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Automotive Articles >> Careers

Proper Insurance Protection for You and Your Motorcycle

(ARA) - Warmer temperatures, spring training and that blossoming tree in your yard mean one thing – it’s time to ride your motorcycle.

Whether you’re purchasing a new motorcycle this spring or simply waking your bike from a long winter’s nap in storage, before you hit the open road this year, here are a few simple precautions from General Casualty Insurance Companies to help protect you and your bike.

Do your homework

Before purchasing a motorcycle, research which bikes are safest and, consequently, are easier and less costly to insure.

“Insurance companies typically consider several factors when pricing their motorcycle policies, including cycle type, engine size and brand, driver’s age, and whether the bike is garaged in the winter,” said Charles Valinotti of General Casualty.

Some companies offer discounts for certain types of bikes. At General Casualty, insuring certain touring cycles costs 20 percent less than other motorcycles. Valinotti also notes that high-performance sport bikes are often the most expensive and hardest to insure. These cycles are involved in a greater share of accidents due to their design, engine size and young operators.

If you won’t be riding bike year round, you may also select a Lay Up Option on your coverage. While it’s in storage, all coverages except Other Than Collision are suspended, lowering your premium considerably. Your bike is still covered if it is stolen or damaged while garaged.

Contact your insurance agent to find out about additional safety factors and discounts. You may also save by attending a safety course, wearing a helmet or insuring multiple motorcycles with the same carrier.

Before that first ride

Your bike needs a thorough maintenance check before you ride it this spring. What better time to make sure your motorcycle coverage is up to date, too?

If you stored your bike and exercised your policy’s Lay Up Option during the winter, inform your insurance agent before you begin riding again this spring. Your agent can typically reinstate your complete coverage that same day. Also let your agent know if you’ve made any improvements to your bike so he or she can adjust coverage limits if necessary.

A safety tune up

After a few months off your bike, Valinotti recommends riders take a few minutes to ensure they’re up to speed on the cyclist’s “rules of the road.” Here are a few key points to remember:

* Watch for oncoming vehicles turning left in front of you. Slow down before intersections and stay visible.

* Motorcycles are less visible than cars, especially at night. Always assume other drivers can’t see you.

* Leave plenty of space in front, back and at your sides to increase your visibility.

* Invest in a properly fitting helmet and riding gear. Helmets saved 1,316 lives in 2004, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more safety tips and information on training courses, visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Web site at

“I can’t stress how important it is to remain visible when riding a motorcycle, especially at night or in high-traffic areas and intersections,” said Valinotti. “More than one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents occur at intersections, so be on high alert when you come to these areas.”

Whether you’re a new owner or a seasoned road warrior, these simple reminders can help you ride easier this season knowing you and your bike are protected. Courtesy of ARA Content

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