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Motorcycle Insurance

An Introduction to Motorcycle Insurance Policies

Is motorcycle insurance the same as car insurance? Learn what kind of policy motorists need, how to save money on insurance coverage, and how to protect your gear.

Just like car insurance, motorcycle insurance provides financial and asset protection in the event of an accident or theft.


But, motorcycle insurance policies can cover more than just your wheels. They can also cover fast street bikes, mopeds, and even Segways (if that’s something you’re into).


What is motorcycle insurance?


Motorcycle insurance always includes liability protections such as bodily injury and property damage, up to the limit of your policy.


If you’re found responsible for an accident, liability coverage will cover the costs of the victim’s injuries or property damage and any other legal fees you may encounter.


Be aware that every state has different legal requirements for motorcycle insurance coverages and minimums and that you’re legally responsible for meeting these conditions.


Your motorcycle liability coverage protects other drivers on the road, but what about protection for you and your bike?


Most states don’t require drivers to carry personal protection unless you live in a no fault state.


However, personal coverage is highly recommended; especially if you don't think you could pay for the cost of damage out of pocket.


Luckily, you can customize your motorcycle insurance policy to include:



  • Full replacement of your bike in the event that it’s totaled

  • Medical bills in the event you’re injured or hospitalized

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the event of an accident in which the at fault driver doesn’t have adequate liability insurance.

  • Comprehensive coverage which will cover costs of damages caused by something other than a collision. This can include hail storms, floods, fire, theft, etc.

  • Collision coverage which will cover costs of damage to your bike in the event you’re at fault for an accident

  • Damage to motorcycle gear or apparel


Is motorcycle insurance legally required in the United States?


Motorcycle insurance is required by law in almost all 50 states, except Florida and Washington state.


In the states that require motorcycle insurance by law, proof of insurance is required in order to register your motorcycle.


Each state has their own required minimum for bodily injury and property damage liability coverage. It’s recommended you purchase additional coverages above the state minimum if you want to be completely covered in the event of an accident.


On average, motorcyclists in the U.S. have at least $25,000 in bodily injury protection per person and $50,000 per accident, as well as $10,000 in property damage coverage.


These minimums are usually abbreviated as numbers with slashes. For example: (25/50/10).


Minimum Liability Coverage for Motorcycle Insurance by State





















































StateMinimum Liability Coverage
Alabama25/50/25
Alaska50/100/25
Arizona15/30/10
Arkansas25/50/25
California15/30/5
Colorado25/50/15
Connecticut20/40/10
Delaware15/30/10
Florida(Not required); exceptions apply
Georgia25/50/25
Hawaii20/40/10
Idaho25/50/15
Illinois25/50/20
Indiana25/50/10
Iowa20/40/15
Kansas25/50/10
Kentucky25/50/10
Louisiana15/30/25
Maine50/100/25
Maryland30/60/15
Massachusetts20/40/5
Michigan20/40/10
Minnesota30/60/10
Mississippi20/50/25
Missouri25/50/10
Montana25/50/20
Nebraska25/50/25
Nevada25/50/25
New Hampshire15/30/5
New Jersey25/50/10
New Mexico25/50/10
New York15/30/10
North Carolina30/60/25
North Dakota25/50/25
Ohio25/50/25
Oklahoma25/50/25
Oregon25/50/20
Pennsylvania15/30/5
Rhode Island25/50/25
South Carolina25/50/25
South Dakota25/50/25
Tennessee25/50/15
Texas30/60/25
Utah25/65/15
Vermont20/50/10
Virginia25/50/20
Washington(Not required)
West Virginia25/50/25
Wisconin25/50/10
Wyoming25/50/20

California Motorcycle Insurance Requirements


California motorcyclists are required by law to purchase minimum coverage of $15,000 bodily injury protection per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 in property damage coverage.
California allows motorcycle riders to opt out of buying insurance as long as they can show financial responsibility.


In place of an insurance policy, California residents can pay the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles $35,000 in cash to obtain a certificate of self-insurance OR a bond of the same amount from a business licensed in California.


Florida Motorcycle Insurance Requirements


The state of Florida does NOT require its residents to have motorcycle insurance with one exception.


