Motorcycle insurance is generally more expensive than insuring a car or truck. If you want to get a better deal on insurance for your bike, there’s a number of things you can do, including choosing a bike with less power, bundling your bike with your car and home insurance, and removing collision coverage.
As the warm weather approaches, motorcycle enthusiasts just can’t wait to get out on the open road. But if you know anything about riding in Canada, you know that the riding season is short, and the insurance costs can be high. We can’t do much to extend the season, but here’s a few tips on how you can keep your premiums under control.
1. Bundle your bike with your home and auto
Just like any business, insurance companies offer volume discounts. If you’re willing to give them more of your business, they’ll give you a better deal. You may already take advantage of 10-15% discounts for bundling your home and auto insurance with the same company. Well the discounts can be even better on motorcycle insurance. You might be able to save as much as 55%!
2. Basic coverage may be all you need
If you have an older bike, it may not be worth much more than your deductible. If that’s the case, then why not opt for basic coverage that protects you from liability if you’re at-fault for an accident, and for medical costs if you get injured. You won’t save a whole lot, but you’ll keep a few bucks in your pocket. No coverage if your bike is wrecked in an accident or stolen, but again, for older bikes, that coverage may be a waste anyway.
3. Choose a safer bike
Just like in auto insurance, the insurance company is partly basing your premium on the past claims history of the type of vehicle you’re riding. For the exact premium on a given year, make and model of bike, you’ll need to give us a call, but a bike with lower CCs is generally going to cost you less. That’s not just because those bikes get in fewer accidents, but also because you’re less likely to get badly injured on a 250 cc bike than a 750 cc bike. The statistics bear this out, and insurers price accordingly.
4. Don’t get a ticket, and don’t crash
The other big factor in setting rates, again just like auto insurance, is your driving (or riding) history. Of course, having 20 years of riding experience with no accidents or tickets is the ideal, but while you’re building up those years of experience, every time you get a ticket, that sets you back. Getting in an at-fault accident is even worse, and can put even an experienced rider in a big hole in terms of premiums.
5. Make your bike harder to steal
If you have a newer, more expensive motorcycle with full coverage (including collision and comprehensive), then your insurance company is really concerned about how easy (or hard) your bike is to steal. In general, motorcycles are easier targets for thieves, because they are lighter and fairly easy to load onto a truck. The two ways to counter this tendency are to install a certified anti-theft system and to park/store your bike in a place that’s not easy for thieves to get at. When you call for a quote, your broker will want to know exactly where the motorcycle is kept, both during the riding season AND during the winter. Your answers will make a bigger difference in your premium than they would if you were calling about a car.
What about rider training?
Rider training courses for new riders are a great idea, and as long as you choose a course approved by MTO, it can save you some money on insurance once you graduate beyond your M1 license. Most courses are set up specifically so you can get your M1 (written test), do the course, then take your M2 riding test at the end of the course.