performance motorcycles such as a 1000cc 100 hp bike will cost more than a 250 cc 30 hp motorcycle. Equipping your bike with a security system may reduce insurance costs. Storing your motorcycle in a locked garage also can decrease the premium amount.
Installing safety equipment such as modulating headlights, reflective tape, and high decibel horns may not directly impact your insurance rates, but it will improve your visibility to other drivers. Avoiding accidents, thus improving your driving record, will keep you on the road while minimizing insurance costs. And that means more money for gas!