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Karl Newman, President
Sandi Henke, Communications Director
NW Insurance Council
Phone: (800) 664-4942
Fax: (206) 624-1975
Follow at Twitter/nwinsuranceinfo

Be Alert: Motorcycle season means more focus on safety and insurance

SEATTLE - Spring marks the beginning of motorcycle season as many bikers pull their motorcycles out of winter storage to cruise Northwest roads and highways. Unfortunately, with more miles ridden and more bikes on the road, that also means more motorcycle accidents too.

Approximately 8.5 million motorcycles were on U.S. roads in 2013 with 88,000 motorcyclists injured in motorcycle crashes and 4,668 deaths. In 2012, 112,000 motorcycles were involved in property damage-only crashes, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

While safety is the best policy, make sure you also have an insurance policy that protects both you and your motorcycle if you do get in an accident.

"It's important for other motorists to be on the lookout for motorcycles,” said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president. “It's also important for motorcyclists to ride safely and have insurance coverage to protect themselves if an accident happens." 

Fortunately, motorcycle insurance is widely available, either as an endorsement to a personal automobile policy or as a stand-alone policy.  To determine the best motorcycle coverage for you, it’s important to understand the available options:

  • Liability Insurance - Most states require a minimum amount of Liability Insurance to cover bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people in an at-fault accident. Liability coverage does not cover you or your motorcycle.
  • Collision Coverage - Covers damage to your motorcycle from a collision, regardless of fault, and usually covers the resale value of the motorcycle before the loss occurred.
  • Comprehensive or Other than Collision Coverage - Pays for damage caused by an event other than a collision. This includes fire, theft or vandalism. Most comprehensive and collision coverage pays to replace only the factory standard parts on your motorcycle. Additional or optional equipment coverage is needed for accessories such as chrome parts, sidecars or custom paint jobs.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage - Covers damage to you and your property caused by a driver or rider who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. This coverage typically pays for medical treatment, lost wages and damage to your motorcycle.
  • Discounts - Keep in mind that many insurance companies offer discounts from 10 to 15 percent for graduates of training courses, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course.

Check with your insurance agent or company to learn more about motorcycle insurance options or to make sure you understand your current coverage.

For more information about motorcycle insurance, call NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942 or send an email to You also can visit the Insurance Information Institute's website.

NW Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization funded by member insurance companies serving Oregon, Washington and Idaho.