Whether you've been riding for years or just bought your first bike, there are definite benefits to taking a Motorcycle Safety Course. Driving a motorcycle is very different from driving a car and there are additional safety aspects you need to be aware of on a bike. The fact that you're essentially unprotected on a motorcycle is a strong enough reason to hone your skills so you know what to do in case you are ever in a hazardous situation while riding.
Most states offer state-run safety courses. Check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles and they should be able to give you more information on courses in your state. A wide range of information is also available on the Internet. Just do a search for "Motorcycle Safety Courses." Many sites will also let you test your skills online. In addition, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers beginner and advanced courses in just about every state. Visit their website at www.msf-usa.org to find the RiderCourse nearest you. Or you can call 1-800-446-9227. They offer close to 1,000 courses across the United States, so chances are you'll be able to locate one near you.
On a bike, you should take into consideration things such as weather conditions, traffic, terrain, road conditions, the condition of your bike and your state of mind. Knowing what to do if trouble strikes could be the difference between life and death. Here are a few things to consider every time you ride:
- Make sure your bike is in proper working order. Check the tires, fluid levels, lights, brakes, etc. before heading out on the road.
- Be sure you are ready to ride. Make sure you are well-rested, alert and ready to deal with whatever obstacles you may encounter while riding.
- Be prepared. Make sure you listen to the weather and road conditions where you're going to be riding. Pack some "extras" just in case. You may want to include rain gear, water, snacks, a small tool kit and a couple extra layers of clothing for longer rides.
- Check the local laws. Riding laws may vary by state and you'll want to make sure you're following the laws where you'll be riding.
- Put on your safety gear. Helmets, leathers and gloves can all help reduce the risk of serious injury if you are in an accident.
- Tell a friend. Let somebody know where you'll be riding and what time you plan to reach your destination. You may also want to leave instructions on who to call in case of an emergency.
Taking a safety course can help you be more confident that you are doing what you can to protect yourself and your motorcycle in the event of an accident. You might also get a discount on your insurance if you've taken an approved safety course.
The Right Coverage
Make sure you have an insurance policy that offers the coverages that are important to your specific bike and lifestyle. All insurance policies are not the same — a lesson you don't want to learn first-hand if you have a claim.
Important things to look for when choosing a specialized insurance policy for your motorcycle:
- Safety Apparel Coverage to protect your investment in helmets, leathers, gloves and any other clothing designed to minimize injury in the event of an accident.
- Optional Equipment Coverage for chroming, custom painting, side cars or anything else that was not included as standard by the manufacturer.
- Optional Towing and Roadside Assistance in case your bike breaks down and can't be ridden when you're away from home or you run out of gas, get a flat or have mechanical issues.
- Optional Replacement Cost Coverage on bikes purchased new and insured within 30 days.
- Flexible payment plans so you can choose the plan that best fits your budget.
- Deductible and coverage limit options.
- Premium discounts.
The AARP Motorcycle Insurance Program from Foremost offers all of these important coverages and more with our specialized policy. Foremost has been in the specialty insurance business for over 60 years and we understand that you want to protect your investment. Foremost has specially-trained claims representatives that handle only motorcycle and off-road vehicle claims — it's not just one of the things they do, it's all they do. We have the experience and expertise to handle claims quickly and fairly.