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7 tips to save on motorcycle insurance

Live to ride, ride to live. Save a few bucks while you're at it.

By Stacy Johnson Jun 27, 2012 12:36PM

This post comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyWhen I was a teenager, my parents were dead set against two forms of transportation: convertibles (they could roll over and crush the occupants) and motorcycles (no explanation required).


As you might expect, the result was a lifelong love affair with both.


For a large part of the nearly 40 years I've owned bikes -- my current is a 1999 Harley Softail Custom -- I never gave much thought to insurance. I just surrendered my bike business to whatever company was insuring my car. That's a mistake. Some insurers specialize in motorcycle policies, so shopping companies can reward you with major savings -- as much as 50%.


Want to quickly learn what I had to find out the hard way? Check out the following video and meet me on the other side for more.

1. Join the club.

Members of motorcycle clubs sometimes get discounted rates. Clubs are also a great way to compare notes with other bikers, get insurance recommendations, and see who's paying what. Examples include Harley Owners Group, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and the American Motorcyclist Association.


Image: Insurance © NULL/Corbis2. Ask about infrequent-rider discounts.

If you ride only on the occasional sunny weekend, ask about discounts for a part-time or occasional driver. You might also ask about lowering the coverage (and cost) if you don't ride in the winter at all. If you have a loan on the bike, however, the lender will require full coverage on it year-round.


3. Drop full coverage.

You've got to have liability insurance, which covers damage you do to other people and their property. But if your bike is old and/or not worth much, you might consider dropping comprehensive and collision -- coverage that pays for theft, vandalism or damage to your bike in the event of an accident that's your fault. 


Whether this makes sense depends on how much you're paying for full coverage and how much your bike is worth. Weigh the cost against the benefit, then decide. As with the prior tip, however, if there's a lien on the bike, the lender will require full coverage.


4. Choose the right bike.

Some bikes cost more to insure than others. For example, sport bikes often sport higher premiums than traditional road bikes. Never replace your bike without first calling your insurance company to see if the new bike will cost more to insure than the old one.


5. Raise your deductible.

No matter what kind of insurance you're paying for -- homeowners, renters, health, car or motorcycle -- the more of a claim you're willing to pay out-of-pocket, the lower the premium. If you're comfortable raising your deductible from $250 to $1,000, you could easily save 10% to 20%. Check what your deductible is now, then call the company and ask how much you'd save by raising it.

6. Ask about discounts.

It will probably come as no surprise that your insurance company isn't going to call and inform you of potential discounts. Call and ask about discounts for anti-theft devices and keeping your bike in a locked garage. Simply say: "What discounts do you offer?" You might be pleasantly surprised to learn you already qualify.


7. Get additional coverage for extras.

Regular motorcycle insurance policies don't cover any enhancements you have made to your bike, such as chrome accessories, custom paint or a sidecar. Look into supplemental coverage for these upgrades.

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