State laws require motorcycle owners to buy a minimum amount of liability coverage. Motorcycle owners have two choices for insuring their bikes: adding a “miscellaneous type vehicle endorsement” to their auto policy, or buying a standalone motorcycle policy.
The miscellaneous type vehicle endorsement has limitations. Unlike your personal auto policy, it does not cover you for liability for non-owned motorcycles, so if you take a friend’s motorcycle for a spin, you won’t have coverage. It typically covers only the actual cash value of your bike, or the original price, less depreciation. If you have a rare or collectible bike, a customized bike or one with many add-ons, the endorsement is unlikely to provide enough coverage.
For many people, a specialized standalone motorcycle policy offers the best coverage. Its liability coverage applies in more situations and it provides better coverage for the damage or theft of a valuable or customized bike. With some specialized motorcycle policies, you can get “agreed value coverage,” where you and the insurer set a price for the motorcycle when you buy the policy. If it is stolen or totally damaged, the policy will pay you this agreed amount, less any depreciation of tires, batteries and engine parts.