Motorcycle insurance guide: cost and coverage


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As a motorcyclist, several things may come to mind when you jump on your bike – helmet, leathers, boots, gasoline, tires – but insurance coverage may not be one of them.

It should be.

“Insurance is an absolute when it comes to motorcycles,” says Ben Galbreath, an independent insurance agent with Wallace & Turner Insurance in Springfield, Ohio. “I recommend the maximum medical payment amount and advise clients to at least match their personal injury auto insurance and uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage.”

Just like auto insurance, motorcycle insurance protects you from liability in the event of an accident. It is required in all states except Florida, Washington, Montana, and New Hampshire. But it’s separate from auto insurance, and it tends to cost less; the average motorcycle insurance policy is $ 519 across the United States, according to data from JD Power’s NADAguides. Due to several factors that affect the cost of motorcycle insurance, your actual cost can run into the thousands, depending on the state you live in, your gender, your driving record and the insurer.

Our picks for the best motorcycle insurance companies

The company you choose to insure you and your motorcycle will make a big difference in your cost. This is why every biker should compare prices before setting a policy. Whether you are looking for your first motorcycle insurance or just going shopping, we believe these companies are worth considering for motorcycle insurance.

For average prices, we used data from JD Power’s NADA guides, based on an 18-year-old cyclist in New York City. Prices can vary widely depending on your personal needs and budget.


GEICO stands out for its affordable price in terms of motorcycle cover. Not only does GEICO offer inexpensive coverage if you are a daily rider, but it also offers mobile tools to manage your policy. GEICO offers standard motorcycle coverage options, as well as optional add-ons, such as accessory coverage and roadside emergency service. It also benefits from an excellent AM Best rating, which measures the financial strength of an insurer and therefore its ability to reimburse claims.

In addition, you can take advantage of seven different discounts with GEICO. For example, you can get a 10% reduction on your premium if you change carriers or a reduction if you insure several motorcycles with GEICO.

Average annual premium: $ 345

Best AM rate: A ++

Number of discounts on motorcycle insurance: 7

In all the countries

Nationwide offers a wide range of coverage options and many discounts. Founded in 1926, Nationwide has a long history of insuring motorcycles. Its rates are based on year round coverage. With Nationwide, you also have the ability to customize your policy and protect up to 12 bikes with a single policy with coverage up to $ 50,000 per bike, custom parts (up to $ 30,000), bikes and Custom tricycles (up to $ 50,000) and motorcycle trailers. It also offers up to eight different discounts for motorcycle insurance.

Average annual premium: $ 367 *

Best AM rate: A +

Number of discounts on motorcycle insurance: 8


Progressive’s discounts and extensions of coverage, many of which are included at no additional cost, make it a great choice for people who ride their motorcycles often. All Progressive motorcycle insurance policies automatically include the full replacement cost and no depreciation for parts; $ 3,000 of comprehensive and collision coverage to pay for upgrades, customizations, equipment and accessories; and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts during repairs.

Progressive also drafts policies for a wide range of bicycles, including regular motorcycles and mopeds, dirt bikes, sport motorcycles, performance bicycles, motorcycles, enduro bicycles, touring bicycles, tricycles, collectibles, scooters, ATVs and UTVs.

Average annual premium: $ 704 *

Best AM rate: A +

Number of discounts on motorcycle insurance: 10


Markel may be the pricier on the list, but he claims to specialize in motorcycle insurance, and it shows in his policy options. In addition to the standard offerings, Markel also offers a variety of additional coverage options. In particular, Markel’s mechanical breakdown coverage, rental reimbursement, and accident forgiveness program could be of tremendous help for frequent passengers and are not as commonly available with other insurance companies. This company also makes it easy to reduce the cost of motorcycle insurance with its many discounts.

Average annual premium: $ 861 *

Best rate AM: A

Number of discounts on motorcycle insurance: 7

Types of motorcycle insurance

In most states, motorcyclists must purchase liability insurance because this type of insurance compensates others for injuries and damage in the event of an accident. Outside of your state’s minimum requirements, motorcycle insurance coverage can be as broad or as small as you want.

