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Motorcycle insurance coverage is basically the same as for automobile coverage - however there are some minor differences.
Most states require motorcyclists to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage in case of third party injuries, however insurance experts recommend purchasing as much as three times the minimum in these times of expensive litigation. Typically, the liability package also offers Guest Passenger Liability coverage that offers injury protection to anyone who might climb on the back of your motorcycle.
You'll need collision coverage to reimburse you for damage to your motorcycle in case of an accident (minus the deductible of course). Coverage will extend only to the factory parts of your bike. If you add anything extra -- like chrome accessories -- additional coverage will be required at an additional cost.
Comprehensive coverage will reimburse you, less the deductible, for circumstances other than accidents. The following are covered under comprehensive coverage: vandalism, fire or theft.
If someone hits your motorcycle and they don't have coverage you'll need uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will reimburse you for medical bills and any lost wages you incur. Underinsured motorist coverage reimburses you when the other person causes the accident but doesn't have enough insurance coverage to take care all of your damages.
Motorcycle insurance premiums are determined by factors such as your age, driving record, what kind of bike you own and where you garage it. Unless you're high risk, there are ways to keep your costs down so you won't have to pay exorbitant rates. Insurers look kindly on clean driving records, no accidents and graduates from "ride-training" courses, which can earn you a discount of up to 15%.
Discounts are also available if you belong to a motorcycle organization, are a "mature" motorcyclist, or if you insure with the same company that underwrites your car. Finally, if you reside in northern climates, you can check into a "lay up" policy, which suspends all coverage (except comprehensive) during those cold winter months.
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