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The Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Insurance​


Whether you use a motorcycle for your daily commute, or you’re in it for the adventure, you’ll need to buy motorcycle insurance to cover you and your bike. After reading this guide to motorcycle coverage, you’ll have all the information you need to enable you to find the best motorcycle insurance coverage for your needs.

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Motorcycle Insurance Explained

Buying motorcycle insurance can provide you with financial protection in the event you have an accident, theft, loss, or sustain damage to your bike. Motorcycle insurance could include liability coverage, which will insure you in case you cause damage to property or cause an injury to another person. Motorcycle insurance can protect choppers, motorcycles, mopeds, street bikes, and Segways.


What types of motorcycle coverage can you buy?

When you get a quote for motorcycle insurance, you’ll see that the coverage choices are quite similar to those you would expect from a regular auto insurance policy. You have certain obligations to buy liability insurance for your motorcycle, along with uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Then, you will be presented with a range of additional insurance options to choose from to tailor your coverage to your individual needs and preferences.

Liability Insurance for Motorcycles

In most states, you are legally required to purchase liability insurance for your motorcycle. This will pay out for damages or injuries to others should you cause an accident. If you want to know the lowest amount of liability coverage you need to carry for your motorcycle, then it will be the same requirements that are put in place by the state for auto insurance liability coverage.

You should consider buying more liability coverage than the minimum to ensure you have enough protection in the event you face legal action over an accident that you cause. If you do not have enough coverage in place and the total cost of a claim and its legal expenses exceed your policy limits, creditors may pursue your personal assets to claim any shortfalls.

Passenger Liability Coverage for Motorcycles

Some motorcycle insurance companies will extend your bodily injury liability coverage to protect your passengers. However, there are some that will ask you to buy an additional passenger liability add-on in order to ensure you have adequate protection for carrying passengers on your motorcycle.

Collision Coverage for Motorcycles

This type of coverage will pay for damage to your motorcycle, minus the amount of your chosen policy deductible.

Comprehensive Coverage for Motorcycles

This is coverage for your motorcycle in the event it is damaged by an event other than a collision with another vehicle.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

This will typically payout for the medical bills of yourself, your passenger, or any pedestrians following an accident. This applies whether or not you are at fault. However, each state and individual motorcycle insurance company will each have their own terms and requirements for PIP; in some states, it is not offered due to the high accident rates of motorcyclists.  

Trip Interruption Coverage

This additional coverage can help to pay for any transportation, lodging, and food if your bile is involved in a collision that is far away from your normal place of residence. In most cases, the exact distance will be defined in your policy and is typically needed to be at least 100 miles away from your home.

Additional Accessories Coverage for Motorcycles

For lots of motorcycle owners, there is a certain lure with buying accessories for your bike. This customization is fairly commonplace, which is why there is a real need to purchase accessories coverage. This can cover any additional accessories, parts, or equipment that you buy, such as saddlebags and chrome parts. In most cases, you can insure these additional accessories for any amount, up to a limit of $30,000.

Uninsured / Underinsured Coverage for Motorcyclists

In some states, they will ask all drivers to buy underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. This will pay out for any injuries that are caused by a driver with inadequate or no insurance. While this may include property damage, many motorcycle insurance companies sell this separately instead. Always make sure you check this with your local insurance agent and make no assumptions where coverage is concerned.

What is a lay-up period?

Lots of motorcycle insurance companies will offer something called lay-up insurance. This is designed to provide coverage while you are not using your motorcycle, but when you still need insurance coverage for events such as theft, and other occurrences that could damage your bike while it is being stored. It is only to be used when you are not using your motorcycle.

What does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

Most standard motorcycle insurance policies will cover a portion of the costs that are associated with any damage to your motorcycle. It should also give you compensation if you damage any property or injure a third-party, and it will cover the cost of a legal defense should this be required as well. It will cover the costs of any liability claims or legal fees, but only up to your policy limits.  

