Most riders have more or less the same insurance reality: they’re required to carry some sort of vehicle insurance by their state government, and if they want to ride, they’ve got to pay in advance, whether they ride the bike or not. If you can’t ride for weeks or months, for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter. You’ve paid up, and that’s how it is.

That might be about to change, thanks to a new business model that VOOM is pioneering in the U.S. Instead of a flat fee that allows unlimited mileage, VOOM is now offering motorcycle insurance plans based on your monthly mileage. It’s a different idea, and it could save some riders a lot of money.

The basics: here’s how it works

VOOM’s plan is simple. There’s a monthly base rate, a flat fee that is kept low, as saving money is the whole point of the plan. Then, every month, riders will submit a photo of their odometer reading; based on that, VOOM will charge riders a fee that’s rated to how many miles they traveled. If they don’t ride their bike very far, they’ll see their rate drop for the next month.

If they don’t submit a photo, VOOM will charge the user a default flat fee. VOOM has a cap on the monthly fees, so there’s no surprises if you ride too much. A problem we’d all like to have, for sure.

Currently, VOOM offers three pre-packaged levels of insurance: Rider’s Essentials, Popular, and Extended.

This should give you an idea of how VOOM’s rates work. Photo: VOOM

Rider’s Essentials offers “the standard coverage needed for your everyday ride, with liability coverage for bodily injury, 3rd party property, and uninsured motorist coverage.”

Popular has “essential motorcycle protection with higher liability coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage as well as medical expenses.”

Extended is a “premium package with higher liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and medical expenses. The Extended package also includes emergency roadside assistance services.”

The different plans have different monthly base rates, and different mileage rates. However, as riders have different needs and wants, they can tweak their coverage beyond these basic packages to get the features and options they feel they need in their specific case. As well, different riders will be quoted different rates depending on their type of motorcycle, their age, riding experience, and other factors. It’s a system that can be easily adjusted to suit each individual rider’s case, all done digitally, with customized coverage possible in minutes.

How much money can you save with VOOM? That depends on how much you ride. Photo: VOOM

Who would want to use VOOM?

The whole point of changing your insurance over to this new pay-per-mile model is to save money; otherwise, most riders would stick with the set-it-and-forget-it model that most insurers use, with no need to upload a photo every month.

So, who could potentially save money under this new plan?

Amir Shneider, VOOM’s Head of Marketing, says there are two basic customer sets who can save money with the new pay-per-mile model. The first set is obvious: riders who don’t travel many miles in a year will potentially benefit from a usage-based plan, instead of buying annual coverage that’s based on the assumption of more miles traveled. If you only travel short distances when you ride, or you only ride occasionally, this plan might save you money. Shneider says VOOM’s plan is ideal for riders who ride less than 2,000 miles a year.

Even if you love bikes, some riders might find themselves in this position because of work, health or other reasons, potentially saving some cash.

However, for most ADVriders, that probably won’t cut it. But there’s a second set of customers who might benefit from VOOM. It might be an attractive, money-saving option for riders who have more than one motorcycle, but only ride the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) bike rarely. Instead of having to pay for full-on insurance coverage for the vintage airhead in their garage, they can pay a small monthly fee and then a minimal per-mile fee. Chances are, this describes a lot of committed riders.

VOOM figures riders can save up to 60 percent of their annual moto insurance bill, which would be welcome news to many of us, particularly if we’ve got multiple bikes.

VOOM’s simple, non-intrusive model will no doubt appeal to riders who don’t want a big corporation looking over their shoulder via a black box. Photo: VOOM

A non-intrusive model

VOOM relies on that monthly odometer photo for its fees; there’s no electronic gadget installed on your bike to measure your mileage. That’s important, because an onboard black box could potentially be used to analyze your driving habits down the road, which could then see your rates jacked up for speeding, wheelies, or other “anti-social activity.” Other North American insurers have already tried to go down this road; it’s good that VOOM isn’t doing so.

Obviously, that business model could lead to dishonesty on the rider’s part. VOOM simply says “our process will validate the authenticity” of that photo month-to-month. In other words, they’ve got ways of checking up on you, if you get cheeky.

Do your homework

No matter who you’re insured with, motorcyclists should regularly check around for better pricing or coverage. In the case of VOOM, it’s the same; do your homework before signing up, to make sure you really do save money.

Interested in switching?

VOOM may not be available in your area right now. Currently, it’s offered in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, although the company says it’s expanding to all 50 states in the future. For more details, head to VOOMinsurance.com, or click here for an online motorcycle insurance quote.

Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by VOOM. Thank you to VOOM for supporting ADVrider.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing!
This email is already subscribed.
There has been an error.