Everything You Need To Know About Motorcycle Insurance

Jake Robison - August 17, 2021

Your bike isn’t just a way to get around; it’s an extension of your personality. Anyone who has gone through a divorce or ended a friendship knows just how hard it is to lose a piece of your identity. And, while there’s no way to protect yourself from losing a relationship, there is motorcycle insurance. With it, you (and your bike) are protected.

How Motorcycle Insurance Premiums are Calculated

Anyone with a clean riding history will probably get a great deal on their insurance coverage. Safe riding has a positive effect on insurance rates, with factors such as gender and age also playing a role. Here are a few other things insurers consider when writing policies.

  • The type of bike you’re riding. While every bike is priceless to its rider, they don’t all have the same price tag. An older motorcycle with a powerful engine that’s ridden daily poses different risks than a custom chopper that’s always garaged. Power and value are important factors, not just to you, but to your insurance company as well.
  • The motorcycle’s monetary value. Insurance premiums are higher for costlier bikes because these machines cost more to repair or replace. It’s important to remember that, just because your bike may be relatively inexpensive, doesn’t mean you’ll pay less for insurance. These policies cover not only damages to your motorcycle, but the damage caused to others.
  • A bike with a larger engine will cost more to cover. If you’ve upgraded to a beefier powerplant, be sure to notify your insurance company. Your premium may go up, but that’s better than losing coverage because you failed to report the changes.
  • Your location. In simple terms, living in a place with a lengthy claims history and a higher crime rate will bring higher premiums.
  • Your riding history. Incidents where you weren’t at fault can count against you, but just 12 months with no claims can make a significant difference. Completing a motorcycle safety course may also help you save.
  • Coverage type. The more comprehensive a policy is, the more it costs. If you only have coverage for bodily injury and property damage, it’ll cost less, but you (and the bike) will be exposed to more risk.
  • Other riders on the policy. If a less experienced rider is on the policy, you’ll pay more. However, if you add another skilled rider, your premium will also go up.

These are just a few of the factors that determine the cost of a motorcycle insurance policy. Before signing on the dotted line, be sure to get quotes from several local companies.

Insurance Requirements

In most places, riding a motorcycle is like driving a car or truck, with similar insurance requirements. You may have to pay for uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, and other options. The bank financing your purchase may also ask you to carry collision or comprehensive insurance, which comes in handy after an accident.

Coverage Options

Motorcycle insurance isn’t a universal fit. Your coverage needs will depend on your driving history, your tolerance for risk, your budget, and the state’s laws. Common options include:

  • Liability coverage. This type of insurance covers injuries to others, but it doesn’t cover you or your bike. A liability policy may cover a passenger depending on your location and the insurance company you choose.
  • Collision coverage. Here, your bike will be protected if you hit an animal or a stationary object. In the unfortunate event that your bike can’t be repaired, the insurer will pay you its market value.
  • Comprehensive coverage. This type of motorcycle insurance covers property damage and losses related to causes such as vandalism, theft, and fire.
  • Medical payments. Your medical bills will be covered up to the policy’s limit, but passengers’ injuries aren’t covered. These policies aren’t available everywhere, and they don’t cover costs such as income loss.
  • Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. Here, you are protected if you’re in an accident with someone who has little or no insurance. These policies pay for lost wages, medical bills, and property damage.
  • Personal injury protection. PIP pays medical bills for you, a passenger, or an injured pedestrian, depending on your location.

Your insurance policy can cover more than your bike. Some policies cover roadside assistance, customizations, and trip charges. While these are widely considered to be optional add-ons, you may find them indispensable.


While motorcycle insurance is required in some areas, that doesn’t mean you have to overpay for coverage. Discounts are widely available, including those for loyal customers and safe riders. You can also save by completing a safety course, joining a motorcycle association, paying the premium in a lump sum, or installing an antitheft device.

Motorcycle Insurance FAQs

Is motorcycle insurance required in all states?

Almost all states require that riders have the same level of liability coverage as drivers possess. In some areas, however, you may also have to buy under- or uninsured motorist coverage. Lenders also require documentation of insurance.

Do I need a license to ride a motorcycle?

If you plan to hit the open road, be sure to have a motorcycle endorsement or license. Most states require riders to have them, but some insurance companies cover collectible motorcycles that aren’t ridden.

Will my policy cover a stolen bike?

Comprehensive coverage protects you if your motorcycle is stolen, which is a great reason to add it to your policy.

Does my policy cover me on other bikes?

You’ll have to check the policy’s specifics. However, if you’re riding someone else’s bike or one of yours that’s uninsured, you may be held financially liable for any losses.

The Bottom Line on Motorcycle Coverage

While motorcycle insurance is required in some places, it doesn’t have to be a financial burden. These policies provide riders with the reassurance that, if something happens, they’re covered. Whether you’re going on a short cruise or a cross-country ride, we want you to be protected. Review your coverage options with a local insurance company today.

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