Motorcycle Insurance 101: The Essentials

motorcycle insurance considerations

A motorcycle is a significant investment. Before you get your motor running and head out on the highway this season, you owe it to yourself to make sure your insurance is up-to-date and you’re properly covered.

“Just as riding a motorcycle is much different than driving a car, riders should know that their motorcycle insurance needs are different, too,” said Rick Stern, motorcycle product manager, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

Here are some tips.

Update your policy.

First, verify that all your coverages are still in force. Be aware that some companies have a winter layaway period during which some coverages are restricted. Check with your insurance company to see if you currently have any type of limited coverage. Next, note any changes such as additional riders or a new garaging address. A quick call to your independent agent or insurance company will ensure coverage that reflects your current needs.

Consider additional liability coverage.

If you have significant assets, it may be to your benefit to carry a higher limit just in case you are involved in an accident that causes injury to some-one else or damage to property.

Look into medical payments coverage.

Medical payments coverage pays your medical bills as well as your passenger’s and is available in limits up to $25,000 in most states.

Make sure custom parts and equipment are covered.

Additional parts such as chrome plating, a custom paint job, saddlebags or special rims usually increase the value of your motorcycle and may not be covered. If you’ve added any custom parts or equipment, you’ll want to check your policy or call your independent agent to make sure they’re covered.

Know your options.

Rates can vary, so shop around to see if another company offers you a better rate or if you qualify for any discounts. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, consider raising your deductibles. Doing so can help to lower the cost of your policy.

Choose a company that specializes in motorcycle insurance.

For example, Progressive is one of America’s largest motorcycle insurers. Progressive agents and brokers understand the special needs of motorcycle owners and offer specialized coverages that are designed for them and their bikes.

As an independent agency, Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. can help you decide if Progressive or another company is the best fit for you.  For more information about motorcycle insurance or to find an agent, call Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. at 865-922-3111 or click here to contact us.

Protecting Contents of College Students Away From Home

Protecting Contents of College Students Away From Home

College is expensive enough without finding out too late that an accident or theft isn’t covered under parents’ current policies.

Coverage of personal property

Most homeowners policies provide 10 percent of Coverage C (Personal Property) for property owned by an insured while it is at a residence other than the insured residence.  That means if the contents of a policyholder’s home are insured for $100,000, a student’s property up to $10,000 would be covered if living in a dormitory – provided the damage is caused by a covered peril and the student meets the definition of a insured.  Certain items, such as jewelry or expensive electronics my require special coverage or insuring it as a “scheduled item”.

Liability coverage

There usually is an exclusion for damage to property rented to an insured, so generally damage to a dorm room or apartment would not be covered.

Renters insurance

If a student’s needs can’t be met under their parents’ current policy, don’t forget about the asking for a Renter’s Insurance quote.

Travelers Enhanced Auto Options

Travelers Has Enhanced Their Auto Options

Deeper Account Discounts Are Available!

Travelers policyholders can receive an account discount by combining Boat, Homeowner, Personal Article Floater or Umbrella policies with their existing Auto policy.

Safe Driver Discount: Customers who are clean — no accidents, violations or major comprehensive claims ($1,000 plus) for five years in their households — could see better rates.

Annual Auto Policy:  We offer the convenience of choosing either a 6- or 12-month auto policy.

Checking multiple companies to find the one that offers a feature like this one is a great benefit of having an independent insurance agent. Click here to contact Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc., or call us at 865-922-3111.

Clear up your driving record

Save Money by Clearing Up Your Driving Record

Since 2010, Progressive auto insurance customers can request from their agent to remove accidents or violations that have expired midterm on their policies. This saves Progressive customers money.  The requirements are:

  1. The customer must request the review.
  2. Accidents or violations must be more than 35 months old at the time of the request.
  3. Rated drivers on the policy must have no new accidents or violations in the policy term.

Checking multiple companies to find the one that offers a feature like this one is a great benefit of having an independent insurance agent. Click here to contact Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc., or call us at 865-922-3111.

Auto Insurance Made Easy

Be prepared with the right coverage before you need it.

Understanding insurance can often be like trying to learn a foreign language. Many find it confusing and intimidating.

