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10 Things Every Motorcycle Owner Needs to Know About Insurance

Texas is a highway haven for motorcyclists. From hugging the Gulf Coast through salty Galveston, where the Port Bolivar ferry puts bikers at the head of the line for a fast de-boarding, to the gut wrenching twisties outside of Lajitas along the Rio Grande, and from a Hill Country jaunt after a Bandera breakfast to an afternoon cruise among the wind-blown arroyos past Amarillo. Life is good on a motorcycle taking on a Texas road. Even better when you’ve got effective insurance coverage at an affordable price.

Before you saddle up for your next Texas tour, make sure you’ve reviewed these nine motorcycle insurance tips.

Choose your coverage carefully

Just as with your automobile insurance, you’ll find differing levels of motorcycle coverage. Depending on how valuable your ride is, you may opt for plain-vanilla basic coverage or full-coverage, including comprehensive and liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. Which is ironic when you realize that most damage occurs to you and your bike — not what you hit. But most states require at least a minimal amount of liability insurance.

The more you ride, the more you save

Experienced riders earn lower rates with some insurance companies, so the longer you ride, the lower your premium will be.

Remember the upgrades

Most motorcycle insurance will cover the basics, but if you’ve bolted on some extensive and expensive options, be sure to price additional accessory coverage.

Consider a mileage cap

In many cases, the fewer miles you ride in a year, the lower your premium will be. Kelley Blue Book, the vehicle appraisal service, estimates annual mileage is about 3,000 miles for sportbikes between 600-900 c.c., while touring bikes accrue an average of about twice that: 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year. Your insurance agent may grant a lower premium for a mileage cap on coverage.

Consider paying annual premiums

You can save a few bucks by paying your premium annually, rather than semi-annually, quarterly or monthly.

Garage your bike

Keeping your motorcycle locked up and in a secure garage can lower your insurance costs, too.

Consider a cruiser rather than a crotch rocket

Riding a twistie-gripping sportsbike rather than a laid-back cruiser will hike your insurance rates. Sure, on a cruiser you sacrifice some style and performance but you are likely to pay less for insurance – as well as for speeding tickets.

Join a riding club

Believe it or not, some insurance companies will give you a premium discount simply for being a member of an approved riding club. Manufacturers often sponsor riders groups and can be a good source for insurance discounts, too.

Advanced riding courses earn discounts

Taking a safety course, such as those offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, can earn you a break on your insurance. A clickable map on the MSF website lists locations of nearby learning events, but if you don’t see one available in your area you can sponsor one of your own. Anyone can order the materials and teach the course.

Let’s ride!

Owning a home can also reduce your cycle coverage cost. And, like automobile insurance, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Plus, most providers will offer you additional discounts for insuring your home, car, bike and boat with them.

Source: Neighbors Go, Plano (01/16)