Michigan Motorcycle Insurance: An Essential Coverage Guide for Every Michigan Biker
We know that motorcycle riding is a thrilling and adventurous experience, but it can also be risky. As a responsible rider, it is essential to have proper insurance coverage to protect yourself, your bike, and others on the road. Motorcycle insurance not only provides financial protection but also gives you peace of mind that you’re properly protected.
Types of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
There are several types of motorcycle insurance coverage options available, and it is crucial to understand them before purchasing a policy.
Liability insurance is the most basic and mandatory coverage that every rider must have. It covers the cost of damages or injuries that you may cause to others in an accident. It includes two types of coverage:
- Bodily Injury Liability: It covers the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages to the other party involved in the accident.
- Property Damage Liability: It covers the cost of repairing or replacing the other party’s vehicle or property that you may damage in an accident.
Michigan law requires motorcyclists to purchase at least a minimal amount of liability coverage, which includes $50,000 for a person who is hurt/killed in an accident, $100,000 for each accident if several people are hurt/killed, and $10,000 for property damage. These are the bare minimum limits you must carry, but we strongly recommend you consider higher limits to better protect you, your family, and your assets from legal liability in the event of an accident.
It’s also important to understand that in Michigan, motorcycle insurance is not the same as the no-fault benefits you are required to purchase to operate an automobile. In fact, motorcycles are specifically excluded as a motor vehicle under Michigan’s no-fault law and are not entitled to no-fault benefits except in certain accidents.
When you buy a motorcycle policy in Michigan, the insurance carrier must offer the choice to purchase optional medical benefits. These medical benefits through your insurance policy can provide coverage if you are injured in an accident where no other insurance coverage is available. Typically, you can select medical benefits for purchase in increments of $5,000.
Did you know that, under Michigan law, if you want to ride a motorcycle without a helmet you are required to carry at least $20,000 of medical benefits coverage? That same limit applies to each rider you have on a motorcycle, so if you’ve got someone else on your bike without a helmet, you need to have a separate $20,000 medical benefit for the other rider as well. So if you love to ride without a helmet, make sure you speak with your insurance agent about purchasing this coverage.
PIP Coverage For Motorcyclists
Medical benefits aren’t the only way you may be protected during an accident. If you are injured in an accident with a motor vehicle (as that term is defined under Michigan law), you are entitled to receive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits from the insurance carrier that insured the motor vehicle.
PIP medical benefits can cover a wide variety of expenses. That would include things like medical care, recovery, rehabilitation, wage loss, and replacement services, up to the PIP coverage limit on the motor vehicle’s auto policy. PIP coverage also includes some funeral expenses and survivor’s benefits, which are paid to dependents of a motorcyclist if injuries from an accident result in their death. If there’s no PIP benefits available to you after a crash involving a motor vehicle, you may be eligible to receive up to $250,000 in PIP benefits from the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan.
Be careful about over-relying on PIP coverage. If there is no motor vehicle involved in an accident, there’s no PIP coverage. That means if you swerve off the road to avoid a deer, there’s no PIP coverage available. At that point, you are only able to seek medical benefits through your own personal health plan or from the medical benefits in your motorcycle insurance.
Collision insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if it is damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage is optional but highly recommended, especially if you have a new or expensive bike.
Comprehensive insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if it is damaged due to non-collision events such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, or falling objects. This coverage is also optional but recommended for riders who want complete protection for their bikes.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage protects you and your bike if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage. It covers the medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that the other party cannot pay for.
Factors Affecting Motorcycle Insurance Premiums
The cost of motorcycle insurance premiums varies depending on several factors, including:
Age and Riding Experience
Young and inexperienced riders are more likely to get into accidents, and hence their insurance premiums are higher.
Type and Value of Motorcycle
The type, model, and value of your motorcycle also affect your insurance premiums. Expensive or high-performance bikes are more expensive to repair or replace, and hence their premiums are higher.
Your riding history, including any past accidents or traffic violations, also affects your insurance premiums. Riders with clean records are likely to get lower premiums.
The location where you live and ride also affects your insurance premiums. Riders in urban areas with high traffic and accident rates are likely to get higher premiums.
Tips for Getting Affordable Motorcycle Insurance
Here are some tips that can help you get affordable motorcycle insurance:
- Shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurance providers. An independent agent like our team here at Legacy Partners can help evaluate quotes from multiple insurance carriers.
- Choose a higher deductible amount to lower your premiums.
- Take a motorcycle safety course to demonstrate your riding skills and reduce your premiums.
- Bundle your motorcycle insurance with other policies such as home or auto insurance to get discounts.
- Keep your riding record clean and avoid accidents or traffic violations.
Motorcycle insurance is an essential coverage that every rider must have. It provides financial protection and peace of mind while you are out on the road. Understanding the types of coverage available and the factors affecting your premiums can help you make an informed decision and get the best insurance policy for your needs. So, ride safe and insured!