Get the most out of your motorcycle insurance plan before you hit the road. Cape Cod and most of New England is home to some of the best motorcycling in the country, unless you have an accident and worse if you’re not prepared by being properly insured. Whether you’re heading out on a day trip from Cape Cod to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts or taking a long weekend through Boston and up to New Hampshire, Vermont or Maine, you’d better make sure to protect yourself by getting the right motorcycle insurance coverage. Riding a motorcycle comes with risks, no matter how prepared you are. Nothing can ruin the freedom of the road faster than being involved in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of an inexperienced, incompetent or distracted driver.
With almost three decades in Personal Injury law, Attorney Steven T. Snow asserts, “Contrary to popular belief, statistics demonstrate that motorcyclists routinely obey the laws and are extraordinarily cautious. So, when it comes to distracted driving, bikers should realize the 80/20 rule: the majority of accidents are caused by operators over 80 or under 20 years of age. Meaning, seniors can be unaware of their surroundings and less likely to react quickly while younger drivers are simply too inexperienced with the many facets of driving.”
Things to Look for When Choosing Your Motorcycle Insurance Plan Coverage in Massachusetts
In many ways insuring a motorcycle is like insuring a car or any other motor vehicle. However, due to the vulnerable nature of a motorcyclist versus a car in an accident, there are a few important areas to focus on and prioritize when picking out your plan.
- Liability Insurance: In Massachusetts, all riders must carry liability insurance. This helps to cover others’ expenses for injuries and property damage if you cause an accident. The minimum coverage limits for Massachusetts liability are: $20,000 bodily injury per person, $40,000 bodily injury per incident, $5,000 property damage per incident.
- Comprehensive Insurance: This covers you in the event that you wreck your motorcycle, your motorcycle is stolen or damaged by something other than a collision with another vehicle. This includes weather-related damages like fallen branches or fires, as well as animal collisions.
- Medical payments (Med Pay): Most vehicle insurance plans in Massachusetts provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover operators and passengers in the case of a “no fault” car accident. However, PIP is NOT available for motorcycle operators. Therefore, making sure you have adequate Med Pay coverage will help to cover the cost for yourself and any passengers who may have insufficient health insurance to cover injuries.
- Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage: This coverage is designed to pay damages for bodily injury to people injured or killed as a results of accidents caused by another motor vehicle operator who either does not have insurance or has an insurance policy with insufficient coverage. In most cases, uninsured/underinsurance coverage will also cover you in the event of a “hit ‘n run” accident.
- Lay-up Policy: Many insurers offer the option of a lay-up policy. This is for motorcycle riders who live in climates like ours, that don’t plan to ride through the icy winter months. Basically, this discounted period suspends typical coverages: liability, comprehensive and Med Pay while your bike is wrapped up and winterized for the season, but will continue to keep you covered for theft, weather-related damages, etc. A lay-up policy can save you money on your annual costs, just be sure to call your agent to reinstate your full coverage when it’s time to ride again.
Explore Motorcycle Insurance Plan Discount Opportunities
Many insurance companies offer discounts to motorcycle riders. Though the discounts may vary from insurer to insurer, here are some of the common ways to save a little extra on your motorcycle insurance plan:
- If possible, combine multiple policies such as car insurance or homeowner’s insurance through the same company. This can save a ton and may also help to manage your various insurance policies.
- Ride safe, ride smart and maintain a clean driving record in your car as well as on your bike. More and more insurers are offering rewards for proving that you are a responsible driver/rider.
- Complete an approved motorcycle rider safety training course through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and receive discounts.
- Belong to a motorcycle rider’s organization such as American Motorcycle Association, Harley Owners Group, Honda Riders Club of America, Motorcycle Safety Foundation or Motorcycle Touring Association.
- Ask about a mature rider discount if you’re over 55 or a long-time rider.
- Get your motorcycle inspected to avoid a traffic violation for not having a valid inspection sticker – it may result in a fine and adversely affect your insurance rate.