5 Tips To Getting The Cheapest Motorcycle Insurance [Step by Step]
Keep your driving record clean:
All insurance policies are based on calculating risk and loss for the insurance companies. If you demonstrate you are safe and responsible when driving or riding you will be able to get better insurance rates and save on costs.
Get the correct coverage:
Compare the different coverages available and find ways to save money. Make sure you only get coverage you need beyond any state requirements. If you do not live in a part of the country without a high level of motorcycle theft, try to see if you can lower the amount of coverage for theft.
Invest in safety and security features:
Adding safety features such ABS could help lower your risk of getting into accidents which can help lower your insurance rates. Adding anti-theft devices makes it harder for your bike to get stolen. All these added features could help lower your insurance rates.
Look for discounts:
Finding and bundling available discounts is one the best ways to lower your motorcycle insurance rates. Take advantage of multi-policy or multi-motorcycle discounts if you have a car, RV,more than one motorcycle or home insurance policy.
If you are a safe and experienced driver make sure you find companies which offer discounts for them. Geico offers a mature rider discount, it could make sense if you transfer your car insurance policy over to take advantage of both the multi-policy and mature rider discounts.
Get multiple Motorcycle Insurance quotes:
Get multiple quotes to make sure you are getting the best insurance rate. Look for insurance companies that match your needs. Each insurance company has different underwriting criteria and will use your information differently.
Do I need Motorcycle Insurance?
Few things compare with the thrill of riding a motorcycle on a nice sunny day. Some riders are thrillseekers, while others enjoy to cruise across town or across the country. Regardless of the bike you ride most states require motorcycle insurance.
Only Florida, New Hampshire, Montana and Washington do not require motorcycle insurance.
Though insurance is not required in these states, we highly recommend getting insured. One at fault accident could be very expensive and could lead to financial hardship.
For those who love to ride cross country please be aware you could face some penalties for riding in states which require insurance.
How much insurance coverage do I need?
The minimum amount of insurance you need depends on your state’s requirements. Many states have the same minimum requirements as car insurance. There are only 4 states that do not have a minimum insurance requirement but we still recommend getting an insurance policy for your bike.
We highly recommend you find your state’s requirement especially if you are a new resident to the state or if you are a first time rider. For example, California requires riders to carry at least the following motorcycle insurance coverages:
- 15,000 for bodily injury incurred by another person
- $30,000 for bodily injury to others involved in the accident
- $5,000 for property damage caused by a collision
Though this is the legal required amount, you should customize your policy to meet your needs. If you live in an area with high crime rates or you do not have a safe place to park your bike then you might want to get good comprehensive coverage
We recommend you look at adding different coverages such as uninsured/underinsured coverages. This will cover you in the case of an accident involving a driver/rider without insurance. If you own an expensive motorcycle this coverage could be critical in avoiding having to be on the hook for a hefty repair bill or an expensive medical bill due to an injury from the accident.
Since motorcycle accidents tend to lead to more injury and damage than car accidents. We recommend you have the proper coverage.
What is the average cost of motorcycle insurance?
Motorcycle insurance rates vary based on state, coverage and other factors. The annual cost ranges from $415 to $1,360
What factors impact my motorcycle insurance rates?
Many factors can impact the rates of your motorcycle insurance policy including:
- Coverage Type
- Riding history and experience
- Type of motorcycle
- Rates by State
- Liability insurance: Covers damages you cause to other’s property or injuries. This is what your miminium policy usually covers
- Collision insurance: This will cover damages to your motorcycle caused by an accident
- Comprehensive coverage: This will cover damages not caused by accident. Things such as theft or vandalism.
- Coverage for motorcycle modifications, parts, and accessories: This coverage is for any looking to insure more than their motorcycle. This covers things such as helmets and jackets. If you have made any upgrades or added any accessories you should consider this coverage.
- Underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage: Covers injuries and damages caused by an under or uninsured motorist
Similar to car insurance your age is one of the components motorcycle insurance companies use to determine your insurance rates.
Many insurance companies offer a discount to older riders. Older riders could have more experience and a lower risk profile.
Milestone ages for motorcycle insurance tend to be 21, 35 and 50. Like car insurance you might see a slight increase at the age of 70.
Riding History & Experience
The longer you have been riding your motorcycle the more experience you have to handle different situations on the road. Experienced riders usually are a lower risk and get involved in less at fault accidents.
The more safely you drive a car and rider a bike goes a long way with keeping your driving record clean. Like car insurance, the amount of violations, at fault accidents and other claims contributes to your insurance rates.
Below is an example of a Geico quote:
- 25/50 liability per injury/per accident, with comprehensive, collision and uninsured driver policies
- The annual rate for a 25 year old with 5 years experience was $571/year
- The annual rate for a 55 year old with 25 years experience was $480/year
The premium savings is around $90/year for the 55 year old rider. As you can see age and years of experience played a major role in the annual savings. Motorcycle and car insurance rates are based on a risk profile
Type of Motorcycle
Not all motorcycles are created equally and some are more expensive than others, some models have a higher rate of theft or accidents.
