Markel American is a company that has been offering insurance policies for motorcycles, boats, and ATVs for over 35 years. Although they aren’t as prominent as some of the big name insurers, they are doing well for the niches that they insure. This is a company like Rider that has become more popular with motorcycle enthusiasts because they know the ins and outs of bike insurance and the coverage options that true bikers really want.
This company goes by the slogan: “We are who we insure.” Markel wants its customers to understand that they are always looking for ways to help the people that they insure. This is a company that stands out because their primary focus is powersports insurance (motorcycles, boats, ATVs). Many companies offer a variety of insurance options such as: homeowners, auto, health, life, boat, ATV, and motorcycle policies. However, a niche company like Markel would argue that the companies offering an array of insurance options may not have the policy options that best suit you and your motorcycle.
Markel is a company with a mission of offering the highest quality insurance services to customers, while offering a great rate of return for their investors. They are self-proclaimed motorcycle insurance experts – simply because that’s their primary focus. If you want to consider a company that specializes in motorcycles for your insurance policy, read the review of Markel and determine whether this company has what you need to get great coverage for your bike.
Markel Company History
Markel Corp was established back in the early 1920s when Samuel A. Markel decided to open up a small insurance company in Norfolk, Virginia. At the time, the city of Norfolk had begun enforcing a new law that required insurance for all jitney buses. Most of the major insurers at the time did not have policies that would insure these buses – so Markel formed a mutual insurance agency with owners of the jitney buses. As the company expanded, the headquarters moved to Richmond, Virginia and the company was called “Mutual Casualty Association.”
By the year 1930, the company had also entered the stock industry with a name change to reflect the new business: “American Fidelity & Casualty Company.” With continued expansion, they began offering insurance for fleets of semi-trucks as well as other buses. At one point this was the most prominent insurance company for trucks and buses in the entire United States. By 1935, they had helped pass a regulation called the “National Motor Carrier Act” of 1935 which helped regulate various truckers.
Keeping business in the family, Markel consulted brothers Lewis and Irvin (twins) to help set up a separate company called “Markel Service.” This company was created to manage direct and reinsurance of American Fidelty & Casualty. Eventually, his younger twins Milton and Stanley joined the older twins in running Markel Service. By the early 1950s, the company had branched out to Canada – establishing headquarters in Toronto.
By 1960, the claims department of American Fidelity & Casualty became an independent adjuster that was contracted by other insurance companies. Eventually the company added additional types of coverage when another generation of the Markel family (Anthony, Steve, Gary) took the reign. In 1980 Markel established a company called Essex Insurance in Delaware for property insurance. By the 1990s, Markel Corp hit the stock market at a company value of $15 million – it was traded on NASDAQ.
In the 1990s, Markel acquired various companies including Shand Morahan & Company, Investors Insurance Holding Corporation, and American Underwriting Managers. In 1992, the American Underwriting Managers became Markel American Insurance Company – specializing in boat and motorcycle insurance. By the 2000s, they had purchased Terra Nova Holdings Ltd and Elliott Special Risks LP in London to increase their international business.
Currently the CEO of Markel Corp is Alan Kirshner with dual Vice Chairmen of Anthony and Steven Markel. In 2010 the company purchased Aspen Holdings Inc. and 2 years later purchased Thompson Insurance Enterprises to help expand their business. In 2012, they began offering Camp Insurance to help with liability and risk reduction – aiding in safety and health of children who go to summer camps. As of 2013, Markel has acquired Alterra Capial Holdings Ltd. and continued to expand upon their existing products for charity and community groups.
As demonstrated by the Markel company history, they have become a heavyweight in the financial and insurance industries. They have continued to expand both in company size and insurance options – with no signs of slowing. Although the company history indicates a lot of financial strength and company growth, you should be focused on what kind of policy they can offer you for your motorcycle.
Markel Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Options
Before getting a quote or even considering Markel for your bike, you need to know whether they offer the coverage that you need. According to Markel, each of their policies is unique and custom to each person – they don’t use a template like most of the major insurers. They want you to get exactly what you want for insurance and help you customize every aspect of your coverage. Things such as: type of bike, personal information, how you ride, frequency of riding, etc. all will play a factor in the policy and pricing that you get.
