Being a motorcycle rider myself, I’m immensely proud of my “scoot.” I’ve even been teased and penned as the “Chrome Queen” for my obsession with adding chrome to my bike.
But did you know that aftermarket 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.
Read that again- the motorcycle insurance policy covers the motorcycle as it came from the factory. So anything you add AFTER is considered an accessory. This also includes any accessories installed by the dealer or a private individual.
Some motorcycle insurance policies offer some accessory coverage, but it is LIMITED
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 accessory 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?”
For 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.
Accessory examples (some may surprise you)
- any electronic equipment, antennas, and other devices used exclusively to
send or receive audio, visual, data signals, or play back recorded media;
- trike conversion kits;
- any additional equipment that is permanently installed on the motorcycle or off-road vehicle using bolts or brackets, including slide-out brackets (i.e., fairings, windshields, after-market handlebars, aftermarket seats, saddlebags, etc.);
- custom paint, custom chrome plating, or custom exhaust;
- trailers designed to be pulled by a motorcycle or off-road vehicle.
Another way to think about accessories is this: equipment, devices, accessories, enhancements and changes, other than those which are original manufacturer installed, which alter the appearance or performance of the motorcycle. So this could include performance enhancements (new carburetor, engine, the list goes on).
Accessory coverage and insurance claims
So it happens. You have an accident and bang up your bike. How will you receive payment for your accessories?
Like many insurance claims, you’ll have to provide an inventory of the damaged accessories. At a bare minimum, receipts or a bill of sale describing the items 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.
Just because you’re paying for $5,000 worth of accessories, doesn’t mean the insurance company will roll over and write you a check for $5,000. You have to prove your loss. So keep those receipts and pictures in a safe place!