Insuring a girlfriend's motorcycle

My girlfriend has a motorcycle that she bought a few months ago with a loan (she put down $2k and now her payments are ~$82 a month).

A few months later, she realized that she cannot keep the bike for very long due to her financial situation. She is the sole name on her loan: I am not on this loan or currently connected to the motorcycle in any way.

At the same time, my car completely died, and the engine is completely gone, so I won’t have a car for quite a while and I don’t have enough to put down on something new.

I would love to just get my own insurance plan for myself and her motorcycle and then I can make her payments and use the bike as my mode of transportation, and I know that it is common to insure vehicles you don’t own, but does the loan in this situation complicate anything?

2 thoughts on “Insuring a girlfriend's motorcycle

  1. Pete B.

    I think you have two options here:

    1) Buy the bike from her. This way the bike is yours and not hers. You pay your insurance, you make the loan payment, and own it if the loan ever gets paid off. I like this because if you two split up it is clear who owns this asset.

    If you decide not to do this, the problem comes up with the lender. What are their insurance requirements? More than likely the will allow you to be on her insurance policy.

    2) So this way she pays the insurance, she pays the loan. In order to use the bike you give her some money towards the usage. This can be $20 or 100% of the insurance and loan payment. You two choose.

    Again if you two break up, or you are no longer interested in “renting” the bike, the division of this asset is clear, it is hers.

    The parent in me would like to warn you of the up coming weather. Even in Florida using a motorcycle to commute can be tricky. In the summers we deal with rain, in the winter it can be surprisingly cold to ride. And also there is dealing with the drivers that are texting instead of driving.

    Rubber side down my friend.

  2. unknownprotocol

    Former P&C insurance agent here. Bottom line to keep in mind, is that you cannot insure something you do not own, and liability coverage follows you but physical damage coverage is vehicle-specific. So, to add to what Pete B. said you have to either:

    1. Buy the bike from her, so that her loan and obligation is paid off, and the title (and perhaps loan) is now clearly in your name (even if, it still has a loan company as lienholder) and you can insure it properly under your name.

    2. She keeps the bike, in her name, but she adds you as a driver on the insurance policy, and you come up with some arrangement in terms of driving and paying for it. Note that this requires quite a bit of trust and a very stable relationship. If it goes sour, and you have (no contract or purchase-lease agreement for this bike) even if you have paid for more than 50% of bike and bike insurance, the bike is hers legally.

    You want to make sure that the bike is properly covered and that the insurance policy is properly written in case of an accident. Last thing you want is a totaled bike and an outstanding debt for a totaled bike because it wasn’t properly insured. If the actual cash value of the bike is less than the outstanding loan, you should look into GAP insurance.

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