My sales team asked me to write an article about insurance. I was hesitant at first because I did not want to sound salesy since we have been working with Markel Insurance.
I decided to look at it from my own insurance experience.
I ride, I have insurance and I almost got killed on a motorcycle. Thank God I had insurance!
Some statistics say there are two kinds of riders, those that have gone down and those that will.
Sadly, I was one of the riders that went down in the first 6 months after getting a motorcycle license. I ended up going through a car’s back window and spending some time in the hospital. It would have hurt a lot more if I was crippled with bills after the event.
You may think that buying motorcycle insurance is about as much fun as crashing through the back window of a car at 65 mph, it might not be “fun” but I guarantee it sure hurts a lot less.
With help from Markel, we came up with these tips to help you find the best and most cost-effective motorcycle insurance for you.
Buy Before You Need
Worst time to find out you need motorcycle is when you wake up in the hospital. Plan Ahead
Sounds silly but if you don’t have it you cannot use it. Have your policy well before you go for the first ride. The old, “I’ll just go down the road and back” is best to be done fully covered.
The insurance reps say, you may also get a better rate when buying in advance. Buying in advance reduces fraud risk for the insurance company and helps to keep rates lower.
You Get What You Pay For
Just like when you shopped for that chrome cover to give your bike that custom feel. You saw prices on both sides of the spectrum. If you are like me, you might have purchased the cheaper one. Then I had a peeling piece of metal 2-3 years after I installed it. Lower cost is not always best.
Get some quotes and compare the policies side by side. Compare the premiums, the deductibles and coverage limits. Small differences on paper can make a very big difference in what you’ll actually pay if you have to file a claim.
Having coverage just to have coverage is not the best way to go. It might only be a few dollars more a month to know that you, your ride and others are protected if something goes down.
They Call It Accessory Coverage
We call it protecting every custom piece we installed on our motorcycles. You spent thousands of dollars and countless hours on a Stage 1 upgrade, custom paint, calipers, seat, and riding gear.
As a member of Fix My Hog, you tracked and recorded all your upgrades. You have your receipts and Instagram posts of all the cool stuff you have been adding to make it your own. How much coverage do you need? Take out the calculator and tally it up. Just don’t freak out when you see how much you actually spent, never mind the hours of install(consider labor cost if you did not DIY).
Stay Safe and Save a Buck
To help reduce your chances of having an accident take a motorcycle safety course. These are great ways to learn new skills and are a great refresher for riders that have been inactive for some time.
Markel and others give discounts when you complete these courses, insure multiple motorcycles with them and renew a policy with them. They also have policies that reduce the deductible a percentage every year you are with them without an accident.
Something to consider before you pop that wheelie or drag your buddy in the middle of town, little infractions add up. A clean record will keep your policy rates in check.
Know What “They” Are Talking About
We all were newbies at some point. I remember when my brother would get mad at me if I was not hip to his new tech school lingo. I’d help him work on my Chevy C-10 and he would ask for this wrench or that part and put your finger on the butterfly. All new to me until I learned the lingo.
The power of the internet will allow you to go to an insurance website and look at the terms or glossary of terms. What do they mean and how are they different. You have to be your own insurance advocate. Know what it means to have liability, underinsured, comprehensive, medical coverage.
Coverage Requirements for Your State
Just like helmet laws. You can be riding care free in one state cross the line and get a ticket for no helmet in another. Each state has their minimums for insurance coverage. Make sure your review yours with your representative.
When in Doubt, Ask
You might be learning the insurance lingo, maybe you moved to a new state, got married, had kids and need to know what’s best for you. If your rep is not asking, tell them your situation and ask them what’s best.
I had the same insurance company for 10 years. In that time, I got married, bought a house, had a kid and never updated my policy. When I updated my info with my rep, my coverage was increased and my cost actually went down. Tell them what you think you need and ask them what you should have. Cover your assets.
Not A One Stop Shopping Experience
I’m not a great shopper. I want to get in and get out. This inter-web thing has helped me shop better. I can go to Dennis Kirk and three other online motorcycle “stores” to compare prices, products and pick the right product for me. You can do the same for insurance.
You have to compare policies that have the exact same coverage. Know what’s included in a basic policy, and what costs extra.
Understand “The Bundle”, we bundle all kinds of DVDs and products on Fix My Hog. Insurance companies offer bundles on your home, life, motorcycle, and renters insurance. You still have to break out the cost in the bundle to make sure you are getting the best deal and coverage.
My final suggestion is to give Markel a call with your existing policy in hand and see how they stack up.
Markel has been around for more than 40 years. They must be doing something right to stay around that long. I mean that in a good way. They have helped riders cover their assets for a long time. I’m sure they would be happy to give you a quote to compare against your existing coverage. Make sure to compare exactly what you have on your policy and price. You should also ask, what am I missing?