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We’ve already managed to cover Liability, Uninsured Motorist, and Comprehensive and Collision coverage. All these things are common with all insurers. For this article I will cover things you may not know can be covered or have never had explained by your agent, broker or underwriter.

Companies that have recreational products divisions often offer extras at little or no charge at all. Accessories coverage is a great example. Most companies will offer $3000 to $5000 worth of accessories coverage at no extra cost. You have to ask your agent what the accessories coverage freebee is. What does it cover? Bags, screens, chrome, exhaust, your fuel-injection upgrade, seats, custom paint - name it and chances are it can qualify. This includes suspension upgrades.


What it doesn’t cover is the labor for installation? Why? Because you really don’t need all that stuff- you just want that stuff. And there are limits to the total accessories. Usually, it has to be less than the NADA retail value of your bike. When you exceed your freebee, coverage of the additional accessories will cost additional money. It’s not usually that expensive, but the percentage varies company to company.
Accessories, like an aftermarket exhaust system, are often covered at no extra cost.

If you do not declare your accessories and have a total loss, you will only be paid for your stock bike. There are exceptions, but it comes at a price. Foremost insurance will automatically move your bike from its designated segment into a custom bike segment if the accessories exceed $15,000. Two reasons: First, you were crazy enough to spend the money in the first place. And, second, to cover constructed bikes. You bike builders know what I’m talking about.


Performance upgrades (going into the motor, turbo or superchargers) are allowed by some companies. The same labor-not-included rule applies, but you really should declare the upgrades. If you don’t declare it, your motor will be considered “stock” and returned to that state if your motor is damaged. Transmission work applies, as well. If you purchase a slipper clutch then make sure you add it to the total of the accessories coverage with the parts cost of the motor upgrades. If you bought a Baker 6-speed for your Harley, you have to make sure that you have it covered. You know the consequences.
Towing is an option with many companies, but there are limits. Some companies offer you towing to the nearest motorcycle shop from where you broke down. Some offer “reasonable expense” coverage, which operates off the premise that you pay for the towing and send the bill to claims and they will reimburse you less a $50 deductible. This coverage means that, in most cases, they will go up to 300 miles before they ask why you’re towing it so far. Most people average less than 100 miles. This coverage does have a premium attached to it but usually costs less than $10 annually. It’s a pretty good deal.


Riding gear is covered by most companies. The helmet allowance is measly at $400, but if you crack that nugget it’s better than nothing. Riding gear is usually covered - leather or textile, but armored jeans are included in this since they are design specific. Casual gear like that Gap jacket or your Chuck Taylors is not covered. The point is to encourage you to buy and ride with the gear.
Rates for motorcycles that cross segments, like the Ducati Multistrada, can vary from insurer to insurer so be sure to shop around before you commit.





Document all accessories, bike build list and gear on an excel spreadsheet. This document will save you much aggravation if you have a loss. Take pictures of your bike when you add more than $1000 in accessories. Be sure to offer copies of pics and the spreadsheet to your agent as a backup. You’ll thank me for this idea if something happens.
That covers most of the extras, but that’s not all that you have to consider. The type of bike you choose will affect your rates. Cruisers, sport-tourers, standards, full-dress tourers and dual-sport bikes are all pretty easy to cover. Some bikes cross segments like the Ducati Multistrada, Triumph Tiger 1050 and the Buell XB series. So, make sure you get many quotes with different insurers.


Why the discrepancies? Losses are the basic answer. They try a bike in a segment (like the Multi being considered a dual-sport by a company or two) and when the losses get too high they move it to a different segment that reflect its loss ratio. In the case of the Multi, the shift would be toward the sport-tour segment. Back in 2005 Dairyland tried an experiment with the Suzuki Hayabusa. They listed it as a sport-tourer. It happened because the Busa was becoming a customizing standard for its class. Well, word got out and Dairyland took a huge beating in losses. Needless to say, it’s back to the GT class of the sportbike category.
Don’t expect to see the Suzuki Hayabusa listed as a sport-tourer ever again.

Age is a huge factor. Don’t expect to insure a Busa for a few hundred a year if you’re under 30 years old. Likewise, when you reach 68 years old, your rates will be steadily increasing. Why? You young squids and old codgers are liability risks for different reasons. Squids are reckless and fearless. Old codgers have slower reaction time and reflexes. Remember that your driving record matters. You can’t hide from it. Don’t even try to fib your way out. All it will do is make you mad when the rates change.
The last insurance consideration is your geographic location. If you live in a highly dense metro location you will pay up to 65% higher than someone that lives is a less-dense location. Crime rates affect insurance rates, too. That’s why I live 40 miles north of Atlanta. I hate paying the rates. Those guys get it stuck to them on all insurance, including homeowner rates. I’d rather drive into the city than spend all that money for convenience. For me the trade-off is being closer to the North Georgia Mountains.

