Like automobile drivers, Alabama law requires motorcycle riders to be insured whenever they ride. The requirements for motorcycle insurance mirror the minimum liability standards for cars. Motorcyclists must have a minimum of $50,000 for bodily injury liability protection, $100,000 for property damage, and $25,000 for personal injury protection. Aside from the basic requirements, riders can also obtain coverage for medical payments that may not be covered by their health insurance policies, as well as coverage to protect them in the event they are hit by uninsured or underinsured drivers.

Such coverage, while helpful, can also be very expensive. Leah Knapp, a spokesperson for Progressive Insurance explains to Insure.com that uninsured motorist coverage for motorcycles is more expensive than similar coverage for cars because the chances are greater that a motorcyclist will be severely (or permanently) injured in an accident.

Occupants of a car are essentially protected by a steel cage, while motorcycle riders do not have such protection. Indeed, helmets, special clothing, and defensive riding techniques can keep riders safe, but more riders are injured on average than passenger car occupants. In fact, the fatality rate for motorcycle riders is nearly six times higher than people riding in cars. For these same reasons, additional medical coverage is pricer compared to similar coverage for drivers.

Despite higher average costs, motorcyclists can follow several tips when shopping for coverage. Of course, riders should shop around and compare the costs of coverage among a number of insurers. According to Bankrate.com, motorcycle coverage rates can vary by as much as 50 percent between insurers. While many auto insurers offer motorcycle coverage, consulting a company that specifically insures motorcycles is also helpful.

Bulk coverage (i.e. a bundled policy that covers your home, car, and motorcycle) may also save you money on uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Additionally, some insurance companies offer discounts for motorcycle club members. If you are part of the American Motorcyclist Association or Harley Davidson Owners Group you may be eligible for substantial discounts.

Motorcyclists may also save money based on their age, as well as their driving record. Riders ages 55 and over may qualify for special discounts. The same applies to riders with clean records.

Ultimately, insurance rates depend on a number of factors, including the type of motorcycle, the size of the engine, as well as any enhancements that have been made. If you have questions about how your policy will cover you, an experienced attorney can advise you.