An Expert Guide To Finding The Lowest Motorcycle Insurance Cost

TLTR: This article explains what motorcycle insurance is, what it covers, and how much you have to pay for it. It also describes the factors that influence the cost of motorcycle insurance, what you can do to lower that cost, and much more.

It’s easy to understand the appeal of motorcycles. Riding one can give you an exhilarating sense of freedom that driving a car just can’t provide. But of course, motorcycles, like any other vehicles, are vulnerable to accidents.

Research from the Insurance Information Institute (III) indicates that there were 84,000 motorcycle accidents involving injuries in 2019.

So, covering yourself and your bike with the right motorcycle insurance is a smart thing to do.

In this blog

What is Motorcycle Insurance?

Motorcycle insurance, just like car insurance, provides financial coverage for your vehicle. The word “motorcycle” here encompasses a variety of bikes such as scooters, mopeds, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and even single-rider golf carts and Segways.

You have the option of adding your motorcycle to a personal auto policy (PAP). But having specialized insurance for your motorcycle will eliminate any coverage gap.

How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?

According to a study by ValuePenguin, the average motorcycle insurance cost is around $702. But the average price for motorcycle insurance can vary by up to 250%, depending on location. So, based on the state you live in, the yearly insurance premium on your motorcycle can be run as high as $1,360 to as low as $382.

The top five states with the most expensive motorcycle insurance per year are:

  • California ($1,360)
  • Louisiana ($1,175)
  • Michigan ($1,083)
  • New York ($969)
  • Arizona ($935)

The top five states with the most affordable motorcycle insurance per year are:

  • North Dakota ($382)
  • Iowa ($414)
  • Wyoming ($439)
  • Nebraska ($469)
  • South Dakota ($472)

Did you notice that the five states with the cheapest motorcycle insurance cost are in the Midwest and Great Plains regions? There’s a good reason for that. These states are low in traffic and population. Likewise, the most expensive states have dense populations and longer riding seasons.

What other factors influence the cost of motorcycle insurance?

Besides the state that you live in, there are additional factors that influence the cost of motorcycle insurance:

The type of motorcycle

In most instances, sports and street bikes cost more to insure than cruiser or travel bikes. This is because street bikes are more prone to accidents and theft.

Your accident and claim history

The insurance carrier will have a good look at your claim history when setting your premium amount. Having a history of filing a lot of claims may indicate that you’re a reckless driver. So, your carrier might set a high premium amount.

The coverage amount

The higher you set your coverage amount, the more expensive the premium will be.

Age and experience

Insurance companies will take your age into consideration when determining your premium amount. Younger motorists will typically be required to pay more because they are seen as less experienced.

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What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

Motorcycle insurance requirements vary by state. While all states require you to have a minimum form of liability coverage, you can customize your policy with a variety of options. The standard areas of coverage are:

Liability Coverage

This provides you with financial protection if you get into an accident and damage someone’s property or injure someone. For example, if you cause an accident in which a third party gets hurt, your liability coverage will pay for the person’s medical expenses up to your policy’s limit.

Furthermore, liability coverage will pay for defense against any legal action against you as a result of the accident.

Collision Coverage

This provides coverage to your motorcycle if it gets damaged during a collision.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive motorcycle insurance pays for damage to your motorcycle that was caused by something other than a collision. This can include fire, theft, and vandalism.

Besides these standard types of coverage, you can also add the following:

Roadside Assistance Coverage

This covers instances in which you’re having trouble while driving and are forced to pull over, such as a flat tire or engine failure. This coverage can provide emergency fuel delivery and jump-starting engine service.

Guest Passenger Liability Coverage

This will cover your passenger’s medical expenses if you’re involved in an accident and they’re injured. It won’t apply if you (the insured) weren’t at fault for the accident. In such cases, you can make a claim against the driver who was at fault.

Most insurance companies sell this coverage as part of liability coverage. But some carriers sell it separately. So, ask your insurance agent or your carrier about it if you’re not sure.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

This will pay for medical expenses if you’re injured by someone who doesn’t have liability insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover your medical bills.

Cost Based on the Type of Motorcycle

The type of bike you’re looking to insure directly affects your premiums. Some factors to consider and how they affect the rates are:

Price Of the Motorcycle

The more expensive the bike, the more it will cost to repair or replace it. So, insurance companies set high premiums on bikes that have high price tags. The rate becomes even higher if you opt to buy both comprehensive and collision policies.

Safety Features

Bikes with anti-lock brakes, stability control, LED lighting, and other safety features are considered less likely to be involved in accidents. This makes them less expensive to insure compared to bikes that lack these features.

