Beep beep. Crash! In the US, 49 out of 50 states require car insurance and these laws are highly enforced at the state level. But how come they do not have requirements for dirt bike insurance?
These regulations have been put in place for our safety, but it is important to understand when you have a choice on whether or not you want your type of vehicle insured.
There are many kinds of insurance out there today. Life, pet, house, flood, health, car, motorcycle. All of these can be quite confusing and honestly stressful, but in an emergency, they are your plan B, so it is crucial to have them.
Nevertheless, motorcycles and dirt bikes are not quite the same thing, therefore, comes the big question...
Do dirt bikes need insurance?
There are various answers to this particular question. It could depend on your financial stability, the country or state you live in, or just your preference. However, in some countries, they can be required by law, but that does not necessarily apply to every state in that country.
For example, in the US. car insurance is mandatory in every state with the exception of the state of New Hemisphere. But is that the same when it comes to dirt bikes?
Is dirt bike insurance required in the U.S.?
Some states require the purchase of dirt bike insurance by law, even if it is not a street-legal bike, it must be insured. However, in other states, the option is in your hands and it is up to you to decide if you have enough money and want to ensure your dirt bike.
Most countries and states require street-legal bikes, otherwise known as motorcycles, to have insurance coverage. However, dirt bikes that are unmodified and not street legal might not be required to have insurance.
In some areas it can be a mandatory law, therefore you should research the laws on your dirt bike depending on if it street legal or not.
Regardless of your feelings toward purchasing coverage, it is a valid investment for your bike, your safety, and the safety of others around you.
Though dirt bikes are off the road types of vehicles, accidents can still happen. More so if you change your dirt bike to a street-legal bike, which is then more prone to accidents.
Even if dirt bikes do not ride on the streets, they can be quite dangerous. Over 39,000 motocross and high-speed dirt bike injuries occur every year according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This is why it is important to protect yourself.
Are dirt bikes considered motorcycles?
Dirt bikes can be considered a type of motorcycle. But they are NOT the same things. Some companies may offer a dirt bike package under their motorcycle division, however, the coverage and services are not the same as they operate in different terrains.
This is because dirt bikes lack the qualities of a street-legal vehicle such as headlights, turn signals, amongst others. Therefore, the dangers that you experience with a dirt bike are not the same with a motorcycle as their riding mediums are completely distinct.
Offroad riding has other dangers that can be found in tracks, trails and other off-road areas that motorcycles do not engage with.
Protecting yourself in any situation that might place you in danger is a good idea, as an insurance policy can help you out of theft, bike damage, and shield you from a high costing injury bill.
Still in doubt? That is fine, insurance is a great way to keep you safe in case of any accidents, however, it is not for everyone.
Why do you need dirt bike insurance?
Pros of insurance
- Theft coverage
- Damage coverage
- Fire protection
- Peace of mind
Cons of insurance
- Adds extra cost to your hobby
- May be unnecessary due to where you ride
- Riding on the track means you do not need liability insurance
- Scratches and dents do not count as damage
What are the types of bikes that can be insured?
The most commonly insured dirt bikes include:
Though many other models can be accepted, these are the most common ones for companies to cover.
What do dirt bike insurance companies cover?
Just like you pick your coverage for a car or house insurance, you can do that with your dirt bike. To customize your insurance, you first need to be aware of what you need and are looking for.
The type of insurance you get for your dirt bike can be affected by your usage of the vehicle. If you ride dirt bikes as a hobby, it is occasional and you might enjoy cleaner trails and smaller slopes. You probably stay away from tricks and jumps, and just enjoy the breeze.
However, if you are doing it as your passion or sport you are more likely to enjoy high speeds. You like adventure, bumpy trails, the pumping of the adrenaline and the fierce competition.
The best insurance companies offer different services, some might be required, others can be add-ons and optional decisions that are up to you to make. Not many people regret having insurance, as the overall cost over time can compensate for the cost in case of an actual crash.
How to find the best insurance
The best option is to work with an agent to determine what the best coverage is for you. Whether that is based on your financial situation or the type of rider you are.
In most companies, the basic package includes "bodily injury and property damage liability coverage." However, there are other coverages that you can consider purchasing but are optional to the insurance.
Reminder: These are some examples from companies. Not all of them will have the same kinds of coverages and some might not be optional.
Warning: Just like dirt bikes and motorcycles are not quite the same thing, neither are dirt bikes and Motocross racing bikes.
A standard dirt bike insurance may not cover bikes that are used for Motocross competitions as they are way more dangerous than regular dirt bikes.
Usually, you will have to look into Motocross insurance as they might have different policies but it is possible to find companies that group them into one.
In this post, we will be looking at dirt bike insurance NOT Motorcross.
Bodily injury (& property damage liability)
This is what is included in the most basic of packages, therefore it is a requirement. These two coverages are required as they cover any injuries or damages that the rider causes to other drivers, pedestrians, or bystanders.
Keep in mind that some companies consider "property damage liability" as an add on.
Depending on the company, they will have different claim limits. This term refers to the amount of money that the insurance will give you per occurrence. The largest amount they will give you is the limit. Make sure to ask your agent what the claim limits are to know prior to an accident how much money will have to come out of your pockets.
The "bodily injury" coverage protects you from medical expenses from injuries to you, other people, or even your passenger. Apart from this, it can cover hospital stays, physical therapy sessions, medication, lost salary, doctor visits and funeral expenses for the injured person.