Markel offers $1000 of accessory coverage to help with any customizations that you have made to your bike. If you have a customized seat, exhaust pipes, handles, and an awesome leather riding jacket – this coverage will go a long way. They offer 4 different accessory coverage packages with ranges from: $1000 to $10,000.
So if you need more expensive coverage for your accessories, you can certainly get something more than $1000 worth of coverage. Many people have things like: custom bike lights, radios, safety guards, windshields, luggage racks, etc. and may need more than the minimal amount of coverage for their bike. If $10,000 worth of coverage isn’t enough, you can set up an agreed value settlement for your bike (this is useful when the value of accessories is 50% or more than your bikes current value).
Agreed Value Settlement
One nice thing that Markel does is that they lock in the current value of your motorcycle at an agreed upon price. This is nice because if your bike gets totaled, they will pay you the value of the initial price that was agreed upon for your bike. The “Agreed Value Settlement” makes things fair for both the customer and Markel in the long run.
Note: The only thing that isn’t taken into account is tire, battery, and engine part depreciation. Before getting this added to a policy, you must get an appraisal and have photos of your bike forwarded to Markel.
Bodily Injury Liability
If you are responsible for an accident that inflicts bodily damage on another person or multiple people, you will need bodily injury liability coverage. If your accident causes any type of injury, sickness, and/or death – Markel insurance will help make payments to those that were injured. Understand that this is NOT for cases in which you injure yourself – only injuries to others.
If you are in an accident that causes damage to your bike, Markel will pay for the repairs. Depending on the amount of coverage that you purchase, you may have more or less money going to help with collision repairs following an accident. Deductible options as listed on the company website include: $250, $500, $1000, $1500, or $2000. Each case of a collision is subject to the settlement terms and conditions as well as how much you’ve paid on your deductible.
Although not everyone is required to get comprehensive insurance, it may be a good idea if you truly value your bike.
Comprehensive coverage includes insurance for all damages resulting from things other than a collision. This would help pay for any damage that is a result of: vandalism, unfavorable weather (i.e. hail, tornado, etc.), theft, animal damage, or a fire. They also offer: $250, $500, $1000, $1500, or $2000 for their deductible options.
Medical Payment Coverage
Whenever there are injuries sustained from an accident that need medical treatment, you need insurance to pay for it. Markel helps offer excess medical payment coverage for vehicle operators and passengers – regardless of who is “at fault” for the accident. The amount of medical compensation that they provide will be based on your chosen deductible and coverage limits.
Passenger Liability Coverage
If you are ever legally liable for an accident to a passenger that is not insured, passenger liability protection will help pick up costs for their treatment. The amount of coverage for passengers varies throughout the states. Each state has different regulations and limits, so if you have further questions regarding the amount of passenger coverage, contact the company directly.
Property Damage Liability
If you are involved in an accident in which you cause damage to the property of another person, business, etc. – you are responsible for reimbursing them financially for the damages. This aspect of coverage isn’t for your bike or yourself – it is so that your insurance can pay the cost of damages in the event that you hit another person’s property.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Any injuries and/or death resulting from an accident with a driver that has no insurance or lacks the coverage to pay for damages will be picked up by this coverage. This type of coverage varies based on the insurance laws in your state. Unfortunately there are many drivers that are still on the road without insurance or poor coverage – so you may want to consider picking up some extra coverage. Markel also offers coverage for property damage as a result of uninsured and underinsured motorists.
Replacement Cost Settlement
If you get a new motorcycle and it’s within 3 years of its model year – your bike is still considered new to Markel. If you have a total loss in an accident, they will replace it with a comparable motorcycle with no depreciation deductions. Purchasing “Replacement Cost Settlement” coverage will basically pay for the cost of a new bike with the same value of your insured bike.
Roadside Assistance and Trip Interruption
Markel added a new Emergency Road Service program in their coverage after many of their customers asked for it. Now they provide people with 24 hour roadside assistance in the event of emergencies. They only charge $16 per year (per vehicle) and $35 per year (for all vehicles). With the Roadside Assistance and Trip Interruption coverage, you will get: 24 Hour Emergency Towing, 24 Hour Road Service, Tire & Battery Service, Trip Interruption Reimbursement, Household Coverage, etc. Overall this is a great value offered by Markel.
