Buying a Motorcycle

Spring is here – and for you, that means the bike is coming out of the garage. As the days get longer, and the sunshine more reliable, there’s nothing like the winding roads of the foothills, the small highways along the coast, or the country roads across the flats, enjoyed on two wheels with the wind in your face. You can’t wait to trade your stuffy car for the freedom of your motorcycle.

Yeah, you get a bit clunky after four, five months in a car seat instead of in the saddle, but after a couple of road trips, everything falls back into place.

You are a safe rider. You wear your helmet. Leather gear, even in 90 degree weather. You took your Motorcycle Safety course. Granted, that was a few years ago… Should probably renew that one.

Then, there is the insurance. That’s the one… Motorcycle insurance. Who has the money to buy insurance that isn’t even required by law? Who wants to buy insurance with any extra money?

If you own a Motorcycle, it’s important to have the right insurance. To protect yourself. So before you get ready to chase the wind, give us at Aldrich Taylor Insurance Agency a ring 818-841-2940. We can provide you with quotes, policy advice, and answers to questions like these:

  • Is my motorcycle covered under my auto insurance?
  • Why should I buy Motorcycle Insurance if it’s not even required by law?
  • The most important coverage on your Motorcycle Insurance policy.
  • How can I get a discount on my motorcycle policy?
  • What about insurance for mopeds, scooters or ATV’s?

Is my motorcycle covered under my auto insurance?

You have your driver’s license, and just passed your motorcycle license. Finally! You are more than ready to ride with your buddies. Your uncle gave you his old bike, and in many, many hours, you fixed her up and restored her. Now it’s time to take her out.

You never thought much about insurance. In fact, you simply assumed that it’s a motorized vehicle, and therefore covered by your car insurance. Car insurance covers motorized vehicles. Or something… Whatever. It’s motorized, and so your car insurance should cover it. Right?

No! Wrong! Don’t make the mistake to assume that your car insurance will cover your motorcycle, or provide liability coverage if you hurt somebody or damage somebody’s property. Your car insurance will absolutely not extend to your motorcycle. Also, it will not apply for you, if you cause injury or damage while riding your motorcycle.

Your car insurance and your motorcycle are completely separate, and will absolutely not apply for each other.

Don’t make the crucial mistake to assume that your auto policy might protect you. It won’t.

That said, some states offer so-called “Motorcycle Endorsements” that can be added to your auto policy. But beware: These endorsements are usually by far not as comprehensive as a stand-alone motorcycle policy, and they often come with a variety of exclusions in the fine print.

If you own a motorcycle, we strongly recommend that you get a stand-alone motorcycle insurance policy. Give us a call. We can help.

Why should I buy Motorcycle Insurance if it’s not even required by law?

This is it. It’s the bike of your dreams all right! A Harley Davidson Classic Road King. Black Pearl. Chrome details. 1,593cc. You’ve been waiting to get this bike for years… and now she’s about to become yours. You can’t wait to get on and scorch some asphalt.

You hadn’t planned on spending extra money on insurance, though. But now that you’re about to own this baby…. Well, it seems to make sense to protect her properly.

Then again, the odds that a biker is considered at fault in an accident are quite small. So why pay for liability insurance? What does a motorcycle insurance policy cover, anyways?

Congratulations on your new bike! You must be thrilled!

Motorcycle insurance is quite similar to an auto insurance policy. It includes various coverages:

  • Bodily Injury / Property Damage Liability Coverage: This coverage applies if you are considered at-fault in causing damage or injury to a third party, up to the limits you select. This can be very important for you, since this coverage helps you protect your own assets.
  • Comprehensive / Collision Coverage: This coverage pays for repairs to your bike if it is damaged in an accident, if it’s stolen, or, for example, if it’s damaged or destroyed by a fire.
  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM): If you are in an accident in which the other party is at fault, this coverage will protect you if they don’t have the insurance or resources to pay for your damages and/or injuries that they are legally liable for. That includes medical payments and loss of wages.
  • Medical Payments: Medical payments cover the cost of any medical treatment you receive, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is often limited to the first three years after an accident happened.
  • Custom Parts and Equipment: This coverage provides protection for accessories and ‘extras’ to our bike that exceed $1,000 in value, other than those originally included by the manufacturer. It also covers sidecars, trailers that are intended to be pulled by a motorcycle, custom paint jobs, safety riding gear and helmets, and trike conversion kits. Custom parts and equipment are covered up to $1,000 under comprehensive coverage.
  • Roadside Assistance: Provides immediate roadside repair services for break-down, dead battery, flat tire, or running out of fuel, and towing.

Even though the odds of being at fault in a multi-vehicle accident are very low for motorcyclists, liability often doesn’t clearly lie with the other party, either. And even though bikers are often the victims when it comes to cycle – car collisions, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need liability insurance. What if you hit a bicyclist or a pedestrian? What if you accidentally scratch a car as you back out of your parking spot?

Motorcycle insurance will help protect you, your bike, as well as your assets in case you ever find yourself in a liability lawsuit. Aldrich Taylor Insurance Agency can help you protect almost any type of motorcycle, whether it’s a Dirt Bike or a Street Cruiser, a Vintage bike or a customized high-performance machine. Give us a call!

The most important coverage on your Motorcycle Insurance policy.

