With over 800,000 motorcycles registered in California, according to DMV data, the Golden State is home to most motorcyclists in America. If you decide to join this list, you will need the right amount of motorcycle insurance. Here is what you need to know about motorcycle insurance in 2021 and compliance within the state of California.
What California Requires
To meet the minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance in California, you will need to purchase the following coverage:
- $15,000 if you are found responsible for the death or bodily injury of another person.
- $30,000 for death or bodily injury of at least two or more people.
- $5,000 for damage you cause to another party’s property.
These amounts are what your insurance agency will pay for an accident you cause if you only carry minimum coverage. If damages rise to higher levels, you may have to pay for the additional costs from your own pocket. Keep in mind motorcycle insurance, which is like liability insurance, only pays for damage or injury to someone else, not to your own body or vehicle. You will need additional coverage to protect yourself and your property.
If You Fail to Meet Minimum Requirements
The consequences of not having sufficient California motorcycle insurance in 2021 involve fines that you probably do not want to pay. For the first offense of failing to meet compliance in the state, the penalty is $100-$200. Another offense within three years of a previous conviction carries a fine of $200-$500. Be aware that judges have the option to impound your motorcycle until you agree to pay for the right amount of insurance. Fines can get much bigger over time.
Factors Affecting Motorcycle Insurance Rates
Motorcycle insurance rates are based on many of the same factors that shape regular auto insurance rates. The risks you pose to the insurer are the most significant factors that affect monthly premiums. Here are some examples of factors that insurance companies look at when determining your rates.
- Driving record and license status – One of the top factors in motorcycle insurance pricing is how well you have maintained a good driving record. The fewer tickets and accidents, the lower your rates will be.
- Where you live – Living in a zip code with a low crime rate will lower your motorcycle insurance rate.
- Your age – The older you are with a good driving record, the less you will pay.
- Gender – Since statistics point to men getting involved in more accidents than women, men typically pay higher vehicle insurance.
- Annual mileage – Keeping your annual mileage translates to paying lower insurance rates.
- Motorcycle type – Thieves are more likely to steal newer, high-priced motorcycles than cheap old models. That is why you’ll pay higher insurance for a new or high-end motorcycle.
- Credit score – Insurers view low credit scores as an indication of a higher risk that the individual will be involved in an accident.
What You Can Expect to Pay for Motorcycle Insurance
The average cost of motorcycle insurance in California is $1,360, which is about the average cost of motorcycle insurance for a 21-year-old across the United States. Keep in mind the region where you live in the state affects the monthly premium. You are more likely to pay higher insurance prices in cities with higher population density, such as in San Francisco.
There are various ways to reduce your insurance rate to fit your budget. You can pay a lower rate by riding more carefully. Enrolling in a motorcycle safety course will send a signal to your insurer that you are working on lowering risks. The same is true if you install a telematics device on your bike that measures mileage and performance and then sends the data to your insurer through a real-time internet connection.
Another way to reduce your monthly premium is to raise your deductible, which is the amount of money you agree to pay out of pocket for a claim before your coverage takes over. A typical deductible is $500, meaning you pay the first $500 worth of damage, then the insurer pays the rest up to your limits defined by the policy. Remember that your limits can be adjusted as well. If you own several motorcycles, ask if you can get a discount.
Each insurance company has its own methodology for calculating insurance rates. Therefore, rates will vary among insurers.
The best way to get the right motorcycle insurance coverage you need is to meet with an insurance professional and discuss your needs. In some cases, you may want to buy additional coverage to be safe, based on how much you ride. The more you ride, the more you should consider buying uninsured or underinsured coverage to protect yourself if an at-fault driver lacks sufficient coverage to pay your medical bills.
You should also consider collision insurance, which will pay for motorcycle repair or replacement. For maximum coverage, such as for theft and vandalism, consider getting comprehensive coverage. Other add-on options for riders include roadside assistance, consumables coverage, and accessory coverage.
Making sure you purchase the most appropriate insurance plan is essential to state compliance. Find out if you can get a break by bundling insurance coverage. Contact us at Jack Stone Insurance Agency for more information on getting sufficient motorcycle insurance in California. We offer free quotes and reliable service.