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Insurance
Overview
New owners (and those frustrated with their rates) frequently ask what others are paying for insurance and who their insurers are. Unfortunately, this information is of limited usefulness as rates are rarely comparable between different riders. In addition to the types of coverage you choose, insurers use a variety of criteria when calculating rates: age, location, riding experience, driving history, model of scooter, licensing and more. People often find that they'll get wildly different quotes than others from the same insurers. The variation is so great that it may seem arbitrary, but there are dozens of variables involved and insurers don't provide specifics for how they arrive at their quotes. Even worse, quotes from different companies for seemingly comparable insurance for the same person can vary by hundreds of dollars.

Most states require a minimum of liability insurance for scooters over 50cc. Check your state vehicle codes to be sure you have the appropriate requisite coverage.
Definitions
Please note that these are generic definitions and that the specific amount of coverage and limitations depend on your insurer and the specifics of your quote or policy. These definitions are intended to provide only a broad overview.
Major Types of Coverage
Liability: Bodily Injury Liability (BI) and Property Damage Liability (PD) cover injury and damages to others when the insured is responsible for an accident, but do not cover the insured. (So, if you hit a car, that car and its occupants are covered, you are not.)
Collision: Provides coverage to the insured's vehicle in the event of a crash or collision with an object or other vehicle.
Comprehensive: Provides coverage for damage or loss of vehicle due to causes other than an accident: weather, fire, theft, etc.
Additional Coverage
Personal Injury: Covers insured's medical expenses incurred from an accident.
Roadside Assistance: Towing and other services (jumping battery, etc.)
Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist: Provides coverage for injuries and damages incurred by the insured when the liable party either does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage to pay for all resulting expenses.
Etc.
Deductible: Out of pocket expenses paid by the insured when making a claim. Higher deductibles usually mean lower premiums.
Premium: The cost of an insurance policy. What the insured pays the insurer for coverage.
Gap coverage: In the event of a total loss, gap coverage will pay for the difference between current market value for your vehicle (depreciated value due to age, mileage, etc.) and cost of a new replacement vehicle.
Tips
There are some ways to get better rates, though, if you're willing to do some footwork. The first step is to decide what types of coverage you want or need. When making your choices, consider the following:

  • What kind of premiums can you afford?
  • How much deductible can you afford to pay out of pocket in the event of an accident? Higher deductibles can lower your premiums but are useless if you can't afford them.
  • What's the replacement cost for your scooter? For some owners, comprehensive may make sense for a GTV (high replacement cost) but not a lower-priced Piaggio Fly.
  • Do you have other types of insurance (health, home, renter's) which may cover you or your scooter in the event of an accident, theft from your home, natural disaster, etc.?


Work the phone or visit a local office. Online shopping is great and for many things it's the best way to get the lowest price. This isn't the case for insurance. In general, it pays to work the phone and speak to actual agents or salespeople who can work with you to lower your rates.

If you have home or car insurance, try those companies first. Many offer discounts for multiple policies.

Cast a wide net. It pays to gather quotes from variety of companies, both the big, well-known companies such as Geico and Progressive as well as smaller companies. Despite the commercials, the large companies don't always offer the best rates. In fact, they're often not the ones actually providing the coverage, but are acting as brokers for other companies (many companies don't offer motorcycle coverage in all regions and may sell you a policy with another companyŚwithout telling you).

Inquire about discounts. They may be available, but an agent isn't necessarily going to throw them at you. Companies frequently offer discounts to AMA members and for completion of the MSF class.

Details count. A lot of the small print and detailed information about your quote/policy could result in hundreds of dollars (or more) in expenses should you need to file a claim. Examples include: coverage for accessories; coverage for personal possessions, helmets and gear; whether you will receive MSRP on a replacement vehicle or its full cost including tax, title, fees and registration. It's best to know these things and be aware of them before you're negotiating a settlement.
Last Updated Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:02 am
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