“The obstacles you might run into is that every insurance company purchases motorcycle coverage differently,” says Galbreath. “They limit certain coverages to a maximum that they will make available, that is to say the medical payment, the civil liability cover or even possibly the deductibles.”

Galbreath says drivers should also consider coverage for people traveling with them, which is also known as guest passenger liability coverage. The coverage that comes into play is medical payments, and possibly personal injury and / or uninsured / underinsured motorist coverage, depending on your condition and your insurer. Some insurers automatically include guest passenger liability coverage in their policies, and some sell it as a separate add-on.

Pro tip

Watch out for discounts and perks that can give you more protection for less money. To do this, shop around and compare policies from different insurers at least once a year.

It is important to understand the different types of motorcycle insurance, so that you can purchase the best coverage for your budget and your needs. The most common types of motorcycle cover are:

  • Personal Injury Liability: Standard coverage that protects you financially against the cost of damage to other vehicles and personal injury and lawsuits if you are responsible for a motorcycle accident.
  • Motorcycle Collision: If your bike is damaged in an accident, this type of coverage pays to repair or replace it.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This type of coverage pays to repair or replace your motorcycle for damage caused by theft, vandalism, collision with an animal, or fire.
  • Coverage for Custom Parts: Most comprehensive and collision policies only cover original factory parts. Custom parts coverage takes into account sidecars, chrome parts, custom paint jobs and other items.
  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Standard coverage that protects you and your property in the event of an accident with someone who either does not have enough insurance or has no insurance at all.
  • Motorcycle medical expenses coverage. This coverage can help you pay your medical bills and those of your passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Roadside Assistance Coverage: If your bike gets stuck or breaks down somewhere, a roadside assistance program can provide service and minor mechanical repairs to your motorcycle to get it back up and running after a breakdown. For example, Progressive will tow your bike free of charge to the nearest repair shop.

What factors influence the cost of motorcycle insurance?

When purchasing a cover, you will need to provide full transparency about your bike and the way you ride. Your insurer will want to know where you tend to go, how far you tend to ride, if you have other cyclists, the value of your bike and where you park your bike.

Most motorcycle policies come with a “stop credit,” which allows you to suspend your coverage for part of the year. Most cyclists take the opportunity in winter to store their bikes or in the garage. A deposit loan can help build longevity and confidence with just one insurance company, and it could lower your rate over time.

Here are some of the factors that come into play when determining a premium:

  • Location
  • Age and driving experience
  • Frequency of use
  • Speeding and tickets
  • History of accidents and complaints
  • Type of bike
  • Your credit rating
  • Cover selection
  • Amount of the deductible

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Motorcycle Insurance Cheaper Than Auto Insurance?

Motorcycle insurance tends to be cheaper than auto insurance. The average cost of auto insurance is $ 1,674 per year, while motorcycle policies average $ 519 per year. But what you pay for motorcycle insurance depends on many factors, especially the value of the bike, your driving history, and where you live.

Are there any discounts on motorcycle insurance?

Most major insurance companies offer discounts on motorcycle insurance. All of our top picks for motorcycle insurance companies offer over five discounts. Common motorcycle insurance discounts include discounts on multiple motorcycles, discounts on multiple policies, discounts for safe riders, discounts on policy transfer and discounts on motorcycle organization members, among others.

Do i need separate insurance for my motorcycle?

Yes, most states require motorcycle owners to purchase liability insurance. This is the minimum amount of motorcycle insurance you need to legally ride a bike, but most experts recommend getting more than your state’s minimum amount. Motorcycle insurance lives on its own and differs from other types of insurance like auto, home and life.

Can I combine auto and motorcycle insurance?

Yes, you can usually bundle your auto and motorcycle insurance together as long as your provider offers both. Bundling your auto and motorcycle insurance can be a convenient way to save money. Insurance companies want your business, so the majority encourage you to insure more than one vehicle at the same time with the same company. They’ll usually even offer you a multi-policy discount of up to 5% to 20% for bundling.

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