Aside from the standard coverage options, you can tailor your motorcycle policy to cover a number of additional risks, such as

  • The full replacement cost of your motorcycle
  • Medical payments in the event you are hospitalized
  • Comprehensive coverage, for losses other than collisions
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorists
  • Loss/damage to your upgrades or equipment, such as sidecars, trailers, and more

Ways to Save Money on Buying Motorcycle Insurance

All insurance companies will have different incentives for reducing the cost of your motorcycle insurance, but these are the most typical ways you can save money on your motorcycle coverage.

  • Insure more than one bike with the same company
  • Maintain a clean driving record
  • Join a motorcycle rider’s organization
  • Take a motorcycle rider training program
  • Buying multiple insurance coverages from the same company

Aside from this, you can get a lower cost of insurance if:

  • You buy a bike with a smaller engine size
  • You buy a motorcycle that is not considered to be of high value
  • If you agree to only drive a limited number of miles per year

What types of settlements are made for stolen or damaged motorcycles?

If you buy insurance for your motorcycle, it’s essential that you understand how much your policy will payout in the event of a theft or irreparable damage. Different insurance policies will offer different arrangements, so it’s good to know the differences between each prior to buying a motorcycle insurance policy.

  1. Agreed Value – this pays out a pre-agreed amount that is set between you and your insurance company when you take out the policy. This is a fixed amount, and there will be no deductible taken from this figure in the event of a claim.
  2. Actual Cash Value (ACV) – this will pay you the cash value of what your bike is currently worth. You will need to pay a deductible, and the ACV will factor in any depreciation.
  3. Stated Amount – This will pay you the amount you selected when you bought the insurance policy for your motorcycle.

How much motorcycle coverage do you need?

Much like any other type of auto insurance, there are state-specific rules in place that will outline the minimum amount of coverage you will need to buy. How you plan to use the bike and the type of motorcycle you own will also play a part in determining the amount of insurance you need. So, if you want to insure a scooter, you will pay less than if you need to buy insurance for a ‘crotch rocket.’

Speak with a local motorcycle insurance agent to get help if you want to know the requirements in your state. They can also offer guidance on the best levels of coverage for your intended use.


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How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?

The cost of coverage for a motorcycle varies widely. When compared to buying auto insurance, it can, at first, seem quite expensive. The obvious reason for this is the increased risk that motorcyclists face on the roads.

The type, use, value, and horsepower of the bike will all play a major role in how much it will cost to insure your motorcycle. Another factor that can increase the cost of coverage is that the recovery rates for stolen bikes are fairly low, as most of the bikes will be broken down and used for parts.

Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Other Riders?

This will depend on the policy you buy, and the provider you buy it from. If you choose to buy a low-cost policy with the minimum amount of liability coverage, then you might find that other riders will not be covered to use your bike. If you are currently getting quotes for motorcycle insurance and this is something you believe you will need, talk to your insurance agent about including this coverage in your policy.

Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Theft?

If you buy a comprehensive level of coverage for your motorcycle, then it will most likely cover theft. It should give you coverage for a theft that occurs at your home, during transportation, or on the road. It may also include items or parts that are stolen from your bike, such as helmets, mirrors, radio, or other accessories.

Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover Track Days?

Buying insurance for track days with your bike is possible, but there are only a limited number of carriers who will provide this. Even those that will offer coverage for track days will only do so with certain exclusions. Typically, if track day insurance for your motorcycle is covered, this coverage will not apply during a timed event, a speed test, or a race. However, if you attend a track day to improve your skills, or to become a safer driver, then any accidents that occur will be covered.

Coverage and exclusions for track days vary greatly, so if this is something that you want to make sure is offered as part of your policy, then you should discuss with this a motorcycle insurance agent before you buy your coverage.


In Summary

Motorcycle insurance is essential to give you and others protection in the event of an accident. It can also help to safeguard the financial investment you made when you bought your bike. It is much easier for a thief to steal a bike compared with larger, more secure vehicles. Add to this, the fact that they can also be broken down into parts in order to rebuild a motorcycle which can then be sold on; along with the added risks of them being harder to see and the fact they can go very fast, and you will start to see why you need to buy bike insurance.


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