There’s nothing quite like the freedom of riding a motorcycle. The open road, wind in your hair and roar of the engine attracts those with an adventurous spirit, and turns them into lifelong enthusiasts.
Whether you are a current owner of a motorcycle with years of experience, or someone window shopping for their next big investment, two key items that you should focus on before you hit the road is motorcycle safety and insurance coverage.
Why? According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016, 20 cars out of every 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 66 per 100,000. Therefore, safe riding is paramount.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
The reality of the road won’t change, motorcycle accidents can and will happen. Whether the accident was caused by another driver’s carelessness, a mishap on a slick road, or operator error, there are tips you can follow to reduce the risk and severity of accidents.
- Before your ride, become familiar with the motorcycle. Read the owner’s manual and ensure that all mechanical equipment is in working order. (i.e. breaks, tires, lights, turn signals, horn, mirrors, fluid levels, center/side stand, etc.)
- When riding in traffic, watch for potential hazards and make sure other drivers see you. Avoid riding behind large trucks or in a vehicle’s blind spot.
- When riding at speeds of up to 40 mph, keep a two-second gap between you and the automobile in front of you. When traveling at higher speeds, increase the gap to four-seconds or more.
- Always wear protective head and body equipment. A full helmet, protective jacket, and reinforced pants will help protect your body against injury in the event of an accident.
- If you are riding with a passenger, instruct them to keep their legs away from the muffler to avoid burns, ask that they limit movement and talking, and remember that extra weight will affect breaking procedures, starting from a stopped position, and riding through a corner.
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Motorcycle insurance is not an option, it is required to ride legally. However, not all motorcycle coverage is created equal. Therefore, it is very important to purchase the right coverage for you and your bike. The minimum requirement in most states is basic liability insurance. Collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist are optional coverages that you may wish to add to your policy. Below is a brief overview of these coverages.
- Liability Insurance: This type of insurance covers any damage or injury you may cause to property or other people in the event you are deemed to be at-fault in an accident or collision. However, it doesn’t cover you or your motorcycle. Some policies may include coverage for a guest passenger as well, but this is not guaranteed.
- Collision Insurance: Collision insurance pays for damage to your motorcycle, less your deductible. Even if the damage is your fault, this coverage will still apply.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage protects your bike from non-accident related perils; including fire, theft and acts of vandalism.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage provides protection should you become involved in an accident caused by another driver, and the other driver is either without insurance or has inadequate insurance coverage. This provisional coverage will help pay for medical treatment, lost wages, other damages to you and your passengers, and your bike would be protected as well.
In the end, you should look for a policy that meets your needs, and fits into your budget. By doing a little comparison shopping, customizing your coverage, and taking advantage of available discounts, you can find the right policy for your bike.
Ready to ride? Not sure you have the right coverage? Let the experts at Cole Harrison help you find a policy to fit your riding style and your budget. Contact us today!