How much does motorcycle insurance cost? If you’re considering a new ride you may be wondering about the insurance premium that goes along with buying a motorcycle. There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of your motorcycle insurance, from where you live to the type of bike you drive and from the policies you purchase to the driver’s history. The answer to this question will vary from person to person and situation to situation. Motorcycle insurance is a good idea for all riders, however, as it exists to protect not only your motorcycle but also your assets, lifestyle, and family in the case of a serious accident.
In this guide, we’ll go through what motorcycle insurance is, the factors that impact your motorcycle insurance cost, and possible discounts you can look into to lower your premium.
What is motorcycle insurance?
Motorcycle insurance functions like auto insurance, but it applies to driving and using your motorcycle (whether for fun or for commuting). Like auto insurance, there are basic policies included with motorcycle insurance as well as a few add-ons.
- Liability insurance can help pay for the bodily injury and property damage that you cause to others if you are found at-fault for an accident.
- Comprehensive and collision coverage can help to repair or replace your own motorcycle, regardless of fault.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help protect your motorcycle if another driver is to blame and they don’t have adequate insurance to cover your losses. (This is may be unnecessary if you have enough comprehensive/collision insurance.)
- While health insurance covers your own injuries in the case of an accident, you can also purchase medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) to work in conjunction with health insurance to help cover your medical bills from injuries caused by a motorcycle accident.
- Guest passenger liability can help cover any injuries that your passengers sustain while riding your motorcycle.
- You can also purchase coverage for motorcycle accessories, parts, and modifications. This is an add-on that’s usually best if you have a high-value bike with unique, rare, or expensive parts that would be hard to replace if damaged or lost.
Learn more about these types of insurance and if you have enough here.
Is motorcycle insurance required?
Most states require motorcycle insurance, at least liability insurance. Motorcycle insurance is compulsory in all states except, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Michigan and Montana. But even in these states, motorcycle insurance is highly recommended. It’s the best way to help protect yourself and your bike. Without motorcycle insurance, you could find yourself in a financial hole, unable to repair your bike or, worse, seriously in debt due to liability payouts. Motorcycle insurance can help you prepare for the unexpected, so you don’t put your livelihood or assets at stake.
Learn more about state requirements and whether or not you need motorcycle insurance here.
What factors impact motorcycle insurance cost?
Amount of motorcycle insurance coverage and limits
The more coverage you purchase, the higher your motorcycle insurance cost will be. For example, if you have the lowest possible liability insurance that your state recommends, your premiums will be lower than someone who has high liability limits along with comprehensive and collision, accessories and modifications, PIP, and more.
This doesn’t mean you should skimp on coverage. Cheapest is not usually best, especially when it comes to insuring and protecting your livelihood. Just keep in mind that you are “purchasing” protection with each policy and higher limits. The insurance company is assuming more risk when you buy additional insurance, so the costs will raise in tandem to reflect that higher level of protection.
Where you live and register your bike can impact your motorcycle insurance cost in two main ways.
First, each state has its own laws regarding motorcycle insurance requirements. Higher coverage will typically cost more, so those states that require several coverage types and higher limits will also see higher insurance costs.
Second, weather matters when it comes to insuring your bike. If you live in a state with long, harsh winters, your insurer assumes your motorcycle will be in storage for that time. Although the chance of theft still exists, the risk of crashing is lower during those months. The less frequently you ride your bike, the lower your premiums will be (as long as you know how to take care of your motorcycle in the offseason).
The primary driver is the main determinant of risk level—and thus of the motorcycle insurance cost set by your carrier. Your insurer will take a look at the driver’s likelihood of crash or recklessness to evaluate their risk and associated premium costs.
Note: If the motorcycle will have more than one driver, be sure to include all applicable drivers on the policy. If your partner isn’t listed on your insurance as a driver and gets into an accident, your insurance company likely won’t cover any claims.