Rate of Crashes

Research shows that certain types of motorcycles such as sports bikes are more likely to be involved in accidents. So, insurance companies will set higher premiums on your motorcycle if it’s among those types.

Rate of Theft

Some types of bikes are also more likely to be stolen than others. Furthermore, where motorcycle theft insurance is concerned, as the likelihood of companies needing to pay for comprehensive claims increases, the carriers will set higher premiums on these bikes.

This is why sports bikes and street bikes are exponentially more likely to have higher premiums. They’re expensive to purchase, get stolen more, and have a high crash rate. Compared to sports bikes, cruiser and touring bikes have typical premiums, although some can be more expensive.

The disparity in premiums persists even when it comes to the size and power of the engines.

For example, premiums for a touring bike with a 1170 cc displacement will be lower than for a sports bike with a 998 cc displacement, despite the former being almost twice as expensive.

The Cost Based on Age

The younger you are, the more premiums will cost you. This is because insurance companies view inexperienced riders as more likely to be involved in accidents. Compared to 50-year-old riders who pay an average of $1,083, 18- and 21-year-old riders will need to pay $1,428 and $1,365 in average premiums, respectively.

But your carrier will cut your premium rate as you gain more experience and keep a clean record.

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How Can You Lower Your Motorcycle Insurance Cost?

Paying premiums on your motorcycle insurance on a monthly installment can often be more expensive compared to paying for an annual policy up front. Most top motorcycle insurance companies such as Nationwide, Safeco, and Progressive provide pay-in-full discounts to people who pay their premiums on a six- or twelve-month basis. If you can manage it, it’s a great way to lower your overall rate of premium.

Other ways that you can save money on your motorcycle insurance include:

Compare Coverage

Get quotes and compare coverage from at least four or five different insurance companies. Also, make sure that you’re comparing prices for the same types of coverage and the same deductible amounts.

Ask For Discounts

Ask carriers if they provide any discounts. They can often reduce rates if you choose to bundle your motorcycle insurance with insurance for your home or car.

Skip Collision Coverage

If you own an old bike, it makes sense to drop collision coverage altogether. This is because old bikes have low repair and replacement costs. But keep in mind that skipping this coverage will mean you won’t be covered if you get into an accident in which you’re found to be at fault.

Make And Model

The newer and faster the bike is, the more likely it is to be stolen. Furthermore, newer bikes also cost more to repair and replace, so companies will set higher premiums on them. So, if you’re serious about buying a bike, consider purchasing a used one.

Keep A Clean Driving Record

As with car insurance, your driving history directly influences the premiums you must pay. Riders with a poor driving record will typically need to pay higher premiums.

Keep Your Bike Secure

Your carrier might lower your premiums if you store your motorcycle in a proper facility and install anti-theft security on it.

Most top insurance companies also offer training course discounts to riders who graduate from a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course. This course can come in handy for riders under the age of 25 and riders who have been in a prior accident. Besides lowering premiums, the course also helps in transitioning amateur riders into more experienced riders.

What Are the Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies?

The quality and professionalism of the insurance carrier will determine the quality of the insurance they provide. While comparing the prices and features that companies offer, read online reviews and customer comments. This can provide valuable insight into what you can expect from a company.

The review platform Reviews.com shortlists seven of the top motorcycle insurance companies in various categories, such as:

  • Markel American (Best Coverage Variety)
  • Progressive (Best for Specialty Bikes)
  • Nationwide (Best for High Coverage Limits)
  • Safeco (Best for Discounts)
  • Geico (Best for Daily Riders)
  • USAA (Best for Military Members)
  • Hagerty (Best for Vintage and Collector’s Bikes)

Do I Need Motorcycle Insurance?

The only states where you don’t need motorcycle insurance are New Hampshire and Florida. If you live in any of the other states, then motorcycle insurance is mandatory. But the actual amount of coverage that you’re required to purchase differs from state to state. For example, some states make it compulsory to have personal injury protection and other similar policies, while others don’t.

Finding the right coverage for your motorcycle can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re doing it on your own. A good way to find the right motorcycle insurance is by simply asking for help from an insurance agent.

An insurance agent can assess your situation and help you find the perfect coverage that meets both your budget and your needs.

Can I get motorcycle insurance without a license?

Yes, you can technically get insurance for your motorcycle without a driver’s license. However, you will either need a permit or a motorcycle endorsement to legally drive a motorcycle in all the states.

Find a local insurance agent to help you get motorcycle insurance today!

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