Do You Have Motorcycle Insurance Coverage?
Motorcycle Insurance Coverage... Sounds good, doesn't it? To be covered is to feel protected in any event. You know that no matter what happens it will be taken care of and you won't be bankrupted. I know it sounds corny, and I understand that we all know about insurance. What it is, and why we need it, but it's worth discussing.
Every state has mandatory insurance requirements and if you have a new bike it is probably insured with full coverage. Even if your bike is several years old and paid off it would be a very responsible move to have full coverage with as small of a deductible as you can afford because motorcycle parts are very expensive and labor rates are sky high too.
It reminds me of a story: My former roommate and I went for the first ride of the season one spring in Michigan. We were just leaving our subdivision when he dumped his bike on some loose gravel while rounding a corner. He was only traveling at 5 mph when his back tire slipped, and over he went.
The bike fell on the left side, denting and scratching the gas tank, scratching the left exhaust pipe, scratching the left turn signal, and bending the mirror and clutch lever. The repairs were over a thousand dollars! Thank goodness his motorcycle insurance covered it all.
So, if you can afford it, get full coverage.
I have a State Farm motorcycle insurance policy with $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. For me, this seems appropriate. One thing that State Farm doesn't offer is road side assistance for motorcycles, so I went shopping.
The best deal for road side assistance that I found is through AAA. I've used it twice and it is well worth the cost. It's the AAA Plus Motorcycle package and is around a hundred bucks a year. This package is offered as a supplement to my motorcycle insurance policy even though my insurance is with another insurance company. It affords me total peace of mind. Until recently, the "Plus" membership for motorcycles also included RVs, but they dropped the requirement to have RVs on the motorcycle policy and reduced the rates too.
It's comforting to know that if you ever break down, run out of gas, or become immobile for any reason, you can get towed to service within a hundred mile range. The tow truck driver will drive as far as necessary to get to you - at no charge. And you can use this service four times a year.
If there's an accident over 100 miles from home that renders you bike inoperable, your original motorcycle insurance will cover the cost of repairs minus any deductible. Your supplemental AAA Plus membership will reimburse up to $2500 for meals, lodging, commercial car rental, and commercial transportation to your destination. This coverage lasts for 72 hours (3 days) while your bike is being repaired. Remember this does not include mechanical breakdown - just accidents.
There are other nice things about AAA membership too. If you don't have a GPS, you can order all the maps you need for every state you'll be in. Before I had GPS or AAA, I would have to stop upon entering a state and purchase a map for around three bucks. That's sixty dollars if traveling though twenty states. (A little over half the cost of the annual membership alone!)
They reimburse up to $1500 for attorney fees if you ever get arrested for a covered traffic violation. They offer a $5000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction if you get your bike stolen. There is guaranteed Emergency Check Acceptance for personal checks up to $250 at any independent contractor providing repairs or service.
Then there's AAA's comprehensive trip planning. You can log in to TripTik on your PC or use the iPhone or Android app. You pick your starting point and your destination then add as many points in between. When you're done you just save your trip and print it out.
AAA offers tons of other services and discounts which make it an excellent value. When you flash your AAA card you get discounts for Hotel/Motel rooms, Car Rentals, Restaurants, Theme Parks, Entertainment, Retail/Services and E-Merchants just to name a few.
Every two months you also get the Highroads magazine in the mail. In it are ways to get other membership benefits and discounts. Discover new places to stay with travel promotions, learn about regional and local events, and even automotive news.
All in all, it's an excellent value and a great addition to your current motorcycle insurance.
I'm done with my pitch now.
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