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Thread: Motorcycle Insurance

  1. #1
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    Motorcycle Insurance

    I know what you're thinkin. What does this have to do with gear?

    Well we're all supposed to ride with it and it's the second thing you'll be asked to present if you're ever pulled over by law enforcement. Secondly whenever asked about branded goods on this forum be it saddles, windshields, boots, gloves etc., we as owners rightfully recommend the products that have given us good results.

    The thing about insurance is most of us never need to make a claim so other than the experience of signing up with an agent, most of us don't know ( this is a good thing) how good our insurance is when the chips are down and we need to make a claim. I would guess that's a good measure of Insurance such as response and how fast you get reimbursed.

    When I bought my first bike, 04 1150RT, one of the salesman at my dealer was an agent for Dairyland so I conveniently signed up since it was one of the "good" names I had heard mentioned at my recent beginner motorcycle safety course. Plus it let me drive off from the dealer insured, no muss no fuss.

    I want to say I was paying 400 something dollars a year and I never made a claim to this day. Last month it came time to renew with Dairyland and the annual premium was now $627 even with all the good stuff like being over 50 years old with zero claims or violations.

    I decided it's time to shop around using all my great knowledge from watching those
    TV ads the likes of a gecko lizard or "Flo". Hey, can a ex drill sergeant make a good therapist ?

    Bottom line: Comparing apples to apples Progressive came out to $297 for the exact same policy which was $627 with Dairyland. That's for my current 08RT. I was so thrilled with the savings, I never took the "15 minutes" with Geico, however point being there can apparently be quite a difference between companies so shop around. And no I don't work for Progressive and yes I agree with that guy that she sounds like she rides a "500".

  2. #2
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    I helped a friend recently make a claim through Progressive. She had a low-speed front wheel washout at a traffic light and unfortunately dropped the bike on her leg, breaking it. I went and got the bike and rode it back to her place, damage was limited to a thick scratch/abrasion on the valve cover, crack/chip on the side of the fairing and a cracked and scratched side case.

    She reported the accident to Progressive and they sent over an independent claims agent who works mostly for Progressive. He knew very little about motorcycles but spent a good amount of time looking the bike over and taking photos. He had decided to total the K75C because of the (cosmetic IMO) gouge in the valve cover and the chipped/cracked C fairing . I mentioned it really needed just a new valve cover and the fairing could be repaired, but he dismissed my suggestions. It was my impression he just wanted to total it (and the owner decided to give up motorcycles so she didn't mind) and was looking for an excuse - I did get the feeling with some footwork and maybe a dealer repair quote he could have been talked out of it.

    Anyway, he made an initial offer of settlement of $1,750 citing the blue book. I scoured the Internet for advertisements for K75Cs and selected 10 or so that were in the $3,500 to $4,000 range and sent them off to him, along with online prices for a new helmet, riding jacket, boots and gloves, just shy of $700. He came right back with a new offer of $3,750 for the bike and $700 for the gear and helmet, and my friend accepted. As with any claim process, if you do some homework and legwork you will end up with a much higher settlement offer.

    All in all it wasn't a bad experience and I doubt any competitor would have been better, I am sure some would have been much worse. Progressive paid all of her medical deductibles and other bills and co-pays not covered by her health insurance quickly, right up to her (minimal but sure nice to have) elected medical coverage.

    Only disappointing thing about the whole process was that a sweet-running K75C with just cosmetic damage went to the salvage yard. I would have liked to have bought the "wreck" but Virginia makes it particularly difficult to register a salvage for road use.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  3. #3
    Registered User rhyeks's Avatar
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    Wow, your insurance company stories sound very similar to mine. I also went with Dairyland through a motorcycle dealer in 2000. Maybe I didn't know any better, but back then I don't remember there being many options as far as motorcycle insurance companies. Anyway, I heard about Progressive several years ago and got a quote which was much less for better coverage - less than half the cost. I have shopped around since then, but have not found better quotes that would make me change. Also, Progressive has been responsive to all of my calls and I have been pleased with them.

  4. #4
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Folks should keep in mind that insurance is different in every state, even if the companies are the same. Caveat emptor.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  5. #5
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Folks should keep in mind that insurance is different in every state, even if the companies are the same. Caveat emptor.
    Agreed - rates will vary with regions.

    I have Progressive for less than $200 per year on an R1200RT.

    Have had one claim so far - $500+ in damage from a hit & run driver (later caught).

    An adjuster showed up within days - no arguing - check in the mail before the week was up - my rates did NOT go up.

    Well pleased so far with Progressive.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.) / IBA Member #34281
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer)
    Motorcycle/Driving Instructor - ROAD AMERICA Race Track

  6. #6
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    Same story here, just different companys. bought my Harley Electra Glide new in 04. the Dealer used Progressive, so I signed on. $ 785.00 per year. The next year I shopped around and went with Geico for $315.00 per year for the same coverage. The state you live in makes a BIG differance.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  7. #7
    Registered User flemmings27's Avatar
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    I've had good experience with Markel - I think they're the largest bike insurer in the country, and they only insure recreational vehicles. A few years ago, when I had an accident, Markel called me the very next day to begin taking care of the process. However, I told them that the other driver was at fault and their insurance would be covering it, and that is in fact what happened. Yet, I was still impressed by their quick service and that they called me. I think their rates are good. I've heard Geico and Progressive might be slightly better with rates, but I've also had at least one friend who has not been treated fairly by Geico for a bike claim that should have been taken care of.

    So, if you're interested - http://markelinsuresfun.com/home

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