Motorcycle riders who have previously been convicted of moving violations or have caused an accident resulting in injuries are required by law to purchase and maintain bodily injury and property damage liability coverage for three years.


Even though it’s not required by law for most, it’s highly recommended that you purchase liability protection for your motorcycle in the event you are found at fault for injuries or damages.


Without insurance, you would have to pay for these expenses and possible lawsuits out of pocket or with assets such as your home.


In addition, driving your motorcycle out of state lines may require you to follow minimum insurance laws for that state.


Florida also does not require their motorcycle riders to wear helmets as long as they are age 16 or older. However, it is required to wear eye protection at all times while operating a motorcycle.


Washington state Motorcycle Insurance


Washington does NOT require its residents to purchase motorcycle insurance.
In order to operate a motorcycle residents must pass a motorcycle safety course or a knowledge and riding skills test.


Even though it’s not required by law for most, it’s highly recommended that you purchase liability protection for your motorcycle in the event you are found at fault for injuries or damages.


Without insurance, you would have to pay for these expenses and possible lawsuits out of pocket or with assets such as your home.


In addition, driving your motorcycle out of state lines may require you to follow minimum insurance laws for that state.


How much motorcycle insurance do I need?


How much motorcycle insurance coverage you need really depends on where you live and what kind of bike you ride.


As we’ve said before, each state has a different set of requirements for motorcycle insurance.


Beyond that, your zip code will also determine how much coverage you need and how much your premium will cost.


For example, if you reside in a neighborhood with high volume of traffic and theft you can expect to pay more for a motorcycle insurance policy.


The good news is insurance companies offer multiple discounts to motorcycle owners.


How much does motorcycle insurance cost?

Just like the cost of car insurance, motorcycle premiums vary widely by policy.


The average monthly cost of a motorcycle insurance policy in the United States is $43.


Average Monthly Motorcycle Insurance Premium by State





















































StateAverage Monthly Motorcycle Insurance Premium
Alabama$42
Alaska$32
Arizona$56
Arkansas$51
California$55
Colorado$45
Connecticut$32
Delaware$61
Florida$57
Georgia$46
Hawaii$38
Idaho$42
Illinois$44
Indiana$42
Iowa$27
Kansas$36
Kentucky$43
Louisiana$75
Maine$32
Maryland$44
Massachusetts$50
Michigan$62
Minnesota$31
Mississippi$43
Missouri$49
Montana$31
Nebraska$34
Nevada$40
New Hampshire$29
New Jersey$48
New Mexico$50
New York$45
North Carolina$46
North Dakota$24
Ohio$38
Oklahoma$28
Oregon$42
Pennsylvania$43
Rhode Island$45
South Carolina$53
South Dakota$32
Tennessee$52
Texas$62
Utah$46
Vermont$34
Virginia$39
Washington$41
West Virginia$52
Wisconin$41
Wyoming$30

A motorcyclist who uses a small bike to run errands and has an accident-free driving record will likely pay a few hundred dollars a year.


Whereas, a teenage motorcyclist with a fast bike could pay upwards of a few thousand a year for motorcycle coverage.


While policy rates vary, many drivers are still shocked by the high cost of motorcycle coverage. The higher rates are directly related to the higher risks motorcyclist face on the road, including:



  • Motorcycles are often difficult to see in blind spots

  • Unlike car accidents, motorcycle accidents result in more serious injuries to the driver due to lack of protective devices such as air bags

  • Motorcycles are easier to steal and more difficult to recover, especially if sold off for parts

  • Because of their two wheels, motorcycles are often more difficult to maneuver


Motorcyclists can save money on their insurance premiums if they:



  • purchase a less expensive, older bike model

  • purchase a bike with a smaller engine

  • enroll in a motorcycle safety course

  • practice safe driving in order to keep claims to a minimum

  • bundle multiple policies with your motorcycle insurance including home, auto, or renters


The bottom line: cheap motorcycle insurance


Understanding your coverage and discount options for your motorcycle insurance policy is the only way to know you’re signing up for the correct policy at the most affordable cost for you.


Compare quotes from multiple companies and get coverage recommendations from various insurance agents to weigh your options.