- Only comprehensive motorcycle insurance covers motorcycle theft.
- Over 40,000 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2019.
- Anti-theft devices are critical for preventing theft.
According to the National Insurance Claims Bureau, motorcycle thefts have been on a decline, with a 12% decrease between 2016 and 2019. However, this does not change the fact that motorcycles continue to have greater chances of theft compared to cars, with over 40,000 reported stolen in 2019 alone. Motorcycles are more likely to fall prey to thieves because they lack closed interiors, making them easier to carry off quickly. Once stolen, they are stripped down and their parts are individually sold.
Similar to other types of vehicles, motorcycles need to be insured before you can ride them. Basic motorcycle coverage is what is required by law in most states, paying for medical expenses and property damages caused by you to other motorists. Remember that the minimum required coverage does not protect you or your motorcycle, that will be protected under full coverage insurance.
Does Insurance Cover Motorcycle Theft?
If you carry only the basic coverage, your motorcycle is not insured against theft. To be covered against theft, as well as vandalism and weather damage, you must have a comprehensive insurance policy, an additional option that is not required by law but highly recommended for better protection of your vehicle. Some insurers also include custom parts, such as helmets, body gear, and custom paint jobs in comprehensive coverage. Remember that this coverage does not compensate you in case of a crash or collision. To be secured against road accidents, you need collision coverage.
The amount of coverage you need depends on the type and cost of your motorcycle and as does the annual premium. If you have a sports bike or a fancy Harley Davidson that is more prone to catch attention, expect higher coverage needs and more expensive premiums. If your motorcycle is stolen and you file for a claim, the insurer will need the details of the incident, along with a formal police report. Typically, the insured is offered the actual cash value of the vehicle, which is the depreciated value after the deductible has been paid.
If you have a motorcycle loan, you may be required by the lender to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage. If your stolen motorcycle is recovered after you have been paid the claim, the insurance company gets full possession of the vehicle.
What to Do If Your Motorcycle Is Stolen
Regardless of where you park your motorcycle, it may get stolen in the absence of proper safety measures. In the event of theft, the following steps should be followed for a solution:
- Call the police: Once you are certain that your motorcycle has been stolen and is nowhere to be found, you must call the police and report the theft. An officer either comes to the location of the incident or you may have to visit your nearest police station to file a formal report. You need to provide the details of the vehicle, the time of the theft, and any special identifying features of the motorcycle.
- Inform your insurance company: If you have a comprehensive insurance policy, you are eligible to be compensated in case of theft. But before you notify your insurance company, make sure you have the formal police report because it is one of the most important requirements when filing a claim. You must also inform your lender if your vehicle has been financed.
- Look for the stolen vehicle: When you have looked around the neighborhood and failed to locate your stolen motorcycle, you can seek help on the internet. Posting details of the theft on online forums and seeking information about the stolen vehicle can often be useful in the recovery. If there are motorcycle theft registries around you, make sure to post photographs and details of your motorcycle on them.
- Retrieving the stolen article: If you happen to locate your motorcycle, do not try to recover it on your own. Seek help from the police and wait for them to lawfully retrieve your vehicle.
How to Prevent Motorcycle Theft
Since motorcycles are often smaller than cars and more vulnerable to theft, proper safety features must be implemented to keep thieves at bay. Motorcycles are either rolled away if not secured to the ground or to a pole, or locks are broken before loading the vehicle into a van or truck. Motorcycle anti-theft devices are aplenty and they all help in thwarting theft in different ways. Some of the most common anti-theft devices for motorcycles are:
- Wheel disc brake locks
- Tracking devices
- Locks and chains
- Alarm systems
- Hidden kill switch
Remember that preventing theft is easier than recovering a stolen motorcycle. While insurance might compensate you for the loss, it will do nothing to prevent the theft from taking place. Storing the vehicle in a secure location, preferably indoors, is the first measure of safety. Equipping your motorcycle with various anti-theft devices may also earn you auto insurance discounts.
Motorcycle Insurance FAQ
Yes, motorcycles are vulnerable to theft because they do not have closed interiors and are easy to roll away or load into another vehicle.
The first step is to file a formal report with the police and start the recovery process of the stolen vehicle. The insurance company and the lender (if any) must be notified next.