The open road, the thrill of the ride—these are the things bikers live for. What’s not quite as thrilling, but equally important, is having motorcycle insurance.
If you’re in the market for a new policy, you might be wondering, How much is motorcycle insurance? And how can I get the best deal? Good questions!
Just like car insurance, the cost of motorcycle insurance varies from state to state, provider to provider and even person to person, depending on what you need. Let’s look at some of what you’ll find on your search for motorcycle insurance and how you can get all the coverage you need at the lowest price.
Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance
We compared policies across five of the top insurance companies and found that the average cost of motorcycle insurance is about $538 annually, with a range of $100 to $800 per year. But your premiums can be higher or lower depending on a lot of factors:
Do you have the right auto insurance coverage? You could be saving hundreds!
Your State – Each state has its own minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance, which can really impact your premiums. We’ll compare the least expensive and most expensive states for motorcycle insurance in this article. But talk to your insurance agent about your state’s requirements and if you need more than the minimum.
Your Age – Riders under 25 and over 75 are charged more for motorcycle insurance. That’s because before 25 and after 75 cognitive ability isn’t at its prime. We know that sounds demeaning, but there is some scientific truth behind it. And that’s how most insurance companies roll. However, between those ages, you should see lower premiums.
Your Relationship Status – In our comparison of five of the top insurance companies that offer motorcycle insurance, we found that married riders pay less for insurance on average than single riders. Sometimes, the difference is over $100 per year.
Your Gender – In general, men pay more for motorcycle insurance than women. And not because insurance companies like women better. Men are statistically more likely to drive more miles and get into more accidents than women.1 But cheer up, fellas! There are other things you can do to keep your rates low. (More on that in a minute.)
Your Riding Experience – Riders with more experience will have lower rates than those with only a couple seasons under their belt because they’re less likely to crash. So, take that as an invitation to get on your bike and gain some experience.
The Type of Bike You Own – Sport motorcycles are stolen and crashed most often, so they’re the most expensive to insure. The premiums for cruisers are a little lower, and touring bikes are the least expensive to insure.
Next time you’re shopping for a bike, ask your insurance agent how the bike you’re looking at can affect your rates before you buy it.
High Mileage on Your Bike – Sometimes, more miles on your bike can drive your rates up. One reason is that high mileage vehicles are more likely to need repairs. And the farther you drive, the more chances there are to crash.
Types of Motorcycle Coverage
When it comes to buying vehicle insurance, you want to get what you need without all the expensive extras. Here are some of the most common types of motorcycle insurance for you to consider:
This doesn’t cover damage done to you or your property, but it’ll cover any damage you may do to someone else or their property in an accident. Every state has a minimum required amount of coverage for motorcyclists to have on their bikes, ranging from $50,000 to $175,000. (Except in Florida—they don’t require motorcycle insurance.)
But you’ll need to decide if you need more than that based on your bike, how often you ride and where you ride. Pro tip: You probably need more than the state minimum! It may sound crazy, but it’s easy to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in property damage and medical bills in a motorcycle accident.
Take Jake for example. He lives in California and has the state minimum liability insurance of $50,000. He’s in an accident with another motorcycle. The other guy is severely injured—plus his bike is totaled. Total cost: $65,000. Jake’s insurance will pay the first $50,000, but after that, he’s responsible for the other $15,000.
See now why having enough liability insurance is so important? We recommend having at least $500,000 in liability coverage for your motorcycle—just like if it was your car.
Guest Passenger Liability
If you plan on riding with your friends or family, guest passenger liability insurance will help pay your passenger’s medical bills if they’re riding on your bike and get injured in an accident you cause. (Bad news: It won’t apply if you’re not at fault for the accident. That’s where the other driver’s liability coverage comes into play.)
Motorcycle Collision Insurance
In the event of an accident with another vehicle or even an object (like a tree or fence), motorcycle collision insurance will cover damages to your bike. Only your bike. It won’t cover medical bills for you or anybody riding with you.
Another thing to keep in mind: Filing too many claims can hike up your rates, so consider paying for small repairs out of pocket to keep your premium low.
