The rate of motorcycle registrations has been doubling over the years, going from about 4 million in 2000 to 8.4 million in 2014. More new riders on the road mean more people needing motorcycle insurance.
You may be wondering just how to get motorcycle insurance or how much is motorcycle insurance. We’re going to explain the ins and outs of motorcycle insurance and what you can expect to spend. Even better, we’ll tell you how you can reduce your yearly rate.
Are You Required to Have Insurance?
Some states such as Florida do not require you to have specific motorcycle insurance if you meet certain requirements. This means that technically you do not have to spend any money on insurance, this is not wise and we do not recommend this approach.
If you financed the purchase of your motorcycle, the lender will most certainly require you to have full coverage insurance. This is to protect their investment of giving you money.
What is Covered?
Motorcycle insurance is very similar to auto insurance in that you have liability, uninsured, medical, PIP, collision, and comprehensive. Motorcycles have additional coverage options, gear, trip interruption, trailer, and roadside assistance.
Collision is going to cover you when your bike collides with another vehicle. Comprehensive will pay when your motorcycle has been stolen or is damaged by something other than colliding with a car.
Medical isn’t available in all states, but if it is, it will cover you and your passenger’s medical bills. Personal injury protection or PIP covers medical bills of you and your passenger no matter who is at fault for the accident.
Some states limit PIP or don’t allow it for motorcycles due to the high costs associated. Check with your local agent for the laws of your state.
Trip interruption is going to pay for your hotel, transportation, and food in case something happens to your bike and you are far from your home. Usually, you need to be farther than 100 miles.
Gear coverage can sometimes refer to custom parts. Other times it can refer to your actual gear such as helmet, boots, and jacket. The standard included limit is $3,000.
Trailer coverage is exactly what it sounds like, coverage for your motorcycle trailer. Roadside assistance will mean someone will come get your running again in the event that you break down while out riding.
The Most Affordable States
A variety of factors go into determining the rates for each state, generally the more insured riders there are, the cheaper the insurance. The states with the lowest insurance are North Dakota, Iowa, and Oklahoma.
The Most Expensive States
States that have a high number of insured riders, or high-risk bikes, tend to have higher insurance rates. These states are Louisiana, Texas, Florida, and Michigan.
Factors in Determining Cost
Just like auto insurance, there are a host of factors that go into determining the cost of motorcycle insurance. Your age, motorcycle history, general driving history, and the type of motorcycle all go into factoring the cost.
How Much Is Motorcycle Insurance?
The easiest way to give you an idea of how motorcycle insurance works is to give you some general circumstances in which you may fall into. This way you can get a better idea of the potential costs you may be facing for your particular age, driving record, and motorcycle type.
The people in this category are going to be between the ages of 25 and 60. They will have good driving records.
The insurance will be liability only on a cruiser or touring style motorcycle. The yearly cost will generally be anywhere from $200 to $500 a year.
Next Lowest Cost
Let’s say you are still 25 to 60 and have a good driving record. Only now you want full coverage on your cruiser or touring motorcycle.
Requesting full coverage is typically done by people who have just bought a new motorcycle. New motorcycles can be expensive to repair or replace, driving up the cost of physical damage insurance.
Depending on the make, model, and year of your motorcycle expect insurance in this category to be $400 to $800 a year. This means having full coverage can be double the cost of just having liability insurance.
Getting More Expensive
You are between 25 and 60, want full coverage, ride a cruiser, but have a bad driving record. Unfortunately, a bad driving record can really drive your rates up.
Insurance companies see riding a motorcycle as an inherently dangerous activity. You are combining that dangerous activity with your history of not so good driving.
Essentially you are an accident waiting to happen in the eyes of the insurance company. This means that the worse your record, the higher you can expect the yearly rate to be.
Prepare to Pay a Lot
Riders who are between the ages of 16 and 24 are the most expensive riders to insure. Typically people in this age tend to be more reckless and have less experience, making them more of a risk.
These young riders also tend to choose to ride sport bikes. This style of bike is known for being geared for speed, which increases the risk of an accident.
Even with a good driving history, you can expect to pay $1,000 to $3,000 a year for insurance. This cost can be greatly affected by the size of the engine in the bike.
Ways to Reduce Your Cost
If you get motorcycle insurance through your auto carrier, own a home, or have good credit you will typically qualify for discounts. Look into taking a motorcycle safety or driving course for even more discounts.
Consider installing safety features or an anti-theft device on your motorcycle. The more comprehensive, the more of a discount you will get.
Raise the deductible you are expected to pay if you make a claim. By raising the deductible, you can usually reduce your yearly cost.
Check the stolen rates for the motorcycle you are considering. Insurance companies use these statistics in determining the full coverage rate.
Shop Around For Your Rate
So you’ve determined you are in the ideal age range, you have a good driving record, and you’ve picked out your motorcycle. Now you just need to figure out how much is motorcycle insurance going to cost you.
Shop around for your rate. Better yet, talk to an insurance broker who has relationships with multiple insurance companies.
They will be able to understand your specific situation and give motorcycle insurance coverage recommendations. You may even get cheaper rates by them leveraging their relationships.
Buying your first motorcycle? Know your local motorcycle laws here in North Carolina.