With miles upon miles of wide open highways, and gas prices in North Dakota continuing to climb (despite the oil and gas boom), it is no wonder more and more motorists are turning to motorcycles for their transportation needs. As more bikes hit the streets in ND, however, so too do the number of accidents increase. Are you and your bike protected with motorcycle insurance?
Before you search for motorcycle insurance, however, there are several factors to consider.
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Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol:
- Between 6 years there were more than 80 motorcyclists were killed on North Dakota highways.
- Research conducted by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in all motorcycle accidents occurring between bikes and cars, the motorcyclist was either not at fault or less at fault than the other driver 80 percent of the time.
- Even as helmet use continues to increase for the vast majority of motorcyclists, fatal bike crashes continue to increase as well as other motorists fail to see riders.
Am I Required to Carry Motorcycle Insurance?
North Dakota state law requires all motorcyclists to carry minimum standards of liability insurance to legally operate their bikes on public streets and highways. Those minimums for liability coverage are:
- $25,000―per person bodily injury
- $50,000―per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000―per accident for property damage
These minimum standards are some of the lowest in the nation. You may wish to obtain more coverage to fully protect you and your finances. Automobile crashes are the No. 1 cause of lawsuits and award sums often exceed far more than $25,000.
Can I Find Coverage for My Particular Bike?
The number and variety of two-wheeled vehicles have been on the rise since the 1990s. These days, you can find all sorts of motorcycles and bikes on the market. Most North Dakota insurance providers should be able to cover the following types of motorcycles:
- Standard street bikes
- Sport bikes ("crotch rockets")
- Touring bikes
- Sport touring bikes
- Dual-sport bikes
- Scooters, underbones and mopeds
If you own a scooter, underbone, dirt bike or moped, you may or may not be required by law to obtain insurance on it. It's a good idea to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to find out. One indication that you will be required to have insurance is if you are required to register the vehicle. If you bought tabs, chances are you have to buy insurance.
Why Is Motorcycle Insurance Important?
Contrary to popular misconception, motorcycles aren't dangerous because of their operators or any inherent flaw: They can be dangerous because other motorists aren't watching for them.
- They’re small and hard for other motorists to see.
- They’re very fast and maneuverable, which makes them even harder to see.
- They operate on two wheels; a moment of inattention can result in an accident.
- Operators have no protective devices, such as seat belts or air bags.
You most likely operate your bike with extreme care. You wear your helmet and observe all traffic regulations. But what about the other guy? You want an insurance policy that can help you recover quickly following an accident.
What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?
Although policies can vary significantly from company to company, most North Dakota insurance providers should offer motorcycle insurance with the following coverage options:
- Liability coverage: This required type of insurance can help pay for costs associated with causing a third party injury or property damage while operating your bike. It can also help pay for your legal fees and court costs should you be sued as a result of an accident.
- Collision coverage: This can help pay for repairs to your bike if it is involved in a crash with another motorist, regardless of who is at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This can help pay for repairs to or replacement of your motorcycle if it is damaged or totaled by fire, severe weather, theft, vandalism or any other covered event.
- Accessories coverage: This can help pay for repairs to or replacement of any gear or safety equipment you use with your bike, such as helmets, padded clothing or other items.
What Will My Motorcycle Insurance Quote Look Like?
The quotes you will find from North Dakota insurance providers can vary considerably, depending on the following factors:
- Your age and driving history
- Your bike's value and power
- Your location
- How often you use your bike
- How you store it
As harsh winters keep most bikers from taking their motorcycle out during several months of the year, you may wish to carry seasonal insurance on your motorcycle, which has much lower quotes than year-round coverage. Also, whether your bike is stored in a locked garage or you use street parking can affect your quotes as motorcycles are an easy target for thieves.
Depending on these factors, motorcycle insurance quotes can range from a few hundred dollars per year to well over $1,000 in annual premiums.
Where Can I Find Motorcycle Insurance?
If you're like most riders, your bike is your baby and you want to protect it. Only a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy can get you back on the road quickly following an accident.
Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice network are always available to answer your questions, suggest coverage options suited for your bike, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with North Dakota insurance providers, enabling them to find you a number of quotes with a variety of coverage options at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you to find out how you can obtain the perfect motorcycle insurance policy that meets your needs and budget.