Fingers crossed there aren’t any thieves, fires or vandals around your bike. But if there are and something happens to it, comprehensive insurance will pay for the damages. It will also pay for damages caused by nature—like storms, natural disasters or animals that just waltz out into the road without looking.
Just remember, comprehensive insurance comes with a policy limit: It’s only good up to the bike’s value.
Coverage for Customized Motorcycle Parts
This will cover any damage to your custom paint job, trailers, sidecars or special add-ons. Most insurances only cover damage to factory parts, so this might be worth the buy if you’ve got a highly customized bike.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance or is underinsured, this will usually cover your medical treatment, lost wages and some damage to your bike.
Having the right coverage will save you a world of pain and money in case something happens. Check with your insurance agent on what your state’s minimum requirements are before you buy.
States With the Best and Worst Rates
States with longer winters and short riding seasons tend to offer the lowest average cost for motorcycle insurance, while states with long summers and longer riding seasons tend to have higher rates. That’s why southern states generally have the highest rates for motorcycle insurance. (That extra fun in the sun isn’t free.)
But there are some exceptions. Michigan and New York have colder climates, but their no-fault insurance requirements make them two of the most expensive states for motorcycle insurance on average. And Florida is a southern state with a long riding season, but riders aren’t required to own motorcycle insurance at all.
How to Get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance and Discounts
If you live in a state that has expensive motorcycle insurance or you just like a good deal (who doesn’t?), there’s hope. There are many ways you can save money on your motorcycle insurance by looking for discounts and taking steps to increase your safety as a biker. Let’s take a look:
Motorcycle Insurance Discounts
Motorcycle Training Discounts – Graduates of motorcycle training classes, like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation class, qualify for discounts on motorcycle insurance. This is great if you’re under 25 years old and paying more than the average, or you’re a first-time rider.
Bundled Insurance Discounts – Bundling your motorcycle insurance with your home or car insurance could save you money. Some insurance companies offer discounts up to 25%, so shop around for the best quotes.
Multi-Bike Discounts – If you own multiple bikes, consider bundling them together for a discount. Similar to bundling your home and auto insurance, it could be a way to save money and simplify managing your policies—because you’ll just have one policy for all your bikes instead of the other way around.
Lay-Up Policy Discounts – Some daredevils ride all year. But if you’re more of a seasonal rider, a lay-up policy will suspend everything but your comprehensive coverage during the winter. That way, you’re only paying full price during riding season.
Owner’s Group Discounts – If you can, join an owner’s group for discounts on motorcycle insurance. Harley-Davidson’s H.O.G. offers this discount to its members, plus other benefits.
Safe Driver Discounts – The better you drive, the lower your rates will be. It’s true about all vehicle insurance but especially important on motorcycles, since they’re considered a risky vehicle. So follow the road rules to save money (and stay safe!).
Transfer Discounts – Some insurance companies will offer you a discount on your motorcycle insurance just for switching to their company. This is a good option if you notice your rates creeping up with your current provider.
Safety Feature Discounts: Having features like anti-lock brakes and theft recovery on your bike can qualify you for discounts on your insurance.
Other Ways to Lower Your Motorcycle Insurance
Gain Experience as a Driver – Insurance companies will charge you more if you’re new to riding. As you gain experience on the road—and keep a safe driving record—your good reputation will help lower your insurance premiums.
Compare Prices – This should be a given, but it’s crazy how many people don’t shop around for better rates on their vehicle insurance. Motorcycles are no exception. Compare prices and policies, and don’t buy more coverage than you need. And if you find a better deal, you can always switch your insurance.
Store Your Bike Safely – Bikes that’re stored on the street or in driveways are likely to send your rates up, especially if you live in a high-crime or highly populated area.
Store your bike in your garage or another enclosed space to keep your rates low. If that’s not possible, keep it covered when it’s not in use to avoid rust or damage to parts.
Choose the Right Agent – This is one of our most important tips for getting a great deal on motorcycle insurance, so listen up: You can only get so many deals on your own. But if you work with an agent who knows the industry really well, you’re way more likely to get the coverage you need at a great rate.
Ramsey’s trusted insurance agents are the experts you’re looking for. And since they don’t work for any single insurance company, they can focus on helping you find coverage for your bike from the best provider for you.