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If you are required to file an SR22 bond with the state, you have already found out that your monthly insurance premium has gone up. An SR22 is a sign that you have engaged in a risky behavior such as DUI, driven under suspension (DUS), or did not have insurance when you were stopped for a minor traffic offense. The added risk represented by these behaviors automatically triggers a higher premium from insurance carriers. Motorcycle insurance with an SR22 order in place can become quite expensive to maintain. Unfortunately, if you drop the coverage, your state’s department of motor vehicles will be notified and your license may be suspended. Let’s look at a few things that affect your monthly premium and a few options you may have to minimize your monthly expenditure.
Factors Affecting Your Premium
Dolla’, dolla’ bills, y’all…unfortunately, that is what the majority of life comes down to. Do you have the dollar bills to make it to the end of the month? Insurance is a major drain on your wallet. It helps to know that there are several factors that insurance companies consider when deciding what your premium is going to be. A few of those are:
Credit Score…much to the chagrin of many consumers, those three digits determine many factors in life. Insurance companies look at your credit score as a way of determining your likelihood to pay your premium on time each month. Honestly, if you are not paying your other debts regularly, how are you going to pay them. The lower your score is, the higher your premium is going to be.
Driving History…if you are ordered to carry motorcycle insurance with an SR22 bond and only have one offense on your driving record, your premium may not increase by more than a few dollar per month. Each successive offense can cost you quite a bit. Even minor moving violations can cost you hundreds of extra dollars per year if there are several of them on your record.
Vehicles…since we are talking about having an SR22 bond with motorcycle insurance, we will stick to bikes in this section. Sport bikes are the most expensive to insure due to their power-to-weight ratio. This is true whether you need an SR22 or not. Cruisers with smaller engines are the least expensive to cover.
Coverages Selected…the types of coverage your policy includes affects your premium at all times. Policies like comprehensive, collision, accessories, and towing can all jack your premium out of sight each month.
Deductible…insurance companies offer several deductibles when you are selecting your policy. The lower the deductible, the higher your premium is going to be.
Age…insurance companies openly admit that they charge more for young and old riders alike. While it sounds like discrimination, the practice has been supported by multiple court rulings. Premiums are highest for riders under 25 and over 65.
Motorcycle Insurance with DUI: What Can You Do?
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There is nothing you can do about your age (maybe seethe quietly) or your driving history, but you can work the system in several other ways.
Immediately, you can look at your deductible. Realistically look at how much money you can spend out-of-pocket if you drop your bike. Set your deductible accordingly. The most affordable is $500. After looking into raising your deductible, look for coverages that you can drop. Do you need towing or accessory coverage? Is the bike paid off? If so, can you lower your coverage to your state’s minimum liability limits?
Now is a good time to look at the long term, as well. Are you willing to switch from a sport or superbike to a cruiser? If not, could you go to a bike with a smaller engine? Next, it may be time to look at what you can do to improve your credit score. Simple things like paying down credit card balances and making sure every payment is on time can raise your score enough to power your premiums. In many instances, raising your score above 680 can lower your premiums by at least 10 percent.
In some drastic cases, you may need to consider storing or selling your bike until you are no longer required to carry SR22 motorcycle insurance. A move like that is very dramatic and apt to unnerve ardent riders, but you still have to pay the mortgage or rent.
One proviso to all of these tips is that your driving record will offset everything else. These tips will help if this is your first offense. Multiple DUIs, DUSs, etc will cost you more every month no matter what you do. Your higher premiums from these offenses will last for at least three years.