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Other Insurance Basics

Motorcycle insurance

Choosing the right insurance policy is much like choosing the right bike. You want it to fit your needs and lifestyle, but at the same time be within your budget. Although most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, other types of coverage are usually optional. Always ask your insurance representative about which laws apply in your state.

The key to finding which coverage is best for you involves learning about all the options available.

Liability coverage
Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident. It doesn’t cover you or your motorcycle. Find out if your coverage includes Guest Passenger Liability, which provides protection in the event that a passenger is injured on the motorcycle. Whether or not this is included depends on the laws of your state and the company issuing the policy.

Collision coverage

Collision insurance covers damage to your motorcycle if you are involved in an accident. Your insurance company pays for damages, minus your deductible, caused when you collide with another vehicle or object. Collision insurance usually covers the book value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.

Comprehensive coverage
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. However, just like collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for damages, minus your deductible, and cover only the book value of the motorcycle.
Keep in mind most comprehensive and collision coverages will only cover the factory standard parts on your bike. If you decide to add on any additional optional accessories such as chrome parts, a custom paint job, trailers or sidecars, you need to look into obtaining additional equipment coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage pays for medical treatment, lost wages and other damages if a driver who has no insurance hits you. If your uninsured motorist coverage includes property damage, then your cycle would also be covered under the same circumstances. Check with your insurance professional to see if property damage is included or needs to be purchased separately.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage, except it applies when the other party has lower coverage limits than you do and damages exceed the other party’s limits.

Tips for the cost-conscious rider
Many factors can play a role in determining what your insurance costs will be, such as being a graduate of a rider-training course, your age, your driving record, where you live and the type of motorcycle you own. * Many companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent on motorcycle insurance for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course. Riders under the age of 25, usually considered a higher risk, may see some savings by taking this course. Itís also a good idea for cyclists who have already had accidents.

  • Maintaining a good driving record with no violations will also help reduce your premiums.
  • In many northern states, riders may save money by buying a “lay-up” policy. With a lay-up policy, all coverage except comprehensive is suspended during winter months.
  • Find out what discounts your insurance representative offers. Multibike discounts for those insuring more than one bike; organization discounts, if youíre a member of a motorcycle association; and mature rider discounts for experienced riders, are just a few possibilities. Discounts can range anywhere from 10% to 20%, depending on the company and your state. Availability and qualifications for discounts vary from company to company and state to state.
  • Keep in mind that the type, style (such as a sports bike vs. a cruiser), age of the motorcycle, number of miles you drive a year and where you store your bike may also affect how much you pay for your premium.

Choose the agent or company that’s right for you. If you already have car insurance, contact your insurer. Otherwise, ask friends, relatives, and co-workers where they bought their car or motorcycle insurance. Your local cycle shop may also have a company they refer customers to. Also check local motorcycle magazines or newspapers for insurance professionals advertising motorcycle insurance.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – Insurance Information Institute, Inc.

Motor home insurance

All of the coverage options that you would find in “Auto insurance basics” would also apply to insurance for your motor home. You may also want to consider coverage for the personal belongings you keep in your motor home or special Vacation liability coverage which provides personal liability coverage for you while you are temporarily living in your motor home.

There may be some slight differences in the coverage you need and some larger differences in the cost of the insurance depending on how you use your motor home. If you only put very few miles on your motor home then you will likely qualify for a “low mileage” discount.

On the other hand if you are using your motor home as a permanent residence you will pay a higher price and have a different policy which should include personal liability coverage.

In any case be sure to let your agent know how you are using your motorhome.


Travel trailer insurance

The primary coverage consideration when you purchase insurance for your travel trailer is physical damage coverage.

Coverage for damage to your trailer is made up of two separate parts: collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. In general, collision coverage insures you against damage to your trailer caused when it collides with another object. Comprehensive coverage, sometimes referred to as “other than collision” insures you against other physical damage to your trailer caused by such events as fire, theft, flood, and vandalism. These coverage options can be written with a range of deductible options (generally, anywhere from $100 to $1,000). The higher the deductible, the lower the premium, and vice-versa. This coverage is not required by the state of Idaho, but may be required by your lender if you have a lien against the trailer.

Liability coverage while the trailer is being pulled will extend from the vehicle pulling it.

Like a motor home, if you are using your trailer as a permanent residence you will need a special policy that will provide personal liability coverage.

Boat insurance

Most companies provide limited coverage for property damage for small boats such as canoes and small sail boats or small power boats with less than 25 per hour horse power under a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Coverage is usually about $1,000 or 10% of property coverage. Check with your insurance representative to find out if your boat is covered and what the limits are.
For other boats, you will need to purchase separate insurance. The size, type, value of the craft and the water in which you use it factor into how much you will pay for insurance coverage.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – Insurance Information Institute, Inc.


Umbrella or excess liability insurance

Should I purchase an umbrella liability policy?
If you are ever sued, your standard homeowners or auto policy will provide you with some liability coverage, which pays for judgements against you and your attorney’s fees, up to an amount set in the policy. However, in our litigious society, you may want to have an extra layer of liability protection. That’s what a personal umbrella liability policy provides.

It kicks in when you reach the limit on the underlying liability coverage in a homeowners, renters, condo or auto policy. An umbrella policy will also cover you for things such as libel and slander.

For about $150 to $300 per year you can buy a $1 million personal umbrella liability policy. The next million will cost about $75, and $50 for every million after that.

Because the personal umbrella policy goes into effect after the underlying coverage is exhausted, there are certain limits that usually must be met in order to purchase this coverage. Most insurers will want you to have about $250,000 of liability insurance on your auto policy and $300,000 of liability insurance on your homeowners policy before selling you an umbrella liability policy for $1 million of additional coverage.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – Insurance Information Institute, Inc.

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