Determining the average cost of motorcycle insurance is not an easy task. So many variables go into determining the cost it is hard to pinpoint what you might be looking at for overall cost. What motorcycle you insure, what coverage you select, your driving record and your age are only a portion of the variables that go into calculating the cost of your insurance. Take a look at a few different scenarios and the average cost of motorcycle insurance for each.
25- to 60-Years-Old: Good Driving Record, Liability Only Coverage, Cruiser or Touring Motorcycle
These kinds of variables set you up for the lowest motorcycle insurance costs. Drivers above the age of 25 with a good driving record usually qualify for good prices. Combine those factors with liability only coverage and a touring bike and you are looking at $200 to $500 a year for motorcycle insurance.
You can reduce your rate further by purchasing motorcycle insurance through your auto insurance carrier, owning a home, having good credit, and taking a motorcycle safety course.
25- to 60-Years-Old: Good Driving Record, Full Coverage, Cruiser or Touring Motorcycle
Adding physical damage to a motorcycle policy can have a big impact on a policy’s premium. The type of motorcycle can also make a huge difference. Often people requesting full coverage have a newer higher valued bike to insure. Plan on adding a few hundred dollars a year to your policy premium for adding full coverage to your policy pushing the average cost to $400 to $800 a year.
Raising your deductible and opting out of insurance add-on coverage will lower your overall cost. The more expensive your bike, often the more it costs to insure. Safety features and anti-theft devices do make a difference in cost too.
25- to 60-Years-Old: Bad Driving Record, Full Coverage, Cruiser or Touring Motorcycle
A bad driving record can really push the cost of motorcycle insurance up. Motorcycle riders need to be extra responsible and cautious while behind the handlebars and a bad driving record reflects poorly on your potential for a future claim. The degree in which your record is bad certainly makes a difference in your overall cost. It would probably be best to get a few quotes to determine a rate for your specific situation.
16- to 24-Years-Old: Good Driving Record, Full Coverage, Crotch Rocket Sports Motorcycle
Do not attempt! Well, at least I wouldn’t. Young riders are always lured to fast sporty motorcycles especially because they are often sold with a relatively low price tag. What they do not consider is the cost of insuring such a bike. A youthful rider combined with full coverage and a sports bike can lead the average cost of motorcycle insurance easily above the $1,000 mark with some even exceeding $3,000 a year depending on other circumstances. Sure a good driving record will make the cost lower than a bad record, but the cost will still be very high.
Disclaimer: Different states have different rates. Keep in mind the average cost is just an average and it does not replace an actual quote. You could find yourself being on the high or the low end depending on your experience, location, and even marital status. Motorcycles are often cheaper to insure than cars and certainly can be a great gas saver. Keep all aspects of motorcycle ownership in mind when considering making a purchase.
Which States Have the Best Motorcycle Insurance Rates?
Hoping your rates are at the lower end of the spectrum? The more people riding motorcycles in your state actually drives down the cost of insurance. More insured bikes lead to lower motorcycle insurance rates. The states with the most riders and often the best rates for insurance are North Dakota, Iowa, and Oklahoma.
Which States Have the Worst Motorcycle Insurance Rates?
Those of you living in the states with the highest costing insurance probably already know it. If you live in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, or Michigan you can expect to be paying top dollar for your motorcycle insurance coverage.
Michigan Rider Reminder: As of July 2016 the cost of the MCCA fee is $160 per year per motorcycle. The exact dollar amount could vary some based on carriers tacking on processing fees, but it is an extra expense added onto all Michigan autos and motorcycles.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so we’ve assembled a range of tips to increase your awareness of what you can do to share the road with other road users safely.
OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) report that forty-eight motorcyclists died last year on OPP-patrolled roads, the highest number of motorcycle deaths in ten years. Twenty-seven of those riders were driving properly (not at fault) at the time of the collision, also a ten-year high. There were thirty-six motorcycle deaths in 2016.
The top four culprits for all road fatalities were related to inattention, speed, seatbelt use, and alcohol/drugs.
Toronto Police Services track motorcyclists Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI). Their numbers were down from fifty-four KSI in 2016 to forty KSI in 2017, including four fatalities. Prior to last year, the overall trend has been on a steady increase.
We can’t control other drivers, but we can take steps to increase our safety while sharing the road safely with them.
HERE ARE 36 TIPS TO INCREASE YOUR SAFETY AWARENESS AND RIDING PROFICIENCY:
Ride Like a Pro
1. Take a skills refresher course with a professional organization. Off-road courses are ideal for teaching road riders how to deal with the unexpected on the road—like obstacles or loss of traction. Pro-riding courses teach valuable defensive riding skills and increase your proficiency.
