August 20, 2019

How Much is Motorcycle Insurance

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More than 8 million motorcycles are registered in the United States. But how much does a motorcycle cost to insure? Read on for the answer plus a breakdown of your coverage options.

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Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance

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The average cost to insure a motorcycle in the United States is $519 per year. Typically, the coverage is cheaper than car insurance.

But exactly what you'll pay depends on a variety of factors. Keep reading to learn what affects your motorcycle insurance premiums.

Location

When determining motorcycle rates, cities are generally more expensive places for insurance than the countryside.

The 5 most expensive states for motorcycle insurance include:

  • Louisiana
  • Texas
  • Michigan
  • Delaware
  • Florida

Average annual premiums here can range between $700 and $900.

The 5 least expensive states for motorcycle insurance include:

  • North Dakota
  • Iowa
  • Oklahoma
  • New Hampshire
  • Wyoming

Average annual premiums here can range between $280 and $350.

Prices may also vary among locations within states. For example, if you live in Houston, TX, and have a motorcycle, you'll likely be paying upwards of $800/year.

But in rural West Texas, you'll likely be paying under $500/year.

Age

Riders under the age of 25 can expect to pay 100% more than an older driver for the same bike. Why?

Inexperienced riders aren't used to the many safety precautions that motorcyclists have to practice that are different from driving a car. This may result in more accidents and more paid out claims.

Driving History

Insurance companies check your driving record to see if you've had accidents or tickets while driving. Car drivers with incidents on their record will also have accidents while riding a motorcycle.

With most companies, you need at least 3 years of a clean driving history in order to qualify for a safe driver discount.

If you have multiple accidents and/or violations within the last 3 years, you will likely have high insurance rates or a surcharge applied onto your policy.

Motorcycle Type

Different motorcycle models have unique safety features so the cost of repairs will vary.

The most common motorcycle types include:

  • Cruisers
  • Sport Bikes
  • Touring Bikes
  • Trikes
  • Scooters
  • Mopeds
  • Limited Production Cruisers

Sport bikes are usually the most expensive to insure since they are involved in more accidents than any other type of motorcycle. Their claims payouts also tend to be quite high.

Some insurance companies classify other off-road vehicles as motorcycles for insurance purposes. These may include ATVs, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, Segways, and golf carts.

Choosing Your Coverage

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Some insurance companies allow you to add a motorcycle to your existing auto policy, just like you would if you're adding a second car. Other companies require you to buy a separate policy just for your bike.

If you're buying a new motorcycle policy, you'll have to choose new coverage amounts. But you can use your current policy as a reference point for the coverage limits on your motorcycle.

Your policy can be broken down into three categories:

  • Coverages for Others
  • Coverages for Your Bike
  • Coverages for You

Keep reading to learn more.

When adding a motorcycle to an existing auto policy, you'll automatically have the same liability limits as your other vehicles.

Coverages for Others

Bodily Injury/Liability coverage pays for someone else's injuries and damages in an accident for which you are responsible.

This coverage is usually presented in split limits:

  • Bodily injury per person
  • Bodily injury per accident
  • Property damage per accident

A $25,000 / $50,000 / $25,000 (or 25/50/25 coverage) means if you get into an accident with another vehicle, your policy will pay up to:

  • $25,000 per person who is injured
  • $50,000 for ALL injuries
  • $25,000 for any damage to the other vehicle

Don't choose lower liability limits than your car insurance.

Motorcycle accidents are often more serious than car accidents, so it's important to have the proper coverage limits in place. Otherwise, you may pay these costs out of pocket.

Coverages for Your Bike

Comprehensive
Comprehensive coverage protects your motorcycle from "acts of nature" and things out of our control. Other than wear and tear, it covers almost anything that could happen to your motorcycle outside of a crash with another vehicle or solid object.

The most common perils include:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • Falling objects (e.g., trees or rocks)
  • Hitting an animal

Comprehensive deductible options for motorcycle insurance include $100, $250, $500, and $1,000. The higher deductible you choose for each coverage, the lower the premium you'll pay.

It will typically cost $50–$100 based on a $500 annual premium.

You can choose to have comprehensive coverage without collision coverage, as comprehensive is almost always less expensive.