Fortunately, there’s help. Here is a quick reference designed to help you understand some of the most common kinds of coverages. The reference was put together by The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

Liability

Liability covers bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD). This covers your legal liability, up to the dollar limits you select, for damages caused to others in a covered vehicle accident. In most states today, liability insurance is mandatory.

Under BI/PD, your insurance company pays for damages to an injured person and for property damage that you are legally obligated to pay as a result of an accident. If your policy covers you in the event you’re sued after an accident, your insurance company will pay for a lawyer to defend you.

Liability limits generally appear as three numbers, for example, 25/50/25 or 100/300/100.

  • The first number refers to the maximum amount, in thousands, that your insurance company is obligated to pay for bodily injury per person.
  • The second number is the maximum that would be paid out for bodily injury per claim.
  • The third number represents the maximum amount your insurance company is obligated to pay for property damage you cause.

Collision

When you buy collision coverage, your insurance company pays for damages if your vehicle collides with another vehicle or object. Collision coverage involves a deductible amount you select when you purchase your policy. This amount is what you are required to pay before your insurance company starts picking up the tab. Remember, the deductible amount is the amount you need to pay in the event of a claim.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive covers damage caused by events other than a car collision such as fire, theft, vandalism, hail or flood. It also covers damage caused by your vehicle colliding with an animal. And if your car is stolen, it will cover the cost of a rental, subject to a daily limit. Like collision coverage, a deductible usually applies.

Medical Coverage

Depending on the state in which you live, you may have available to you Medical Payments coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. While these both work differently, they provide coverage for medical care provided to you as a result of a car accident.

Four Questions to Get the Right Auto Insurance

Ben Johnson of Bob Johnson Insurance in TN

Using the right tool for a job is key to success in any profession. Experts say the same principle applies when selecting an auto insurance policy. Having the right type of policy can help ensure that you, your employees and your business are all protected in the unfortunate event that one of your vehicles is involved in an accident.

If you’re a business owner and you or your employees use a vehicle for business-related deliveries or to carry certain materials to and from a job site, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy that’s tailored to more closely suit the needs — and risks — of a business vehicle operator.

Here are some questions that can help you determine if you might need a commercial auto policy instead of a personal auto policy.

1. Do you need more liability coverage than your personal auto policy provides?

Generally, a commercial auto policy provides higher limits of liability, but less or no coverage in areas that are typically not associated with commercial auto risks.

2. Do you need special coverage for situations associated with con-ducting business?

Commercial auto policies also usually offer certain coverages — such as hired and non-owned auto coverage and coverage for towing a trailer for business use — that are not available with personal auto policies.

3. Do you need to list any employees as drivers?

You can do this with a commercial auto insurance policy.

4. Do you use your vehicle for business purposes?

If you use your vehicle for things like pizza or newspaper delivery, catering, door-to-door consulting service, landscaping or snowplowing service, logging business, day care/church retreat van service and/or farm-to-market delivery, you might need a commercial auto policy.

Bob Johnson Insurance, Inc. is an independent insurance agency — trained, licensed insurance professionals who offer personal service and advice. We can help match you with the type of policy that best suits your needs and those of your company.

Do you have an insurance question or would you like more information about which coverage is right for you?  Click here and fill out our contact form or give us a call at 865-922-3111.

Have you considered Safeco as your Insurance Company?

Ben Johnson of Bob Johnson Insurance in TN

“Safeco Gave Us Everything We Needed”

Hopefully you will never have the same type of experience as the family in the video above.

However, if you do, you definitely want to have an insurance company who is ready, willing and able to help you. Safeco is just such a company.

Who is Safeco?

Safeco has insured drivers and homeowners through its network of independent agents and brokers since 1923. Safeco Insurance is a Liberty Mutual Agency Corporation company and a member of Liberty Mutual Group. In business for more than 95 years, Liberty Mutual Group is a Fortune 100 company and the fifth-largest property and casualty insurance company in the country.

Liberty Mutual is also rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, an independent firm that rates the financial strength and performance of insurance companies. An A is one of the highest ratings and means you can trust the stability and endurance of Safeco.

Products That Fit Your Life

Safeco offers a wide variety of personal insurance products for you and your entire family, including auto, home, umbrella, watercraft and more. The Safeco Package – which bundles your auto and home coverage together – offers the best combination of savings, convenience and coverage available.

