NEW YORK, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If you are the owner of one of the nation's eight million-plus registered motorcycles, spring may be the time you take it out of storage—it is also a great time for bike owners to review their motorcycle insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
"Auto insurers often offer motorcycle insurance coverage as either a stand-alone policy or as an endorsement to a personal automobile policy," said Michael Barry, vice president, Media Relations, at the I.I.I. An endorsement (sometimes called a rider) is a written form attached to an insurance policy that alters the policy's coverage or terms and conditions.
Most states require motorcyclists to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, which covers bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) costs you cause to other people involved in an accident. You can also opt to include first-party medical coverage on your automobile insurance policy, which covers your medical expenses (e.g., doctor and hospital bills) if they were incurred in an accident while operating your motorcycle.
In addition, uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage is recommended, or even required, in many states as part of a motorcyclist's insurance policy because UM/UIM covers your BI-related expenses, if they were caused by another driver who either does not have insurance, or whose insurance is inadequate.
The mandatory minimum liability and UM/UIM dollar limits in states where these coverages are required for motorcyclists often align with those governing private-passenger vehicles.
Other optional insurance coverages available to motorcycle owners include: 1) Collision—covers damage to your motorcycle resulting from a collision with another vehicle, object or as a result of flipping over; 2) Comprehensive—covers damage to your motorcycle caused by events other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism; 3) Emergency road service—covers towing and roadside assistance costs; and 4) Accessories and customization—covers the repair or replacement of accessories, like helmets and safety jackets, and customized equipment that was added-on to the motorcycle after its purchase, such as exhaust pipes, saddle bags, and seats.
Many factors affect how much you will pay in motorcycle insurance premiums, including:
- Driver's age and driving record
- Where the driver resides
- The motorcycle model, make, and horsepower
- Where the motorcycle is stored, and primarily driven
Moreover, May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, when the federal government reminds drivers to "share the road" safely with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. But motorcyclists themselves must do their part when it comes to safety.
"Purchasing the right coverage is essential, but riding a motorcycle safely is equally important," Barry concluded. "And helmet use is crucial, because serious head injury is common among either fatally or seriously injured motorcyclists involved in accidents."
Laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet are on the books in 19 states and the District of Columbia while laws requiring some motorcyclists, often younger ones, to wear a helmet are in place in 28 states, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of total U.S. highway deaths in 2010 despite motorcycle registrations accounting for only 3 percent of all vehicles on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in a July 2012 Traffic Facts study.
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
SOURCE Insurance Information Institute