insurance

5 ways to cut motorcycle insurance costs

The price of everything seems to be going up, but the good news is that you can probably lower the cost of your motorcycle insurance.

As with any insurance, the cost of motorcycle insurance is a function of risk and levels of protection.

According to Marcy Gray, motorcycle product manager at Progressive Insurance -- who has owned and operated motorcycles for nearly three decades -- most motorcycle insurance policies have several areas ripe for cost savings.

Here are five ways to save money on your motorcycle insurance:

Buy less motorcycle. More exotic bikes or ones with bigger engines will cost more to insure than an entry level motorcycle with a smaller engine. "You can have a lot lower premium if you buy a cruiser than if you buy a sport bike," Gray says. She also advises buying used versus new.

Increase the deductible. The more risk a rider is willing to assume, the lower the premium. A higher deductible means the rider will pay a larger share of any loss, bringing premium cost down. Gray suggests $1,000 as a deductible that will really reduce premium cost.

Don't carry more coverage than you really need. "Riders should carry enough insurance to cover bike replacement costs, hospitalization and to avoid bankruptcy," says Arv Voss, of Vallejo, Calif., who writes a motorcycle column that appears in various print and online publications. Each state requires a minimum amount of liability coverage. If the motorcycle is financed, the lender probably has coverage requirements as well; but otherwise the rider is free to choose the type and amount of coverage he needs. Gray says that as a bike ages, the rider should consider dropping the comprehensive and collision coverage to save money. You can also save by dropping specialized coverage such as accessory insurance, total loss and trip interruption coverage, or medical payments if you already have health care.

Bundle your motorcycle insurance with other policies carried by a single company. Having your motorcycle, homeowners, and car insurance with one insurer can save you money on all of their premiums.

Get trained and certified. According to Gray, Progressive gives a discount to riders with a motorcycle license. It also gives discounts to riders who pass an approved motorcycle safety course at least every three years.

"Riding time and experience are also often factors in reducing premiums, says Voss." Gray adds that in calculating risk, Progressive not only looks at a rider's driving record (accidents and tickets), but also how long a rider has been riding motorcycles and even what experience that rider has with the specific motorcycle to be insured. The more seat time a rider has, the lower the risk and the cost.

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