Insurance For A Motorcycle

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Motorcycle insurance: it’s a small but essential part of the thrill and freedom of owning a bike. Understanding how motorcycle insurance works is critical to ensuring you’re covered in unexpected events – an accident, theft, or natural disaster. With so much on the line, knowing what to look for when shopping for motorcycle insurance is essential.

What Is Motorcycle Insurance?

Motorcycle insurance is protective coverage that financially safeguards you, similar to how social security protects your income. This insurance covers you if your motorcycle is involved in an accident, stolen, or damaged. Like car insurance, it’s necessary in most states in the United States and many other countries worldwide.

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How Does Motorcycle Insurance Work?

Motorcycle insurance works similarly to auto insurance. Here’s a basic rundown of how it functions:

  • Choose Your Coverage: The first step in getting motorcycle insurance is deciding what coverage you want and need. As I mentioned, there are several types of coverage, such as liability, collision, comprehensive, and more. You should choose the coverage types that best fit your needs and financial situation.
  • Policy Premium: After you’ve chosen your coverage, you’ll be given a policy premium. This is the amount you’ll pay to the insurance company to keep your policy active. The premium can typically be paid annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly. Your premium is determined by various factors, including your age, driving history, type of motorcycle, location, and the coverage types and limits you’ve chosen.
  • Policy Term: Your motorcycle insurance policy will typically last six months to a year, after which you’ll need to renew it. Some insurance companies offer discounts if you renew your policy and haven’t filed any claims during the term.
  • Filing a Claim: If your motorcycle is involved in an accident or suffers damage or theft, you must file a claim with your insurance company. The insurer will then assess the claim based on the information and evidence provided and determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to based on your policy details.
  • Deductible: Most motorcycle insurance policies have a deductible, the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. For example, if your policy has a $500 deductible and you have a $2,000 claim, you would pay the first $500, and the insurance company would pay the remaining $1,500.
  • Policy Limits: Each type of coverage in your policy has a limit, the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for a single or all claims during the policy term. For example, suppose your property damage liability coverage limit is $10,000, and you cause $15,000 in an accident. In that case, your insurance will only cover up to $10,000, and you would be responsible for the remaining $5,000.

What is Covered in a Motorcycle Insurance Policy?

A motorcycle insurance policy can vary depending on the specific insurance provider and the policy chosen by the insured, but here are some common coverage types:

  • Collision Coverage: Collision coverage covers the damage to your motorcycle if you’re involved in an accident, regardless of fault. This is usually subject to a deductible.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: This covers damage to or loss of your motorcycle from incidents other than collision, such as theft, vandalism, fire, or natural disasters. It is also usually subject to a deductible.
  • Liability Insurance: This provides coverage if you’re at fault in an accident and cause damage to another person’s property or cause injury to someone else. This includes both bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This provides coverage if you’re involved in an accident with another driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance or any insurance. It can cover both property damage and medical costs.
  • Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection: This covers your medical costs (and sometimes those of your passengers) if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, regardless of who is at fault. The coverage can extend to lost wages and funeral costs, depending on the policy.
  • Accessory Coverage: If you have custom parts or equipment on your motorcycle, such as aftermarket exhausts or custom paint jobs, accessory coverage can cover repairing or replacing these items.
  • Roadside Assistance: This provides services like towing, flat tire repair, fuel delivery, etc., if your motorcycle breaks down while on the road.

Does motorcycle insurance cover passengers?

Motorcycle insurance may cover passengers, but it depends on the specifics of the policy. Here’s how it can work:

  • Liability Coverage: If you’re at fault in an accident and your passenger is injured, your liability coverage may cover their medical expenses. However, it’s important to note that liability coverage for passenger injuries is not included in all motorcycle insurance policies.
  • Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP): If your policy includes medical payments or PIP coverage, it may cover medical costs for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
  • Passenger Liability Coverage: Some insurance companies offer specific passenger liability coverage designed to cover medical expenses if a passenger is injured while on her motorcycle. This is not always included in a standard motorcycle insurance policy and may need to be added separately.

Passengers might sometimes be covered under their health insurance policies. However, this depends on the specifics of their health insurance policy.

Motorcycle Insurance Faqs

How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?

The cost of motorcycle insurance can vary widely based on several factors:

  • Your Personal Information includes your age, driving history, and where you live. Older riders with clean driving records generally get lower rates than younger riders or those with accidents or violations. Rates can also vary by location due to local traffic conditions and theft rates.
  • Your Motorcycle: Your motorcycle’s type, age, and value will also affect your rates. More expensive motorcycles, as do high-performance motorcycles, generally cost more to insure, which are often associated with higher risk.
  • Your Coverage: Your chosen types and coverage amounts will also affect your rates. Adding optional coverage or choosing higher limits will increase your premium.
  • Your Deductible: The deductible is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in if you file a claim. Choosing a higher deductible can lower your premium, but you’ll pay more out of pocket if you file a claim.
  • Usage: How often and how far you ride can affect your rates. If you use your motorcycle daily or for long distances, your rates may be higher than if you only ride occasionally or for short distances.

Given these factors, providing a specific average cost for motorcycle insurance isn’t easy. However, a rough estimate for a yearly premium in the United States might range from $200 to $1,000 or more.

