If you have a motorcycle, paying for insurance — at least liability coverage — is non-negotiable in Illinois. However, its premium is never set in stone.
Many factors dictate the final rate of motorcycle insurance in Chicago, IL or in any community in the Prairie State. The most important factors that insurers consider when determining your premium are your age, driving history, and credit score.
Generally, motorcycle insurance providers write the rules. This, however, does not mean that you cannot influence your insurer’s decision. If you are determined to keep your premium to a minimum, below are the tips you should follow.
Move to a Safer Neighborhood
Riding a motorcycle in a less accident-prone area can definitely convince a reasonable insurer to lower your rate. Usually, accidents are less common in the countryside than in the city due to the pedestrian population and road vehicle volume.
Furthermore, pay attention to the crime rate of a neighborhood. Insurers are rather allergic to places where theft and vandalism happen all the time.
Increase Garage Security
Leaving your bike unprotected on the street is not a compelling strategy to lower your insurance premium. An insurer wants to know if you have a garage with adequate security features to prevent your motorcycle from getting stolen or weather-damaged.
Installing a sophisticated locking mechanism in your garage may cost a bit of money, but it can be a good investment. It may suffice to make your motorcycle insurance provider say yes to the rate you want.
To be clear, insurers do not hate all bike alterations. Some improvements are necessary to personalize a motorcycle and to enhance its performance and longevity. These changes normally have no effect on a premium.
However, what turns off bike insurance providers are modifications that make motorcycles more attractive to thieves and run faster. If you have a modified bike or plan to tweak your motorcycle to some extent, it is imperative to tell your insurer about. Otherwise, your policy may be nullified or you may receive a higher premium.
Pay a Higher Voluntary Excess
An excess is the portion of the cost you have to shoulder in case of motorcycle repair. It comes in two kinds: compulsory and voluntary. The former is set by your insurer while the latter is your own choosing.
Proactively paying a higher voluntary excess naturally reduces the risk your insurer has to take to provide you coverage. Doing this only makes sense, though, when you objectively think that you are unlikely to get into an accident riding your bike. In case of a claim, you have to pay both types of excess at once, so it may hurt your wallet really bad.
Ride Your Bike Less
No matter how much you love riding your bike, reducing your frequency of using it can save you money. If you commute via other means of transportation during weekdays, an insurer will be happy to reduce your premium.
Bundle Your Policies
Get all of your policies from one provider to get discounts. Many insurers employ bundle pricing to get as much business as possible.
Motorcycle insurance rates are always negotiable. Be prepared to make concessions if you are to receive the premium reductions you want.