Excellent Customer Service

Safeco offers 24/7 toll-free service for policyholders as well as online policy access at Safeco’s My Account where you can:

  • pay your bill
  • track your claims
  • view policy documents
  • print new insurance ID cards
  • update your name, address and more

Would you like to know more about Safeco or any of the other insurance companies represented by Bob Johnson Insurance?

We are happy to provide answers for you! For questions, please give us a call at 865-922-3111 or click here and fill out our contact form. One of our experienced agents will contact you as quickly as possible.

If you would like a quote, please click here. One of our experienced agents will view your information and contact you to make sure you receive a quote for the insurance that best fits you and your situation.

How to Get the Best Rate on Motorcycle Insurance

the view over the handlebars of a speeding motorcycle

How about some other tips! If you want to get the best insurance rate for you, consider some of the major factors that will be considered.

 

Did you know?

Safeco Insurance Company offers motorcycle & ATV insurance.  Safeco offers discounts for belonging to rider clubs, completing a certified safety course, and having additional policies with Safeco.  Also Safeco’s claim service is fast, fair, hassle free, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Consider the Company

Name your ride, and we probably cover it!

As an independent insurance agent, Bob Johnson Insurance can offer you options from multiple companies so that you can choose the best coverage with the benefits you want.

For example, Safeco covers some categories many insurers don’t. They also offer special discounts for belonging to rider clubs, completing a certified safety course, or multiple lines of coverae. Just in case something does happen, Safeco offers hassle-free, 24-hour claims service.

Getting the best rates for your motorcycle or atv

Consider Your Ride

Your Bike: Newer, flashier bikes cost more than older, basic motorcycles.

Your Age: Just like auto insurance, rates usually decrase as you become older. Be aware though that being new to motorcycles can sometimes affect your rate category until you are more experienced.

Your Address: Living in high crime or accident areas can sometimes influence your rates.

Your Driving History: All accidents count — even auto accidents. The cleaner your driving record, the cheaper your insurance will be.

Your Job: Where you are driving to and parking your bike may influence your rate. For example, parking daily on a construction site may increase your rates.

Consider Other Factors for saving money on motorcycle insurance rates

Secure Your Bike: By keeping your bike more secure (keep it in the garage, alarm it, etc.) you may find additional discounts. We can help you find them.

Don’t Over insure: Your motorcycle is only worth market value. If something happens to it, that’s what you will receive. Overinsuring will not get you more money. We will help you choose the coverage that is right for you.

Mileage: Keeping your mileage low sometimes helps keep your rates the same way — low.

Special Motorcycle Training: Many insurance companies offer discounts when you take a special DMV or other motorcycle classes. We can help you find those discounts.

Would you like more information or a free quote?

We would love to answer any questions you may have or to provide a quote for you. For questions, please give us a call at 865-922-3111 or click here and fill out our contact form. One of our experienced agents will contact you as quickly as possible.

If you would like a quote, please click here.  One of our experienced agents will view your information and contact you to make sure you receive a quote for the insurance that best fits you and your situation.

Watercraft Insurance

Did you know?

As an independent agency, Bob Johnson Insurance can help you find the right coverage from the right company for your boat or other watercraft.

Insuring a boat is different than insuring a car or home. Boats require specialized coverages. To avoid a sinking feeling about your boat insurance, consider these tips from the experts at The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies:

Better Boating
Tips For Smooth Sailing This Season

Before you take that first pleasure cruise or fishing trip of the season, make sure your boat insurance is shipshape.

Insuring a boat is different than insuring a car or home. Boats require specialized coverages. To avoid a sinking feeling about your boat insurance, consider these tips from the experts at The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies:

Evaluate your specific needs. 
Some insurance companies provide no-frills boat coverage that is simply added to an existing auto or homeowners policy. While this sounds good in theory, the reality is that your boat may be best covered if you seek out a specialized policy just for boats, not an add-on to your car or house policy. A knowledgeable, independent insurance agent will review all options with you. A specialized boat policy can cover things not likely covered by a homeowners policy, like the cost to replace lost or damaged fishing gear and costly services, such as emergency on-water towing and fuel-spill cleanup. 