Cheap motorcycle insurance for different types of bikes

The cost of motorcycle insurance can vary significantly depending on the type of bike you ride. Here’s how it might break down for different types of motorcycles:

  • Standard Motorcycles: These bikes, which include a variety of styles not specialized for a particular type of riding, tend to have lower insurance costs due to their versatility and moderate performance characteristics.
  • Cruisers: Cruisers, like Harley-Davidsons or similar models, can have reasonable insurance costs as they are typically designed for more relaxed and controlled riding. However, high-end models or those with significant customization may have higher premiums.
  • Sport Bikes: Sportbikes, designed for speed and performance, generally have higher insurance costs due to the increased risk of accidents and their attractiveness to thieves. Riders of these bikes may also be seen as more likely to engage in riskier behaviors like speeding or aggressive riding.
  • Touring Bikes: These bikes are designed for long-distance riding and often come equipped with many features and amenities, making them more expensive to repair or replace and thus may have higher insurance premiums.
  • Dual-Sport/Adventure Bikes: These bikes are designed for both on-road and off-road use. They may have lower insurance costs due to their typically lower purchase prices and the perception that their riders are more safety-conscious.
  • Scooters/Mopeds: Generally, these vehicles have lower insurance costs due to their lower speeds and typically less expensive repairs or replacements.

These are broad generalizations, and insurance costs can vary based on a wide range of factors, including your age, riding experience, location, claims history, and more. To get the best deal, it’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple insurance companies and carefully consider what types and amounts of coverage you need.

Is my helmet covered while I ride?

Whether your motorcycle insurance covers your helmet depends on the specifics of your policy.

Some insurance policies offer coverage for safety apparel, including helmets. This is often part of the comprehensive coverage and can cover your helmet if damaged or destroyed in a covered event, such as a traffic accident or theft.

However, not all insurance policies include this coverage, or there may be a limit on how much they will pay for safety apparel. If your helmet is particularly expensive, it’s possible the coverage limit wouldn’t fully cover its replacement cost.

Motorcycle insurance discounts you could qualify for

There are several discounts that you may qualify for when it comes to motorcycle insurance. Here are some common ones:

  • Multi-Policy Discount: You may qualify for a discount if you have more than one type of insurance policy with the same company (for example, home and auto).
  • Multi-Vehicle Discount: If you insure more than one motorcycle, or a motorcycle and a car, with the same company, you might be eligible for a discount.
  • Safe Driver Discount: You might qualify for a safe driver discount if you have a clean driving record with no accidents or traffic violations.
  • Safety Course Discount: Some insurance companies offer discounts if you’ve completed a motorcycle safety course.
  • Mature Rider Discount: Riders over a certain age (usually 50 or 55) might be eligible for a discount.
  • Claim-Free Discount: If you’ve had your policy for a specific time without making a claim, you might qualify for a discount.
  • Anti-Theft Discount: You may be eligible for a discount if your motorcycle has an alarm or other anti-theft device.
  • Stored Motorcycle Discount: Some companies offer discounts if you store your motorcycle in a garage or other secure location.
  • Seasonal Discount: If you live in a region with harsh winters and only ride part of the year, you might be eligible for a discount during the off-season when you’re not riding.
  • Association Membership: Membership in certain motorcycle clubs or groups can sometimes qualify you for a discount.

Next Steps

Motorcycle coverage is a vital component of owning a bike. Knowing how it works and what you must look for can help ensure you’re adequately covered in unforeseen circumstances. Don’t wait until it’s too late – ensure you’re adequately covered with the best rate possible. Do your research and make an informed decision – after all, it’s worth the effort when your safety is at stake. So if you own a bike, or are looking to get one soon, don’t neglect the importance of motorcycle insurance – it could very well be the difference between peace of mind and regret. Get started by requesting a free quote – you’ll be glad you did!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is motorcycle insurance?

Motorcycle insurance costs vary widely based on factors like age, driving history, type of motorcycle, and coverage chosen. Annually, it could range from $200 to $1,000 or more.

Does motorcycle insurance cover theft?

Yes, motorcycle insurance does cover theft if you have included comprehensive coverage in your policy. Without this coverage, theft is typically not covered.

What are the motorcycle insurance coverage options?

Motorcycle insurance options typically include liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, and accessory coverage.

How do I get a free motorcycle insurance quote?

To get a free motorcycle insurance quote, visit an insurance company’s website, fill in your details and motorcycle information, then request a quote. You can also call or visit an agent.

How can motorcycle riders reduce the cost of their insurance premiums?

Motorcycle riders can reduce their insurance premiums by maintaining a clean driving record, taking safety courses, choosing higher deductibles, bundling insurance policies, and utilizing available discounts.

What are the affordable motorcycle insurance options?

Affordable motorcycle insurance options may include selecting liability-only coverage, choosing a higher deductible, qualifying for discounts, or insuring a less expensive or less powerful bike. Always compare multiple providers.

Do you need motorcycle insurance in Florida?

In Florida, motorcycle insurance is not required by law, but it’s strongly recommended for protection.

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

I’m a licensed financial professional focusing on annuities and insurance for more than a decade. My former role was training financial advisors, including for a Fortune Global 500 insurance company. I’ve been featured in Time Magazine, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, and Women’s Health Magazine.

The Annuity Expert is an online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. My goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning or find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates for you. 

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