If you are buying motorcycle insurance for the first time, or just want to learn more about motorcycle insurance requirements in Minnesota, you might have a few questions. We’ve compiled here a short list of frequently asked questions about motorcycle insurance in Minnesota that could offer a few helpful answers.
- I own a motorcycle in Minnesota. Do I need insurance?
Absolutely, Motorcycle insurance is required by Minnesota state law. Just like any other type of vehicle that operates on Minnesota roads. The owner and primary driver of the motorcycle should be properly insured, including coverage for bodily injury and property damage, before taking any trips.
- What is the minimum amount of coverage my motorcycle needs in Minnesota?
Motorcycle insurance requirements vary from state to state. In Minnesota, you must have $30,000 / $60,000 for bodily injury protection and at least $10,000 for property damage liability. The bodily injury coverage minimums are stated as “split limits.” The first amount ($30,000), represents the minimum amount of coverage on a per person basis. The second amount ($60,000), represents the maximum coverage per accident. While 30/60 is the minimum amount required by Minnesota law, it may be in your best interest to have higher limits.
- What other insurance might I need for my motorcycle?
While not required by law, if you have a loan on your bike, your bank or credit union will likely require physical damage coverage in the form of collision & comprehensive coverage. Comp and Collision cover the repair or replacement of your cycle should you be involved in an accident, is vandalized, or lost due to fire. Another coverage that we strongly recommend is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UI/UIM). UI/UIM works much like BI, but in reverse. It provides coverage should someone without insurance (or enough insurance) cause you or your passenger bodily injury. There are other coverages as well, but these are the major ones.
- Does wearing a helmet make a difference in what I pay for motorcycle insurance?
Wearing a helmet has no impact on your insurance rates, but putting one on every time you ride a motorcycle might save your life. Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Drivers and passengers who are not wearing helmets when an accident occurs are 40 percent more likely to sustain a fatal head injury. In a study of 900 motorcycle accidents, wearing a helmet was the most critical factor in avoiding and decreasing head and neck injuries among motorcycle drivers and passengers.
- Does having safety devices make a difference in what I pay for motorcycle insurance?
Sorry, but not with most companies. However, they can help prevent accidents. For example, antilock braking systems (ABS) are becoming more popular on motorcycles. This advanced braking technology can shorten stopping distance and improve stability in the event the rider needs to try to make a hard stop. Some manufacturers are studying ways to adapt other safety options to motorcycles as well, such as airbags and electronic stability control, but it may be several years before these features are available to the public.
- Are motorcycles accessories and modifications covered by insurance?
For the most part, you will need to purchase additional insurance if you make any significant improvements or changes to your motorcycle. It is quite common to replace stock mufflers and add some custom chrome to a Harley Davidson as an example. Other alterations could include custom paint jobs, luggage racks, anti-theft alarms, radios, sissy bars, sidecars, and more. If you’ve made some changes to your bike, or you plan to, give us a call to determine how much additional coverage you should purchase.
- How does winter storage affect insurance rates?
With all that frost, ice and snow on the roads during winter time, it is not uncommon for people to ask about dropping liability coverage during the cold months in northern states like Minnesota. Our advice is to leave your coverage in place. The primary reason for that advice is that any savings you receive in the short term will be offset by the loss of a continuous coverage discount. If you do choose to reduce coverage in the winter months, you should keep your comprehensive coverage in place at a minimum, as there is always the risk of a collapsed roof, theft, and fire where the motorcycle is stored.
Do you have more questions about motorcycle insurance in Minnesota? Give us a call at the Andreotti Agency, we’d be more than happy to answer your questions. In the meantime, enjoy your summer out on the road.