If you live in Wisconsin or plan on moving here, and you have a motorcycle or plan on buying one, you may have questions about how to properly insure it. Take a look at this list of frequently asked questions to learn the basics of what you need to know.
Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance?
If you have a motorcycle and you plan to ride it on public roads, motorcycle insurance is required by Wisconsin state law, as it is for most all other motorized vehicles. Before taking a ride, even it is just down the street, the owner of the motorcycle should have adequate insurance, including bodily injury and property damage coverage.
What Is the Minimum Required Amount of Insurance Coverage for a Motorcycle in Wisconsin?
Minimum requirements differ state by state. In the state of Wisconsin, you must have a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 Bodily Injury coverage (BI), and at least $10,000 for property damage (PD) coverage.
What Other Insurance Coverage Is Available for Motorcycles?
Just as it is with auto insurance, there is a variety of other recommended coverage beyond Wisconsin’s minimum required coverage amounts. These options include comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, Medical Payments, Roadside Assistance, and more. Additionally, you will have deductible options that may differ based on the insurance company offering the coverage.
Is There a Discount for Wearing a Helmet?
Unfortunately not. However, it could honestly save your life! As you might imagine, head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Riders who do not wear helmets and who are involved in a crash are 40-percent more likely to sustain a fatal head injury. So while wearing a helmet has no impact on your insurance rates, it could mean the difference between life and death.
Are There Discounts for Having Safety Features?
Once again, there is not. However, like wearing a helmet, some safety features can be a factor in preventing an accident. For example, antilock braking systems (ABS) are becoming increasingly common on motorcycles. This advanced braking technology can reduce stopping distance and increase stability in hard braking situations. Some other safety options, such as airbags and electronic stability control, are in an experimental phase and may not be available in the a few years.
What Motorcycle Insurance Discounts Are Available?
There are a number of discounts that can apply to your motorcycle insurance. Some of the more common discounts include:
- Multi-policy Discount
- Safe Rider Discount
- Continuous Coverage Discount
- Claim-free discount
There are also other factors that will reduce the amount of money you will pay for motorcycle insurance including your credit score and your driving history.
Are Aftermarket Motorcycle Accessories Covered by Insurance?
Any after-market enhancements or improvements to your motorcycle, beyond what was installed at the factory, may not be covered without buying additional accessory coverage. For example, it is quite common for Harley Davidson owners to replace mufflers and add chrome to their bike, even get custom paint jobs. While this looks and sounds great, it additional accessory coverage should be added to ensure you’re properly covered in the event of a loss. Give us a call to determine how much additional accessory coverage you could need.
What Do I Do with My Insurance During the Winter When My Motorcycle Is in Storage?
Our advice is to leave everything in place year-round. Some people might suggest dropping liability and collision to save a few bucks, but when you consider losing a continuous coverage discount, it pretty much offsets any savings you might experience. At a minimum, you should always comprehensive coverage in place, due to possible loss from collapsed roof, theft, and fire.
We hope that this answered a few of your questions. If you have other questions about motorcycle insurance, give us a call and we’ll get the answers you need.