A nice insurance tip write up, done by autoguide... never knew there were freebies in insurance!

Motorcycle Insurance: Mechanics of Insurance
 

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This is really an eye opener on insurance companies, and for once it's a good eye opener!

It's great that motorcycle insurance companies have these freebies, but not much people know about them. I wonder if insurance companies are making people aware of such things. Does anyone ever get their insurance broker telling them about freebies or benifits included with their plan?
 

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who would of known... reporting everything actually is better...

Also get more out of your policy too.. thats surprising.

Time to call up my broker and see if this is the real deal.
 

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very very interesting, honestly had no idea that there were this many thing covered by insurance free of charge. That wont raise your rate to retarded levels...
 

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Thanks for sharing!
 

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Anyone else have issues with insurance on your 250R. State farm couldn't find the bike and even after I gave them a Vin number the bike is showing up as a CBR600RR. My Policy states its a 600. Its only 40 a month for comprehensive but seems like it might be even lower with a 250cc class.
But hey. If i ever total it and they want to replace with a 2011 600rr. whatev's.
 

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Anyone else have issues with insurance on your 250R. State farm couldn't find the bike and even after I gave them a Vin number the bike is showing up as a CBR600RR. My Policy states its a 600. Its only 40 a month for comprehensive but seems like it might be even lower with a 250cc class.
But hey. If i ever total it and they want to replace with a 2011 600rr. whatev's.
I'm paying $156 a year with State Farm (Palo Alto, CA) and they had no trouble finding my bike in their system.
 

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Im paying 400 a year. Which would make sense if its the wrong bike. Guess I need to get to the bottom of it.
Policy shows
Year: 2011
Make: Honda
Model CBR600RR Supersport 6 speed
Vin: xxxxxxxxxx
 

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I have Progressive and was told the policy includes $3000 coverage for any gear or accessories.
 

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my insurance cost

I called before buying & they wanted $360 a year just for comp & collision. Other wise Idaho requirments was only 65$ a year, I have a 2009 CRF230M & wifes scooter fully insured for only $110 per year.
Had to opt for the idaho requirments only, just to buy my CBR. I wanted my CBR so bad i just opted for the state requirments.
 

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Rates down here in Texas suck even with a good driving history. Those bastards want 1200 a yeah full coverage. I was forced to go with theft and liability for 450 a year. Are some of the above mentioned perks available per say a second rate policy like mine. No way I was paying 1200 a year for a 4 grand bike .
 

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Rates down here in Texas suck even with a good driving history. Those bastards want 1200 a yeah full coverage. I was forced to go with theft and liability for 450 a year. Are some of the above mentioned perks available per say a second rate policy like mine. No way I was paying 1200 a year for a 4 grand bike .
Drop the theft; I'll bet it's half the policy amount. Think about it; a used CBR is worth maybe $3500 if it's cherry and it depreciates every year. $200 a year to insure yourself against a $3500 loss? On something you don't need to put food on the table? Not worth it unless you have no other reliable means of transportation.
 

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I've been an insurance agent for 25 years. I can tell you that rates and rules vary greatly by state. We've found that Progressive does a very good job for our motorcycle riding clients in Illinois, but Dairyland has a good reputation, too.

My recomendation to those of you that are interested in reducing your insurance expense is to raise deductibles or eliminate coverage for the bike itself altogther. As Pete said above, if your bike is stolen or wrecked, you know exactly how much money your out, but you don't know how high "up" is if you, say, hit a kid walking across the street. What you should be doing, in my opinion, is buying as much Liability coverage (coverage for injuries or property damage caused by you) as you can reasonably afford and then see what the cost of insuring the bike itself adds. Also, typically, the state mimimum liability coverage is way lower than what you should be carrying.

Lastly, if you have financed the purchase of your bike, you may be required by the lender to have coverage for the bike (aka "Physical Damage Coverage"). If this is the case, please don't skimp too much on the Liability coverage to offset the additional cost.

Hope this made sense. If anyone has questions about what I just tried to say, or about any other insurance matter, go ahead and post it. I (or some other insurance agent/biker) will be happy to help out.
 

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Insurance is pretty high on the list on what's keeping me from buying a 250R this year. It cost me around $200 (year) to insure my 78' CB400T with a 300k combined single limit for liability / uninsured / underinsured /w no collision or comprehensive from Progressive. For an 11' 250R it's $600 for the same coverage! Plus I would add at least comprehensive. I don't get that at all since the 250R /w ABS is a much safer bike with probably around the same power and smaller displacement.

I am real curious to know, if anyone here has insurance industry insight, if this is because the 250R is considered a higher risk sport bike, vintage bikes are considered lower risk, or maybe both.
 
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