Warm weather has its perks, and for passionate motorcycle riders, they’re more eager to hit the roads. When renting or borrowing a motorcycle, do you know if you’re covered?

Before plotting your journey, understand the risk factors, including your motorcycle riding experience and the road conditions. Although the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) saw a 5.6 percent decrease in motorcycle fatalities in 2017, GHSA noted motorcycle riders “remain significantly overrepresented as a proportion of all traffic deaths.” Additionally, “per mile driven, motorcycles have a fatality rate that is 28 times higher than passenger vehicles.” The statistics alone make a convincing case for the importance of adequate motorcycle rental insurance.

Start by researching the motorcycle insurance minimum requirements in the state(s) where you’ll be riding. Beyond what’s required, it’s up to you to determine the level of coverage you need and the amount you want to spend. There’s no such thing as “full coverage” motorcycle rental insurance, so it’s best to carefully choose the right combination of insurance options.
  • Bodily Injury (BI) Liability Insurance or Property Damage (PD) Liability Insurance. The minimums for BI and PD Insurance vary from state to state and cover expenses of someone else’s injuries or property due to an accident you caused. If you’re renting from a sharing or group tour platform such as EagleRider or Twisted Road, you are automatically covered with a basic insurance policy that the company is required to provide. 
  • Collision coverage. This type of coverage might not be required in every state, but if you need to pay for any bike repairs due to an accident, it helps defray the cost of out-of-pocket expenses. 

  • Comprehensive coverage. This coverage pays for damages resulting from theft or events not related to an accident, such as a fire or hail storm. 

Once you’ve obtained sufficient insurance, make sure you: 

  • Check your license. Your driver’s license should be up to date. You’ll need a class M license to operate a motorcycle. Contact your local department of motor vehicles for more information. 

  • Compare cost of rental companies. Renting can certainly be more cost-effective than buying a motorcycle, but don’t underestimate how quickly things can add up, especially if the rental company charges by mile or by the day. 

  • Ask questions. Be aware of any restrictions before signing anything with the rental company. If you plan to ride the motorcycle out of state, make sure the rental company allows for such trips. 

Embrace the allure of riding a motorcycle on the open road, but do so wisely by making smart, informed decisions throughout the motorcycle rental insurance process, especially when it comes to insurance coverage. Contact your HUB broker to make sure you’ve got the right coverage wherever you ride.