Collision
Collision protects your motorcycle from a crash with another vehicle or object such as a building, tree, or telephone pole. It can cover your motorcycle regardless of who is at fault.

If the accident is your fault, you won't have any coverage on your bike unless you purchase collision coverage.

The coverage on a motorcycle costs between $100 and $200, based on a $500 annual premium. Other deductible options are $100, $250, and $1,000.

If the other party is at fault for your accident, their insurance will cover damages to your motorcycle. However, it usually takes longer for the other company to pay for your damages.

If you file the claim under your own policy, your insurance company will pay you, and then subrogate (legally collect the money) against the at-fault person's insurance company. You will be subject to a deductible, but it will likely be returned to you.

Coverages for You

Medical Payments
This covers you and an extra rider for medical expenses due to an accident. Limits available for medical payments are usually $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, and $10,000.

Personal Injury Protection
This is similar to medical payments but offers broader coverage. It includes coverage for:

  • Lost wages
  • Occupational therapy
  • Transportation expenses
  • Hospital fees
  • Other costs that aren't strictly medical

These coverages on a motorcycle policy will typically cost between $30 and $60, based on a $500 annual premium.

Add-ons

Customized Equipment
If you've added any part or accessory to your bike that was not originally a part of the manufacturer's model, then you need to make sure you have customized equipment coverage.

Equipment examples include:

  • Extra electronic equipment
  • Trike conversion kits
  • Sidecars
  • Custom paint
  • Exhaust
  • Chrome plating

This can be especially important if you bought your bike from a private seller. They may have customizations that will not be covered unless you opt for this additional coverage.

Some companies offer a limited amount of coverage automatically, such as Progressive's $3,000 worth of customized equipment coverage. This amount can be increased to match the value of your accessories.

Safety Riding Apparel Coverage
Most motorcycle policies include $500 of coverage for safety apparel, including:

  • Helmets
  • Jackets
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Leathers
  • Eyewear

A higher amount can usually be purchased, but is only available for motorcycles that have full coverage.

For a more detailed explanation of coverages, check out our guide.

Discounts

Most insurance companies offer discounts that apply specifically to motorcycle polices.

Lay-up Period
This discount offers a reduced premium for riders who only use their bikes for a certain number of months per year. It is commonly used in states with cold, snowy winters.

Lay-up discounts essentially puts a pause on your liability and collision coverage while keeping your motorcycle covered for comprehensive losses such as theft and fire.

For example, if you only ride your motorcycle between May and August, then you only ride 4 months of the year. This gives you an 8-month lay-up period.

Each insurance company handles lay-up periods differently. It's important to know exactly what type of coverage you have.

Some companies allow you to ride your motorcycle in very limited circumstances during the lay-up period, while others would deny coverage if you get into an accident during that time.

Garaged Discount
Some insurance companies offer a discount if you keep your motorcycle parked in a garage when it's not in use.

The purpose of this discount is to encourage and reward responsible behavior, as having your motorcycle in a garage greatly reduces the chance of a comprehensive loss due to theft, wind, hail, and falling objects.

This discount can save you approximately 5%. If your carrier offers this option, it's a great discount to have as it also reduces your likelihood of having a claim.

Motorcycle Safety Course
Individuals who took an approved motorcycle safety course within the last 3 years are eligible.

On average, insurance companies offer a 10% discount, but the discount can range between 5% and 20%.

The cost of these courses is usually between $100 and $300. Check with your insurance company to find out if the one that you want to take is approved. Typically, if it has any type of official accreditation, then it should work just fine.

Association Discount
If you belong to a motorcycle riding group, such as the AMA, USAA, and the Harley Owners Group, many companies offer a wide range of savings opportunities, including:

  • Discounts on safety courses
  • Apparel discounts
  • Camaraderie discounts
  • Approximately 5–10% off your motorcycle policy

Bottom Line

The average motorcycle insurance policy costs $519.00/year. Motorcyclists face unique challenges and risks that car drivers don't face, so it is important to carry the proper amount of insurance to protect yourself and your bike.

Having the proper coverage on it shouldn't break the bank, especially if you have a good driving record and take a motorcycle safety course.

More from CreditDonkey:


Best Time to Buy Motorcycle


How Long Does it Take to Get Car Insurance


How Does Car Insurance Work

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