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Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Customized Motorcycles?

Added December 15, 2021
Someone sitting on a motorcycle

Motorcycling is about feeling the freedom to explore, to take in the world at a different pace. But before you can hit the open road on your bike, you need to have a few things, namely motorcycle insurance coverage.

We've covered what comprehensive coverage means and even explored a few optional coverage choices, but some people have more specific needs from their motorcycle insurance policy.

If you have a customized bike, then you must explore further than bodily injury and collision coverage. These standard coverages are great, but a truly comprehensive policy is a blend of different coverage types that meet a rider's needs.

As motorcycle riders ourselves, we know that many riders love to customize motorcycles. 

It doesn’t matter if you ride a dirt bike or a custom chopper. Customization that fits your desired aesthetic is fun and makes your customized ride unique.

The only problem is that this custom work needs a plan that is just as specialized, and owners of customized bikes need to know the limits of protection of add-on coverage.

Common Questions about Insurance for Customized Motorcycles

While we can’t speak for other major carriers, Harley-Davidson Insurance Services has clear answers about our coverage for damages to aftermarket parts.

I want to customize my bike. Will it affect the cost of motorcycle insurance?

The short answer is, yes, adequate coverage for modifications to your motorcycle is a good thing to have outside of the standard legal coverage requirements.

However, choosing the correct coverage amounts will depend on several factors, including:

  • the cost of custom parts you select
  • your original agreement
  • your bike’s payment plan
  • your risk tolerance threshold

Despite this, affordable motorcycle insurance that includes custom parts isn't out of reach for most riders.

What is Optional Equipment Replacement Cost?

Customizing to add value is very different from personalizing a bike. If you want to customize a bike to add value, make sure your insurance aligns if you have a loss. 

Harley-Davidson Insurance Services offers "Optional Equipment Replacement Cost" as an added coverage. This covers the cost to replace the accessories, as long as they are less than five years old. 

Without that coverage, the value applied to your loss will consider depreciation and/or general value of the upgrade, which may not be the same as what it cost you to add it to start with. 

Save your receipts!

Does my motorcycle insurance cover performance parts as well as cosmetic upgrades?

Custom performance parts can strongly impact your insurance rates. 

Adding a nitrous kit or similar is not only excluded by many insurance companies (including Harley-Davidson Insurance), but many bike manufacturers will void your warranty with that type of upgrade. 

Riding at extreme speeds raises the potential for unplanned incidents, leaving you with potential medical bills, property damage liability that exceeds your policy, and will likely lead to a loss of coverage. 

Are any of my custom parts included with a basic policy?

When you purchase comprehensive and collision insurance, we automatically include $1,000 of optional equipment coverage. 

This is also sometimes referred to as accessory coverage. If that amount doesn't cover your upgrades, additional coverage for aftermarket parts can be purchased in $1,000 increments up to $30,000.

What if I’m not sure how much optional coverage I need? Some of my parts are stock, and some are custom.

Adequate coverage is all about risk tolerance. That's why we offer so many increments and additional coverage types. There are a few things to think about when deciding how much optional equipment and accessory coverage you need, but the main objective is to correctly factor in the replacement cost for upgrades.

At Harley-Davidson Insurance, we replace factory parts with genuine H-D® parts in case of an unforeseen motorcycle accident that damages your bike, but if you've added new handlebars, for example, how do you ensure that you have adequate coverage? 

Let's say your bike came with handlebars worth $500, but your new custom handlebars are worth $1,000. You don't need $1,000 worth of extra coverage; you only need $500 because the original coverage for stock handlebars is part of our factory standard policy.

Does this cover my riding gear as well?

These coverages are also often called "Optional Equipment" policies. For Harley-Davidson Insurance Services, optional means options, equipment, or enhancements that were not factory standard on the motorcycle.

So "optional equipment" includes (but is not limited to):

  • Equipment added by anyone, including the customer, dealer, or previous owner(s) of the motorcycle or by a company that specializes in retrofitting motorcycles.
  • Any electronic equipment, custom alarm, antennas, and other devices used solely to send or receive audio, visual, or data signals, or playback recorded media. Such equipment must be permanently installed on a covered motorcycle using bolts or brackets, including slide-out brackets.
  • Sidecars or trailers designed to be towed on public roads by a motorcycle or trike conversion kits
  • Custom paint, custom plating, and custom exhaust

If you are unsure which coverage limit you need for your custom component, reach out to a Harley-Davidson Insurance customer service agent for a personalized, competitive quote.

Trailers and motorcycles are a bit confusing. Can you tell me a bit more about how that works?

Trailers are a common coverage question subject. Here’s a high-level breakdown specific to Harley-Davidson Insurance Services:

  • If the trailer hits someone or something, while it’s being towed behind the bike, and causes damage, the situation is covered under the basic property damage liability coverage included with your policy.
  • Damage to the trailer itself when it’s being pulled by the bike is covered under Optional Equipment.
  • A trailer designed to carry the bike itself is typically not covered as part of the motorcycle policy. Some carriers may offer an added endorsement for this, but at this time, we do not. The auto insurance for the vehicle pulling this trailer would likely be responsible for the damages

Get Insurance for your Customized Bike Today

Determining what type of coverage you need can be a little daunting.

That's why we always recommend speaking with an insurance professional that can walk you through any specialized coverage or additional insurance protection your bike might need. If your needs are a little simpler, set up an online quote.

With Harley Davidson Motorcycle Insurance Services, you can rest easy knowing that you have adequate, affordable coverage with continuous protection for all your parts.

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