With the price of gas skyrocketing over the last few years, many people a deciding to switch to motorcycles or scooters for their commuting needs. What do you need to know if you are purchasing motorcycle insurance for the first time?

Motorcycle Insurance

The Rise In Motorcycle Use

People’s appetite for motorcycles and scooters has risen drastically over the last 20 years. During the past 3-year period, over 1 million motorcycles were sold.

As gas prices risen to over $4 a gallon in some markets, interest in scooters has also risen. Last year saw an increase of over 70 percent in sales of personal scooters versus the previous year. The main difference between a scooter and a motorcycle is the size of their engine. Sales of scooters and mopeds now make up almost 15 percent of all motorcycle sales in the United States. Ten years ago that figure was more like 5 percent.

In addition, many people who had placed their motorcycles in storage, or who only rode them on weekends, are now putting them to daily use in their commutes.

What Options Need To Be Looked At When Purchasing Motorcycle Insurance?

Almost all states mandate that motorcyclist have liability coverage. Liability insurance is designed to cover the destruction that you may cause others or their property while riding. In addition, a motorcyclist can purchase the following insurance packages:

• Collision insurance to repair accident damage to your own motorcycle
• Fire insurance
• Comprehensive vandalism and theft insurance
• Uninsured or under-insured coverage to cover when another driver has less than adequate insurance.

The types of motorcycle insurance needed in order to ride legally vary by state.

As with car insurance, the smaller or cheaper your vehicle, the less you will end up paying in insurance. In addition, a whole host of other factors can come into play when calculating your insurance premium. Factors such as age, sex, state where you reside, accident history, credit score, and marriage status can also affect how much you are charged per year. So a female motorcyclist under 25, with a spotless accident record, who lives in a less populated state and doesn’t drive much could expect to pay less than, say, a 55 year old man with a history of accidents, living in NYC, with poor credit.

Generally speaking, the smaller a bikes engine, the less you will end up paying for motorcycle insurance. For example, if you wanted to insure a Harley Davidson Road King Classic, with a 2012 price tag of over $19,000, you might have to pay over $300 a year in premiums. This is much less than one would pay for comparable car insurance. This insurance type of plan would give you about $100,000 medical liability coverage for the other party hurt in an accident, $300,000 in coverage for all parties involved in an accident, and $50,000 for property damage. Such a plan would have a $300 deductible for any damage your own motorcycle might have.

If you wanted a similar insurance plan for a smaller vehicle, such as a Vespa scooter, you might pay around $90 a year in premiums.

Image Credit: Dean Thorpe