Is it that difficult for a new biker to get the best motorcycle insurance? With a personal experience to share, here are five simple rules I believe every bike rider should follow if they are new to motorcycle insurance.
Owning the first-two wheeler of your life can be a delightful experience. Especially if it’s a motorcycle, then you can imagine the excitement. My younger brother is a living testament to that.
I still remember how he was zapped ecstatic when my father gifted him a black-color Royal Enfield Classic 350 for his 21st birthday. Though, mom did reprimand daddy for spoiling him silly, I felt it was his perfect reward for graduating his management degree with distinction.
That he got his dream bike, the question that arose was how do we get the best two-wheeler insurance for his new beauty? With simple and effective steps, we managed to get the best motorcycle insurance at affordable rates.
Based on how we went about with it and our experience, I have created a simple and effective 5-point guide at your disposal:
Before Buying the Bike, Make Inquiries about Its Insurance Coverage
This was something daddy and I had planned well in advance. I knew the trouble of getting cheap motorcycle insurance would arise since it’s a riders’ bike. Since they are high-performance and demand a supreme level of maintenance, some insurance companies refuse to insure it.
And those who do; charge a bomb!
Apart from that, insurance companies also believe that sports and rebuilt bikes are expensive and difficult to insure. They require experienced riders.
People usually commit a blunder of buying their bike first and then hunting for their ideal and best motorcycle insurance. Trouble seeps in when all their expectations and hopes come crashing down.
Researching, inquiring, and comparing motorcycle insurance quotes is the best way to tackle a tricky situation like this. No one is forcing you to purchase the first quote that you hear about. Take your time. At least you’d get a better idea of the current two-wheeler insurance rates and companies willing to ensure your bike. Just like we did.
So, even before you splurge on the bike, you know exactly what you need to do.
Get the Right Level of Coverage
By this we mean, getting complete coverage for you, your vehicle, and third-party liability. I don’t wish to crib throughout this article, but the roads in India are pathetic. Seriously.
With the countless number of potholes and bumps, even a skilled rider would struggle to have a smooth ride. Additionally, it is hard to trust the driving skills of the stranger riding on the next lane or perhaps right behind you. Anything can go wrong.
In the midst of all this, do you think my folks and me would compromise on getting the best motorcycle insurance for my dear brother? No way!
While a third-party insurance level would cover bodily injuries and damage caused to third-party, it wouldn’t save my brother or his bike in case of a misfortunate accident.
We selected a comprehensive insurance plan for him which not only covers third-party liability, but also loss or damages occurred due to accidents caused by his bike as well as losses due to natural and man-made disasters.
Know What Additional Coverage You May Need
Apart from your normal coverage, additional coverage too would be needed. Something like a Zero Depreciation Cover would ensure broad coverage so you don’t have to bear depreciation costs at the time of claim.
My brother argued that paying a little higher premium for a simple add-on wasn’t worth it. I argued back.
"Hold up! Listen! Insurance companies don’t consider the depreciation value of parts that are replaced. At the time of claim, you’re gonna get busted. Don’t forget bro! A large sum of money would be involved. Are you willing to pay that from your pocket? Like seriously?"
As a new driver, you definitely need to take the Zero Dep cover if –
- Your vehicle is less than five-years-old
- You are a new rider
Need the best motorcycle insurance? Then you just can’t ignore this.
Question Your Insurance Broker
Fortunately, today there are so many efficient online insurance brokers like Coverfox.com who can help you out.
We were initially lost and had no clue as to which insurance plan would be best suitable for him. It is so important to have a good understanding with your insurance broker. We trusted our online broker to do the needful for us. Daddy and bro asked several questions to the sales advisory representative, which I believe is crucial to ask and clarify if one wants to get the best motorcycle insurance.
Some of the questions posed were:
What level of coverage do I need?
(This is because the coverage will vary depending on your geographical location and motorcycle model. Based on that you can decide whether you need additional coverage.)
How much would be the deductible?
(Each claim would require you to pay an initial portion of the bill, which is nothing but your compulsory deductible. Some insurers also offer voluntary deductible. A higher voluntary deductible on the Insured Declared Value (IDV) can reduce your bike insurance rates by lowering the Own Damage (OD) part of your premium. This is opted by people who are confident of their riding skills and seek low premiums.
If a claim arises, you would have to pay the compulsory and voluntary deductible. So asking the broker this can help you figure out how much you can save and whether it’s within your reach. For e.g.: You can pay Rs. 10,000 as your deductible instead of Rs. 5000. Just make sure you can afford to spend that Rs. 10,000 from your pocket at the time of claim, if at all your bike needs to be repaired.)
Are accessories and custom parts covered? How about safety apparel?
(Motorcycle owners spend a lot of money on personalizing their machines. Standard coverage may not be extendable to custom parts and accessories. Some insurance companies offer optional coverage for damaged or stolen personal belongings such as safety apparel, helmets, boots, gloves, and jackets.)
Do I need personal accident cover for co-rider?
(You never know how unfavorable luck can be at times. In case of accidents, having a personal accident cover for co-rider always works as an essential add-on cover that can save an innocent pillion rider from financial crisis. This can be avoided if you are generally ride alone. But, if you always have someone with you riding pillion, the add-on cover comes handy.)
Is Roadside Assistance (RSA) cover available?
(Some insurance brokers offer free RSA services to their customers. While in most cases, insurers provide it as an add-on cover. Now, if this isn’t available with your insurer, then you may not have got the best motorcycle insurance your bike deserves. Find out if their services are hassle-free and efficient. Learn if there are any terms and conditions applicable. Also, ask your broker for the claim-settlement ratio of the particular insurance company.)
What discounts would I receive?
(If you belong to a recognized automotive association or you have an approved anti-theft device installed on your bike and secure it safely in a locked structure, you are eligible for discounts. This condition varies from one insurer to another. One common discount that most people are eligible for is the No-Claim Bonus discount – it rewards your fabulous riding skills for each claim-free year.) Some insurers also provide other discounts such as Handicap discount, third party property liability discount, riders’ club association discount, covered parking discount, and occupation discount.
How To File for Claim?
Most beginners have no idea how to file a claim unless they have a reason to.
I told my brother that in the case of an accident or theft, he would have to contact our broker and give them the details of the claim and honestly answer the questions they ask related to his bike damages/theft. They would then co-ordinate with the insurance company and assist in claim settlement.
In a comprehensive two-wheeler insurance, claims can be filed in scenarios such as –
- You skid and the motorcycle is heavily damaged
- You swerved when trying to avoid a collision and are injured in a fall
- Your bike got vandalized and probably your GPS got stolen
- Many other such scenarios that lead to bike damages or accidental injuries
Having the best motorcycle insurance does not only mean getting a good coverage at affordable rates. It also means receiving fast and efficient post-sales and claim-settlement services by the insurer.
I made sure my brother got the best motorcycle insurance guidance with these easy tricks.
And through this post, I hope my experience and advice does help many new motorcycle riders out there. :)