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What You Need to Know About Motorcycle Insurance
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements for North Carolina
The state requires you to have liability insurance to drive your motorcycle. These minimums include $60,000 for total bodily injury liability and $25,000 for property damage. Since these are just the minimums, you do have the option of purchasing additional coverage to stay financially protected. All motorcyclists must wear helmets, and helmets do not affect the insurance minimums.
If you don’t meet the minimum insurance coverage, you could still face issues, even if you don’t get into an accident during your lapsed coverage. Your insurance company will have to notify the DMV if your coverage lapses. You will get a form in the mail and have to reinstate coverage and pay a fee to the state. You can check with the DMV to see if your two-wheel vehicle qualifies as a motorcycle and if you need to get this insurance.
Optional Coverage in North Carolina
In addition to purchasing more liability coverage, you also have the option of getting extra motorcycle insurance through an agent. Collision coverage can help pay for damages to your motorcycle that occur after an accident. Comprehensive coverage may pay for damages to your motorcycle that occur from events other than an accident. Some of these events can include fire and vandalism. Medical payments will cover some medical costs if you are hurt in a crash. If you don’t have adequate medical coverage or have medical coverage with high deductibles, this can be a good option. Towing and labor coverage pays for emergency roadside assistance and towing. Speak with an agent at Griffin Insurance Agency to find out which coverage is right for you. If you use your motorcycle as a daily commuter vehicle, you want to purchase additional coverage to not only protect your investment but also help with the risks of everyday motorcycle riding.
Enjoy your ride even more by making sure you have the right insurance coverage for your bike.
Here are a few of the insurance products you'll want to consider for your motorcycle insurance policy. We can help you select the insurance products that are right for you at a great rate.
- Liability insurance is required in all states. This protects third parties in case of bodily injury or property damage. You can also increase your liability coverage above the minimum insurance requirements to give yourself additional protection against lawsuits. Remember, if you are found responsible for injuries or property damage, you will have to pay for it. If the bill is over your coverage limit, you'll be responsible for the difference, so make sure you have the coverage you need!
- In "No Fault" states, personal injury protection (PIP) is required on your insurance policy.
- Collision coverage will cover the damage to your motorcycle if you are in an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage* takes care of damage caused by theft, vandalism, hitting an animal, or damage caused by storms, fires, or other natural causes.
- Do you have safety apparel coverage? On a motorcycle, the only thing between you and the road is your riding gear. Invest in the safety apparel you need to protect yourself. Many motorcycle insurance policies will cover safety apparel.
- Custom equipment insurance is critical if you have added custom items to your bike. Make sure you let your insurance agent know about your accessories and major upgrades. Many policies include custom equipment coverage, but your accessories won't be covered if the insurance company doesn't know you have them. You invested the time and the money to upgrade your motorcycle, make sure your investment is protected. The last thing you want is to end up with a basic model after you have invested time and money into a custom bike.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage protects you if another person is at fault in an accident who doesn't have enough or any insurance to pay related expenses.
- Passenger liability is critical if you ever plan on having a passenger on your motorcycle. This coverage is required in some states, and you should strongly consider passenger liability insurance even if it is not required. This ensures your friends and family are protected should you take them for a ride.
*Note: Collision and comprehensive motorcycle insurance are usually required if you financed your motorcycle. Even if it is not required, it is an important coverage to have—imagine having to repair or replace your bike after an accident or if it is stolen.
Motorcycle insurance can help protect you if something goes wrong, but it is better to ride smart and avoid accidents all together. Here are a few tips to keep you and your bike safe.
Always wear a helmet and proper safety gear. Remember that while all black may look cool, brighter colors are more noticeable. Proper safety gear reduces the chance of injuries, protects you from the elements, and makes you more noticeable.
- Your helmet should be DOT certified, fit well, and be comfortable. Consider a full coverage helmet. It protects your face in an accident, offers protection from wind and dust, and keeps you from eating bugs. Replace your helmet after any accident, even if it's minor; the polystyrene can only handle one blow. The most important thing is finding a motorcycle helmet you will actually wear.
- If you don't get a full coverage helmet, motorcycle sunglasses and goggles protect your eyes and your ability to see. Motorcycle glasses have a wrap-around design and foam padding to keep various objects from blowing into your eyes. There's nothing like a rock hitting you in the eye at 50 mph to mess up your ride.
- A good motorcycle jacket will protect your arms, back, and chest, and adapt to the weather. It should also be reflective to help improve your visibility. The classic leather jacket is one option, but make sure you go with cowhide as it is much more durable than pigskin. Synthetic motorcycle jackets are another good option, especially if they use reflective materials. Many different types of armor and padding are available, so find one that fits your needs.
- Although jeans are a common choice for motorcyclists, consider investing in chaps or riding pants. They provide additional protection for your legs, and keep you warmer than jeans. Specialized riding jeans are available if you don't want the leather look.
- Motorcycle boots protect your feet and ankles. Look for comfortable boots with ankle protection, good rubber soles for traction, and thick soles to handle the vibrations from the bike.
- Gloves provide protection and are essential in bad weather.
Drunk driving is always hazardous, but on a motorcycle, your inhibited balance and coordination are even more dangerous. And, it is against the law. Don't ride drunk!
Get Specialized Training
Complete a motorcycle training course. It will provide great information and teach you skills and techniques to keep your ride safe.
Ride as if you were invisible to other drivers. The main cause of motorcycle accidents is the other motorist did not see the motorcycle until it was too late. Don't become another statistic. Pay attention to the vehicles around you and assume they do not see you. Be especially careful in intersections.
Watch Out In The Weather
Weather and road conditions that would only be inconveniences to a car can be deadly to a motorcyclist. Metal, oil, water, and potholes can all cause problems. Rain is especially problematic in the first half hour after it begins because the rain and oil on the road mix to create very slick conditions. Bad weather also reduces other drivers' visibility, making it even harder for them to see you. Use lights and reflective clothing and be attentive.
Buying motorcycle insurance may not be quite as fun as going for a ride, but if something goes wrong, you'll be glad you spent a few minutes getting the motorcycle insurance you need.