Nothing compares to the feeling of the wind on your face as you head out across the open road on a motorcycle. No matter if your motorcycle is a recent purchase or you’ve been riding them your entire life, you need to make sure that you have insurance to protect you. Just as with car insurance, motorcycle insurance protects you against bodily injury, property damage and other expenses associated with an accident.
You can find cheap motorcycle insurance by shopping around to find the right motorcycle insurance company for your needs. Many providers offer discounts for insuring cars and other vehicles with the same company, taking a motorcycle safety course or paying annually instead of monthly.
Insurance rates are entirely dependent on you, your driving history, the type of motorcycle you own and the level of insurance you want. As such, there is no cheapest motorcycle insurance for everyone, but the processes for shopping around to find the lowest motorcycle insurance rates are largely similar from provider to provider. Compare insurance offerings from some of the top companies and requirements for each state to find the right rates for your needs.
Geico has been in the business of insuring motorcycles since 1978. The company offers customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and its online site makes it easy to get a no-cost quote, manage your policy and contact customer service. Geico motorcycle insurance covers all of your bases and even covers accessories, such as CB radios, saddlebags, chrome pieces and helmets.
Geico offers some of the cheapest motorcycle insurance around because of the number of discounts available to its customers. Some of the discounts you may be eligible to get from Geico include:
- 10% discount for switching from another company
- 10% discount for insuring more than one motorcycle
- Up to 10% discount for experienced riders
- Up to 10% discount for completing a motorcycle safety course
- Up to 10% discount for renewing your policy
- Multi-policy discounts if you insure your car or RV with Geico
Allstate realizes that there’s no single blanket policy that works for all motorcycle owners. For example, if you commute with your motorcycle on a daily basis, your insurance needs are much different from someone who transports a motorcycle on a trailer to a show. That’s why you can customize your insurance coverage to ensure that you have all of your bases covered. In addition to bodily injury and property damage, Allstate motorcycle insurance includes coverage for towing and labor, trailer damage and rental reimbursement.
Allstate stands apart from other insurance companies in that it covers aftermarket parts and upgrades, too. All motorcycle insurance policies come with $1,000 worth of coverage for aftermarket upgrades, and you can purchase up to $30,000 worth of coverage.
More than 1.2 million motorcycle owners have State Farm motorcycle insurance. The company includes coverage for which many other insurance companies charge extra, such as repair and replacement of protective gear and reimbursement for expenses incurred from a delayed trip. Rates vary depending on the type of vehicle you have, but State Farm offers insurance for scooters, custom motorcycles, trail bikes, minibikes and others in between.
State Farm motorcycle insurance includes coverage for bodily injury and property damage for your motorcycle and sidecar while riding on the road. You’re also covered against theft, vandalism and other damage when the motorcycle is parked or stored for the winter.
Moped, Motor Scooter or Motorcycle?
Before purchasing motorcycle insurance, it’s important to identify what constitutes a motorcycle in your state. Some states classify two-wheeled vehicles with engine sizes ranging from 50–150 cubic centimeters and top speeds of 30–35 miles per hour as motor scooters or mopeds. Others clearly differentiate mopeds from scooters by using the classic design with pedals as a model. Mopeds and motor scooters are smaller, lighter in weight and have different body designs than motorcycles in most cases. The smaller size and weight make these vehicles easier to handle on the road but also make them unstable at high speeds. As a result, riding a moped or motor scooter on a highway is often prohibited.
Motorcycles have much larger engines, with the smallest sizes often starting at 250 cubic centimeters. Motorcycles have wheelbases up to 70 inches, which helps with stability and balance, especially at higher speeds. Because motorcycles accelerate quickly and can travel at high speeds, they’re safer to ride on highways than scooters are. Insurance coverage and rates differ depending on the type of vehicle you have.
States That Require Insurance
Nearly all states require liability insurance for motorcycles, though the minimum coverage level needed varies from state to state. In most cases, minimum liability limits are the same for motorcycles as they are for passenger vehicles. Fewer states require insurance coverage for motor scooters and mopeds. The chart below shows whether or not insurance is required for motorcycles, motor scooters and mopeds in each state.
|State||Motorcycles & Fast Scooters||Mopeds & Slow Scooters|
Laws change all the time, so it’s important to keep up with local requirements if you own a motorcycle. For example, it wasn’t until July 2016 that North Carolina began requiring mopeds and motor scooters to have registrations and insurance. It’s critical to check the laws in your state before heading out on the road on your motorcycle or scooter.
The coverage in each state varies, too. Unlike cars, motorcycles are difficult, if not impossible, to drive in icy conditions. Additionally, freezing conditions make take some of the fun out of riding your bike. As such, many insurance companies offer “lay-up” policies in northern states. These policies temporarily suspend comprehensive coverage in the cold months when you don’t take your bike on the road.
If you finance or lease your motorcycle, you probably need motorcycle insurance regardless of state laws. Requirements for lenders and leasing companies are different because the companies want to protect their investments. Until you finish making payments or purchase the motorcycle outright, you must abide by the insurance requirements set forth by the lender.