BMW is considered a luxury motorcycle manufacturer with a lineup of both street and dirt bikes that are not only extremely well-built, but are often on the cutting edge of technology.
A BMW motorbike can be a major investment, so making sure your bike is properly protected with insurance can be a financial lifesaver if it is damaged, destroyed or stolen.
The odds of your bike being stolen are higher than you might think. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, motorcycle theft rose 6% in 2015 and 45,555 motorcycles were boosted.
BMW motorcycle insurance not only protects your bike, it can also protect your body if you are carrying the medical payments coverage that will pay your medical bills if you have an accident. According to statistics, 4,586 people died in motorcycle crashes in 2015 and 92,000 were injured.
BMW motorcycle insurance is a necessity, and understanding the various coverages available is key to making sure you are fully protected.
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BMW began as a maker of engines for other motorcycle manufacturers. Back in 1921 they started producing the M2B15 engine. They moved on to building the whole motorcycle in 1923 and have never looked back. While BMW bikes are rarely in the top 10 for best-selling motorcycles (Number 1 belongs to Honda), they are considered high-end, very well-built bikes.
BMW sales continue to grow to this day. A new sales record was set in the first half of 2016, with 80,754 motorcycles and maxi scooters sold as of June. The BMW R 1200 GS has kept its position as the best-selling BMW model for four years in a row.
Do You Need BMW Motorcycle Insurance?
Every state requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, and that includes people with motorcycles. And not just state laws require insurance.
If you financed your BMW motorcycle, your loan provider will absolutely require that you carry full coverage on your bike so their asset is protected in the event it is destroyed or stolen.
If you choose not to carry the proper insurance and get pulled over, you can expect a ticket for driving without insurance, which often comes with a hefty fine, points on your license, possible impoundment of your motorcycle, and a major increase in your insurance costs.
While it’s possible to ride with just the state-mandated minimum amount of coverage, if you paid for your bike in cash, that could be a very expensive mistake. You will be responsible for the entire cost to repair or replace your bike if it is destroyed or stolen.
In addition, if the accident is your fault, you could be on the hook for the cost of the other person’s car or motorcycle as well as any medical bills (beyond your coverage limits) if they are injured. If they decide to sue you, your legal defense will also fall to you.
Make Sure Custom Parts Are Covered
Bikers love to personalize their bikes with custom parts and paint jobs. Regardless of whether you are adding an alarm system, custom exhaust or extra chrome, there is a good chance that your standard policy will not cover most of your upgrades.
In the insurance world, these upgrades are referred to as custom parts and equipment (CPE), and a separate policy may be needed to protect them. While it varies by insurer, a typical policy will cover CPE up to a fixed amount, usually around $1,000; once you go over that amount, custom parts are not covered.
However, it’s possible to purchase a CPE policy to cover all of your custom parts. In addition, a CPE policy will cover accessories such as alarms, antennas, radios, saddlebags and even riding apparel. Coverage levels vary by insurer, but in many cases you can purchase up to $30,000 in coverage.
One other thing to consider when shopping for motorcycle insurance is whether the policy covers the cost of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, which are parts that are made by BMW or one of their suppliers.
OEM parts tend to be more expensive than aftermarket parts, which are manufactured by third parties that are not affiliated with or even approved by BMW.
Some insurance policies allow or even require repairs to be made with aftermarket parts. That can be an issue. BMW motorcycles are high-end, expensive bikes and they are engineered in a way that makes every part critically important to the functioning of the bike.
Aftermarket parts are often not manufactured to the same standards or tested as stringently. Verify that your policy covers OEM parts and if it doesn't, keep shopping.
What Is Included in a Motorcycle Insurance Policy?
There are a variety of BMW motorcycle insurance coverages available to you. The perfect policy will cover both your liabilities and your bike.
Here are a few policy types to consider when shopping for motorcycle insurance:
- Collision and comprehensive: Just like with car insurance, collision and comprehensive will pay to repair your bike if it is damaged or destroyed in an accident, regardless of whether you are hit by another vehicle or just have to lay it down on the road because an animal jumps out in front of you. When it comes to motorcycle insurance, you have to choose your deductible. A higher deductible will lower your premium, but always choose a deductible that you can easily cover if you are involved in an accident and have to make a claim. Collision coverage will cover all non-collision issues such as water and fire damage, theft, vandalism or even damage caused by animals. Again, a deductible will apply for any claim.
- Liability insurance: This will cover the cost of your liability risks if you are at fault in an accident. There are two types of liability coverage, and each covers a different type of risk.
- Bodily injury: This liability coverage will pay the medical bills for a passenger on your bike, any pedestrians you hit, or other motorists who are injured in an accident found to be your fault. It will also cover the cost to defend against a lawsuit, as well as any settlements or judgments up to your policy limits. This will not cover any of your own medical bills.
- Property damage liability: This will cover the cost of any property that you damage with your BMW motorcycle. It is usually another person’s car or motorcycle, but it also covers property such as fences, garage doors and even landscaping.
- Medical payment insurance: This will cover your medical bills if you have an accident on your BMW, regardless of whether you are at fault. Payouts are limited to a certain amount of coverage.
Riding a BMW Motorcycle Can Be Risky
There is no getting around it: Cruising on your BMW (or any other motorcycle, for that matter) is inherently more dangerous than driving a car. Bikes lack solid metal frames, airbags, and all of the other safety features of modern cars.
Even a small motorcycle accident can result in serious injuries. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2014 there were roughly 8.4 million motorcycles on the road; 92,000 riders were injured, which was a 4.5% increase from 2013.
According to III data, a motorcyclist is 27 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled than a car passenger, and about five times more likely to be injured.
These are grim statistics. The number of motorcycle accidents has a direct affect on the cost of motorcycle insurance. Insurers love statistics, and if the data show motorcycles are inherently more dangerous , the cost of insurance will reflect that risk.
Insurers even drill down to certain makes and models, charging more for the ones high on the list of frequently crashed or stolen bikes.
While motorcycle insurance can't help you prevent an accident, it can make sure that a crash doesn't bankrupt you due to medical bills or liability claims.
Motorcycle insurance will cover your medical bills (if you carry medical payment coverage) and protect you against liability risk if you hurt someone or their property with your bike.
How to Find the Perfect BMW Motorcycle Insurance
When shopping for an expensive motorcycle like a BMW, it is wise to get an insurance quote before signing on the dotted line. Insurance on a high-end bike can be expensive, so it pays to determine if the insurance costs will fit into your overall budget.
An independent agent who specializes in motorcycle insurance can help you navigate insurance waters. They will do the legwork for you and present a variety of policies for you to consider that offer the coverage you need to protect both your bike and your assets.
Contact an agent today to start your search for the perfect BMW insurance policy.