Since your buddy Louie lost his leg, you’ve become more apprehensive. On a bike, it’s easy to feel free. Invincible, even. But many car drivers don’t turn to take that extra look. They don’t watch out for anything smaller than their own vehicle. They look for big things.

That’s how Louie got hit. Got swept right out of his lane by a pickup truck, whose driver was too preoccupied texting while passing another car. Luckily, Louie survived… barely. His leg didn’t.

The guy who hit him didn’t have insurance. Louie did. And his insurance helped take care of the medical bills, physical therapy, and the months he was without a paycheck.

Louie’s accident taught all the guys in your group a lesson. Since Louie’s accident, you’ve vowed to become more cycle-smart and get your stuff in order before you take off again. Get motorcycle insurance.

As you shop for your motorcycle insurance policy, keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to insurance. And especially motorcycle insurance policies aren’t always worth the money you pay for them. And you want a policy that protects you when you need it. Cheap coverage usually provides you only with low liability limits, and, what’s worse, with the most important coverage completely missing:

We have reviewed countless policies that did not include Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/ UIM) coverage. Yet, this is probably the single most important part of a motorcycle policy. (UM/UIM is the coverage that paid for Louie in the example above. Without it, he would have gotten nothing.)

Not having UM/UIM coverage can hurt you quite badly. Here’s why:
As a biker, your risk of being at-fault in an accident is comparatively low. But, your risk of getting hit is relatively high. That’s where your UM/UIM coverage applies.

Your UM/UIM coverage kicks in if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have the insurance or resources to pay for your injuries, medical payments, loss of wages, and damage to your bike. If the person who hit you doesn’t have the money to pay for the damages they caused you, your own insurance will protect you. But only if you have the right insurance. This is what your UM/UIM coverage does for you.

You cannot buy stand-alone UM/UIM coverage. UM/UIM can only be obtained in combination with liability coverage, and it can only be purchased up to the limits of your liability coverage. You cannot carry low liability limits, but high UM/UIM limits.

Now, don’t get us wrong: We are not saying that liability coverage is not necessary for bikers. Actually, it is very important to have adequate liability limits to protect yourself and your assets if you are at fault in an accident and cause damage to another party.

To sum it all up: You want Motorcycle Insurance so you can protect yourself! Whether that is a liability lawsuit, or an irresponsible driver who hit you. Because a driver who isn’t responsible enough to look for motorcycles on the road might not be responsible enough to carry adequate insurance limits.

Give us a call today 818-841-2940. We can help you find a motorcycle policy that provides you with the protection you need, while giving you the best value for your dollar.

How can I get a discount on my motorcycle policy?

Now, you’ve heard that one can get money-saving discounts on auto insurance (hey, and you even qualify for some!) That makes you wonder… Shouldn’t you be able to get a discount on your motorcycle policy, as well?

Yes you should! And you can! Depending on the company, a variety of discounts are available:

  • Claims-Free Discount: If you didn’t have any claims or accidents during the previous policy period, you qualify for this discount when your policy renews.
  • Homeowner Discount: If you own your home, you qualify for this discount. Why? Because insurance companies assume that if you own a home, you are a responsible person. Responsible people are responsible drivers (or riders) and deserve a discount.
  • Multi-Policy Discount: If you have more than one policy with one company, you may qualify for a multi-policy discount.
  • Safe Driver Discount: If you’ve been cruising without accidents or violations for 3 years, you qualify for this discount.
  • LoJack Discount: You can save on your motorcycle policy if your bike is equipped with the LoJack tracking system.
  • Safety Course Discount: Completing a Safety Course can save your life. And offer you a discount on your motorcycle policy. Sign up for a class today. (To keep the insurance discount active, you have to complete a safety course every three years.)

Some companies might give you a discount if you store your bike in a garage or out of sight, or if you use chains or other Anti-Theft devices to lock it down.

Keep in mind that your insurance rates depend on your bike’s type and brand, its engine size, the level of customization, and the miles driven. A customized street race machine that you use to commute to work will bring you much higher insurance bills than a vintage cruiser that you only use every now and then. As you search for your perfect bike, keep these factors in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises.
Don’t hesitate to give us a call for more information, even before you purchase your bike.

What about insurance for mopeds, scooters or ATV’s?

Now that you’ve found the bike of your dreams, you got your wife hooked: She’d like to do her smaller, around-the-town errands on a little scooter, rather than in the car. Not only does it save gas, but it also gives her this lifestyle feeling as if she were living in a small town in Italy.

Well, you can’t blame her. You knew all along what riding on two wheels can do for your soul.

Question is, how do you insure the little scooter? Does it qualify as a motorcycle at all?

Yes it does! Mopeds and scooters (electric and gasoline-powered) can be insured on a Motorcycle policy. All the same discounts and options apply for big bikes as well as smaller mopeds and scooters.

ATV’s (and snowmobiles, too), on the other hand, take a special place. An ATV may be covered under your homeowner’s policy, but only if it’s driven exclusively on your own property. There is absolutely no coverage if you take the ATV off your property and drive it on public roads… even if it’s only across the street. If there is any chance at all that you might take your ATV to a dirt track, into the mountains, or elsewhere, you should get ATV (or Snowmobile) insurance.

We can help with any of it. Just give us a call 818-841-2940.