Markel Motorcycle Insurance Payment Options
One Time Payment – You have the option of making a one-time payment for your policy. This involves making a single large payment for an entire years worth of insurance coverage. Typically you stand to save money if you pay your entire policy upfront rather than in smaller increments.
Recurring Payments – If you would rather not pay a large one-time payment for an entire years worth of insurance, you have the option of paying in smaller increments. This is an option for people that don’t have the funds to pay a large amount upfront to cover their entire year.
Markel Payment Methods
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)
- Personal Check
Does Markel offer paperless billing?
Yes. Although they don’t really discuss it much on their website, Markel does offer customers a “paperless” option. You can log into your account and opt to not receive a paper copy of your billing statement. They have a variety of payment methods and allow you to customize your payment frequency as well as preferred method of payment under your account. Most of this is done online and is pretty self explanatory. However, if you need further support, you can always contact the company directly.
Markel Motorcycle Insurance Discounts
Most people scouring the internet for insurance discounts don’t realize that in this day in age – you get what you pay for. Insurance companies aren’t going to rip themselves off just to give their customers good deals. However, most insurers are going to work with you to help you save money if you keep your risk profile low and are a loyal customer. Below are some unique discounts that you can get with Markel.
Accident Forgiveness Program – Get into a small accident and you won’t experience an increase in your rates.
Anti-Lock Brakes Discount – By having anti-lock brakes installed on your motorcycle, you will be eligible for savings.
Anti-Theft Alarm Discount – If you take the time to install an anti-theft alarm on your motorcycle, both you and your insurance company have less to worry about. This will help you further save money.
Multi-Unit Discount – Do you need insurance for multiple vehicles? If you get more than one motorcycle or other type of vehicle (ATV / boat) insured under the same policy, you will save.
Renewal Discount – Simply renew your policy and stay loyal for an additional savings.
Safe Driver Discount – If you go a certain time without having an accident and no major traffic violations, you can save yourself money.
Safety Course Discount – Complete a motorcycle safety course as approved by Markel for savings.
Transfer Discount – Transfer to Markel from another insurance company and qualify for savings.
Vanishing Deductible – If you are a safe driver and go 1 year without an accident (as a Markel customer), they will reward you by reducing your deductible by 25%. For each consecutive year you go without an accident, they will continue to reduce your deductible by 25% until it reaches $0. So technically you could have zero deductible if you are accident free for 4 years.
Note: Not everyone is eligible for discounts. Savings are dependent upon personal information and state regulations.
Other discounts include:
Accessories & Parts. If you need more parts and/or accessories for your bike, you can order them through JC Motors. By using the coupon code MARKEL at JC Motors you will save $10 on orders exceeding $100.
Shipping. Shipping your motorcycle with JC Motors by using MARKELSHIP discount code. This allows you to get $25 off each one way shipment, $50 off for each round trip shipment, and $50 off each one-way shipment when shipping multiple bikes at a time.
A.M. Best Rating: A (Excellent)
Markel is a strong company with an A.M. Best rating of an “A.” This means that they are managing their finances well, making smart investments and acquisitions, and are unlikely to suffer any sort of collapse. This is an international company with product lines in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. If you ever need to file a claim, chances are good that it will get taken care of with Markel.
Most people with Markel are happy with their rates and the coverage that they are getting. Every once and awhile there are complaints with this company, but they are few and far between. Most customers are very satisfied with the customer service, vanishing deductible, and some of the new coverage limits that they have implemented. As this company continues to expand, people should expect modifications and improvements in their coverage.
Get Free Markel Motorcycle Insurance Quotes Online!
Before you decide to purchase a motorcycle insurance policy, you should always compare quotes from other companies. Although Markel may offer a great value for your dollar, many other companies may also offer a deal that’s just as good – or better. It really comes down to the area in which you live as well as personal driving history in determining whether you are going to get a good quote. Use the quote box at the top of the page or below to get a 100% free quote comparison and find out which insurance company best suits your motorcycle needs.