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Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance

Owning a motorcycle is a lifelong dream for many, and a spur-of-the-moment purchase for others. Most view it as either terrifying or exhilarating, and there’s very little deviation from those two trains of thought. Whether you purchased your bike after many years of research and savings or you decided it looked like fun to ride on Sunday afternoon, you need motorcycle insurance. It’s required, particularly if your bike is one you financed to purchase. Federal law requires everyone in possession of a motorcycle has motorcycle insurance. That doesn’t mean you should go out and purchase the first policy you come across. Understanding a few key factors prior to purchasing motorcycle insurance is imperative.

It’s More Expensive

Motorcycle Insurance Policies Cover the Most Basic Items

Many motorcycle owners make the mistake of purchasing coverage for their bike without doing the necessary research. It’s easy to assume a policy that’s designed for motorcycle coverage is all you need, but it’s only going to cover the very minimum. Most bikers need more coverage, and they must add riders to their policies. The basic policy might cover the cost of minor repairs to your bike, as well as minor injuries to you and anyone else involved in an accident you caused. It won’t cover things like the full replacement cost of your bike if you total it, and it might not cover any major medical expenses incurred following an accident. It’s imperative you understand what your motorcycle insurance policy covers before you sign on the dotted line.

Always Add Uninsured Motorist Protection

In looking for a motorcycle insurance policy, you might think it’s best to save money where possible. It’s not always the case. If you’re hit by someone who hasn’t any insurance, or hasn’t enough insurance, you’re going to find you are responsible for the cost of the accident. This type of coverage protects you when the at-fault driver was also negligent with his or her insurance policy. If you don’t have this coverage and you’re hit by a driver without adequate insurance, you’ll find yourself responsible for excessive out-of-pocket expenses associated with the cost of your accident.

Add Personal Injury Protection

As discussed earlier, not all motorcycle insurance policies cover major injuries. They might cover the basics if an accident occurs, but anything major is left out of the coverage in a policy of this nature. To protect yourself as well as any other drivers injured during an accident, PIP insurance is necessary. It’s called Personal Injury Protection, and it’s designed to help you avoid major medical bills that often bankrupt patients who cannot afford them. This type of coverage comes as a rider, and it can be bundled with your car insurance, too. Check with your insurance provider to see if your PIP insurance works with both your car and your bike, or if you need to purchase an additional rider.

Pair Your Policy

It’s not true in every individual case, but most motorcycle insurance policies are more affordable when they’re bundled with your other insurance policies. If you have a car, a home, or life insurance policy or any combination of those with a specific insurance company, see what they can offer you in terms of a bundled package to contain the costs of insuring your motorcycle.

It’s helpful to gather quotes from other insurers as well, and see if one of them can offer you the same coverage for your bundle than the company you currently work with. It might seem intimidating to change insurers when you’ve been with one a long time, but it can be less expensive when you do it well.

Some Coverage Comes from Other Locations

If you’re a motorcycle rider with coverage for your vehicle through AAA or another company for things like towing and tire changes, you might consider calling to ask what they offer for your motorcycle. This can make shopping for motorcycle insurance a bit less expensive if they cover specific items such as towing, tire changes, and small emergencies of that nature. The worst they can tell you is they don’t cover any of that for your bike, but most companies like this do cover those things.

Motorcycles are traditionally less expensive than cars, but the cost of owning one does add up. Insuring a bike is not an inexpensive feat, nor is it a simple one by the time you’re done comparing policies and riders. However, it’s the most important thing you’ll do for your finances once you decide a bike is part of your near future. Take the time to do your research, and you’ll be pleased with the outcome.

Home and Contents Insurance

Home and Contents Insurance

Myth: Belongings are Replaced at Full Cost

Homeowners shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming their belongings are replaced based on the full purchase price. Most items depreciate over time. Very few investments you make in your home gain value over the years. These items tend to be antiques, quality jewelry, and some designer items. Otherwise, most everything you own is worth less now than it was when you purchased it. If you assume your home and contents insurance is going to replace these items for what you paid for them, you’re going to receive a shock.

To cover the cost of depreciation in terms of your personal belongings, you can add an addendum to your home and contents insurance policy. It’s a refund clause. If you have original receipts for each item you replace following theft or disaster, you can submit the receipt to the insurance company along with the receipt from the original item you owned and the insurance company pays the difference to you. For example, if you paid $2,500 for a television 5 years ago, the insurance company gave you $750 as a depreciated cost, and you paid $1,500 to replace the television, the insurance company will refund you the additional $750 if you can provide both receipts.

Myth: All Final Amounts are Final

If you’re unhappy with the amount an insurance appraiser provides you with following a claim, you can fight it. Insurance appraisers do make mistakes, they make decisions without some of the specific facts, and they base their information on what they know. If you feel the amount they come up with when you file a home and contents insurance claim is unrealistic, you can ask them to readjust. Contrary to popular belief, your insurance company wants to work with you to ensure you are taken care of.

Myth: Cover Your Home and Contents Using Market Value

If you built your home following the collapse of the economy and the real estate market in 2008, chances are good you paid a lot less for your home than you might today. If you chose your home and contents insurance policy based on the market value of your home back then, you might be grossly underinsured anytime the market rebounds. Market value is not a wise choice when it comes to valuing your home and choosing home and contents insurance. The cost of building a home changes all the time, and the real estate market is rather fickle.

The value of your home and contents insurance policy is best based on the cost of replacing a home. Let’s say you have a large family and require a home with no fewer than four bedrooms. You bought your house as a foreclosure and paid significantly less than anyone else for the same home brand-new. You don’t want to make the mistake of assuming you can replace your home for what you paid for it when you choose the coverage in your home and contents insurance policy. If you paid $300,000 for the house as a foreclosure, but the other homes the same size with the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, upgrades, and same size property in your neighborhood all sell for over $500,000, it’s unrealistic to assume you can rebuild or buy a home of similar size and features for $300,000.

Most people know very little about the complex inner workings of the insurance world. There are riders, policies, coverage limits, and factors no one considers. Homeowners live with the belief their home is covered, their belongings will be replaced, and they’ll be saddened and then mildly inconvenienced finding a new home following a disaster. The truth is believing these myths can have a negative impact on your financial future. Know the value of your home, the worth of your personal belongings, and what your policy covers.

The only way to be sure you’ll come out ahead following a disaster is to stay on top of your home’s value and your personal property with each new purchase. Your financial future depends heavily on educating yourself about the value of your belongings.