Full coverage for your bike means you’re protected against most types of damage, including liability, comprehensive and collision. While this costs more than liability-only coverage, you’ll get more protection if an accident occurs, leaving you with fewer out-of-pocket expenses.
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Long list of discounts, like for riding groups or a motorcycle license
Because you’re more likely to claim bike damage from a collision, you might find full coverage helpful in multiple situations:
You own a luxury or antique bike. These bikes may have special or expensive parts that you want to protect, allowing you to get the repairs you need after an accident.
You drive cross-country. The more miles you cover on your bike, the higher the chance of an accident.
You live in a high-risk area. Crowded cities or towns with high theft rates might mean you’re likely to make a physical damage or comprehensive claim.
You can’t afford to replace your bike out of pocket. You might not have the bucks to replace your bike if the worst happens. But a few extra dollars in premiums might give you the financial protection you need.
How much does full coverage motorcycle insurance cost?
Full coverage on a $15,000 bike could cost $200 or more per year, while a liability-only policy might cost half that price. The amount you’ll pay depends on the kind of bike you drive, your age and other factors. Full coverage policies cost more because of the higher chance your insurance company will have to pay out a claim.
What’s included with full coverage motorcycle insurance?
By definition, full coverage means that your motorcycle is covered for the minimum state requirements plus other common physical damage. Typically, a full coverage policy includes comprehensive and collision, which are standard types of coverage that aren’t legally required.
The following is what is usually included with full coverage:
Bodily injury liability. Protects others from expensive medical bills when they’re involved in an at-fault accident. This is required by state.
Property damage liability. Pays for damage to the other vehicle involved. Also, legally required.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Helps you pay for medical bills or bike damage when the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance. Some states require this coverage.
Personal injury protection. Covers medical bills for your own injuries. This coverage is optional in some states but some at-fault states prohibit bikers from getting this insurance because of increased risk.
Comprehensive. Optional coverage that gives you peace of mind against motorcycle theft, storm damage, falling tree branches or hitting an animal.
Collision. Optional coverage that pays for bike repairs or total replacement if it’s damaged in an accident.
How does full coverage motorcycle insurance work?
When you have full coverage, you’re protected against the most common types of accident situations or bike damage. That means that if an accident happens you can file a claim and most likely get a payout for the damage incurred, whether or not you’re at fault.
By comparison, less coverage like a liability-only policy could mean you’d pay for your own expenses when you’re at fault in the accident. The other driver’s insurance should kick in first to cover expenses if they’re the one at fault.
Full coverage motorcycle insurance in action
Jake sideswiped a car while riding his motorcycle around town one weekend. He incurred $300 in damage to the car’s side door, $600 in damage to his bike and $350 for a recurring shoulder injury after the accident.
Jake’s liability coverage took care of the car’s damage. However, unlike a liability-only policy, collision covered his own bike’s damage and PIP took care of the medical bill. Jake only paid the deductibles, which were $250 each for collision and PIP.
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What’s not included with full coverage?
Full coverage might get confusing when you realize there are items that aren’t covered by just state minimums plus comprehensive and collision. You might still need to add extra coverage you’d prefer for your motorcycle. But in general, you can only get some of these add-ons if you already have collision and comprehensive coverage.
OEM parts. Stick with the parts that are original to your bike, even after an accident.
Custom or modified parts. Likewise, make sure you can repair damage to the extras you put on your motorcycle, like extra chrome or special headlights.
Safety gear. Protect your riding leathers, helmet and other gear from damage or theft.
Roadside assistance. Get help when your bike breaks down on the side of the road. Typically covers things like flat tires, an empty fuel tank or dead battery.
Trip interruption. If you get stranded after a breakdown or accident, this reimburses you for food, lodging and transportation while away from home.
Gap insurance. These days, you might have a loan to pay the pretty price for your bike. Protect your wallet against making loan payments even after your bike gets totaled.
Full bike coverage typically covers all your needs for liability and physical damage. However, it doesn’t include some items you might want protection for, such as customized parts or gap insurance. While full coverage policies can cost double compared to liability only, you can find the best rate by shopping with multiple providers.
Frequently asked questions about full coverage motorcycle insurance
Most likely, yes. You and your lender share the investment in your bike and it may require you to get full coverage. You may need to add your lender as a named insured on your insurance so that it can receive some payment if something happens to your bike.
The name full coverage can be confusing because it’s not really a type of coverage. Instead, full coverage is a term insurers use to mean that your bike is widely protected from common types of damage. Typically, that includes having state minimum coverage as well as collision and comprehensive.
Full coverage can be a good idea for most bike owners, but you might consider less if you:
Can pay for another motorcycle out of pocket
Don’t have a motorcycle loan
Drive an older motorcycle worth less than the coverage
Have a limited income
Have other means of transportation if your bike gets damaged
Insurance companies use many factors to rate your accident risk, such as your age, driving record, place of residence, type of motorcycle, annual mileage and whether you secure your bike.
You can offset the cost of full coverage insurance using a variety of factors, including:
Choose a less expensive bike without modifications.
Take a defensive driving course.
Get a motorcycle endorsement.
Limit your mileage.
Go for seasonal insurance if riding only during warm weather.
Garage your bike.
Install an antitheft or recovery device.
Pay your premium in full.
Drive safely and go years without making a claim.
It depends. You might opt for gap insurance if you have a loan or lease with a high payoff amount. If your bike is totaled in an accident, the amount you owe might exceed the check you get from your insurance company, leaving you to pay the rest of the loan.
Gap insurance takes care of that cost for you. You’ll need to decide whether you have enough cash on hand to cover that cost if an accident happens.
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
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