If you prefer riding on two wheels instead of four, and enjoy feeling the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, you might want to double check your insurance policy.
The rate of motorcyclists on the roads is increasing each year. Some prefer the commute on a motorcycle as an enjoyable alternative to a car. Other want to save money on gas and so they opt to drive a motorcycle or scooter around town. Many enjoy avoiding traffic and spotting easy parking. With motorcycles becoming more prominent on the highways and more common in the city, motorcycle theft is on the rise.
Many new motorcycles can cost the same as a decent car. A brand new motorcycle can cost over $20,000, up to over $50,000 for more expensive brands like Harley Davidson. Thieves understand this and because motorcycles are much easier to steal than cars, the rate of stolen bikes has increased significantly.
Motorcycles are a tempting target because they are easy to ride, easy to hide, and incredibly valuable. Motorcycle thieves are very smart and they understand how to camouflage, alter, or reuse motorcycle parts, including frames, to create a completely different bike they can then go sell. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau only 25-30 % of motorcycles are recovered, as opposed to 60-65 of cars and trucks.
Because of this very real threat, motorcyclists who do not carry comprehensive insurance coverage are sitting ducks. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as theft, vandalism, or fire. It is important to match your coverage options with the actual value of your bike.
For example, most standard comprehensive motorcycle insurance policies only cover the factory parts on your motorcycle. If you decide to add on any optional accessories such as chrome parts, a custom paint job, rails, seats, or pipes, obtaining additional or optional equipment coverage is the only way to recoup your costs and get a comparable replacement bike.
There are several ways to help deter motorcycle thieves. These steps will reduce your chances of being caught by thieves, and may save you money on your insurance policy as well.
1. Always store your motorcycle in a locked garage. Storing your motorcycle on the street is essentially giving it away. You are better off keeping your car on the street than your motorcycle.
2. Lock your bike to a stationary object. Even if you keep it in a garage, lock it to a sidewall, pipe, pillar, or other stationary object. Making it more difficult for thieves will often be enough motivation to get them to move on.
3. Install an alarm system or anti-theft device on your bike. Many manufacturers offer an anti-lock key which prevents the bike from being turned on unless the key fob is within 1 yard of the bike. Because most bikes are much too heavy for thieves to push or pull away, this is a great way to ensure your bike will remain safe and sound. Additional anti-theft devices include steering locks and alarm systems.
Once your bike is stolen, there is little chance of it being recovered. Using these tips are great ways to prevent a theft, but in the unfortunate event that you become the target. If a thief targets your bike, chances are it will not be recovered. Housing your bike in a locked garage, keeping it locked to a stationary object and adding an alarm can help deter thieves. But buying motorcycle insurance with comprehensive coverage is the best way to protect against motorcycle theft.