Do you require insurance for your motorcycle? In most cases, the answer is yes. Most states require insurance for motorcycles just as they do for cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. As of now, there are only four states that do not require motorcycle insurance: Washington, Montana, New Hampshire, and Florida. In the other 46 states, requirements vary as to how much and what type of coverage you are required to have, but you do need to have some coverage.
Riding in Other States
If you live in one of the four states that does not require motorcycle insurance and you only ride within the state boundaries, insurance for your motorcycle is not necessary. However, if you take your bike over state lines and wind up in an accident, you can expect to incur legal penalties from authorities in that jurisdiction for being uninsured.
For example, if you live in New Hampshire but want to ride your hog cross-country to the rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, the states you will drive through to get there, as well as your final destination, all require motorcycle insurance. A lot can happen along a nearly 2,000-mile stretch of highway.
Even in states were motorcycle insurance is not required by law, if you intend to take out a loan to purchase a bike, your lender will likely require you to obtain an insurance policy on it. By doing so, you protect the bank’s investment in the event that the motorcycle becomes wrecked or stolen.
Licensing and Registration
In most states, insurance is required to register a motorcycle and to obtain a license/permit to operate it. Operating a motorcycle on public roads is not legal if you lack insurance in these jurisdictions.
Understanding Lay-Up Periods
For some motorcycle owners, it doesn’t make sense to keep paying the same insurance premium during winter months when riding opportunities are severely limited. Even if you’re not riding, however, your bike may still be susceptible to theft or other unforeseen adverse events. For this reason, insurance companies usually provide coverage for an annual term, but many also offer a lay-up period that decreases your premium costs during the season when your motorcycle usually remains in storage. This arrangement is more convenient and cost-efficient than canceling your coverage during winter, which can also reflect badly on your record.
For more information about legal questions regarding motorcycle ownership, contact our office today. We can evaluate your individual circumstances and provide information that applies directly to your situation.