In 2012, there were 189,383 motorcycles registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This state offers riders great scenery and many great rolling and twisting roads on which to enjoy riding. Bike owners can benefit from having a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy. However, with so many insurance companies offering quotes in Virginia, it can often be hard to be certain that you are choosing the best company to meet both your coverage and your budgetary needs. It is to your advantage to understand the coverage options that are available to you before you start comparison-shopping for the best policy.
Virginia Motorcycle Accident Statistics, 2012
- In 2012, there were 2,416 reported motorcycle accidents in Virginia.
- 2,149 people suffered injuries in these accidents.
- The highest injury rate was among riders between 21 and 35 years of age.
- In that same year, 78 motorcyclists died in accidents.
- The highest death rate was among riders between 36 and 60 years of age.
- The counties with the highest number of motorcycle accidents were the following:
- Fairfax County: 242 accidents
- Virginia Beach County: 155 accidents
- Prince William County: 110 accidents
VA State Laws Pertaining to Motorcycle Use and Ownership
In Virginia, any two- or three-wheeled vehicles with at least a 50 cc engine that can travel 20 miles per hour or faster are considered motorcycles and must adhere to all motorcycle laws and regulations. Therefore, owners of choppers, dirt bikes, sports bikes and traditional motorcycles must register their vehicles with the state. In addition to requiring registration, Virginia has other laws pertaining to motorcycle use, including the following:
- Motorcycles operators must have a proper M, M2 or M3 designation on their drivers license.
- To get an M designation, operators must first do these things:
- Pass a vision exam
- Pass a motorcycle knowledge exam
- Pass a motorcycle road skills test
- Hold a motorcycle learners permit for 30 days, unless under the age of 19, in which case a permit is necessary for 9 months
- Owners must have motorcycle liability insurance.
- The state prohibits the use of radar detectors.
- The state requires the use of safety helmets.
- There are no passenger age restrictions.
- A passenger seat must be available on the motorcycle if carrying a passenger.
- Passenger footrests are included on the bike if carrying a passenger.
- A muffler is required.
- Motorcyclists can travel two abreast in the same lane.
- The bike must have at least one side view mirror.
- Operators can use helmet speakers for communication purposes only.
- Eye protection is required only if the bike does not have a windshield.
State Minimum Liability Requirements for Motorcycle Owners
Like every other state, Virginia enforces mandatory liability insurance coverage minimums for motorcyclists. Liability insurance can protect you from a major financial loss if you are responsible for a collision in which a third party suffers property damage or injuries. In this state, these are the minimum coverage amounts:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident involving two more injured persons
- $20,000 in property damage coverage per accident
Alternately, Virginia motorcycle owners can opt to pay a $500 uninsured vehicle fee each year when they register their bikes. However, paying this fee does not provide you with any type of coverage if you are in an accident. Given that you will likely be able to purchase coverage for less than $500 a year, it is in your best interest to purchase motorcycle insurance.
Failure to carry insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements can result in a $500 statutory fee, a $145 reinstatement fee and the requirement to file proof of insurance for three years. During this 3-year period, the state requires insurance companies to notify it any time you cancel your coverage.What Coverage Is Available with a Motorcycle Insurance Policy?
A basic motorcycle insurance policy in Virginia will include only liability coverage in an amount that meets the requirements imposed by the state. Motorcycle insurance comes with a variety of other options, however, and many bike owners can benefit from including these options in their policies. You may want to consider including the following:
- Collision coverage: This will cover the cost to repair damage to your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident for which you are at fault. Your finance company may require this coverage if you are still making payments on your bike.
- Medical payments coverage: This will cover the cost of medical treatment for you and your passenger if you suffer injuries in an accident for which you are at fault. This coverage includes ambulance service if it is necessary.
- Comprehensive coverage: Also known as “other than collision coverage,” this compensates you for repairs or replacement of your bike if it is lost or damaged while not in use. Covered events include theft, vandalism, falling objects, severe weather and fire. Your finance company may require this coverage if you are still making payments on your bike.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This provides coverage if you suffer injuries or damage in a collision with a hit-and-run driver or with an uninsured or underinsured motorist. While the at-fault party will still be liable for damages, your insurance company will cover any unpaid costs for you and will then work to collect the money from the guilty party. Your finance company may require this coverage if you are still making payments on your bike.
- Roadside assistance: This will provide you with no-cost assistance or towing if your bike becomes inoperable while you are out on the road.
How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost in Virginia?
Motorcycle insurance quotes can vary significantly from one person to the next, but you can expect a basic policy to start at about $40 a month. Factors that can influence your quotes include the following:
- Your motorcycle’s make, mode, year and value
- Where and how often you ride
- Where you live and store your bike
- The amount of coverage you purchase
- The amount of your deductible
- Your age, sex and driving history
- Your credit score
You may also qualify for discounts on your policy. Some insurance companies reduce rates if you bundle your motorcycle insurance with other policies such as auto or home, if you have completed a motorcycle safety course or if you are a homeowner. Always be sure to ask about available discounts when requesting motorcycle insurance quotes.
It Is Easy To Review a Variety of Motorcycle Insurance Quotes
If you do your comparison-shopping on your own, you may find the process to be time-consuming and possibly even frustrating. Independent agents in the Trusted Choice® network can greatly simplify this process by taking your information just one time and then doing the legwork for you.
Contact a local agent through our website and start comparing motorcycle insurance quotes.