Motorcycle insurance can cover you in case of an accident, but what if you’re not the only one driving the motorcycle? What if a friend takes a spin around the block or you get into a wreck with someone riding on the back?
Thankfully, motorcycle insurance covers most people that will ride your motorcycle—even those not explicitly listed on the policy. There are some exceptions, however, and it’s important to know the limits and caveats to your motorcycle insurance policy so an unexpected accident doesn’t leave you without coverage.
One way to make sure guest drivers are insured is to add them to your motorcycle insurance policy. This guarantees they will be covered for incidents that are included on the policy, such as:
Collision: If the motorcycle is damaged due to a collision while the driver is operating the vehicle, this coverage can help compensate for the necessary repairs.
Medical Payments: Medical payments can help with medical expenses if the insured driver is injured while operating the motorcycle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage steps in if the insured driver is involved in an accident with a driver not carrying insurance.
Liability: Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage the driver may cause someone else while operating the motorcycle.
Adding someone to your policy can be useful, but it can also be extremely risky. The more people on the policy, the higher risk of an accident and the higher premiums. Drivers with low credit or a poor driving record can make your motorcycle insurance premiums skyrocket. It’s recommended that, if you do add someone to your policy, it is a trusted family member.
Covered but Not Insured
Another option is to not add people onto your policy, but to be sure they’re covered. In most cases, a person’s personal auto or motorcycle insurance policy will cover them, even when operating someone else’s vehicle. Never let an uninsured driver operate one of your vehicles. Not only could they face legal repercussions, but they also may not be covered.
Bikers should also be sure that their policy comes with guest passenger liability. Guest passenger liability insurance helps with a passenger’s medical bills if you cause a wreck while operating the insured motorcycle with a guest on the back. So even if someone on the bike isn’t operating it, they can still be covered under your policy.
As stated before, there are some exclusions when it comes to coverage. The policyholder actually has the choice to add excluded drivers to their policy. If you don’t want someone operating your motorcycle, for example, you can add them to a list of excluded drivers who are specifically not allowed to operate the bike. If they are caught doing so without your permission, it will be considered theft, and any damage they cause to others or the motorcycle should be covered on your policy.
On the other hand, an insurance agency may require you to have excluded drivers on your policy. Insurance agencies generally don’t want you to file claims, so if you live with someone who is likely to file a claim (whether due to past claims, a bad driving record, bad credit, etc.), they may require you to add this person to a list of excluded drivers. If this excluded driver causes a wreck while operating the motorcycle with permission from the insured driver, the motorcycle insurance policy will not cover any of the damages. So while having a list of excluded drivers can be beneficial when it comes to theft, you also have to be wary of who you allow on your motorcycle.