California requires a person who owns or rides a motorcycle to carry the following:
- $15,000 for the death or bodily injury of one person.
- $30,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more people.
- $5,000 for damage to property.
Penalties for not having motorcycle insurance:
- A minimum fine of $100, up to a maximum of $200 for a first offense.
- A minimum fine of $200, up to a maximum of $500 for a subsequent offense committed within three years of a prior conviction.
- A judge has the discretion to order that a motorcycle be impounded and not released to its owner until proof of insurance coverage is produced and all towing and storage fees are paid.
You should also consider adding the following coverages that pay you when you have personal injuries or property damage:
- Uninsured and underinsured coverage: Uninsured coverage protects you when you are injured by another motorist, who does not have insurance. Underinsured coverage pays you when the liability insurance of an at-fault motorist is insufficient to pay for the damage you suffered in the crash.
- Collision coverage: If your motorcycle is damaged in an accident, regardless of who was at fault, collision insurance pays to repair or replace it.
- Comprehensive coverage: If damage is caused by a hailstorm or by a falling tree limb, comprehensive coverage helps pay for it. Comprehensive insurance also pays for damage to your motorcycle caused by mishaps, unrelated to a collision, including theft and vandalism.
- Medical coverage: In the event of an accident, this coverage can help pay for medical expenses for you or your passengers, regardless of fault.
- Bodily injury and property damage: This coverage pays for damages to other vehicles and injuries to others if you're liable in a motorcycle accident. It also covers legal expenses, if you're sued. In addition, bodily injury coverage is mandatory in almost every state.
There are optional coverages you can add are:
- Total Loss Coverage:Covers the entire value of new bikes in the event of a total loss. Motorcycles no more than one model year old can be replaced at the cost of a brand-new bike, if they are totaled.
- Roadside assistance:Covers the cost of towing your bike to the nearest mechanic shop.
- Carried contents coverage: Protects any belongings like cellphones, suitcases, you are carrying on the bike that was damaged due to a covered loss to the bike.
Some of the factors considered by insurance carriers while quoting for motorcycle policy:
- Driving record: A clean driving record, without any accidents or traffic violations, may lower insurance rates.
- Zip code: Where you live may affect the cost of insuring a motorcycle. For example, if you live in a city where vandalism, traffic accidents, and vehicle thefts are common, rates will be higher.
- Age: Younger drivers pay more than older and more experienced drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Drivers in the 16-19 years age category are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.
- Milage:If you drive occasionally the rates are lower than a driver who drives regularly. More milage means higher insurance rates.