We’re often asked if insurance policies for dirt bikes are the same as for motorcycles. The short answer is “No” they’re not. They are actually two completely different vehicles when it comes to insurance. This is mainly due to the fact that dirt bikes are not really considered street legal even though you can purchase customized policies that will cover dirt bikes on the road.
The main difference between a dirt bike and motorcycle is that dirt bikes are much lighter in weight and designed to be ridden “off-road.” However, they are still considered to be a type of motorcycle and regardless of whether you ride a dirt bike or a motorcycle, statistically they both have a higher chance of being involved in a crash. It’s highly recommended that you purchase adequate dirt bike insurance to protect both your bike and yourself financially.
The main purpose of liability insurance for motorcycles is to protect you on the road. Here’s where the water gets muddy. As we mentioned, dirt bikes are not considered to be street legal. But, many dirt bike owners do use the bike on the road. Because of this, the first step in determining what type of insurance you will need is to determine the details of what you’ll be using the bike for. Be honest with yourself – if you think you may use the dirt bike on the road, make sure your insurance policy covers that.
The difference between dirt bike and motorcycle insurance doesn’t end there. There are other factors to take into consideration. Dirt bikes don’t require registration which makes them an easy target for theft as it’s harder to trace if stolen. Because of this, you’ll want to be sure your policy includes theft. Be sure that the policy covers theft from the transportation trailer also since most car insurance policies won’t cover a theft from a trailer that is towed. Another factor for consideration is to be sure your bike is covered for damages while it’s being transported.
Then there’s motocross insurance to consider. If you plan to ride your dirt bike in off-road competitions (formal or informal), you’ll want to protect yourself. Even though motocross insurance is not required by state law, the fact is that the sport is an extreme sport and can be dangerous for both the bike and the rider. Talk to your insurance agent to help determine the amount of motocross coverage to carry. Factors to consider include:
- How often is the bike ridden?
- Where is the bike stored?
- How if the bike transferred?
- Do you ride competitively?
As with motorcycles, you’ll want to make sure your dirt bike has fire protection in the policy. This will protect it anywhere on your property should fire occur and damage or destroy your bike.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (dmv.org) has issued some guidelines for customizing dirt bike policies. They include:
- Custom Accessories Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Roadside Assistance Coverage
Make a point to meet with your insurance agent before you begin enjoying your dirt bike. Remember, unlike a motorcycle, dirt bikes are not required to have insurance. However, just like motorcycles, accidents can happen.
This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your motorcycle insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance. We are here to help.