Let’s be real here, your bike is your baby. And babies need protection (also milk and a firm nap time). Similarly, when it comes to your bike-baby, it’s super-important you have the right insurance coverage in place. And look, we know how confusing the motorcycle insurance game can be.
But don’t let it scare you, we’re here to help walk you through it. So start with this 8-point course that will help you make sense of your motorcycle insurance options.
And whenever you’re ready, our independent insurance agents will help you finalize your protection. So, helmet’s on—it’s time to ride.
How Insurance Carriers Work
It’s pretty simple, really. The carriers are the ones who design and sell insurance products and plans designed to help you when you need it most. Then, when it’s time for you to protect your investments, you can purchase their insurance products, either through their own internal agents, or an independent insurance agent.
With independent insurance agents, there’s a lot more freedom than going through a sole carrier’s agent. Since they aren’t tied to any one carrier, they can search and sift through tons of options. Not only that, but they also follow along and keep track of info like carrier stability and reputation, so they can help you feel good about the choice you make.
So let’s talk about a few items an agent wants you to watch for while searching for the policy that’s perfect for you.
Everybody loves saving a buck or two, so it’s always tempting to jump at the cheapest quote you get. But beware, the lowest price may not be your best option. Insurance policy pricing is a whole mess of algorithms and variables and equations that make very little sense to very few people. A mid-range offer may actually give you much better coverage, with more discounts applied, than the cheapie option.
What to look for: If price is your #1 concern, go for the cheapest insurance—especially for a low-end bike. But new riders and vintage collectors should look into mid-range options, and higher, for that better coverage. Don’t be shy about asking if any discounts have been applied, you deserve the best.
Motorcycle insurance offers everything from bare-bones service to a whole suite of VIP-worthy options. Some people love being treated like family and for a company to take care of them, others don’t care for that sort of thing. It’s all up to you.
What to look for: If you’re a new rider or you often make big cross-country trips, roadside assistance is definitely a must-have. Accessibility is key, so check carrier websites for their business hours: longer hours = more convenience for you. Plus, many also offer online chat, mobile support and 24/7 claims options. How sweet is that?
Speed of Service
Here’s where paying a bit extra for premiums can really pay off. Expensive companies often have more staff, which means faster response time. And when you’re just trying to get your life back to normal, an insurer’s speed of service is key.
What to look for: This one’s hard to judge from the outside. Ask agents or other motorcyclists about their experiences with certain companies. A good, solid reputation and fast service typically go hand in hand.
Do you prefer the friendly service of a small shop or the always-on efficiency of a mega-corp? Both have their benefits, and some mid-size companies are a super little blend of both. There’s no right or wrong answer to this one—it’s all personal.
What to look for: If you’d prefer to know your insurance company by name and not logo, go with a smaller carrier. But If things like 24/7 super-fast service are important to you, bigger companies are a better bet.
You pay premiums for a reason. If you get into an accident, your insurance company should be prepared to leap into action to make things right. But they can’t do that if they’re broke. Luckily, insurance companies are heavily regulated and rarely go unde,r and there are clear warning signs for the bad eggs, too.
What to look for: A.M. Best is an industry-standard rating for financial stability, so visit their site and throw down a quick search for any insurers you may be interested in. Many insurance carriers also prominently display their rating on their website. Anything A- and above is okay. Lower than that, buyer beware.
Company Age and History
With insurance, (not bungee jumping cords), longer usually equals safer. The longer a company has been around, the better, stronger and safer, it most likely is. Survival of the fittest, right? That said, upstart new companies tend to offer higher-tech solutions, intriguing discounts and exciting customer service. It all depends on what’s important to you.
What to look for: Older companies will usually state their age clearly on their website. (They know it’s a selling point.) Younger ones might hide it. If a snazzy new start-up—let’s say, one from 2010 or later—catches your eye, be sure to triple-check their stability before signing on.
Connections to Your Community
Insurance companies usually have niches. That niche could be that they only insure family farms or even-numbered zip codes, or motorcycles. A niche company supports a community you love, and the community holds the insurance company accountable. Win-win.
What to look for: If a community-based company is important to you, ask around. Hobbyist groups and clubs are a good place to start. Search “motorcycle insurance” + “your hometown” online. And, if you’re a military veteran or service member, many insurance companies cater exclusively to you.
The Awesome Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Your time is valuable. So why would you want to do all the hard work yourself? Our independent insurance agents stay on top of trends in the industry so you don’t have to. That means they’ll help you find the right coverage for you at the right price.
They’re not just there at the beginning, either. If you get in a jam and need to make a claim, they’ll help you meet deadlines and ensure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to. Ride on!