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Table of contents
A motorcycle provides an open-air option for getting around if you love the feeling of wind on your face. With approximately 8.6 million motorcycles registered in the U.S., many people have made motorcycles their vehicle of choice.
Even if you opt to drive a motorcycle instead of a car, you need insurance. Like car owners, motorcycle owners must carry the appropriate amount of motorcycle insurance.
Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle insurance and what factors affect your costs.
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What influences the cost of motorcycle insurance?
A wide range of factors influence motorcycle insurance costs. If an insurance company determines that you, your motorcycle, or your driving habits represent a higher risk, you’ll often pay higher insurance premiums.
Age: Younger drivers with less experience generally pay higher premiums. However, younger drivers with years of motorcycle experience on the road might pay less than an older rider who’s completely new to driving a motorcycle.
Location: Where you live has a big effect on your motorcycle insurance costs. Riders in urban areas with higher populations often pay more than suburban or rural drivers due to busier, more congested roads. Additionally, an area’s typical climate can affect your rates. For example, many riders in colder states have a shorter riding season which often means fewer accidents and lower premiums. In contrast, riders in warm states who can comfortably ride year-round might face higher motorcycle insurance premiums.
Frequency of use: Someone riding their motorcycle to work every day might pay more for insurance than someone only using their bike for pleasure on the weekend. More miles on the road often translates into higher premiums.
Credit history: In some states, insurance companies are allowed to look at your credit history when determining premiums. A higher credit rating often leads to lower insurance premiums. States that prohibit the practice in some way include California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington.
Driving record and claim history: Insurers consider your driving record when determining premiums. A record free of any traffic violations, involving your car or motorcycle, often leads to lower insurance costs.
Type of motorcycle: The main types of bikes include scooters, cruisers, touring, and sport editions. Sport motorcycles often cost the most to insure, while scooters often cost the least to insure. Motorcycles with larger engines or customized details may cost more to insure. If your bike has specific safety features, you may earn lower premiums.
Chosen coverage: A minimum liability coverage policy usually presents the most affordable option. Adding comprehensive and collision insurance will typically increase your costs. Other add-ons and riders will also lead to higher costs.
What does motorcycle insurance cover?
A highly customizable form of insurance, motorcycle insurance gives you the opportunity to select a policy that works best for your budget and coverage needs.
Here’s what a motorcycle insurance policy might cover:
Bodily injury liability: If you injure others in an accident, bodily injury liability coverage will help pay for their costs. Most states require you to carry a minimum amount of bodily injury liability insurance.
Property damage liability: If you damage someone else’s property in an accident, this insurance will help you pay to repair or replace their property. This coverage doesn’t pay to repair or replace your motorcycle.
Personal injury protection: Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical costs to treat any injuries sustained by you or a passenger, regardless of fault.
Collision: This coverage type will kick in to repair or replace your vehicle if you experience an accident that damages your motorcycle. You typically must pay a deductible before coverage applies.
Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your motorcycle after it sustains damage from something other than a collision. Non-collision events covered by a comprehensive policy include theft, fire, vandalism, or storm damage.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): If you experience an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, this policy will help you cover the costs associated with the accident and recovery.
Switching to pay-per-mile insurance can save you up to 60% on your traditional insurance
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Many motorcycle drivers take pride in customizing their rides. Luckily, it’s possible to tap into specialty coverages to increase your protection. Here are some specialty coverages insurers may offer for motorcycle riders:
Accessories coverage: If your bike has special accessories, opting for accessories coverage can help you repair or replace the parts after an accident. When selecting accessories coverage, confirm what specific parts the coverage includes.
Helmet coverage: Depending on the insurer, helmet coverage might be included within accessories coverage or as a stand-alone add-on. In either case, the coverage will help you pay to repair or replace your helmet after an accident.
Roadside assistance: If you run into a problem, roadside assistance can come to the rescue. Many insurers offer roadside assistance as a policy add-on.
Annual motorcycle insurance cost by age and motorcycle type
Insurance companies look at many factors when determining premiums. Two important factors that reflect your risks include your age and motorcycle type.
Younger drivers with less experience typically pay more for motorcycle insurance. Motorcycle insurance for an 18-year-old, for example, costs an average of $519 per year. In contrast, older drivers with many years of experience under their belt often pay less.
See Also: Compare Car Insurance by Age and Gender
Average cost of motorcycle insurance by state
The average cost of motorcycle insurance varies widely by state. Population size, state road laws, and climate conditions can all play a role in motorcycle insurance premiums. A standard policy in your state should extend coverage to all driving in all 50 states.
Costs vary based on the insurance company, but motorcycle insurance tends to cost less than car insurance. With Progressive, for example, drivers in low-cost states pay an average of $14.97 per month in premiums. In contrast, drivers in high-cost states pay an average of $20.74 per month for motorcycle insurance.
Best companies for motorcycle insurance
The right company to lock in motorcycle insurance varies based on your unique situation.
In many cases, drivers choose to bundle their car insurance and motorcycle insurance through the same company. However, shopping around is the most reliable way to find and compare the best rates for your insurance situation.
GEICO: GEICO is known for its relatively low rates. You can save another 10% if you opt to take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course.
Harley-Davidson: If you want to work with a motorcycle-only insurance company, Harley-Davidson is a solid option. Its policies include coverage for genuine parts and accessories.
Markel: Though it lacks name recognition, Markel offers extensive coverage options. You can find coverage for a wide range of bikes, including trikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, street bikes, and more.
Nationwide: Nationwide offers a vanishing deductible option for riders who stay accident-free. Plus, you can buy up to $30,000 in coverage for custom equipment.
Progressive: As one of the largest auto insurance companies in the nation, Progressive tends to offer reasonable premiums. You’ll find plenty of coverage levels, including options for custom parts.
USAA: If you qualify for this military-specific option, you’ll find top customer service with affordable premiums. Progressive writes the insurance policy, but you’ll get the value of a USAA experience.
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The insurance providers included in the list of best companies for motorcycle insurance were compiled following thorough research of numerous insurers offering motorcycle insurance. Special attention was paid to company offerings for coverage options, customer service, available discounts, bundling opportunities, cost, and more.
Read More: Best Car Insurance Companies
How can you save money on motorcycle insurance?
If you want to save money on motorcycle insurance, use the following tips to protect your budget:
Shop around. Every insurance company looks at your situation differently. A few minutes of shopping around can help you lock in great rates.
Take a safety course. Many insurers offer a discount to riders who take a safety course. Before signing up for a course, make sure it’s approved by your insurance company.
Seek out other discounts. Look for discounts to lower your motorcycle insurance premiums. A few common motorcycle insurance discounts include multi-bike, bundling, and organization membership discounts.