How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?
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UPDATED: Jun 21, 2021
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- Business Insider saw a $100 difference in premiums for full coverage policies between a driver at ages 25 and 55.
- States require minimum liability insurance that will cover others if you are at fault for the accident
- Insurance rates will lower as your motorcycle becomes older
As the summer approaches, more and more riders are eager to move their bikes from storage to the wide-open road. However, before straddling your two-wheeler, have you thought about how to get a motorcycle license or even your coverage lately?
Do you have a policy in place, or do you need motorcycle insurance? How much does it cost to insure a motorcycle? How can you lower your motorcycle insurance rates? With all your focus set on taking advantage of the turning weather, it’s easy to lose track of how much you will spend on the insurance policy that covers you and your ride.
While numerous factors contribute to the price of motorcycle insurance, the average annual cost in the U.S. arrives at $702—but per state, averages range between $414 (Iowa) and $1360 (California).1
Motorcycle insurance is legally required in all states except for Florida, Montana, and Washington.2
Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance Across the U.S.
With a difference of over $900, your state of residence dramatically determines how much your motorcycle insurance will cost. Similar to car insurance, many considerations affect your final rate, including:3
- Your age and driving history
- Your state’s minimum liability requirements
- Any additional coverage you may choose
- The value, type, and age of your motorcycle
- How many miles you typically ride
- The duration of “riding season” where you live
- How you store your motorcycle
- State helmet laws
Age & Driving History
Comparing quotes, Business Insider found a $100 difference in premiums for full coverage policies between a hypothetical driver at ages 25 and 55.4 Older motorcyclists, presumed to be more responsible, typically see lower insurance rates.
However, your provider will view a rider with accrued violations on their driving history as an increased risk regardless of age. Increased risk increases your rates accordingly.
Minimum Liability Requirements for Motorcycle Insurance
States require different minimum liability requirements; higher state minimums increase insurance rates. It is important to note that minimum liability insurance covers others if you are at fault, not your personal medical or repair costs.
Liability coverage is typically represented in a format of “25/50/25.” This hypothetical plan would cover the following in an accident:5
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury to multiple people (divided amongst the recipients)
- $25,000 for property damage
Consult your insurance provider or state’s DMV to determine the minimum coverage you must have, as required by law.
Most Common Motorcycle Injuries
Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can reach life-threatening or debilitating severity. The high medical expenses associated with treating these injuries, especially for ongoing care, will likely require more than your state’s minimum liability coverage.
Common motorcycle injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Damaged limbs, particularly legs
- Internal injury (e.g., fractured bones, organ damage, internal bleeding)
- Road rash (i.e., severe skin abrasion)
Top Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
While unsafe road conditions are hazardous to an isolated motorcyclist, a few recurring factors account for most accidents and collisions. Regardless of whether another driver was at fault, the top five causes of motorcycle accidents are:6
- Inexperience (e.g., a new rider, riding an unfamiliar motorcycle)
- Alcohol intoxication
- Left-hand turns
- Excessive speeding
- Inattentive driving
Common Coverage Additions for Your Motorcycle Policy
Expanding your policy will increase your rates accordingly. Most major insurance companies likely offer:7
- Medical Payments – Also applicable to Personal Injury Protection, this type of coverage will assist with any medical bills you incur due to an accident. Personal injury protection covers more than simple medical payments and may apply to additional factors such as lost wages if you’re unable to work.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Sometimes, an at-fault motorist does not carry sufficient coverage to pay for your medical bills following an accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps bridge any gap.
- Guest Passenger Liability – Required in some states and optional in others, guest passenger liability covers bodily injury to a passenger on your motorcycle caused during an incident where you are at fault.
- Collision Coverage – Collision coverage will help pay for any damage caused to your motorcycle in an accident.
- Comprehensive Coverage – Comprehensive coverage helps pay for any theft, vandalism, weather, or act of nature that damages your motorcycle. Comprehensive coverage typically specifies a deductible that the policyholder must pay before the insurance company pays the remainder.
- OEM Endorsement – “OEM” stands for “original equipment manufacturer.” Some repair shops or insurance policies may use generic parts when repairing your motorcycle in the effort to minimize your (or their) costs. OEM endorsement helps ensure that, regardless of whether your motorcycle is a Harley-Davidson or a Kawasaki, your mechanic repairs your bike with the same quality of parts used by the manufacturer to build it.
