Progressive Kick Starts Study on Motorcycle Crashes, Thefts

February 27, 2006

If you think you’d be more likely to have your motorcycle stolen if you lived in Chicago versus Wichita, who could blame you?

After all, it’s a much bigger city. The same goes for crashes; no one could fault you for assuming that the bigger the city, the more the traffic congestion and therefore the greater the odds of having an accident.

But that’s not always the case, according to The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies.

Progressive reviewed claims data on more than two million motorcycles insured over the past three years to determine the likelihood of a motorcyclist getting into an accident or having a bike stolen. The analysis focused on the 89 U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 and higher.

The study found Honolulu riders are most likely to have their bikes stolen, even though it’s the 53rd largest metropolitan area. In fact, a motorcyclist in Honolulu is four times more likely to have a bike stolen than is a motorcyclist in Chicago or Detroit, which are the third and seventh largest metro areas in the country, respectively.

Similarly, though Baton Rouge ranks 75th in population, it ranks third when it comes to the likelihood of a rider there having a motorcycle crash. And, a motorcyclist in Philadelphia, the country’s fifth largest metro area, is 36 percent less likely to have an accident as one in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach metro area, which is the 47th largest.

One metropolitan area where the statistics are more in line with what you might expect is New York; it ranks number one both in population and in the likelihood of motorcycle collisions. And, while three metro areas rank among the most likely for both thefts and collisions (New York, Norfolk-Virginia Beach, and San Diego), only one – Cincinnati – ranks among the least likely for both.

“Riders can’t assume that just because they may live in a smaller metropolitan area they have less risk of accident or theft; the data make that very clear,” said Rick Stern, motorcycle product manager, Progressive. “No matter where they live, motorcyclists are encouraged to ride safely; to take appropriate measures to protect themselves and their bikes; and to review their insurance policies to make sure they have the coverage that’s right for them based on their individual circumstances.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, if you live in Wichita, you’re 67 percent more likely to have your bike stolen than if you live in Chicago – even though Chicago is the third largest metro area in the country and Wichita is the 87th.

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