motorcycle insurance

The Types of Motorcycle Insurance Coverage You Can Get in New Jersey

The rush of riding a motorcycle is unlike anything almost else. It evokes memories of cycling free as a child. Only instead of pushing pedals, you’re turning the throttle to reach amazing speeds while feeling the wind rush past your body. But as those speeds suggest, riding motorcycles can be dangerous. Each year, there are 2,500 accidents involving motorcyclists in New Jersey alone, resulting in 377 fatalities.

Having the right motorcycle insurance is a must. That’s why it’s so important that you know what types of coverage are available as part of motorcycle insurance in New Jersey.

The Coverage Everybody Needs to Have

First, it’s illegal to ride any vehicle that the state of New Jersey classifies as a motorcycle without at least some form of insurance. The rules are clear on this. You need at least basic liability coverage or standard liability coverage.

Basic liability offers $10,000 worth of coverage for the injury or death of more than one person, as well as $5,000 of coverage for property damage. Standard liability bumps the coverage for injury or death to a single person up to $15,000 but keeps the same property damage coverage. It also adds $30,000 of coverage for the injury or deaths of multiple people. You have the option of buying “umbrella” liability insurance, which adds further coverage but isn’t legally required.

What’s important to note is that what is considered a motorcycle in the state of New Jersey is rather broad. It defines a motorcycle as any bike, bicycle, or tricycle that has attached motors, and operating one requires you to have the basic liability coverage defined above. So, don’t think you can get away with having no insurance if you have a motorized tricycle. It’s subject to the same laws as a traditional two-wheeled motorbike.

Going Beyond Basic Liability – Other Types of Motorcycle Insurance

Liability coverage only includes the people involved in an accident and a relatively small amount of property damage. But you may need or want more, especially given that a motorbike is a fragile thing (at least compared to a car) and will often experience extensive damage in even a minor collision. Thankfully, most motorbike insurance policies allow you to add on some of the following coverage types, with premiums increasing as a result. These are important considering the motorcycle dangers and safety issues.

Comprehensive Insurance

Motorcycle theft is big business.

An astonishing 646 motorcycle thefts happen in New Jersey every year. The reasons for those thefts range from bikes stolen for joy rides to thievery with profit in mind.

Comprehensive insurance covers you against theft, as well as vandalism, and other issues that could damage or restrict the usage of your motorbike. Those other issues include problems caused by the weather, such as hailstorms and high winds.

Collision Insurance

“Collision insurance” sounds like a pretty general term that could cover so many aspects of a motorcycle accident. But it’s actually quite simple – collision insurance covers any damage that occurs to your motorbike as a result of an accident.

Hopefully, you’re fortunate enough to escape your motorbike accident without serious injury. But your bike often isn’t so lucky. It could be flung across the road or smash into a wall, which damages the delicate internal components that keep the bike running. You’ve already paid thousands of dollars for the bike. Collision insurance ensures you’re not stuck with a hefty repair bill that adds thousands more dollars to the already prohibitive cost of owning and maintaining a bike.

Accessories Insurance

Saddlebags, hand grips, dash cams, and practically anything else that you use with your bike that didn’t come with it is an accessory. And those accessories cost money. An accident could lead to them sustaining just as much damage as the bike itself, leaving you even further out of pocket.

Accessories insurance is an add-on that covers the little things that make riding your bike safer or more enjoyable. It’ll also cover any upgrades you buy for your bike, like customized bodywork or any parts you’ve installed after buying the bike.

Medical Payments

You’ve likely noticed that the coverage offered by basic or standard liability doesn’t amount to much. Hospital bills could easily swallow that amount, leaving you in massive debt if you don’t have great health insurance and your accident leaves you with serious injuries. With medical payments built into your insurance, you’re covered against that possibility.

Medical payments can also cover some of the costs associated with burial if you pass away as a result of your accident. With the average New Jersey funeral costing a little over $7,800, that extra coverage removes a financial hardship your family may face after your accident.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance

The best-case scenario in a vehicular accident is that everybody walks away unharmed, and all involved have enough insurance to cover expenses. But far too often, motorcyclists get injured (or their bikes get damaged) in collisions with motorists who don’t have enough insurance to cover the motorcyclist’s bills.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance offers coverage for those scenarios. It’s your lifeline if the accident wasn’t your fault and you can’t get what you need to cover your costs from the other driver’s insurance. Plus, it covers you if you’re in an accident with one of the 12.6% of American drivers who have no insurance.

Focus on What You Need Rather Than the Bare Minimum

It’s always tempting to just go with the bare minimum for motorcycle insurance. Your premiums are a lot lower, and you get just about enough liability coverage for minor collisions. But a collision will be anything but minor if you’re traveling at high speeds, and some issues can affect your bike even when you’re not on the road.

Paying for additional coverage ensures you’re not left in a financial black hole if basic or standard liability insurance doesn’t cover your costs. Of course, your finances play a role in how extensive your coverage may be. So, weigh up what you’re comfortable with paying against the various types of insurance to create a combination that leaves you feeling safer when you’re on the road.

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