Laura D. Adams

Insurance & Finance Analyst

Laura Adams is one of the nation’s leading finance, insurance, and small business authorities. As an award-winning author, spokesperson, and host of the top-rated Money Girl podcast since 2008, millions of readers and listeners benefit from her practical advice. Her mission is to empower consumers to live healthy and rich lives by planning for the future and making smart money decisions. She rec...

Insurance & Finance Analyst

Zach Fagiano

Licensed Insurance Broker

Zach Fagiano has been in the insurance industry for over 10 years, specializing in property and casualty and risk management consulting. He started out specializing in small businesses and moved up to large commercial real estate risks. During that time, he acquired property & casualty, life & health, and surplus lines brokers licenses. He’s now the Senior Vice President overseeing globa...

Licensed Insurance Broker

UPDATED: Jan 30, 2024

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Motorcycle Insurance FAQ
Motorcycle Insurance Companies
No Motorcycle Companies

Motorcycle insurance is not cheap. There are no two ways about the costs associated with protecting yourself and your two-wheeler. Motorcyclists, however, have never been a squeamish bunch, and you should not shy away from higher prices, either. The most practical thing to do in the face of necessarily high premiums is to minimize the damage by employing every cost – saving device possible. This article will show you why it would be a great idea to get in touch with motorcycle insurance companies to find a policy that would be perfect for your drivable treasure.

You can even do this right from your garage or home office! Since you want to find the best motorcycle policy there is for your particular ride, you’ll want to make some comparisons. The best way to find the cheapest motorcycle insurance possible is to use our free insurance quote finder at the top of the page. Enter your zip above to start comparing free motorcycle insurance quotes!

What are the basics of motorcycle insurance?

No matter the type of insurance that you need, be it for your home, your car, or your motorcycle, they all have vast similarities in that your likelihood of filing a claim is directly related to paying more for your premiums. The difference between what an insurer is going to provide with a vehicle and a motorcycle has a lot to do with the level of danger associated with motorcycles. Cars offer more safety features than motorcycles do, boasting mechanisms like crumple zones, seat belts, and air bags. Motorcycles offer very little protection against the open road. The breezy speed that draws so many people to cycling is the same factor that makes it such an expensive lifestyle to ensure.

Another difference between getting coverage for a motorcycle vs. a car or any other type of vehicle is the nature of the claims made. When it comes to car accidents involving two or more vehicles, the damage is likely to be spread out among the vehicles. This makes automobile liability insurance, which covers vehicles other than one’s own, one of the most expensive forms of coverage that exists.

On the other hand, types of coverage that is attached to a motorcycle are dependent on a few factors. One such factor is to follow the premise that the rider and his bike are most likely to bear the brunt of the destruction in the event of an accident. Motorcycles are also more likely to be the victims of theft because of their size and accessibility. Motorcycle insurance attaches higher premiums to collision and comprehensive policy types than an auto policy would have. Collision coverage financially absorbs the damage to the motorcycle, when it is involved in an accident with another vehicle. If you have what is called comprehensive coverage, that protects you and your insured vehicle from any non-collision related losses from things like theft, fire, floods and run-ins with animals.

One of the most important policies that a motorcyclist should carry comes from his or her health insurance provider. While some motorcycle insurers do offer medical coverage, commonly referred to as Med Pay, any benefits will be considered secondary to the motorcyclist’s health insurance. They will also be very expensive. The main concern for a motorcyclist when it comes to protecting life and limb is finding a health insurance policy that covers all possible exigencies to the fullest extent possible.

For examples of motorcycle insurance from two of the nation’s top insurance providers, see our Nationwide motorcycle insurance review and our Geico motorcycle insurance review.

How can you shop smart to protect your motorcycle?

Motorcycle insurance providers use various criteria, attached to different values, to determine the cost of a policy. Some general things they look for are: motorcycle size, make and model of the motorcycle, age and driving record of the prospective insured, geographical location, riding lifestyle (commuting or pleasure) and expected yearly mileage.

Those first few criteria (size, make and model of the motorcycle) all emphasize the importance not only of shopping around for the best policy and price, but of shopping around for the best bike for your situation. If money is a big concern, which it most often is, you should go into the showroom or onto the lot with the knowledge of what it costs to insure various motorcycles.

While it’s always a good idea to be aware of the cost of insuring any vehicle before a purchase is made, the advice is even more significant when it comes to motorcycles. Over the life of a motorcycle, you can easily end up paying for your bike all over again due to the cost of motorcycle insurance. Finding a bike that’s less expensive to insure will help you keep costs down year after year.

You also want to make sure you are taking advantage of all the discounts available to you. Different insurers have different programs in place to offer you savings. Discounts can come from a long list of situations, including insuring more than one motorcycle, taking a specified safety course, being a member in good standing of an approved motorcycle association, being a “mature rider”, holding a motorcycle instruction certificate and insuring your car and automobiles with the same company.

