You love your bike. We get it. The freedom you feel on a wide-open road can't be matched. Knowing you have the right motorcycle insurance should make your ride even better.

Motorcycle insurance is similar to car insurance in many of the coverage types available. There are also some motorcycle-specific options to take advantage of.

Buying motorcycle insurance

Most states require motorcyclists to buy minimum amounts of insurance. These requirements vary by state. The law firm of Edgar Snyder & Associates breaks down every state's motorcycle insurance laws.

You can register a motorcycle without liability insurance in two states. In Washington, you just have to take a motorcycle safety course or pass a knowledge and riding test to legally ride a motorcycle. If a motorcyclist in Florida causes injuries or damage in an accident, they will need to buy liability insurance for the next three years.

If your state does not require motorcycle insurance, be aware of what states you're driving through. If you are an uninsured Washington motorcyclist and cross state borders into Oregon or Idaho, you may face repercussions for not being insured. Driving without insurance can result in fines and even jail time in some states.

What motorcycle insurance covers

Here's a look at insurance coverage types available for motorcycles.

Type of insurance What it covers
Liability insurance Pays medical bills for injuries and damage done to others' property.
Collision insurance Covers repairs to your bike following an accident.
Comprehensive insurance Covers repairs to or replacement of your bike caused by:
  • Fires
  • Vandalism
  • Floods
  • Explosions
  • Falling objects
  • Weather and natural disasters
  • Deer and other animals

    Comprehensive insurance also covers theft.

Total loss coverage Pays you the manufacturer's suggested retail price of the current model of your bike if yours is totaled.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage Covers your medical bills if the driver who caused the accident has no insurance or not enough insurance.
Personal injury protection (PIP) Covers injuries to you and and your passengers, regardless of who caused the accident.
Medical payments (MedPay) Like PIP, covers injuries to you or your passengers, regardless of who caused the accident. MedPay can supplement health insurance by covering your health insurance deductibles, copays and home health care.
Optional equipment coverage Covers any customizations you've made to your bike.
Trip interruption coverage Pays for meals and hotels if your trip can't continue.
Towing coverage Pays for the costs of towing your vehicle, as well as the labor costs for repairs.

Motorcycle insurance cost

Motorcycle insurance rates will be based on:

  • Where you live and where your bike is stored
  • Your age and driving record
  • The model and age of your motorcycle
  • The coverage types you choose
Motorcycle insurance cost examples

Averages based on rates from Geico and Progressive for a policy with liability insurance only with no collision or comprehensive coverage

  Harley-Davidson Street Glide Special Suzuki GSX-R1000 Triumph Bonneville Bobber
California $253.56 $290.36 $133.06
Florida $155.60 $217.70 $84.50
New York $174.90 $287.20 $92.80

Finding cheap motorcycle insurance

Here are some common ways to lower your bill:

  • Anti-theft or recovery device: Ask your insurer which anti-theft devices will get you a discount.
  • Bundling: If you also have a car, you can likely get a discount by buying both your auto and motorcycle insurance from the same company (or motorcycle and homeowners or renters insurance).
  • Lay-up period: If you live in a state with a cold season, you probably store your bike for several months of the year. A lay-up insurance policy allows you to pause your insurance coverage. You'll only have to pay for coverage when you're able to ride.
  • Low-mileage: These discounts are great for bikers who don't drive long distances.
  • More than one motorcycle: Discounts for insuring more than one vehicle (or bike) are common.
  • Pay in full: You can often get a price break by paying for the full policy term up-front rather than monthly.
  • Safety course: These courses prove to your insurer that you're an experienced driver. Contact your insurer to see how a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course may lower your rates.
  • Shop around: Just as you'd want to compare car insurance prices from multiple insurers, it can pay off to compare motorcycle insurance quotes.

Rates methodology
Rates are for informational purposes. Your own rates will be different. We looked at motorcycle insurance rates from Geico and Progressive in five ZIP codes in three states for the best motorcycles of 2017, according to Ultimate Motorcycling. Rates are for a 30-year-old single male with annual mileage of 4,000 miles. Prices are for coverage of 50/100/10 or 50/100/25, depending on the state, with no collision or comprehensive coverage. Rates include uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection where required.

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