You’re The Proud Owner of a New Motorcycle … Now What?
Congratulations! You’ve got yourself a motorcycle! Whether this is a childhood dream-come-true or simply your next set of two wheels to get you from Point A to Point B, owning and riding a motorcycle is a big deal. And before you jump on, rev it up, and drive to your nearest pal’s house to show it off, there are a few things you should know and do.
This chapter covers the following:
- Types of insurance you should get
- Riding Gear
- Rider Safety
- First Aid
Types of Insurance You Should Get
When it comes to motorcycle insurance, you want to purchase as much as you can afford. Why? Because motorcycle injuries can cost a lot. And often, even responsible motorcycle riders who are victims of some else’s reckless behavior can end up with more bills than insurance companies will pay.
At a minimum, you should purchase $100,000 of UIM insurance coverage. If you can afford more, you should have it.
Consider this true story from the O’Sullivan Law files: Samuel was riding his motorcycle in a residential area and was hit by a driver who then fled the scene. Samuel sustained severe injuries and was out of work for two months. The driver of the car was caught but he only had $25,000 worth of insurance coverage. Luckily, Samuel had Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage and was insured for up to $100,000. Without that coverage, Samuel would not have been able to pay his medical bills. His life would have been forever altered by another driver’s carelessness.
Why do insurance agents often steer auto and motorcycle drivers away from this coverage? Insurance companies and agents are pressured to keep premiums as low as possible. Also, many people function under a popular misconception: They think that, if you have health insurance, you don’t need UIM. But that’s not true. First, think of your health insurance deductibles and co-pays. In some severe cases, those expenses alone are enough to stress a person’s finances.
Second, health insurance doesn’t cover everything that UIM covers. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
- All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering
- Health insurance and UIM insurance are completely different.
A good rule of thumb for motorcycle insurance is to purchase as much as you can and make absolutely certain that you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
When you purchase your motorcycle, roll a few items into the cost, just as if they came with the bike. You wouldn’t buy a motorcycle without a clutch. Don’t buy one without the proper riding gear, such as:
- Full-face helmet, including face and jaw protection
- Motorcycle boots
- Riding jacket and pants
You might even consider the newest technologies out there, such as a riding jacket that comes equipped with an airbag. These state-of-the-art jackets look no different than professional racing jackets and come in different seasonal variations.
Protect Yourself: Take a Rider Safety Class
Take a rider safety class and get the motorcycle endorsement for your driver’s license. In Colorado, there are many Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved sites and Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) courses, which are accredited by the state.
To find the MOST-certified training courses near you, visit:
Learn about adding a motorcycle endorsement to your driver’s license here:
Protect Your Friends: Take First Aid Training
Often, accidents happen when riders are together. You can protect your buddies if you know some first aid basics. Learn about the types of wounds you might see in an accident and how you can help an injured friend while you wait for paramedics. You can generally find these courses by inquiring at bike shops or at a nearby Red Cross.
When you get your motorcycle:
- Get the proper insurance.
- Purchase the appropriate riding gear.
- Take a motorcycle safety course.
- Take a first aid course.