Whether you have just purchased your first motorcycle or you have owned one for a while and are thinking of changing companies, finding a suitable motorcycle insurance policy is a must. Before you hit the roads in Idaho with your bike, find out what policy is right for you. Shopping for quotes and good motorcycle insurance can be complex, but it doesn't have to be. Your motorcycle isn't just any old bike, and any old insurance policy just won't do. Don't settle for the first offer you see, and keep the following in mind.
How Do Motorcycles Fare in Idaho?
According to the ID Transportation Department Office of Highway Safety:
- The number of motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes increased from 17 in 2011 to 22 in 2012.
- Just over half (52 percent) of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2012 involved just the motorcycle.
- More than one‐third (35 percent) of fatal motorcycle crashes involved an impaired driver.
- In 2012, a motorcyclist suffered injuries in a traffic crash every 17 hours.
- The cost of traffic crashes in 2012 amounts to $1,454 for every person in Idaho.
Without proper insurance coverage, motorcycle riders open themselves up for a world of hurt when accidents happen.
Are You Required To Carry Motorcycle Insurance in Idaho?
There are many types of motorcycles including sport bikes, dirt bikes, choppers and more, and Idaho statutes require you to carry these minimum types of insurance protection on your motorcycle:
- $25,000 for injury/death to one person
- $50,000 for injury/death to two or more persons
- $15,000 for damage to property
Remember that these are the state minimums, however, and they may not provide you with the coverage you need should your bike be involved in a collision.
According to the ID Department of Motor Vehicles, the following two-wheeled vehicles require motorcycle insurance:
- Motorcycle: This is any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for riding purposes and a design for travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. It must also meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
- Motor-Driven cycle: This pertains to a cycle with a motor that produces five-brake horsepower or less and meets all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Operation requires titling and a motorcycle endorsement.
- Has motorized or pedal propulsion that does not exceed 30 miles per hour
- Has a displacement of not more than 50 cc if it contains an internal combustion engine
- Has a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting
- Can have a motor powered by electrical energy that produces less than two gross brake horsepower
Why Is Motorcycle Insurance Important?
Motorcycle insurance is important to protect yourself and others and to protect your bike. Motorcycles are attractive to thieves, as they are easier to steal than are automobiles or passenger trucks. Also, once stolen, they are easy to strip down, rebuild and sell. Additionally, motorcycles are at higher risk to operate than are passenger vehicles, for several reasons:
- They’re small and harder for other motorists to see.
- Most bikes are very fast and maneuverable, which makes them even harder to see.
- They operate on two wheels, meaning a moment of inattention puts you at a higher risk of having an accident.
- Riders have no protective devices such as seat belts or air bags.
For all of these reasons, it is vital that you get yourself covered if you plan to operate a motorcycle on the highway.
What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
A basic motorcycle insurance policy will cover some portion of the costs associated with damage to your bike in the event it is in a collision. It will also provide compensation in the event that you cause harm to another person or their property or have legal fees to pay due to an accident. Known as "bodily injury and property damage liability," your motorcycle liability insurance covers the cost of liability claims and legal fees, up to the limits of your policy, if are at fault in an accident.
You can choose whether your policy will cover the following:
- Full replacement cost of your bike, in the event of a total loss (known as "full coverage")
- Comprehensive coverage, which is designed to pay for loss or damage due to severe weather damage, damage from animals and theft or vandalism
- Medical payments, in the event that you or your passenger require hospitalization or medical care
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, in the event that another driver is at fault in an accident and does not have adequate insurance to pay your costs
- Accessories coverage to help pay for damage or loss to your gear and upgrades, such as transport trailers, sidecars, custom exhaust equipment and safety apparel like chaps and helmets
The options you choose to include in your motorcycle insurance policy should be determined based on your needs and budget.
How Much Motorcycle Insurance Do You Need?
The amount of motorcycle insurance that you need depends on the type of bike you own and how you plan to use it. For example, if you ride a fast bike such as a sports bike or a "crotch rocket," your bike will be more expensive to insure.
If you plan on racing dirt bikes for fun, you may want to consider increasing your coverage as well. Close-quarters racing and crowded tracks can put you at greater risk of injury and damage to your bike and an increased risk of causing injury to a competitor or damaging someone else’s equipment.
If you have recently purchased your bike, you may want to include full coverage in your motorcycle insurance policy should you total the bike before paying the loan in full.
In cold climates such as what Idaho offers, you can also look into seasonally insuring your bike, which only provides coverage during the summer and fall when you actually ride it. Should someone steal your bike in the dead of winter, however, you may find you lack sufficient coverage.
What Will Your Motorcycle Insurance Quotes Look Like?
The cost of motorcycle insurance varies considerably from bike to bike and rider to rider. If you have a small Honda that you use for commuting and have a claims-free driving record, you may get quotes for a few hundred dollars a year. However, if you are a new, young motorcyclist and you ride a crotch rocket, you may find premium quotes between $3,000 and $5,000 per year.
Overall, motorcycle insurance quotes can seem steep to those who are used to paying car insurance costs. The reason for higher quotes for motorcycle drivers is that they face higher risk on the road. Older, more experienced riders will find lower quotes than young riders with little time spent on their bikes.
Most Idaho insurance companies offer savings if you do the following:
- Buy an older bike that does not have a high value
- Buy a bike with a smaller engine (under 600 cc)
- Take a motorcycle safety course
- Ride safely and keep a clean driving record
It's always a good idea to compare multiple quotes from a variety of Idaho insurance providers to make sure you are receiving the best deal possible on motorcycle insurance.
Where To Find Motorcycle Insurance in Idaho
Your bike is your baby and you want to protect it from damage and theft. Finding the perfect motorcycle insurance policy is easy when you contact a knowledgeable independent insurance agent on the Trusted Choice® network. Our agents are always here to help answer any questions, suggest coverage options and even help you file a claim.
Find a Trusted Choice agent near you so you can start riding with ease, knowing that you and your motorcycle are covered.