If you put your bike in storage for any part of the year, you will save money based on the fact that it is much more difficult for a bike that isn’t being used to be involved in an accident. It may seem silly to have such a beautiful ride and have to store it away, but you’d rather be safe during winter than slide out over the ice and suddenly be landed with a bunch of medical expenses and a possible policy payment increase. In fact, some companies offer discounts for motorcycle riders who hibernate. Finding the company with the most discounts for which you qualify will save you a good chunk of change.  Since insurers price risk differently, shopping around and comparing quotes can help get more affordable motorcycle insurance.

What’s the impact of your driving record and financial standing?

Respectability and responsibility are important factors when it comes to finding the best possible price and policy for yourself and your ride.

Simply put, if you have a record of being in multiple accidents, insurers will consider you a risk. In other words, if you have too many instances of using your coverage to cover damage to your motorcycle when it is involved in an accident, your provider may be wary.

A solid credit rating also has the effect of showing insurers you are less likely to take risks on your bike. People who make payments responsibly are statistically more likely to drive responsibly. There’s even an industry name for the equation; it’s called the “financial responsibility score”. You may be able to reap savings in excess of 50% with a good credit rating.

Good financial sense can lead to other savings as well. By paying off your bike loan expediently, you will be free of lender requirements that include possession of comprehensive collision insurance coverage. If you determine that it is not a financial necessity to have those protections, you will save significantly on your yearly premiums. Either way, it is you, not your lender, who will be in the driver’s seat when making the decision.

Guest Passengers

If you are accompanied on your bike by a passenger, you need to be aware that not all policies cover your guest. Those that do come at a higher premium. While the guest passenger provision is not one you can skimp on if you are entertaining others on your bike, you may consider passing on that coverage if you always fly solo.

Accessories Coverage

When you carry comprehensive or collision coverage, you could also get protection for your accessories, such as Non-stock sidecar, Trike conversion, kit seats, and saddlebags, electronic equipment, and more. Helmet Coverage and Comprehensive coverage also provides protection for your helmet.  Some insurance companies even offer trailer coverage.

Can you have passengers?

If you will be accompanied on your bike by a passenger, you need to be aware that not all policies cover your guest. Those that do come at a higher premium. While the guest passenger provision is not one you can skimp on if you are entertaining others on your bike, you may consider passing on that coverage if you always fly solo.

What’s the difference between best vs. cheapest?

The old adage holds true when it comes to motorcycle insurance: you get what you pay for. By looking only at the pricing, and not at the complete coverage picture, you may be leaving yourself open to devastating financial consequences if you get cheap motorcycle insurance.

The National Highway Traffic Administration reported that motorcyclists were approximately 37 times more likely than car drivers to die in a crash in 2007 (the most recent numbers available at this time). They were also 9 times more likely to sustain non-life threatening injuries. For this reason, among others, motorcycle insurance is a more costly expenditure than car insurance.

But the main factors that affect how much motorcycle insurance costs are: your age, where you live, and the type of motorcycle you have.

Careful research will allow you to keep those rates as low as possible while maintaining a range of coverage level that enables you to enjoy your bike with the knowledge that you will be protected when the need arises.

Can you get free motorcycle insurance quotes online?

One way to shop most effectively for motorcycle insurance has come about with the advent of sophisticated Internet technology. Online motorcycle insurance quote comparison tools make it easy to generate quotes, based on your specific situation and needs, from many insurers. The format allows that you can use the same criteria, based on your personal experience and financial history, to generate quotes from different motorcycle insurance providers.

With so many discounts on motorcycle insurance coverage options available, you’ll have no trouble creating a motorcycle insurance policy that gives you a wide range of protection that  you require and insurance rates at an affordable price. The goal is always to get the highest level of coverage at the lowest possible price.

How much motorcycle insurance do I need?

Motorcycle insurance is required in most states, though each state has different motorcycle insurance laws based on factors like engine size.

If your bike has an engine smaller than 50cc or top speeds below 30 mph, it’s likely classified as a moped or scooter with different insurance requirements.

What are common types of motorcycle injuries?

Motorcycle injuries can be far more severe than those sustained in a car accident. Injuries can include road burns/road rash, broken bones, amputations.

The Bottom Line

Motorcycle insurance is usually cheaper than auto insurance, but it can still be expensive. The main factors that affect how much motorcycle insurance costs are: your age, where you live, and the type of motorcycle you have. Younger or less experienced riders usually pay more for motorcycle coverage than a experienced rider  with years of safe riding experience. And if you live in an area where motorcycle theft is common, you will likely have to pay more for insurance.

Finally, motorcycle accidents typically cause less property damage than car accidents, which means that there will be fewer payouts for insurance companies even if the motorcyclist is at fault.

This apples-to-apples approach gives you a clear picture as to how the insurers stack up against each other. Enter your zip to start comparing free online motorcycle insurance quotes today!