Can Wearing a Helmet Save Me Money on My Motorcycle Insurance?

Everyone is looking to save money these days, especially when shopping for insurance coverage.

Most insurance companies offer policy holders multiple discount opportunities based on various criteria. For motorcycle insurance, companies might offer insurance discounts if a policy holder covers multiple motorcycles or if the customer has multiple policies, such as homeowner’s insurance or auto insurance, with the same company.

More and more insurance companies are offering discounts on motorcycle insurance if the policy holder completes a motorcycle safety course.

Despite the menu of discounts offered for motorcycle insurance, most insurance companies currently do not offer a discount for wearing a helmet. However, it is important to note that even though wearing a motorcycle helmet might not save you money, it could very well save your life.

Keeping you safe

Compared to driving a car, riding a motorcycle carries with it significantly greater risk of injury. Motorcycle offer enhanced performance capabilities, such as rapid acceleration and the ability to reach high top speed.

At the same time, motorcycles are less visible to other drivers and leave their riders more vulnerable to the elements. For these reasons, wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can mean the difference between life and death.

In 2006, the number of deaths on motorcycles was approximately 35 times greater than the number of deaths among those riding in cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA also estimates that wearing a helmet can reduce the likelihood of a motorcycle crash fatality by 37 percent.

In addition, multiple studies have demonstrated that motorcycle fatality rates are linked to the type of helmet law enforced by the state. Two well-known studies published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2007 and Accident Analysis and Prevention in 2008 looked at how helmet laws might impact the number of motorcycle fatalities, after controlling for factors such as per capita income and population density. The studies found that death rates were the lowest in states with helmet laws that covered all riders. Even states with helmet laws that covered only some riders had lower fatality rates compared to states that had no helmet laws.

It’s the law

While most insurance companies currently do not offer discounts directly related to wearing a motorcycle helmet, there is still a way that wearing a helmet can save you money. In 47 out of 50 states, wearing a motorcycle helmet can help you avoid getting a ticket and the fewer tickets you have, the better your insurance rates typically.

As of March 2009, 20 states mandate the use of motorcycle helmets for all riders, while 27 states require the use of a motorcycle helmet for some riders, typically younger riders. Only three states – Iowa, Illinois and New Hampshire – do not legally require the use of a motorcycle helmet. You can find out what the helmet law is for your state by visiting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website.

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