Is comprehensive motorcycle coverage required?
Comprehensive insurance coverage for your motorcycle is not required by law in any state. If you own your bike outright, it's up to you whether or not to get comprehensive coverage for your bike. However, if you're making payments on your motorcycle, you should check the terms of your loan or lease. Many institutions require comprehensive as part of the lease or loan agreement.
How does comprehensive motorcycle coverage work?
If a covered peril damages your bike, you can submit a claim. Then, if the claim is approved, your policy will pay to repair the damage. Depending on the insurer and policy, they may write you a check up front for the estimated cost of repair, or they may reimburse you for the repairs once they're done. If the bike is deemed a total loss, the payout will usually be based on the current market value of the bike.
In any case, the amount you receive won't exceed the maximum coverage limit defined by the policy and won't include your deductible (the amount defined in your policy that you pay out of pocket for any claim). For example, say you need body work done that costs $5,000 and you have a $500 deductible. If your claim is approved, the payout would be $4,500 — the cost of repairs minus your deductible.
What does comprehensive motorcycle insurance cover?
Comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage protects your ride from damage that results from forces beyond your control. This could include (but isn't necessarily limited to):
- Severe weather (hailstorms, hurricanes, etc.)
- Theft, vandalism, and malicious mischief
- Falling objects
- Collisions with wildlife
What is not covered?
Except for wildlife collisions, any damage resulting from a collision – including collision with the ground due to accidentally knocking your bike over – is not covered by comprehensive. Normal wear and tear is not covered, nor is damage that was already present when you bought the policy. Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is coverage that helps protect against unexpected events that occur after you purchase the policy.
Should I get motorcycle comprehensive coverage?
Whether you get comprehensive depends largely on your budget and risk tolerance: would you rather pay less each month, or would you rather be protected against unexpected costs in the future? Consider how much you'd be willing and able to pay out of pocket and compare that to the market value of your motorcycle and the coverage limits you can afford.
Consider your bike's value. The newer and more valuable the bike, the bigger your loss can be if something happens. More expensive vehicles often cost more to repair, too, so consider the repair costs for your specific model. Learn more about motorcycle insurance coverages.
How to file a claim
If your bike is affected by a covered peril and you want to make a claim, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. They'll put you in touch with a claims adjuster who will estimate the cost of repairs, and you might have to answer some questions or provide photos of the damage. If your claim is approved, the insurance company will pay for the repairs. Learn how to file a motorcycle insurance claim.