2. Ride defensively and confidently, not timidly or fearfully. Anticipate what other road users are going to do and be prepared to react appropriately.
3. Practice. Head to a vacant parking lot and practice slow speed and emergency maneuvers.
4. Ride within your skill level. Most of us don’t have the skills or ability to tap into the full power of our bike. Proficiency and muscle memory take practice and saddle time to develop.
5. Ride smoothly. You can react a lot more quickly than any vehicle out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn, cut in and out, and make quick moves that startle others.
6. Scan your environment. The Ministry of Transport of Ontario (MTO) suggests you check your mirrors every five to seven seconds to keep track of what’s going on around you. Mirrors don’t tell the whole story, though, so do a visual scan as well.
7. Ride within the speed limit. Speed was the second leading cause of fatalities on OPP patrolled roads in 2017. If you feel the need for speed, take it to a track.
8. Follow other vehicles at a safe distance. Motorcycles require less stopping distance than other vehicles, but allow enough distance in front of you for the vehicle behind you to stop, especially if it’s a loaded truck!
9. Slow down in inclement weather. You may have the skills to ride safely but consider that you’re sharing the road with others who may not have the same degree of proficiency, or attentiveness. You’re also less visible in rain or fog.
10. Know and follow the rules of the road. They apply to everyone. Other drivers anticipate that you’re going to follow the them and make their decisions accordingly.
11. Move away from poorly secured loads. It’s better to be in front of them than risk having an object hit you or a mattress land on the road in front of you.
12. Ride sober. Riders with an M1 or M2 endorsement must maintain a zero blood alcohol level. It’s wisest to continue that practice even when you have your full M designation.
13. Ride unimpaired. Illness, stress, and medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can weaken your ability to operate your motorcycle safely. If you’re taking prescription meds, ask your doctor or pharmacist about the drug’s effect on you, and the potential effects of combining it with other meds or alcohol.
14. Maintain a clear line of sight. When this is challenged, such as in traffic, increase your following distance.
15. Conduct traffic checks by scanning your environment while waiting at an intersection or traffic light. Proceed only when it’s safe.
16. Assume the proper blocking position at a stop, including optional angled position for right turns.
17. Ride in the correct tire track. This will change depending on the circumstances and the number of lanes of traffic, but is never in the middle of the lane. Generally, on a two-lane road, ride in the left tire track.
18. Maintain an appropriate gap between you and the vehicle ahead of you when stopped. It gives you room to maneuver if your environmental scan alerts you to danger.
19. Use intercoms only as needed and keep your chatting to an as-needed basis only.
20. Keep audio chatter to a minimum. That includes listening to music, chatting with friends or your passenger on your intercom. There are enough competing inputs without adding to what your brain already has to process.
Increase your Visibility
21. Make yourself visible with high-visibility reflective gear, especially on your upper body, where it’s more likely to catch the attention of drivers.
22. Apply reflective strips to your bike.
23. Use hand signals in addition to turn signals. That movement may be what gets noticed.
24. Add accessories to your motorcycle that make you more noticeable, like a high-decibel horn and accessory lights. Just don’t blind oncoming traffic.
25. Check blind spots before moving away, when coming to a stop, and before making a lane change. Motorcycle training programs teach riders to check (blind spot), signal, check, before making a lane change.
26. Refrain from riding in another driver’s blind spots.
27. Tap your brake light when decelerating. It alerts other drivers to your change in speed.
Dress Like a Pro
28. Wear appropriate gear. Fatigue, heat, and cold impair judgment and your ability to react. Dress for the ride and the weather, and be prepared to adapt to changing situations.
29. Wear proper fitting gear, done up properly. It’s better for gear to be snug rather than flapping in the breeze. In the case of a mishap, snug-fitting gear better protects you from abrasion and holds armour in place.
Be a Leader
30. Choose your riding partners wisely. Riding as part of a group—two or more riders—carries its own etiquette and responsibilities. It’s wisest to accumulate skills before riding with others.
31. Don’t cede to peer pressure to ride beyond your skill or comfort level.
32. Be courteous to other drivers. When they see you driving responsibly, they’re more likely to do the same.
33. Keep your cool. Getting angry and into a confrontation with another driver does nothing to diffuse the situation. In addition, while you’re focused on him, someone else may be getting ready to cut you off.
Keep Your Bike in Top Shape
34. Keep your motorcycle well-maintained. A breakdown while riding can lead to a crash.
35. Check brake lights, turn signals, and headlights regularly to make sure they’re all working.
36. Check your tires before your ride for sufficient pressure (refer to your owner’s manual, not the markings on the sidewall), adequate tread, and any irregularities or embedded objects.
Next month we’ve devoted the entire space to tips for sharing the road with Transport Trucks.