- Custom/Aftermarket Parts Coverage – If you or someone else has customized your motorcycle or swapped OEM for (expensive) aftermarket parts, this coverage will pay to replace your bike’s specific build.
- Total Loss Coverage – If a collision or accident leaves your motorcycle beyond repair, total loss coverage will replace it with a new or similar model.
- Roadside Assistance – This coverage helps with any costs incurred from non-accident-related incidents, such as roadside breakdowns, towing, and fuel delivery.
- Trip Interruption – Should your motorcycle break down and leave you stranded, this additional plan will help pay for lodging, meals, and transportation.
Your Motorcycle’s Value, Type, & Age
As your rate will reflect the value of your motorcycle to account for potential replacement or repairs, a more expensive model will result in a higher bill. Depreciation still applies, and, over time, your motorcycle will lose value. The insurance rates on an older motorcycle will be lower than on a more recent model.
Insurance for Sportbikes Costs More, on Average
Insurers place rates for sportbikes higher than other models. Sportbikes, typically marketed on speed capabilities toward younger riders, are involved in the highest accident and fatality rates. Sportbikes also have a higher likelihood of theft.8
Policy costs may change depending on the time of year. In areas with harsher winters, most riders store their motorcycle. Ask your provider about “Lay-up” options, which lower your rate by suspending all but the comprehensive coverage protecting your bike.
State Motorcycle Helmet Laws & Your Insurance Costs
Insurance companies determine rates based on their losses paid out for submitted claims. As the severity of motorcycle injuries statistically increases when riders forgo helmets, the average insurance cost in a state rises to ensure policy providers can cover costlier claims.9
Universal helmet laws require all riders to wear head protection. Nineteen states have enacted such, and another 28 require helmets up to a certain age (commonly 17).10 Only Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire do not enforce laws mandating helmets.
In 2012, Michigan relaxed its 40-year-old universal helmet laws. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), the “Mitten State” then saw helmet usage decline by 24% while claim costs rose by 34% within the first year.11 Michigan currently ranks third highest in average annual insurance costs for motorcyclists at $1,083.12
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What are the Differences Between Motorcycle & Auto Insurance?
If you own both a car and a motorcycle, you may be wondering if your auto policy extends to your bike automatically. Unfortunately, you will not be able to avoid shopping for quotes and budgeting for motorcycle insurance costs.
The reasons that auto insurance policies do not extend to motorcycles include:
- Higher personal injury risk from accidents
- Better vehicle safety standards, particularly for passengers
- Greater likelihood of accidents caused by road conditions
Motorcycle & Automotive Insurance Bundles
Ask your current policy provider or investigate options for bundling your auto and motorcycle coverage. When policyholders bundle their plans, insurers offer better rates and work harder to retain customers. For example, bundles often increase your odds of reinstatement should you miss a payment and risk a lapse in coverage.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that while only 20% of automotive accidents result in injury or death, that statistic quadruples to 80% for motorcyclists involved in a collision.13
Cars and trucks provide drivers and passengers with greater safety protections due to their enclosure and additional features such as seat belts and airbags. Unlike auto insurance, motorcycle coverage does not always extend to passengers. You should expect that any expansions to your policy for protecting passengers will add costs to your bill.
Reducing Motorcycle Insurance Costs
Contact your insurance provider to ask about any potential discounts for which you may qualify. Insurance companies may provide lower rates for demonstrating the following:
- Training course completion
- Multiple motorcycle bundles
- Organization or association memberships
- “Lay-up” coverage for motorcycles placed in winter storage
4AutoInsuranceQuote Simplifies Comparison Shopping
You should be able to spend time asking yourself, “Where do I want to cruise this weekend?” rather than “How much is motorcycle insurance going to cost me?”
4AutoInsuranceQuote is here to help keep you motoring down the road instead of spinning your tires in the muddied, confusing world of insurance. Providing your zip code and answers to a few short questions allows us to present various policy options from different insurers.
Our comparison tool lets you quickly shop for plans specific to your needs and riding frequency, so you can leave coverage concerns in your dust.