The state of Washington offers motorcyclists fantastic scenery and many great rolling and twisting roads on which to ride. It is therefore little wonder that so many residents own bikes. A motorcycle insurance policy can protect you from liability as well as cover the investment you have made in your bike, so it is a good idea to compare several quotes in Washington before purchasing a policy. Whether you prefer riding along the Pacific coast or through the Cascade Mountains, the purchase of a comprehensive policy is a wise decision.
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Washington Motorcycle Statistics, 2012
- As of 2012, there are 217,301 motorcycles registered in the state.
- Between 28% and 33% of motorcyclists in WA are riding without motorcycle endorsements.
- In 2012, there were 2,292 collisions involving motorcycles. These are the details:
- Number of fatal collisions: 83
- Number of serious injury collisions: 388
- Number of minor injury collisions: 1,424
- Number of property-damage-only collisions: 387
- Number of unknown injury collisions: 11
- The number of motorcycle fatalities per 100,000 bikes in this state is 38.20.
WA State Laws Pertaining to Motorcycle Use and Ownership
Every state has its own laws regulating motorcycle use. While Washington is one of the few states in the country that does not require owners of motorcycles, dirt bikes, sport bikes or choppers to carry liability insurance, the state does require all riders to have a motorcycle endorsement. Unfortunately, many riders in this state prefer not to wait for an opening in the state-approved safety course and ride without this important safety training. For your own safety, you should ride only with an endorsed motorcycle operator.
State laws pertaining to motorcycle ownership and operation include the following:
- Owners must register all motorcycles with the state.
- Owners must have a motorcycle endorsement earned through a state-approved motorcycle safety course; violators are subject to fines.
- Riders must use a daytime headlight.
- Motorcycles may operate two abreast in the same lane.
- Riders must use a safety helmet.
- Riders must use eye protection unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen.
- The motorcycle can have passengers as long as the passenger is over the age of 5 years old; there is a passenger seat available on the motorcycle; and there are passenger footrests included on the bike.
- The motorcycle must have a muffler.
- The motorcycle must have at least one side view mirror.
- The owner need not have compulsory liability insurance.
Why Purchase Motorcycle Insurance in Washington State?
Washington is unique in that it does not require you to carry liability insurance coverage for your motorcycle. Many riders in this state therefore elect to forgo coverage. However, if you are responsible for an accident in which a third party suffers injuries or property damage, you may find yourself faced with unmanageable debts as a result.
According to FindLaw.com, non-fatal motorcycle accidents can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $1.2 million, depending on the severity of the injuries suffered. While your health insurance may provide coverage for your injuries, if you are responsible for injuries to another, you could be the target of a lawsuit to cover these exorbitant costs.
In addition, if you have spent a lot of money on your motorcycle and it sustains damage or complete destruction in an accident, you will have no way to get compensation for your losses without a comprehensive motorcycle insurance policy. Although you may save money now by passing on this coverage, it has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in the future.
What Coverage Is Available with Motorcycle Insurance?
You can expect a motorcycle insurance policy to offer the following coverage options:
- Liability coverage: This covers the costs associated with injuries or property damage sustained by a third party if you are responsible for a collision while operating your motorcycle
- Uninsured motorist coverage: This covers your personal injuries or your vehicle property damage due to a collision if the responsible party lacks the necessary insurance to cover your costs or if you are in an accident with a hit-and-run driver.
- Personal injury protection: This covers medical treatment needed by you or your passenger if you sustain injuries in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Collision coverage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if it sustains damage in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This coverage, also known as “other than collision coverage,” compensates you for the cost to repair or replace your bike due to loss or damage while not in use. Covered events include theft, vandalism, falling objects, flood and fire.
- Roadside assistance: This covers the cost of assistance or towing if your bike becomes inoperable while you are on the road.
Is Motorcycle Insurance Expensive?
Quotes for motorcycle insurance will vary significantly from one insurance company to the next, but you can expect a basic policy to start at around $40 a month. Insurers calculate rates based on the following considerations:
- The make, model, year and purchase price of your bike
- The approximate number of miles you ride each year
- Where you store your bike when not in use
- The coverage options you choose and the amount of coverage you purchase
- How high a deductible you choose
- Your age, gender and driving history
You may even be able to qualify for discounts on your policy. Some insurance providers offer reduced rates if you bundle your motorcycle insurance with other policies such as home or auto. Be sure to ask about available discounts when you call to request motorcycle insurance quotes in Washington.
Review a Variety of Motorcycle Insurance Quotes in WA
If you comparison-shop for motorcycle insurance coverage on your own, you may find the process to be time-consuming and possibly even frustrating. This is because each insurer will need to collect details about you and your motorcycle before they can present you with rate quotes. Independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice® network can simplify the process by taking your information just one time and then doing the legwork for you.
Discover how a Trusted Choice agent in Washington can help you. Contact a local member agent through our website so you can start comparing motorcycle insurance quotes.