In recent years, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have seen a lot of changes. Some bikes have been discontinued, while new makes and models have entered the market. As bikes have gotten more sophisticated, one thing has remained the same — they continue to remain valuable. Therefore, if you have a wreck, you could lose a big financial investment if you lose your bike. That's why you'll want to carry various types of physical damage insurance on the vehicle. It's necessary to have because it can help you to fix a damaged bike, or replace a totaled vehicle, without a significant loss. Let's take a closer look at how physical damage insurance can work to your benefit.
Insurance Requirements Don't Cover Bike Damage
Missouri requires bikers (and all other drivers) to carry motor vehicle insurance. The requirements are:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability coverage
- $25,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident
Liability coverage pays for the damage you cause to other parties, if an accident was deemed your fault. So, if you run a stoplight and hit a car, damaging it, then a basic policy will pay up to $10,000 for the other driver's repair costs.
But what you will find is that your basic liability coverage will not cover the damage your own bike sustains. So, rather than wondering whether you can get help from someone else's policy, instead, look to your own motorcycle insurance.
Harley prices vary significantly — some cost as low as $6,000, but others cost well over $40,000. Damage might impact that value, and might make it harder to sell the bike later. Therefore, you'll want to be able to afford the repair costs. You can ask your agent to include various types of physical damage insurance within your coverage that you can rely on following damage to the bike.
Physical Damage Coverage
To get full coverage for motorcycle damage, you will likely need several types of damage coverage.
- Collision Insurance: This coverage pays for damage to your bike if a wreck occurs. Whether you collide with a pothole, a street sign or another vehicle, this coverage pays for bike repairs.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Besides collisions, other hazards might damage your bike. For example, vandalism, fires, flooding, hail, falling objects or theft might cause damage or a total loss. This coverage can help you pay for those losses.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: If another driver is found to be at-fault for your bike's damage, then they might have to pay for your coverage using their liability insurance. However, if they don't have liability coverage, then this coverage can step in to cover property damage.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage: An at-fault driver might have liability insurance, but it might not be enough to cover your total property damage costs. This coverage can step in after another liability policy pays up to its limits.
Some policies can also include coverage for the materials you carry on the bike. For example, gear insurance might cover damage to your helmet, saddlebags or other items. Given that some items are both expensive and often required by law, you might benefit if your coverage offers protection.
Enhancing Your Policy
Since the financing and values of motorcycles vary considerably, the types and amounts of physical damage coverage you need will vary. Therefore, consider how the following policy perks might be able to apply to your bike and its value:
- Equipment & Enhancements Coverage: If you've made custom changes to your bike, then you can adjust your policy to make sure it pays for the replacement or restoration of these items.
- Replacement Coverage: If you wreck or total your bike, some motorcycle policies will only pay the bike's cash value at the time of an accident. In this case, because bikes depreciate over time, then you might receive a lower settlement for a totaled bike than you would need to buy a new one of similar value. Replacement coverage can pay you to either restore the bike to its former value, or to buy a new bike of equal value.
- Gap Insurance: If you finance your new bike, and then total it, you aren't free from the loan, yet. This coverage can work alongside your comprehensive or collision coverage to help you claim enough money to pay off the loan or lease on the bike and move on.
Remember, your policy will include deductibles that you will have to pay before it covers the cost of most physical damage. As you increase your deductible, you might qualify for policy discounts. However, you shouldn't increase this deductible too much. It might not help you if you have to pay critical personal funds just to meet a claim's threshold for coverage.
Work with your Auto Insurance Discounters agent to determine the appropriate way to insure the full value of your bike throughout its lifetime.