Over the past couple of months, we’ve highlighted different types of insurance available to motorcyclists. While Florida motorcyclists are not legally obligated to furnish proof of financial responsibility in order to ride, Florida’s insurance laws are designed to encourage you to purchase as much coverage as possible so you own the protection you need in the event of an accident. Every insurance company differs in how it calculates risk, and some companies even specialize in policies for motorcyclists.
We hear you: Those premiums start to stack up fast, which is why many motorcyclists skip insurance, or purchase a bare minimum that proves ineffective when put to the test by actual costs of damages and injuries. At Wittmer | Linehan, we frequently see the unfortunate results of clients’ decisions to cut corners on insurance coverage. While cost is a factor that each of us have to evaluate, we want to provide you with some of the most common discounts and premium-reducing factors that insurers are willing to consider.
- Insurance companies love to serve customers who come with low levels of risk, and they understand that riding a motorcycle is an inherently risky practice. An insurer will reward you accordingly if you can demonstrate you are a good rider. You can expect discounts if you have no history of accidents and you can show you’ve spent a lot of time in the saddle. If you’re a new motorcycle rider, a clean car-driving record can also land you a discount.
- Training demonstrates that you’re a low-risk customer as well. Some insurance companies will offer a discount if you complete an approved motorcycle riding and safety course, and may give you extra bonuses if you take regular refresher courses. (Click Here) to read our article on staying sharp with continued education for motorcyclists.)
- Limited mileage is guaranteed to bring down your insurance premiums. Let your insurance company know if you drive your car to work or you only ride your motorcycle on the weekends. Florida’s temperate weather year-round makes it unlikely for bikers to garage their motorcycle during the winter, but should you stay off your bike for an extended period of time, “lay up” insurance pares down an insurance policy to comprehensive coverage only. Thus your bike is protected against threats unrelated to collisions (such as natural disasters, vandalism and theft) and you don’t pay for insurance against crash-related incidents when you’re not on the road.
- The type of bike you ride can affect your premium. Aggressive sport bikes with large engines will punch up an insurance bill, while a more easy-going cruiser can actually bring you a lower rate.
- If you spend a little extra on anti-theft devices, you may save on insurance. Notify your insurer if your motorcycle is equipped with a heavy-duty lock, an alarm, UV markings for ownership identification, a theft alert system such as LoJack or a satellite tracking device. You may also earn a discount if you can prove you keep your motorcycle parked under surveillance or in a secure location, such as a locked garage.
- Do you already have homeowners, condo, auto or another type of insurance with a company? If so, you may be able to add a motorcycle insurance policy on the cheap. Insurance companies are quick to offer incentives if you bundle a motorcycle policy with your existing coverage.
- Similar to the tip above, you’re likely to be eligible for a discount on your insurance if you are buying a policy for more than one motorcycle.
- Join the club. Some insurance companies offer discounts to members of motorcycle organizations, such as the American Motorcycle Association, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Motorcycle Touring Association, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, Gold Wing Road Riders Association, Gold Wing Touring Association, Harley Owners Group, Honda Riders Club of America or ABATE. What’s more, these organizations are great places to compare notes about motorcycle insurance and learn how others economize.
- Helmet use is more difficult to prove than a safe driving record or the completion of rider training, but some insurance companies try to encourage their customers to wear helmets by offering discounts to helmet users.
- If you have a history of paying your bills on time, you may have earned yourself a discount for being a reliable customer.
Insurance companies ultimately want to attract and keep your business. Don’t be afraid to talk directly with your insurance company about your eligibility for discounts. Good performance as a safe motorcyclist deserves to be rewarded. If you have further questions about insurance coverage, please call us for a free consultation.
Wittmer | Linehan – Experience Counts, Results Matter.