Insuring a Classic Motorcycle or a Vintage Motorcycle
Items to consider when shopping for Vintage Motorcycle, Antique Motorcycle, Custom Motorcycle or Classic Motorcycle insurance.
- How much liability insurance do you recommend?
- If I am involved in an accident, will my insurance premium increase?
- Do you recommend custom parts and equipment (CPE) insurance for my particular bike?
- Is there a limit to the number of miles I can ride on my insurance policy?
When shopping, be aware that the more coverage you purchase, the higher your annual premium will be, however it costs less to maintain an insurance policy than to pay for repair and custom part expenses out-of-pocket.
Required Liability Insurance for Classic Motorcycles
The amount of liability insurance you need depends on many things―including the type of bike you ride and how many miles you ride per year, you should always consider purchasing more insurance coverage than the required state minimum.
AS an example, if you live in New Jersey, the minimum requirement for liability insurance is $30,000 in bodily injury coverage and $5,000 in property damage coverage, this minimum amount will not even be close to enough to cover your expenses in the event of a serious accident.
Insurance professionals recommend carrying at least $300,000 in bodily injury protection, and $100,000 in property damage protection.
Additional Types of Classic Motorcycle Insurance
There are other types of coverage available for motorcycles insurance policies:
- Collision insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
- No fault coverage
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage
Collision coverage covers damages to your motorcycle caused by collisions with another object―be it another vehicle, mailbox, or various other stationary object
Comprehensive motorcycle insurance covers the cost of damages due to vandalism, theft, and natural disasters such fire or flood.
No fault and PIP insurance covers you in the event of an accident in which no fault is determined, and uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance covers you in the event of an accident with an underinsured driver. For example, if you are involved in an accident that places you in the hospital for several days, totaling 100,000 in medical bills, your PIP or underinsured motorist insurance will cover any expense not covered by the other driver’s liability insurance policy.
Collision and CPE Insurance for Classic Motorcycles
Typically you may not need collision insurance, as replacement parts for classic motorcycles are comparatively inexpensive. What you will want to consider is accessory or custom parts and equipment (CPE) coverage. The purpose of CPE coverage is to cover damages to custom parts and classic motorbike accessories added after the motorbike left the factory floor. The majority of collision and comprehensive insurance policies include a certain amount of CPE, you might consider purchasing additional CPE for motorbikes with extensive accessories. That way, in the event of theft or a total loss accident, you will be compensated for all motorcycle accessories, in addition to bike itself.
For example, if your standard motorcycle collision insurance policy provides $1,000 CPE coverage, but the cost of your accessories totals $5,000, purchasing an additional $4,000 in CPE coverage is advisable.
Some examples of motorcycle accessories include, but are not limited to:
- “Trike” conversion kits.
- Antennas, audio devices, and various other electronic equipment.
- Motorcycle trailers, pulled behind the motorcycle.
- Custom paint, plating, and exhaust systems.
- Plow and mower blades.
- Safety apparel, such as helmets and leather.
Who Needs Collision Insurance?
If your motorcycle is worth more than it would probably cost to repair it, you should consider purchasing collision coverage. On the other hand, if your motorbike is worth less than what it would cost to repair―in which it would be considered a total loss in an accident―you probably don’t need collision insurance.
For example, if your bike is worth $1,000 but it would take $1,500 to repair damage to the bike body, your insurance company will only compensate you for what the vehicle is worth, and collision insurance is superfluous.
However, if you own a new or highly customized bike with a Kelley Blue Book value of $15,000 or more, it will likely cost less to repair the bike than the bike is worth, and collision insurance will cover the cost of repairs.
Know Your Classic Motorcycle’s Worth
It is important to know what your motorcycle is worth, and to be aware of the worth changing with time or with the addition of customized parts. You can access the Kelley Blue Book online for many newer model motorcycles. Note that for classic bikes, you should contact your insurance agency directly for estimated worth.
Consider Comprehensive Motorcycle Insurance
You might also consider comprehensive insurance for your motorbike. Unlike collision insurance―which covers damages due to collisions only―comprehensive insurance covers damages due to theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and weather conditions, such as hail, fire, and flood. The majority of comprehensive insurance policies include a certain amount of coverage for motorcycle accessories and custom parts, but you do have the option to purchase more than the minimum amount.
Classic Motorcycle Insurance Settlement Types
In the event of theft or a total loss accident, you will be offered a loss settlement. The type of settlement you are offered depends on the type of motorbike you own.
For example, if you own a fairly new factory bike―such as a Harley Davidson or Honda Crossover―you will typically be offered a settlement for the actual cash value (ACV). This means in the event of a total loss accident, you will compensated for the Kelley Blue Book value of the motorcycle, minus the deductible. If you purchased additional accessory coverage, you will be compensated for your accessories.
If you own a classic bike―such as an Indian Chief Vintage or Harley FLST Heritage―typically you will be offered a settlement for the agreed value or stated amount. The stated amount represents the value of the bike as stated by the bike owner at the time of policy purchase, and the agreed value is the value of the bike as agreed upon by you and your insurance company when the policy is written.
*Any custom equipment or accessories added after the policy is written will only be covered by CPE insurance.