A lot of motorcyclists enjoy customizing their bikes. While the hobby can be fun, these special upgrades and accessories can cost thousands of dollars. If you only carry regular collision or comprehensive insurance, you may lose that investment if you’re in an accident. Motorcycle insurance accessory coverage, however, can protect these parts and the money you put into the bike.
What is motorcycle insurance accessory coverage?
Also called custom parts and equipment (CPE) coverage, accessory coverage protects modifications you make to your bike. In more technical terms, the coverage includes any enhancement, accessories or other equipment that changes the appearance or performance of the motorcycle.
Some of the parts and services that accessory insurance protects include:
- custom plating;
- CB radios;
- sound systems;
- safety apparel;
- sissy bars;
- custom paint jobs; and
- trike conversion.
Insurers who offer collision or comprehensive policies may include around $1,000 to $3,000 of accessory or CPE coverage. Obviously, these upgrades or accessories can far exceed these limits. It’s a good idea to have as much coverage as the costs of the modifications.
When you make these modifications, it’s also a good idea to save receipts to prove to the insurer that the modifications existed. You can take pictures as further proof that you made the enhancements to your bike.
The Benefits of Accessory Coverage
One of the top benefits to accessory coverage is that it protects the investment you made in the bike. In the event of an accident, you’ll have money available to redo the modifications.
If you include sufficient accessory coverage with comprehensive or collision insurance, you may be able to restore your bike to the condition you want it even if it’s:
- stolen; or
- in a fire.
Accessory coverage also helps with motorcycle safety equipment that can add up over time:
- riding suits;
- leather jackets;
- leather pants;
- sturdy gloves; and
- other riding accessories are expensive.
Additionally, helmets and many of the other equipment only work for one accident. If you’re in an accident, you cannot use the same helmet again. Accessory coverage can make sure you have funds to purchase safety equipment.
Finally, accessory coverage can prevent you from being capped out of payment for your property damage. No-fault insurance in New York doesn’t apply to motorcyclists; but motorcyclists can file a liability claim against the at-fault driver. The insurer will only pay up to the coverage limits, and the driver may not have funds to cover the rest of the damages.
For example, if the accident results in $100,000 in damages, but the at-fault driver only carried $50,000 in property damage liability, you could have a hard time collecting the remaining $50,000. In this situation, redoing bike modifications may otherwise have to take a back seat to paying for medical bills.
What Accessory Coverage Will and Won’t Do in an Accident
Accessory coverage cannot cover medical expenses, lost wages, damage to the original bike parts and compensation if the motorcycle is stolen or harmed in other ways.
Consider the following insurance to guard against those losses and others:
- collision: this insurance covers the damage to the originally manufactured bike regardless of fault in an accident.
- comprehensive: In addition to collision, comprehensive covers loss from theft, fire, vandalism and other unforeseeable events.
- uninsured/underinsured motorists (UIM): UM/UIM covers you if you happen to be in an accident with an uninsured motorist or in a hit and run accident.
There are other aspects to motorcycle insurance, safety and accidents that all riders should consider. For more safety information and legal news, sign up for the Gacovino, Lake & Associates newsletter.