We all like to save money on our insurance. It's like any other purchase you make, you want the best
value for your dollar. There are a few things that can make the difference between getting a great rate or
paying too much.
Insurance Companies use your garaging ZIP code as one of their primary rating factors. Generally, the further
away you live from New York City, the lower your rate will be. Of course, there's not much that can be done about
this, unless you are willing to re-locate just to save money on the insurance.
The bike you insure can make a difference in the rate. Here are a few factors that
are involved with the rating process.
Age of the Cycle: If you're insuring for Comprehensive and Collision coverage, the newer the bike the higher the
cost of insurance. Companies tend to lower rates as the bike gets older. There can be a big difference between two bikes that are the same make and model but a few years different. If you're insuring for liability only, the age of
the bike doesn't matter.
Size: Whoever said that size doesn't matter wasn't thinking about insuring motorcycles. Rates are based on the
CC size of the bike, or, with some companies, the weight makes the rate. So let's say you have a 600cc bike that
weighs only 395 lbs., it may be better to choose the company that goes by weight rather than CCs.
Type: Most bikers already know which bikes are on the High Performance list. The CBRs, the
GSXRs, the Katanas, the Ninjas, the VZFs and the FZRs., but there are some bikes that are on the list not because of their
speed, but because of their claims records, for example, the GS500E has a high claims frequency and is on the
"High Performance" list. Tourers get special treatment with some companies by way of lower rates. Again, different
companies treat bikes differently
OPERATOR AGE: We all know that we get wiser with age, and more experienced. Well, most of us anyway. So as
we get older, wiser and a more experienced rider, the rates get better. Some companies give a discount for
experience (one or more years on a bike). Some companies have different age categories than others, so look for
the most favorable for your age. Also, if you're going to turn 25 within a few months, think of taking a short term
policy or have your agent rewrite the policy after your birthday. It actually wouldn't be a bad idea to ask your agent for
the next age break if you're under 40.
DRIVING RECORD: The first thing to remember is that the insurance companies can only go back and look at the
last 40 months of your record. So even if you had a DWI three and a half years ago, it cannot be charged against
you. Keep in mind that it goes by conviction date, not the actual date you received the summons.
Accidents that involve any injury or death, or property damage in excess of $1000
MUST be reported to the DMV, REGARDLESS of fault. If you are considered not at
fault for an accident that appears on your record, make sure you maintain proof of
what happened. Some good sources of proof can include:
A police report that was taken at the scene of the accident that shows in your favor.
Copies of any correspondence or checks you received from other insurance companies that showed you were
paid on someone else's behalf.
A letter from your insurance company adjustor or the other party's insurance stating that you were less than 50% at
Remember that this will appear on your driving record for 40 months. Make sure that you maintain these proofs so
that you don't pay extra for an accident that wasn't your fault.
SAFETY COURSE: If you complete a motorcycle safety course sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, or
an approved Defensive Driving Course, you will be entitled to a 10% discount on the insurance. In addition to
making you a better rider, you will also save some money.
COVERAGE: Of course, the more coverage you get, the more the policy will cost. You can lower some of the cost
by getting larger deductibles on the Comp and Collision portions of the policy. If you finance the bike, the finance
company can dictate how much of a deductible you have, but if you were to get a personal loan, you can get
whatever coverage you want.