The type of motorcycle you ride could have an impact on your insurance rates. Insurance companies look at factors such as value, safety, crash and theft rates when calculating premium rates.
Motorcycle Value: Some bikes cost more than others to repair and/or replace. This will impact your premiums with comprehensive and collision coverages. Insurance companies could charge more based on the value
Safety: Different types of motorcycle have more safety features. Bikes with ABS systems have a lower chance of getting into accidents. These features could lead to lower insurance rates.
Crash Rates: Certain models of motorcycles have a higher risk of accidents. Sports bikes are more involved in accidents than cruiser bikes. Motorcycle insurance companies may charge a higher premium for different models.
Theft Rate: If you ride a motorcycle with rates of theft you could pay more to insure it. Insurance companies charge higher rates since they will payout more theft claims.
Rates By State
Where you live does matter. Due to the cold weather in northern states riders might not insure their motorcycles year round. The warmer the climate the longer you have to hit the road.
Insurance rates are higher in states with high rates of motorcycle theft and death. Florida and California have some of the highest insurance rates but also have some the highest theft and mortality rates.
States such as Florida, California and Texas not only have very good weather for riding but have a very large population. These two factors combined lead to a higher rate of accidents and fatalities.
States with low insurance rates such as Iowa, New Hampshire and North Dakota have a very large biker community. The ratio of motorcycles ownership to population is very low. In some states it is as low as 1 biker per 17 people.
Below are annual rates by states;
The 5 states with the cheapest motorcycle insurance are, Iowa ($414), Wyoming ($439), Nebraska ($469), South Dakota ($479) and Maine ($492)
The 5 states with the most expensive motorcycle insurance are, California ($,1360), Louisiana ($1,175), Michigan ($1,083), New York ($969) and Arizona ($935)
It is no surprise states such as California, Arizona, Georgia and Florida are in the top 10 most expensive states. Riders in these states have better weather to ride and will insure their bikes all year.
What to do with your motorcycle insurance in the winter if you live in a cold state?
We recommend you check your state’s minimum requirements before making any changes to your any policies. Check with your insurance company for coverage options if you live in northern states with harsh winters.
Some insurance companies might have penalties or it could be hard to reactivate your policy. Check with your insurance company to see if you lower your coverage to what you need to avoid interruption to your policy.
Other things to consider before interrupting your motorcycle insurance in the winter are:
- Damages from unexpected events such as a home fire. You do not want to leave your motorcycle unprotected against the elements.
- The risk of having your bike stolen or vandalized. Do you really want to jeopardize your possessions
- Registration and plate state requirements
- Unusual warm winter days, without insurance you cannot take advantage of these days.
- Savings from paying a full year in advance versus monthly payments. Insurance companies such as Progressive, Esurance and Nationwide offer pay-in-full discounts.
There are things that are out of your control when it comes to where you live such as the number of accidents, fatalities, theft and how many people ride in your area.
Like car insurance, the state you reside in, is one of the major factors in calculating motorcycle insurance rates. Though you cannot just move to another state you can shop around to find the best motorcycle insurance rates in your area.
When shopping around for motorcycle insurance make sure you look for available discounts.
Dairyland a leading car and motorcycle insurance company has many discounts such as;
- Multi-bike: For households with more than one bike to insure
- Multi-policy: If you are a home or condo owner you could qualify for a discount
- Unique to Harley Davidson owners who be belong to the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G) you could qualify for a discount
- Loyalty: Discount available for policyholders which have had their policy for 1 or more years
- Rider groups: If you belong to a rider group associated with Dairyland you could get a special discount
- Safe Rider: Savings for riders that have taken and passed a motorcycle safety course
Geico also offers discounts for motorcycle insurance. Below are the different discounts available:
- Switching: from another insurance company. You can receive up to 20% discount for simply bringing your motorcycle insurance policy over to Geico
- Multi-Cycle: Get 10% off when you insure more than one motorcycle
- Multi-Policy: You can receive discounts if you have another active policy with Geico, including Auto or RV
- Mature Rider: Receive up to 10% of if you are a mature and experienced rider
- Safety Course: If you take and pass a motorcycle safety course you could be eligible for a 10% discount
- Loyalty: You may qualify for up to 20% discount when you review your motorcycle insurance policy
- If you or your immediate family are currently or have serviced in the military we recommend USAA. Like car insurance, USAA insurance has discounts for military individuals and their families.
Best Practices & Resources
There are many different elements that impact your motorcycle insurance rates. Some factors like your driving history, coverage and type of motorcycle are directly influenced by you. However factors such as your age, the state you live in or the number of claims made in your ZIP code are out of your control.
Make sure you compare rates from different insurance companies and take advantage of all possible discounts to lower your insurance costs.
Quotes Pilot content is not written by a licensed insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for your situation.