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Does car insurance cover my motorcycle?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...
  • You need special insurance to cover your motorcycle. It isn’t already included in your existing auto insurance.
  • You can add a motorcycle endorsement to your existing policy or shop for a separate policy.
  • Wearing a helmet can be important in controlling the costs of motorcycle insurance as well as protecting your safety.
  • It’s important to make sure you have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license before taking your bike on the road.
  • Motorcycle insurance coverage options are similar to those for cars.
If you already have an automobile covered by car insurance, you might think that your existing policy provides coverage for your motorcycle. However, in general, most car insurance policies will not cover a motorcycle without taking specific actions and making policy changes first.

When you legally register your motorcycle and receive a license plate, this doesn’t mean that it’s now safe to drive, relying only on your existing car insurance. Instead, you need to ensure that you have the correct insurance options so that you and your bike are fully covered.

You can compare motorcycle insurance rates online alongside car insurance rates. Shopping around can help you to select the best coverage options and find the greatest value for your motorcycle and car insurance choices.

Learn more about motorcycle insurance below and make sure you use our free insurance comparison tool above!

How can I make sure my motorcycle is insured?

AdobeStock_66413216-1600x1600There are two options that can help you get your motorcycle insured so you’re ready to ride. One option does use your existing auto insurance coverage; you can add an option called a motorcycle endorsement to your policy.

The motorcycle endorsement extends your policy to provide some coverage over your bike. It’s not the same thing as full motorcycle coverage, but it can be a convenient option for riders who travel more occasionally on their bikes and allows you to keep and pay only one policy.

On the other hand, if your motorcycle is going to become your major form of transportation, it could be important for you to purchase a new motorcycle insurance policy.

When considering a motorcycle insurance policy, you can shop around online and compare quotes to find out what options are available for you. Most major car insurance providers also offer motorcycle insurance with similar coverage options available for you.

How can I add my motorcycle to my car insurance policy?

If you’d like to pursue a motorcycle endorsement for your current auto insurance company, your insurer can help you if it also offers motorcycle coverage. Like endorsements for customized parts or other riders added to your insurance policy, this is a specialized addition offered by car insurers.

You can also speak to your insurer about purchasing an additional policy from the same company for full motorcycle coverage.

In case you do this, the insurer will ask similar questions as when you first purchased your auto insurance, and you will need to list drivers and provide your drivers’ license number.

If you’d rather compare options for motorcycle insurance, you can use online comparison tools to look at the different options available. You can see the different options offered in terms of coverage, premiums, and value and choose the one that best meets your needs.

Does motorcycle insurance mandate you wear a helmet?

In some states, it is the law that you must wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle. However, not all states make it mandatory to wear a helmet to drive a bike on the roadways. Some states also mandate that motorcycle passengers must wear a helmet when riding on the back of a bike.

However, many motorcycle insurance and car insurance companies will ask you whether you wear a helmet when applying for insurance to cover your bike. Your choice to wear or not wear a helmet could have a significant impact on the price and availability of motorcycle insurance options for you.

Driving a motorcycle with a helmet can also be important for your safety, beyond the consequences to your insurance premiums. Motorcycle accidents can be dangerous and drivers and passengers can face serious injuries.

Riding without a helmet is particularly dangerous when on highways and other high-speed roads where a head injury could be devastating or even fatal.

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What about my driver’s license?

A regular driver’s license isn’t enough to ensure that it’s safe and legal for you to drive your motorcycle on the road. In every state and the District of Columbia, you must have a motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle license before you can drive your bike.

Because motorcycle safety is so important when you’re exposed to the road, additional training and safety can be very important on a bike. There are some daunting statistics about motorcycles.

  • The risk of a fatal crash for motorcyclists is over 26 times higher than that of car drivers.
  • Approximately one-quarter of all fatalities on a motorcycle involves a rider with a license invalid for motorcycles.

The latter statistic underlines why it is so important to seek and obtain the proper license for your motorcycle. If you already have a driver’s license, you will generally need to complete a safety course from a driving school and/or pass an exam and motorcycle road test.

Requirements in each state vary, but you must obtain your proper license and insurance in order to take your bike on the road.

How much does motorcycle insurance cost?

AdobeStock_62082716-1600x1600The process of pricing motorcycle insurance is similar to that of car insurance. An array of factors determining your risk profile is considered by the car insurer in order to offer a specific premium to you. The most important aspect insurers look at when calculating your premium is your own driving history, whether in a car or on a bike.

If you have a history of accidents, you can expect to pay more in auto insurance. Other factors can include age, experience in driving or even your credit score.

On the other hand, if you have a history of safe driving, you can expect to see this positively reflected in your premiums as well. Motorcycle driving can be dangerous, so safe driving is particularly important.

One way to ensure that you receive the best price and value in motorcycle insurance is to compare rates and shop around. Online comparison tools can make it easy for you to look at the options available and choose an insurance policy that meets your needs and your budget.

What does motorcycle insurance cover?

Like car insurance, there are several different types of coverage available for motorcyclists. It’s important to look at the options offered to make sure you understand what is covered.

Types of motorcycle insurance coverage include:

  • Liability coverage – This state-mandated insurance covers property damage and bodily injuries caused to others on the road because of your motorcycle. While motorcycles can’t cause the same damage as cars or trucks in many cases, bicyclists and pedestrians are also a concern. Liability coverage should be similar to your car insurance.
  • Collision coverage – This insurance covers damage to your motorcycle or yourself as a result of a collision, whether it involves another vehicle or not. It can provide the funds to repair your motorcycle in case of a crash.
  • Comprehensive coverage – Just as it does for cars, this coverage provides insurance for motorcycle theft, water damage, fire or animal damage. These kinds of damages are not covered by collision coverage, so this can be particularly important for cyclists.

You can compare options online and choose the policy that best suits your needs when you shop around. Comparing policies online will allow you to look at premiums, value and coverage options to find the best motorcycle insurance for you.

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