- Age: Younger drivers are considered a higher risk because they don’t have experience and they’re more likely to make bad decisions (we’ve all been there). Drivers over age 70 are also considered a higher risk, often due to health concerns. Age doesn’t tell the whole story for insurers, but they will factor it in when considering the risk level of the driver.
- Experience: Even more importantly than age is experience. A 25-year old who’s been riding since he was 18 with a clean driving record is going to have a lower premium than a 50-year old who’s never been on a bike before. If you’re an experienced rider, make sure you tell your agent, and it may help reduce your motorcycle insurance cost.
- Accident and claim history: When you submit a motorcycle claim, your insurance premiums will rise. Any time you have an accident and tell your insurer, they will judge you as a higher risk, and your premiums will raise to meet that increased risk. More claims on your insurance history will lead to a higher motorcycle insurance cost. (That’s why a lot of people choose to pay out-of-pocket for small nicks and dings on their bike—so their insurance company doesn’t raise their rates to cover the more important incidents.)
- Speeding and traffic tickets: That’s right. Your “run-ins with the law” will impact your insurance. If you have a history of tickets, your insurer will deem you a higher risk and increase your premiums. If you have a squeaky-clean driving record, on the other hand, you may be able to get a good driver discount.
- Credit score: Only some insurers will look at your credit score, but they may consider it a reflection of your overall risk level as a driver. Higher credit scores could mean lower premiums for some insurance carriers.
It’s not all about the driver. Your motorcycle insurance cost will also depend upon the bike’s style, model, and value. Remember that insurance costs all come down to offsetting risks. Some bikes are considered riskier than others for your insurer, so those premiums will be higher in tandem.
- Make/model: The type of bike you have will determine the base cost of the policy. Sport bike or high-performance bikes are considered a higher crash and theft risk than a cruiser, so they’ll tend to cost the most. Touring motorcycles, although they have a large engine, are stolen less frequently and have a low crash rate, so they tend to have the cheapest insurance rates.
- Value: Expensive bike costs more to insure, because they would cost more to repair or replace in the case of an accident. If your motorcycle was stolen and your insurer had to pay out, their cost to replace your vehicle will be reflected in your premium. For example, limited edition or rare motorcycles will be the highest to insure.
- Crash rate: Some motorcycle models and styles are considered a higher risk for being in an accident, like a sport bike or street bike is riskier than to a cruiser. If your bike has a reputation for a higher crash rate, insurance costs will likely also be higher.
- Safety ratings: On the flip side, motorcycles with a lower rate of crashing and a higher rate of safety will usually have reduced premiums. (You may be able to get a discount if you add certain safety features like airbags and an anti-lock braking system.)
- Theft rate: Some bikes, for whatever reason, are a greater target for theft. In 2019, Honda and Yamaha were the two most stolen bikes followed by Harley Davidson and Suzuki (Statista). If you have a brand or specific make that’s often in an insurer’s “theft” claim pile, you could be hit with higher premiums as well.
- Vehicle usage: Your insurance company may ask you how and how often you use your bike. For example, if you commute with your motorcycle to work every day, your risk (and insurance costs) will be higher than if you just take it out for joy rides on the weekend.
- Engine capacity: A larger engine may mean a higher risk and thus a higher motorcycle insurance cost. However, engine size is usually not weighted as heavily as the other features and value of your bike.
If you’ve always dreamed of a high-value sport bike, live your dreams! Just be prepared to pay a little more in your motorcycle insurance cost each year. Thankfully, there are lots of motorcycle discounts you can apply to help reduce your premiums.
Can you get a discount on motorcycle insurance?
There are a lot of discounts you can look into to help reduce your annual motorcycle insurance cost. Although they may not seem like huge discounts on the surface, they quickly add up and can result in serious savings over the year.
A chat with an InsuraMatch advisor can help you figure out if you are eligible for the numerous discounts our carrier partners offer. Give us a call today at (844) 824-2888.