If you plan to ride with others alongside you, this is a very valuable coverage to have in case any damage is done. Additionally, other people can ride your bike, whether they have your permission or not.
However, in an event of a crash, the blame can fall on you. The owner of the bike is usually liable for the damage the driver causes, therefore this basic insurance can cover you.
Property damage liability
As for the "property damage liability" portion of the insurance, it will protect you from the damage to other objects such as a car, another bike, signs, fences, walls, or someone else's property. As well as helping you settle legal expenses if you are sued.
Your insurance company may combine both the bodily and property into one, or separate them. No matter the situation, make sure the limits that you set on these two coverages are enough to cover multiple scenarios plus the cost for an attorney.
Even if you might not use it, having the basics can be the difference between some money loss or debt. It is always important to have a plan B!
Comprehensive & collision
This is typically an add on when it comes to insurance companies. And they cover two extra things that are quite similar to the "bodily injury and property damage liability"
Collision will aid with financial recovery in an accident such as a crash where your bike might be damaged. Even if you were the one to blame, this coverage will help you out, no matter what you ran into or what ran into you.
Regardless of what happens, collision coverage will pay for the damages related to almost anything. This could be the fence you ran into, a car, or if your bike itself is damaged. Nevertheless, the company will pay for the repairs of the damage no matter who is to blame.
Be aware that if you still own money in your financing for the bike, you might be obligated to buy collision insurance. However, it is a good add-on whether it is required or not.
As for comprehensive coverage, it will cover damages that are out of your control. This includes but it is not limited to...
- Running over an animal
- Bike theft
- Falling objects
It also covers any other damages caused by...
- Natural Disasters
When purchasing this type of insurance, you will be asked to choose a deductible for each one. Meaning the amount of money that you must pay out of your pockets before the company pays the rest.
Bikers who ride for leisure and as a hobby should consider "collision and comprehensive coverage." This is because it will repair the bike as quickly as possible. If you ride around in your terrain and use that to farm, or grow crops or as an off-road vehicle, then you need your bike. Therefore, this type of insurance helps move things faster.
Medical payment insurance
The bills after a crash are not very pretty, and a hospital can charge you thousands of dollars for treatments and visits. But if you have insurance, it is almost as if you are putting coins in a jar, and saving up.
Eventually, you will need it and it will be there for you. However, if you don't the bill can overcome the amount of money you have saved and you can end up in debt.
This is another optional coverage that you can add to your bill. The "Medical payment insurance" will help you if you are injured in an accident.
Though most of the time some money comes out of your pocket, the insurance company will help pay the hospital bill and medical costs in a dirt bike injury. Even if you are the one that caused the accident.
If you like adrenaline-pumping dangerous roads, then this one's for you. High-speed riding, especially on unkept trails, can be a very hazardous pastime. Therefore, having this insurance cover you can be an exceptional idea.
However, if you do not have health insurance, then this is a crucial idea. Though health is something you can not buy, you certainly need to pay to upkeep it, and putting yourself into dangerous situations can be quite risky. Therefore this is a must-have, whether you have health insurance or not.
What will it cover?
This coverage can pay for the bills for your injuries and any passenger you may have injured on your bike. No matter whose fault it was, the coverage applies to any incident in many companies, so look into it before purchasing.
This can end up acting like a side coverage to their health insurance. If you get in a crash, and end up overpassing the coverage limit on your health insurance, you can then reach out to your dirt bike insurance company and ask them to cover the rest. It is a great way to secure your health.
Some common injuries that are a result of a dirt bike accident include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Severe head injuries
- Torn knee ligaments
- Broken shoulder(s) or collarbone
- Broken or sprained ankles and, wrists
These injuries are often covered by dirt bike insurance companies if you opted for the medical coverage. Having "Medical payment insurance" can help cover:
- Funeral expenses
- Co-paid medical bills
- Psychiatric visits
- Health insurance deductibles
- Dental care
- Physical therapy
- Home nurse care
To find out what you will have covered, make sure to talk to your provider and ask your agent before signing and agreeing to anything.
This is one of the most crucial types of insurance as money can buy another bike, but your health must always come first!
Uninsured motorist insurance
Though this would not be a problem if everyone had insurance, you can still cover your end of the accident by having "Uninsured motorist insurance."
This an optional dirt bike coverage that can be added on to the insurance that covers drivers and their bikes form drivers that do not have insurance or do not have sufficient insurance.
If the motorist causes an accident and cannot pay for the damages, this insurance covers the expenses of the crash.
Though this one is harder to occur since in the US. vehicles are required to have insurance, if a motorist of a dirt bike wrecks your bike and does not have this insurance, things can go bad.
Theft insurance can come quite useful in case you leave the garage door open, or leave your bike in the back of your pick up.
It is pretty self explanatory and can be one of the most basic coverages you an add on. But many people overlook this as they settle for chains.
Again, it is always good to have a plan B, especially since dirt bike insurance is pretty inexpensive considering other insurance prices.
Roadside and towing assistance
Just like cars, sometimes dirt bikes can get jammed in mud or sand, that is when roadside and towing assistance coverage comes in.
Having this type of coverage means someone is always willing to help you no matter where you are. However, you should keep in mind that not all companies offer this service for off-road bikes and you should ask your agent if the insurance applies to dirt bikes and not just motorcycles.
Dirt bike insurance is something that you might never use, however, when you do need it, you are going to wish you had it.
It comes down to, are you willing to risk it and pay the consequences or are you going to be playing it safe? It is up to you to make that decision!
You can always just flip a coin...