Consult an agent or broker who provides the most options. 
Unlike “captive” agents who represent only one company, independent agents and brokers represent several. They can offer a variety of coverages, review and evaluate your policies, answer your questions and suggest new coverage options that meet your changing needs. They guide you to the policy that provides you with the best combination of specialized coverage, service and price.

Look for a company that offers specialized boat policies. 
When there’s a claim, you will appreciate a company that provides specialized coverage and specialized claims handling. Ask other boaters what company they recommend or find an independent insurance agent who under-stands boat policies.

Once you choose a policy, make sure you understand what you’re buying. 
Your agent should be able to explain, in layman’s terms, what the different options mean. If you are unclear about something, be sure to ask for an explanation.

For more information about boat insurance coverages, talk to an independent insurance agent, who can provide you with the combination of price, coverage and service that’s right for you.

Would you like to know more?

If you have other questions, we are glad to answer them. Click here to use our contact form.  If you would like a boat insurance quote, please click here.

Insurance for your Classic Car

grandfather and grandson cleaning restored classic car

Did you know?

If you have a classic that’s been collecting dust because you haven’t wanted to pay for the insurance, you have low-cost insurance options to get it on the road. Get a competitive classic car insurance quote.

If you own a “classic” car, which could be considered anything over about 25 years old, you could save money on your car insurance by buying specialized classic car insurance.

There are two ways to find insurance for your older vehicles. The first is to check with your current insurance company to see if they have a rating classification for classic or antique autos. This rate will be significantly less than a pleasure use rate, but it may also come with some mileage or usage limitations.

The other way to insure your classic car is to use an insurance company that specializes in insuring restored vehicles. Their policies have unique coverages that may not be available with an ordinary car insurance policy. Here’s a breakdown of some of the categories of classic vehicles for which you might want special coverage:

  • Antique & Classic Cars – Consist of stock vehicles built from the turn of the century through approximately 1969. Examples include a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, 1901 Oldsmobile and a 1930 Model A.
  • Exotic and Special Interest – These are rare or limited production vehicles such as specific models of Lamborghini, Ferrari and Dodge Vipers.
  • Lowriders – Cars modified with hydraulic or air bag suspension systems can often be insured as classic cars, but underwriting guidelines are strict.
  • Modern Classics – These are vehicles of modern production that are considered collectible such as a 1976 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1978 AMC Pacer or a 1979 Trans Am T-Top.
  • Motorcycles and Scooters – Motorcycles are becoming increasingly expensive and thus collectible. Examples of motorcycles insurable as collectibles are a 1948 Indian Chief and a 1952 Harley Panhead.
  • Muscle Cars – Typically late 1960’s and early 1970’s U.S. models that include larger V-8 engines. Examples include a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, 1970 Dodge Charger and a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda.
  • High Quality Replicas – The are home-built or professionally constructed replicas of older vehicles.
  • Street Rods – Street rods include vehicles that have been extensively customized for performance. Examples include a 1932 Ford Highboy or a chopped 1951 Mercury Coupe with custom paint.
  • Trucks or Pick-ups – Older models of trucks can be insured as a classic vehicle just as a car can be. Examples include a 1922 Model T Truck, a 1951 Chevy Pickup or even a 1975 Ford Pickup.
  • Vehicles Under Active Restoration – Even if you haven’t gotten the primer and paint complete, you can insure your classic while being restored.

Advantages of Classic Car Insurance

The typical classic car insurance policy offers better coverage at a reduced premium than a typical auto insurance policy. This is due to the fact that most classics are not driven as much or under the same circumstances as your regular vehicles. The policies may allow only a certain number of annual miles driven, but the return is a greatly reduced premium for insuring your classic car.

Typical benefits of the classic car insurance policy include:

  • Lower premiums
  • Agreed value coverage – this means your car is insured for a specific value that you will be paid in the event of a total loss
  • No deductible – many classic car policies do not have a deductible, so you will not have to pay anything out-of-pocket in the case of a claim

If you have a classic that’s been collecting dust because you haven’t wanted to pay for the insurance, you have low-cost insurance options to get it on the road. Get a competitive classic car insurance quote.