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Thread: Motorcycle Insurance

  1. #1
    Registered User TomDac's Avatar
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    Motorcycle Insurance

    Hey all,
    I'd like to get your thoughts on my insurance dilemma:

    3 years ago I bought a motorcycle after not owning one for 16 years.. A 1983 Honda VF1100C. (V65 Magna).

    I got insured by Progressive, as my auto insurance company (Wawanesa Mutual) doesn't do motorcycles. No biggie. It was about $250 per year. In August of 2009, i got a speeding ticket on the bike. Nothing extreme. 9 mph over posted limit. I couldn't do traffic school because I had gotten a previous ticket in the last 18 months with my car and had opted for traffic school (online of course.. took 2 hours) so I knew this would ding my insurance. No biggie.

    In the spring of this year, I bought a 2006 R1200GS Adventure. I added it to my Progressive policy and it was an additional $400 per year. Same coverage, same deductible.

    About a month later, I sold the Honda, and got online and was going to remove the it from my policy. The premium would've went UP as I no longer had the multi-vehicle discount. So instead of changing my policy, I left the Honda on there and figured I would shop around for new insurance for the BMW when it came time for the Progressive policy to expire. Well, it's time for the Progressive policy to expire (Nov 20th). I got my progressive renewal notice and it's $800 for the year and there's a confirmation of my speeding ticket as reported by the DMV in there along with the policy renewal.

    While reading the BMW ON magazine, I see the Markel Insurance advertisement. I got on their website and did a quote and it's $290 for the entire year - same exact coverage and deductible that I had on my Progressive policy, and I made sure to disclose my speeding citation!!

    Obviously, I'm gonna ditch Progressive and go with the Markel policy.

    I find it more than a bit strange that my motorcycle costs more to insure than my $60K BMW automobile. Any thoughts, comments and observations would be greatly appreciated...

    Tom.
    Tom - MOA #156706, Hayward, CA
    2006 BMW R1200GS Adventure, aka "Gretel"
    1983 Honda V65 Magna - SOLD
    http://www.flyv65.com

  2. #2
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomDac View Post
    I find it more than a bit strange that my motorcycle costs more to insure than my $60K BMW automobile.
    Hardly surprising -- it's all a matter of number crunching -- frequency of incidents, severity of incidents, costs associated with the incidents, etc.

    My 2003 Mustang convertible was more expensive to insure than my 2004 or 2008 Corvettes -- why? Only old farts can afford Corvettes, and they don't prang them into telephone poles as often as the young bucks in the more affordable Mustangs.

    I suspect you'll find that the insurance company likely pays out far less each year per insured $60K high-end car (I assume yours is a 5-series?) than they pay out each year per insured R12GS to settle their claims. Higher cost of business = higher premium borne by those that are more likely to have a claim (with minor variations within that particular risk pool to account for age/location/other demographics, such as ticket record (FWIW, two within a couple years and no traffic school eligibility=pain ).
    Last edited by mneblett; 11-02-2010 at 08:08 PM.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
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  3. #3
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    I can spend $1200 per year with Progressive insuring my R1200S as a sport bike, or half that with Liberty Mutual, and then I get a multi-vehicle discount with the cars. That's the insurance game.
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    Jordan M, MOA #24434
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  4. #4
    advrider.com
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    I have a few tickets on my record. Progressive was the cheapest I could find at the time, with Merkel way above, and Geico 2x as much. It's about time to shop around again, though.

  5. #5
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    The insurance up charge is the #1 reason I will hire a lawyer to fight every speeding ticket.

    I do the crime, I will pay the fine. I just do not want to enrich the insurance. So I pay a lawyer too. It is the game, I did not make the rules, but I have to follow them.

    Rod

  6. #6
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I got a speeding ticket a few years back and Progressive didn't ding me for it. Was it your first ticket in recent times or was it one of several?

    About thirty years ago I was hanging out in a motorcycle shop (Ross Seeley Racing in Milford, NH) and got talking to a guy who was complaining about his insurance. He was paying about $1,100 per year for his 76 KZ900. At the time, I was riding a 75 Z1B, which was practically the same bike. My insurance, for liability only, was about $250. I suggested that he drop his comprehensive coverage to save a few bucks. Turns out he already had. I was mystified until he admitted he had had an accident.

