Monday, January 23, 2012

What You Need to Know about Motorcycle Insurance

Owning a motorcycle gives you the opportunity to experience one of the best feelings possible--cruising down the highway without a care, letting the miles melt away the pressures of everyday life. It’s not all a bed or roses, however. Because they only have two wheels, motorcycles are fundamentally unstable, which means they’re dangerous. Add to that the fact that they’re relatively small, so motorcyclists run the risk of a car or truck suddenly pulling out in front of them at an intersection. These facts, among others, make carrying adequate insurance necessary. Following are a few tips concerning what you need to know about motorcycle insurance.

Street Legal

In all 50 states, you need a minimum amount of coverage to legally ride a motorcycle on public roads. In most states, you can ride legally with only liability coverage. This means that if you’re in an accident, your insurance policy will provide monetary reimbursement for any damage done by your motorcycle to any person or property involved in the accident--if you’re deemed to be at fault. If you want protection beyond the basics, you’ll have to pay extra for the coverage.

Liability Coverage

Carrying liability insurance provides protection for other parties, but doesn’t cover you or your machine. If you believe you need additional protection, you’ll have to get more coverage. You need to determine exactly what your needs are and how much you can afford to pay for it. If you’re in an accident, your liability insurance will cover the damages to the other person and their property. You will have to pay for any repairs to your own motorcycle. It will also be your responsibility to pay for damage to any associated equipment, such as helmets and safety clothing. You would also have to pay for repairing or replacing any accessories, such as a fairing, saddle bags, safety clothing, special lighting, or any other accessories you may have added, out of your own pocket. If you suffer an injury, the costs associated with hospitalization and doctor’s visits will also be your own responsibility.


Most people don’t have that kind of cash lying around, so carrying additional--comprehensive--insurance is something you should seriously consider. In addition to paying for repairs to yourself and your equipment due to an accident, comprehensive insurance will also protect you if your motorcycle is stolen. You can also get coverage expenses associated with trip interruption. If you’ve had custom work done, it may be a good idea to get coverage for that, as well. Keep in mind that additional coverage means your insurance premiums will be more.

Different Bikes--Different Prices

Some types of motorcycles will cost you more to insure than others. For instance, if you ride a large, high-powered touring motorcycle, you will have to pay more for insurance than if you ride a scooter. The reason is obvious--touring bikes are bigger, faster, have more moving parts, and cost a lot more money to buy, and repair. The saving grace concerning touring bikes is that they generally tend to be owned by older riders, who are considered to be more reliable and don’t take unnecessary chances, so they may get a price break. Cruisers and standard motorcycles don’t usually cost as much as touring machines, so the insurance costs will be slightly less. Sport bikes, on the other hand, although they’re middle-of-road pricewise, are very expensive to insure. The reason is that sport bikes are usually owned and operated by young riders who are perceived by the insurance industry to be prone to riding aggressively. The machines themselves are marketed as street-racers, which means that even if you don’t intend to ride assertively, the insurance company will charge you as if you will. Therefore it cost more to insure a sport bike.

Shop Around

As with any other type of insurance, you can get the best price on motorcycle insurance by shopping around. Go online and get some insurance quotes from insurance companies that do business over the Internet. Use these prices for comparison when you begin calling the more traditional brick and mortar insurance agencies. Your motorcycle dealer may also be a good source, since they deal with getting insurance coverage for their customers on a regular basis. After you’ve gotten a number of quotes, take the time to go over them and determine which company can offer you the best coverage at a reasonable rate. Don’t forget to ask the different companies about the possibility of discounts. The company you presently insure your home, health, life and automobile with may be able to offer you a combined policy, which will save some money.
Guest post from Sydney Sommers. Sydney writes about motorcycle insurance quotes for

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Retirement Planning Tips for New Grads

The great day has arrived. You’ve finally graduated from college, and now hold a degree. Could things get any better than this? Well, yes. It’s called the rest of your life. Now that you have the degree, it’s time to go to work. It’s also time to start planning for your retirement. You may think a thing like that can be put off for awhile, but there’s no time like the present to begin. Following are a few retirement planning tips for new grads.

Start Now

If you begin saving money for your retirement while you’re in your 20s you’ll be able to build a substantial fund by the time you reach retirement age. However, if you put it off until you’re in your 40s or 50s, the amount of money you’ll have to live on after retiring won’t be nearly as much. Start saving for retirement as soon as you get your first paycheck, and you’ll be able to enjoy your Golden Years much more. Now is also the best time to connect with a financial planner who can help you formulate a savings plan.

Simple Savings Account

Although the return isn’t spectacular, a simple savings account may be the best way to start planning for your retirement. The fundamental act of setting aside a few dollars each week and putting it into a savings account can become a psychological tool to help you begin saving in earnest. By training yourself to stick a few bucks every week into a savings account, you’ll be laying the groundwork for a lifetime habit of devoting a portion of your paycheck toward your retirement. A savings account won’t earn much interest, but it can provide the impetus to branch out into other areas that will build your retirement fund quicker.

Create a Budget

To insure that you’ll have a few bucks left over to invest in your retirement, it would be a good idea to create a budget as soon as you have a paying job. Figure out all your expenses and deduct them from your income, then take as large a portion of what’s left over as you can and devote it to a retirement plan. The sooner you start, the faster your retirement fund will grow, and the larger it’ll become. If there’s not much money left after paying your bills it would still be a good idea to put a few dollars into a retirement fund rather than blow it on frills. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to retire.

Start Slow and Stay Safe

In the beginning, your investments should be kept to instruments that don’t carry much risk, such as an IRA (Individual Retirement Account.) If your employer offers a 401k, take advantage of it. The tax benefits alone are worthwhile. If you start your retirement fund slowly, and stay with safe investments your retirement fund is bound to grow. The more you add to it, the larger it’ll become.

Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds

Traditionally buying stocks, bonds, and mutual funds has helped a great many people expand their retirement accounts. However, the stock market is extremely unpredictable, and you could end up losing everything if you’re not careful. One way to make sure you don’t lose all your investment capital at once is to diversify your investments. Instead of taking advantage of that ‘hot’ tip you overheard at the water cooler; you’d be better of checking into it before laying any money down. Even if it seems like a good investment you shouldn’t spend everything you have and invest it on any one stock. If the bottom drops out of that stock all your savings could go with it.

Spread Your Retirement Investments Around

Your retirement fund is too valuable to risk on any one venture. Instead, you should spread your retirement investments around. Buy a few stocks and bonds here and there if you believe in them, and put a little into a mutual fund, which are a bit safer investment--but have a fall-back plan--hang onto some of your cash so if the investment tanks you won’t lose it all. If you put a little money into stocks and bonds and some more into mutual funds, you will have a good start on a retirement fund. Add to that the savings from your IRA and 401k and you should have a healthy nest egg when it comes time to retire--providing you manage it correctly, and don’t dip into it unless you absolutely need it.

By Pat Singer: Pat writes about accredited online colleges for

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