At Alan Galvez Insurance, we're avid motorcyclists. And being avid motorcyclists, we take immense pride in our rides. I’ve even been teased and penned as the “Chrome Queen” for my obsession with adding chrome to my bike. But how many of my fellow riders realize that your chrome (or flame paint job or saddlebags- you get the idea) is NOT necessarily an automatic coverage under many insurance policies? Yes, exceptions apply, but as a general rule, the insurance policy protects your bike as it came from the factory.
We’ve seen many claims where people have assumed that all their after-market accessories are included in the original coverage they purchased and therefore will be paid for. Do not make this assumption. Some companies do offer a small amount of accessories coverage automatically in their policies. But if you've outfitted your bike after your purchase, the first question you need to ask your insurance agent is, “Does your company offer any automatic coverage for after-market accessories and if so, how much?”
As an example, we write a lot of motorcycle policies through Progressive, and they include up to $3,000 for accessories coverage automatically. If you have more than that, and you want it insured, then you need to buy additional accessories coverage. Additional coverage up to $30,000 can be purchased.
Most Common Accessories
Here’s a listing of the most common accessories that people add to their motorcycles. Some may be obvious, but others may come as a surprise.
- Custom Paint
- Saddlebags/Luggage/Touring Paks and Windshields
- Handlebars & Controls
- Engine Modifications (that S & S carb would fit right in here)
- Electronics such as radios and intercoms
- Trike Conversion kits
- Sidecars and pull behind trailers
- Safety riding apparel, including helmets
If You Have a Claim
Also, just because you’re paying premium for $5,000 worth of accessories, that doesn’t mean the insurance company will roll over and write you the $5,000 check at claim time. You have to prove you owned $5,000 worth of accessories. Receipts or a bill of sale describing the item and listing a price accomplish this goal. Pictures are also very helpful. It’s tough to show what the bike looked like and what you had on it after it’s a mangled pile of metal.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in a accident, hopefully these tips will help make the claims process smoother for you (I may have a lot of chrome on my bike, but I know people who have much, much more). Otherwise, keep the shiny side up and the rubber down. We’ll see you on the road!
Want to discuss your motorcycle insurance? Trust your ride to those who ride too! Visit our motorcycle page for additional helpful information and resources about motorcycle insurance and to request your quote.