Yep, I ride a motorcycle (since 1997 to be exact). And being an avid motorcyclist, I take immense pride in my ride. 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 coverage 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 you have to ask: “Does this company offer any automatic coverage for after-market accessories and if so, how much?”
- 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
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. I’ll see you on the road!