California motorcycle insurance is a wise form of protection in case of an unavoidable crash or collision. It is not only a wise decision, it is a required one.
Practically every state mandates it. As a matter of fact, there are only two states in the country that do not require riders to insure their motorcycles, Florida and Washington.
California requires motorcycle insurance coverage similar to what is required for the rest of the driving public. Just like cars and trucks, motorcycles are exposed to the same potential dangers of accidents and injury. To help offset the financial and health risks to these riders, state authorities set minimum coverage standards for all motorcycles.
Those minimums are $5,000 for property damage, $15,000 personal injury or death per person and $30,000 for injury or death to more than one person. While these insurance requirements may seem low at first glance, you must realize that a motorcycle is not as big and heavy as a car.
The damage they can cause is minimal when compared to a full-size car, truck or SUV. As a matter of fact, motorcycle riders are at greater risk of harm to themselves than other drivers of regular vehicles.
This is the reason minimum property damage is only $5,000. How much damage can a motorcycle do to another vehicle, tree or building? While these minimums are a good idea, smart riders who can afford it buy more. They insure their motorcycles just like they do their other vehicles.
Types of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
This coverage is the required coverage mentioned above. Liability insurance covers bodily injury to others and damage to other people’s property caused by the rider. It does not protect the rider or his motorcycle, but it does cover the claims filed against him arising from an accident.
Another type of coverage that is a good idea is guest passenger liability. This covers the passenger injured in an accident. If you frequently ride passengers, this coverage is highly recommended. Injured passengers do sue.
Collision and Comprehensive or Full Coverage
For those who can afford it, this is the Cadillac of motorcycle insurance. Unlike liability coverage that covers the other people and their property, this coverage takes care of the motorcycle owner
Full coverage provides liability, comprehensive and collision insurance protection. The comprehensive covers any damages caused by natural forces like hail damage, fire, theft, and vandalism. It covers damages not caused by a collision. It even covers your bike when you store it.
Of course, collision pays to fix your motorcycle in case of, you guessed it, collision. Keep in mind the coverage pays what is left of the collision bill after your deductible is applied against the total bill.
For instance, if you have a $500 deductible, and the total cost of the accident damage is $1,500, your insurance company pays $1,000. $1,500 – $500 = $1,000.
Riders often complain about what the insurance pays them after the deductible they actually chose. Had you rather pay $1,500 or $500? That is the value of insurance. It is not that the insurance company pays everything, but that the insurance shares the cost with the policyholder via the customer-chosen deductible.
Another note about what collision pays and what it does not pay. The insurance company does not pay for any aftermarket add-ons you may have used to juice up your ride.
They pay only the OEM part replacement. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer part. That means the part that was on the bike from the factory. You are responsible for the cost difference if you want a fancier or heavy duty part.
Total Loss Coverage?
Some insurers offer total loss insurance for motorcycle owners. As its title implies, this coverage pays the replacement price for motorcycles deemed total losses. There is also a deductible, and the actual payment is the value of the bike minus the policy deductible.
Underinsured and Uninsured Protection
This optional coverage pays the difference between the cost of damages caused by the underinsured, and it pays the holder if an uninsured motorist damages the bike and/or injures the rider. This coverage also pays in case a hit-and-run driver hits the bike and its rider.
Yes, it is indeed possible to be well protected against unforeseen loss while enjoying your bike as the wind blows through your hair and bugs commit kamikaze attack