There aren’t a lot of original, earth-shattering coverage options out there in the property and casualty insurance world.
Every once in a while, an insurer will come up with a new “bell” or “whistle,” like Liberty Mutual’s Better Car Replacement, but other than that, it comes down to premium (price) for many cash-strapped Americans.
This fact is causing headaches for some of the more expensive insurers. With plenty of low- and moderate-priced big name insurers around, companies have to separate themselves from the crowd by thinking outside of the box to differentiate their product and justify a higher premium.
While cartoon characters and television stars have become the norm in radio and television advertising, insurers have recently taken to simply highlighting their coverage (often with a fancy new name attached to it).
And they expect us to believe that if they’re bringing it up, it must mean their competitors don’t offer it.
Case in point? Nationwide’s Brand New Belonging’s program, which is a fancy name for replacement cost coverage (which is available on almost every property policy in the U.S.).
With this thought in mind, TTAI is tackling a review of the “Allstate Your Choice Motorcycle,” which according to their website, is a package of exclusive coverage options.
While none of the individual pieces of this program are necessarily exclusive to Allstate, it’s worth taking a look at the program in detail so you know what you’re getting for your premium dollar.
What Allstate Really Offers Motorcycle Riders
Without further ado, let’s jump right in and decode the fancy labels and talk specifics.
“Everything Else Protection:” Remove the veil from this one and you’re left with, drum roll please, comprehensive coverage.
“Protection From Medical Bills:” The Wizard of Oz wouldn’t want you to know this is simply Medical Payment’s coverage.
“Passenger Protection:” This coverage is known in the insurance industry as Guest Passenger Liability. Not every bike policy necessarily covers someone holding on to you.
“Rising Premium Protection:” This is your accident forgiveness coverage option. You might remember TTAI comparing this to buying insurance on a dealer’s ace when playing blackjack in Vegas.
Tip: The house always wins. Paying more to “insure” your insurance may not be the best idea.
“After-market Protection:” Your bike is probably only “stock” because you haven’t had enough time to customize yet. Allstate offers up to $30,000 in customized equipment coverage…so do many other insurers.
“Breakdown Protection:” Also known as towing and labor coverage. Also known as “available from almost every insurer in the U.S.”
“Genuine Parts Guarantee:” Allstate promises to fix your bike with authentic replacement parts. As with many insurance product offerings, this coverage option was born out of hundreds of court cases throughout the U.S. – not necessarily involving Allstate.
The bottom line is many people who had their motorcycles or cars repaired with “aftermarket” parts wound up suing their insurance company for breach of contract. Basically, individuals argued the “aftermarket” parts lowered the value of their vehicles after repair.
Judges disagreed after deciding that the non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts were equal in every way to OEM parts (especially according to the NTSB) – other than the fact they were produced in a factory that had a different sign on the door than, say, “Toyota.”
Many standard insurers – Not just Allstate – seized this opportunity to offer OEM part replacement as a coverage option…for an additional premium. This way, everyone could be satisfied, even if it meant paying a few extra bucks to ensure their plastic was molded in the OEM factory.
“Rider Protection Package:” If you get in a serious or fatal covered accident while riding your bike, Allstate may provide cash benefits to you or your family, regardless of fault.
To put it mildly, we were a little disappointed to discover that this “exclusive” coverage is simply Medical Payment and Personal Injury Protection coverage for motorcyclists…the same coverage available through most other insurers.
As a quick reminder, the two coverage types are similar, in that they are both no-fault coverage, meaning you can collect money whether you were at-fault for the accident or not. Personal Injury Protection is a little more comprehensive in nature and typically more expensive as a result.
“Balance Due Protection:” Here is your GAP coverage; also known as loan/lease gap coverage. If you owe more than your bike’s actual cash value, this is a MUST (from any of the thousand or so insurers that offer it).
“Replacement Ride Protection:” Rental bike insurance coverage is designed to help cover the associated costs of renting a bike while yours is being repaired by a “covered” loss. You typically need to have comprehensive (Everything Else) and collision (Accident Protection) coverage to enjoy this option.
“Trip Interruption Insurance:” Also commonly offered by other insurers, this coverage is designed to help cover some of the costs associated with suffering a collision (Accident Protection) more than 100 miles from your house. Maybe you’re on vacation and have to stay in a hotel or cough up cash for meals and other transportation expenses.
Well, hopefully now that all of these “exclusive” Allstate coverage options have been decoded for you, the coverage is a lot clearer.
Namely, exactly what the coverage options do for you, and the fact that many other insurers offer them standard.
Hey, if Allstate offers you all of these coverage options at the most cost-effective premium, you may want to buy your insurance from them.
Just be sure to call a few other insurance companies to see what they’re charging for the same coverage options.
Read more: Allstate Motorcycle Insurance Review
(photo: Mikey Angels)