    Actually, he had three accidents. In one month. On the same road. In the same spot. And on three consecutive Friday nights. He apparently wasn't drunk or speeding, just tired and returning from a construction job two states away and he fell asleep at the wheel.

    Apparently the second and third accidents were in the same make, model and color of car. When the cops came for the third accident (you just knew it was going to be the same cop right?), the cop opened his notebook, started to write down the information, shook his head, stared at the car, stared at the guy, then flipped his notebook shut and said, "You can leave, I'll just photocopy the report from last week", turned on his heel and left.

    For my part, I told the guy he should sleep in his car and drive home Saturday morning. Sometimes you have to quit while you're ahead...
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  7. #7
    Registered User TomDac's Avatar
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    to answer some of your questions:

    I've had a nearly flawless driving record since I was 16. No accidents and no tickets until recently when I got nabbed going 10 MPH over on the way to work. Did the traffic school and the infraction wasn't reported to my insurance. Then about a year later (Aug 2009) got nabbed out of state (Oregon) going 9 MPH over. Couldn't do traffic school twice within 18 month period, so I just paid the ticket.

    I'm 46 & Married.. No kids on the insurance. Wife has a spotless driving record also. She drives a 2003 Toyota Camry and I drive a 2004 BMW M3 Convertible. Both vehicles were purchased new.

    I don't see what fighting the speeding ticket would do. I was speeding. If I didn't think I was speeding, I'd fight it, but I was...
    Tom - MOA #156706, Hayward, CA
    2006 BMW R1200GS Adventure, aka "Gretel"
    1983 Honda V65 Magna - SOLD
    http://www.flyv65.com

  8. #8
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    Just use a lawyer, and they will almost always change the infraction to something more expensive but not reportable, like a fix it ticket, parking ticket or something like that. The lawyer makes money, and the agency that cited you makes money, and they get court fees. Worth it.

    Rod

  9. #9
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomDac View Post

    She drives a 2003 Toyota Camry and I drive a 2004 BMW M3 Convertible.
    And she lets you get away with that? How does that work?
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  10. #10
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Cool

    My R1200RT (with $3,000 additional coverage for 'bling') costs me less than $200 per year - with Progressive.

    Where you live (Region) makes a difference too.

    It's all a game we play - yuk.
    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

  11. #11
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Tom, my experience with Markel/Progressive was just the opposite of yours.
    Progressive offered me better insurence, less money and threw in roadside assistance.

    Go figure.......
    IBA #44567
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
    -Albert Eienstein

  12. #12
    Registered User TomDac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 460Jetboat View Post
    Tom, my experience with Markel/Progressive was just the opposite of yours.
    Progressive offered me better insurence, less money and threw in roadside assistance.

    Go figure.......
    I guess if I get another ticket down the road and Markel jacks up my rates, I'll go to progressive and see what they offer.. I bet it's lower!

    "Go figure" <-- Pretty much sums it up...
    Tom - MOA #156706, Hayward, CA
    2006 BMW R1200GS Adventure, aka "Gretel"
    1983 Honda V65 Magna - SOLD
    http://www.flyv65.com

  13. #13
    Registered User TomDac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    And she lets you get away with that? How does that work?
    heh heh... Well, dropping $60K on a car was VERY hard for me. That is a LOT of money.. and I'm not wealthy by any means. I do ok, though.

    When I finally made the decision, I approached her and we discussed it. She was OK with it under the condition that if one of us lost our job before it was paid off, it would be the first thing sold, and I was OK with that. Luckily that didn't happen, both of us have stable, secure jobs (knock wood) and haven't really been affected by the economic downturn.

    It's been a fantastic car and I plan on keeping it forever. Just turned 50K miles.

    She will ride in the M3, but prefers not to, as the ride is a little harsh. So we take the Camry most everywhere together and the M3 is my "fun" car and what I commute in (6 miles each way - no freeway).
    Tom - MOA #156706, Hayward, CA
    2006 BMW R1200GS Adventure, aka "Gretel"
    1983 Honda V65 Magna - SOLD
    http://www.flyv65.com

  14. #14
    51AM
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    I use Dairyland. It was less expensive than progressive. Used them in the past with out any problems.

  15. #15
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Every year I go insurance shopping and check Merkel, Progressive and a few others. Nobody has ever come close to beating my USAA coverage and as far as the "service" goes USAA is unbeatable.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

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