Understanding Cash Value Motorcycle Insurance
If your motorcycle gets damaged, then you can expect to have to make repairs. It’s likely going to cost you money to do so, and you might want your motorcycle insurance to help you pay for it. If the bike is a total loss, then you can expect the problem to be a bit more complicated to you. How your bike insurance will compensate you might vary in this case. Some policies will only pay bikers a cash value amount for their bike, which might not equal the cost to buy a new bike. Here’s what you can do to increase how much your policy will pay you.
Speak to your motorcycle insurer about the ways to increase your bike’s physical damage coverage in ways that will always pay you a satisfactory amount in case of wrecks or other damage.
Step 1: Buy Physical Damage Coverage for Your Bike
Your state will likely require you to buy motorcycle insurance. However, you likely will not have any coverage for physical damage for your bike unless you request such protection.
While optional, physical damage insurance is an incredibly beneficial perk for you in case you have an accident while biking. Should the bike sustain damage, you will be able to file a claim against your physical damage coverage. Your insurer will then agree to compensate you for the cost of the damage, though deductibles will likely apply.
However, in most cases, there are two types of physical damage insurance for bikes—collision insurance and comprehensive insurance.
- Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your bike following non-accident hazards. An engine fire, theft, vandalism to the bike and damage from weather will usually have coverage under this policy.
- Collision insurance pays in cases where your bike sustains damage from a wreck. So, if you hit another vehicle, a building or another object, then this coverage can pay for the bike’s repairs.
These policies will have their limits. For example, if you intentionally damage the bike then you will likely have no coverage. Furthermore, if your insurer totals the bike, then you might only receive a partial settlement for the loss of the vehicle.
Step 2: Understand Your Coverage Limits
If your insurer agrees to pay for your bike, that means they feel the bike can still be repaired at a value that’s beneficial to them. They will usually cover most types of damage to the bike’s original features, though your deductible may apply.
However, if the insurer does not feel that the cost to repair the bike is worth its value, they might decide to total the bike, and compensate you an amount of money for the value of the lost vehicle.
Here’s the catch, though. Most motorcycle physical damage policies will pay an actual cash value settlement for a totaled bike. This means they will only pay you the value of the bike at the time of the wreck. Given that motorcycles, like most vehicles, depreciate with age and use, a cash value policy might not pay you enough to replace the bike with a new one.
While even a cash value settlement might still prove adequate, there are ways you can often increase your coverage in a way to offer you more compensation in cases of a loss.
- Some bike policies will offer you replacement cost value coverage. These policies will pay you enough money to buy a new bike following a total loss.
- Other policies offer a new bike replacement endorsement. This endorsement might only be able to remain for your bike for one or two years. However, if you wreck the bike during that time, your policy can help you buy a new one of equal cost.
- Gap insurance is another type of coverage that you might be able to buy if you have a financed bike. Should you wreck the bike, you will have coverage available to help you pay of the loan of the vehicle in conjunction with your existing cash value settlement.
Keep in mind, not all of these perks will be available on all motorcycle insurance policies. So, don’t hesitate to speak to your agent about the ways to appropriately adjust your coverage.