You are the proud owner of a Kawasaki bike. You just love riding it to work, to the baseball game venues that you head for with a friend, or just for cruising around the block. You are not a rash driver and are careful to stay within the speed limits. Nevertheless, you could unfortunately be the victim of a collision with another vehicle whose driver is not as careful as you are. Your injuries are not very serious, but require that you spend a few days in hospital. In addition to medical expenses, you will require plenty of greenbacks to repair your bike.
It is also possible that, despite installing the best locking system, your bike gets stolen by a savvy thief.
In either scenario, it is the bike insurance policy that offsets your losses.Reasons to take Bike Insurance
# You have to fulfill a legal necessity: The minute you become the owner of any vehicle, whether it is a car or a bike, it is necessary that you get insurance for the vehicle right away.
# You will get peace of mind: Financially and emotionally, you obtain security through your bike insurance policy.
Factors that determine the cost of Bike Insurance
# The make and model of your bike
# The value of your bike - give an honest estimate to the insurer!
# The number of miles you expect to travel on your bike
# Your date of birth ? the older you are, the better.
# Your driving record - make sure you don?t hide the fact that you had to pay a parking penalty.
# The way in which the bike is used - for a sporting activity, for work-related reasons, for commuting to and fro from work, etc
# The location where you reside - the lower the crime rate in your area, the lower the premiums.
Note: Quite obviously, rates will differ from one company to another and one State to another. So do some detailed research to compare rates rather than making any hasty decisions. Also, make sure that you approach a creditworthy insurer.Aspects covered by Bike Insurance
Collision coverage: This part of the policy provides for reimbursements to any kind of damage to your bike (dents, broken parts, etc). However, remember that this is applicable only to the original components of your bike and not to any additional parts that you put in later. Secondly, you can get coverage for injuries sustained by the pillion rider. Thirdly, if the other driver involved in the collision has not obtained insurance for himself, you can have your medical expenses covered + the pay that disappeared on the days you were unable to work due to the accident.
Note: You must report the accident to your insurer within one week.
Theft: As mentioned earlier, even the best locking and alarm systems will not hamper a savvy thief. So you can definitely make a claim if your motorbike is stolen, but you will have to provide proofs of the precautionary measures that you took to protect the bike.
Fire: If the flames of an explosion or fire consume your motorbike, you can get claims for it.Getting Discounts on the Premiums
The year that you don?t make any claims for insurance you can ask for what is known as ?No Claims Discount?. The more such years, the better for you! You could be getting more than 50% discount in premiums this way.
Try to ride your bike only when absolutely necessary. This will keep the annual mileage low and will likely get you a small discount. Ask your insurance company what is the mileage limit to get you that discount. If you find that you are dangerously close to the limit, try and take measures to keep you feet off the bike. For example, take public transport when commuting to work, or take turns with another colleague with a bike, just like a car pool.
Don't be stingy on buying good quality locking and alarm systems for your bike. In fact, it is a good idea to install an immobilizing system that prevents somebody else from driving it away. Also, try to park it in a garage overnight, or within the gates of your property or apartment block. The more precautions you take to protect your bike, the more likely you are to get a discount.
Become a member of an accredited bike organization and take part in their training programs.
Female riders get discounts, as they are considered to be less rash riders than their male counterparts.
Additional Benefits with Bike Insurance
Personal Accident Cover: It is a good idea to opt for this cover, as it will meet your financial expenses in the eventuality that you are injured.
Breakdown Cover: Supposing your bike breaks down while riding. Towing charges can create a serious dent in your wallet. This is when your insurance cover proves handy- the costs will be covered by your policy.
Legal Expense Cover: You don?t necessarily have to opt for this cover, but keep in mind that attorney fees can create huge bills! There is always a chance that you crash your bike into the fence of your neighbor?s property resulting in your getting sued.Some Factors that will hinder you in getting low Bike Insurance cover
You often ride your bike when tipsy and are booked for driving under the influence of alcohol.
You lend your bike to a third party who is not legally qualified to ride it.
You ride your bike in races.
You use the bike for couriering purposes.
Your bike is not in a suitable condition to be used.
Questions to ask the Insurer
If I own more than one bike, does one policy cover both bikes?
Does the policy cover accessories?
Within how many days of my making a claim application will I get reimbursed?
Will the policy be applicable if I take my bike to another country?
Does the policy cover the possibility of my becoming permanently disabled?
What happens in the unfortunate event of my death due to an accident? Will my family members get reimbursement?
Is the pillion rider on my bike also covered?
Can I get insurance for my helmet?
Finally, a question that is always high on the list of queries :
Do premiums increase with Bike Modifications?
The answer to that is that it depends on the type of modifications made to the bike. If, for example, you modify the braking system with the aim to upgrade it, then it should not affect your premiums. However, if you change the suspension system of your bike, you may have to pay a slightly higher premium. There are also certain custom modifications that will invite higher premiums. Keeping your insurer in the dark about any modification, however small, will badly affect your claims. In fact, being dishonest will get you nowhere, and you could even have your claim rejected outright.
So remember: Honesty is the best policy!
Of course, it should be kept in mind that the author of this article is no insurance expert! The reader is advised to consult a professional in the field. Also, if you own a vintage bike, it is advisable to apply for a bike insurance policy specifically for such bikes and not one for general models.