1. Join a riding association.
A lot of motorcycle clubs and associations partner with insurance companies to offer discounts to their members. Some of the memberships you may want to look into include:
- American Motorcycle Association
- BMW Motorcycles Owners of America
- Gold Wing Touring (or Road Riders Association)
- Harley Owners Group
- Honda Riders Club of America
- Motorcycle Safety Foundation
- Motorcycle Touring Association
2. Take a motorcycle safety course.
A drivers’ course can increase your safety as a driver, which in turn can help reduce your risk and premium. Proving the completion of an approved safety course (within the past three years) usually can account for up to a 5% discount on your annual premium.
3. Add safety features.
Along with having a safe driver, your insurer wants to know that your bike itself is safe and low risk. Certain safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes can make your motorcycle safer and may be eligible for discounts with certain carriers. These add-on safety features are becoming more commonplace, so more and more insurance companies are creating safety discounts as well.
A safety feature that a lot of people forget is a helmet! If you send a receipt that you’ve purchased a DOT-approved helmet, some insurance companies may offer a discount. Even if they don’t, a helmet can save your life—and/or reduce the severity of an accident along with any associated health insurance or medical payment costs.
4. Add anti-theft features.
Theft can also be a huge problem for motorcycle owners (and insurers), so installing an anti-theft device like a GPS locater can be a great preventative measure. In fact, some insurers will offer as much as a 20% discount on comprehensive coverage if you install an anti-theft tracker on your bike.
5. Apply for a good rider discount.
If you haven’t had an accident or traffic/speeding violation in the past three to five years, you could be eligible for a good rider (safe driver) discount. A clean driving history tells your insurance company that you are a lower risk, so they may reward you with a lower premium (depending on the carrier).
6. Inquire about layup discounts.
A “layup” policy allows riders in northern states to save money during the winter months. If your hometown has a harsh winter that prevents you from driving your motorcycle for an extended season, your insurance company may offer a reduced rate policy that takes into account your lower usage during those months.
Learn more about how to save on motorcycle insurance during the offseason here.
7. Get the right amount of insurance.
Under-insuring means you could be left in a financial hole if you get into a serious accident, while over-insuring means you’ll spend unnecessarily on your premiums. You want to work with your InsuraMatch advisor to secure coverage that offers adequate protection for yourself and your assets. They’ll help you choose the right policies, add-ons, and limits to help make sure you are prepared for the unexpected without overpaying. Call us today at (844) 824-2888.
8. Choose the right deductible.
Your premiums and deductibles are directly related. The higher your deductible (the amount you are required to pay out of pocket), the more risk you’re assuming. Thus, your premium will usually be lower. However, a lower deductible means the insurer is assuming more risk, so they’ll raise your premiums to reflect that.
This relationship is not directly proportional, though. Raising your deductible by $100 won’t lower your premiums by $100. It’s a balance. You want ensure your deductible is low enough that you can pay it out of pocket but high enough that you’re not over-paying in premiums.
Check out this resource to help figure out the right motorcycle deductible for you.
9. Bundle whenever possible.
Bundling is always one of the most effective ways to save on insurance. There are two key ways to bundle and save:
- Multi-bike discount: if you have multiple motorcycles insured under the same insurance carrier
- Multi-policy discount: if you’re insuring multiple types of insurance, like home, car, and motorcycle
Not only does bundling help you save on insurance costs, but it also gets rid of the hassle of having to deal with multiple insurance companies or agents. You’ve got one trusted agency like InsuraMatch handling everything for you. And that’s a relief!
10. Shop around for coverage.
The best way to save on any type of insurance is to shop around and compare quotes. You don’t know if you’re getting the best deal if you don’t compare all the deals available to you. Shopping around ensures you get the most expansive coverage at the right price (with all possible discounts accounted for).
InsuraMatch makes it easy to compare quotes for your motorcycle insurance, thanks to the leading insurance companies we work with. Our licensed insurance advisors can compare quotes quickly on your behalf and help you choose confidently thanks to their expert advice.
Start comparing motorcycle insurance quotes with one of our expert insurance advisors today at (844) 824-2888 today.
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