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Does motorcycle insurance cover a borrowed bike?

Set others’ ride at ease, knowing when your policy covers them.

You might get protection even while lending out your ride, but what damage gets covered and when it kicks in rests in your insurer’s hands. Each provider works a bit differently in this situation, so it helps to understand the risks and out-of-pocket costs ahead of time.

Will motorcycle insurance cover my bike if I lend it out?

Coverage for a borrowed bike depends on the insurer. Your insurance company or your friend’s might provide coverage, but some companies exclude protection for riders not listed on the policy. You’ll want to check your policy to ensure protection before lending out your cherished ride.

What kind of damage is covered for a borrowed bike?

If a provider does allow one-off rides from someone not named on your policy, you’ll typically get protection for certain types of coverage only. Those can include:

  • Bodily injury liability. Pays for other drivers and passengers injuries if the rider on your bike caused the accident.
  • Physical damage liability. Covers damage to other vehicles or property in an at-fault accident.
  • Collision. Helps you to repair your own bike’s damage.
  • Expenses under medical payments coverage. Some providers allow medical coverage for riders who borrow your bike.

What’s not covered?

Because providers vary on how they handle coverage for a borrowed ride, some items might not be covered, including:

  • Customized or original manufacturer parts. You may not get protection if your friend doesn’t have this coverage but their provider is paying for the damage.
  • Accessories. Some companies may not offer protection for borrowed accessories like helmets.
  • Medical expenses. Your own provider may not cover medical bills for riders not listed on your policy. Your friend’s bike or health insurance would kick in here instead.

How does coverage work for a borrowed bike?

If a friend gets in a wreck on your motorcycle, both your provider and your friend’s might kick in to pay for the damage. Both policies should define whether they get used as primary or secondary insurance in this situation, or which ones takes on coverage first.

However, if the borrowing friend doesn’t have a motorcycle policy or has one that excludes borrowing, either your provider covers the damage or you’ll pay out of pocket. It’s important to understand what your policy covers before lending out your motorcycle.

Borrowed bike coverage in action

Dan let his friend Andrew ride his motorcycle for the day. Andrew lost control of the bike, causing physical damage and bodily injuries. Andrew’s insurance kicked in first with collision and medical payments coverage. However, Dan’s policy kicked in for his bike modifications because Andrew didn’t have this coverage through his insurance.

What should I do if my friend crashes my bike?

Taking care of an accident with a borrowed ride works similar to other accidents with passengers involved. You should take care of emergencies, then report the damage with detailed photos and a description.

If your friend needs expensive or long-term medical care, you’ll need to see if those injuries are covered by your insurer or your friend’s, and then note how long you can wait to file your friend’s injury claim.

How do I file a claim for an accident on a borrowed bike?

The person whose bike was damaged often files a claim first, resorting to the borrowing rider’s insurance if certain damage isn’t covered. While not a typical accident situation, the claims process starts similar to other claims:

  1. Depending on your insurer’s process, start a claim online or with a representative.
  2. Give as much detail about the accident as possible, including documents or proof of damage.
  3. A claims adjuster should contact you within a few business days, and set up an appointment to view the damage if needed.
  4. You should receive your settlement offer, informing you of what damage you’ll receive coverage for and how much.
  5. Depending on what your insurance covers, you may want to have your friend file a claim with their insurance company for damage not covered by your provider.
  6. Agree to your provider’s settlement amount, sign the documents and receive your payment by mail or direct deposit.

Negotiating claims

You might opt to finalize your own settlement after understanding what damage your friend’s provider covers. If some damage isn’t covered, you can consider negotiating the amount your provider pays out for your claim. However, any negotiation may delay payment.

How much will it cost out of pocket to repair bike damage?

Finding yourself without coverage for damage when someone borrows your bike could mean hefty out-of-pocket costs. While those costs vary by damage type, you can expect anywhere from $150 to $400 for each repair to parts like brakes, shocks or tires. Major engine work could cost $3000 or more for repairs.

Compare insurance providers for borrowed motorcycles

Name Product Roadside assistance Accident forgiveness Available states
Allstate motorcycle insurance
Included free
All 50 states
One of the longest lists of coverage options for bikes, plus free perks like equipment coverage for your high-end riding gear.
Progressive motorcycle insurance
All 50 states
Enjoy some of the widest coverage with the lowest price thanks to add-ons and freebies like replacement cost coverage.
Liberty Mutual motorcycle insurance
All 50 states
Enjoy unique perks along with your wide bike coverage, like free accident forgiveness after going claims-free with any insurer.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

You may need to read your policy’s fine print to learn when insurance covers a friend riding your bike. Look for details like whether your coverage acts as the primary or secondary insurance or whether it lends out coverage at all. If you need broad coverage for this situation, consider several providers to find the best fit.

Questions about borrowed motorcycle coverage

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