When it comes to motorcycle insurance, there is no definite price tag. The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on a range of factors, from the type of motorcycle you own to the amount of coverage you need. There are many options when it comes to coverage, but you only have to purchase the minimum amount required by the insurance laws of the state that you live. In fact, most states only require motorcyclists to have compulsory liability insurance, which provides coverage in an accident where someone else is injured or killed or their property is damaged. The American Motorcyclist Association provides a list of state motorcycle laws where you can check the insurance requirements in the state where you live. In addition, you can contact your local department of insurance or transportation to learn more about the motorcycle insurance requirements in your area.
However, you do not have to only purchase the minimum required coverage. Depending on your personal preference or situation, you can buy additional coverage, including comprehensive coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, guest passenger liability, or added equipment coverage. For example, if you have a higher end or a more expensive motorcycle, you may want to consider buying collision and comprehensive coverage. Those who don’t like to ride alone may want to purchase guest passenger liability to protect their plus one in case of an accident. In addition, insurance companies often allow you to customize your motorcycle insurance policy through options like accessory coverage, medical payments, loss settlement, rental reimbursement, and roadside assistance. In short, the more coverage and options you choose, the more you will pay for insurance.
There are also personal or situational factors that can affect how much you can be charged for motorcycle insurance including:
- Bike Specifications. The amount you will pay for motorcycle insurance can vary depending on the type, size, or age of your bike. A bigger bike may have a higher premium than a smaller one, and an older bike may cost less to insure than a newer one because it will not be considered as great of a risk. More expensive motorcycles, such as Hondas and Harley Davidsons, typically cost more to insure as they will cost more to repair.
- Age and Gender. Just like auto insurance, the cost of motorcycle insurance is also affected by the driver’s age and gender. Younger bikers are likely to be charged higher premiums because they have less driving experience than those in older age groups, and are statistically more likely to drive faster, increasing their risk factor. When it comes to risks, gender also comes into play. Males between the ages of 16 to 25 are more likely to speed and receive traffic tickets than females in the same age group, and therefore will be charged higher premiums.
- Riding Experience and Driving History. Those who have a certain amount of experience riding a motorcycle, usually at least one year, may have lower premiums than those new to the biking world because the more experience you have, the less likely you are to get into an accident and cause the insurance company to pay up. Likewise, the insurer will also look at your driving history. Those with clean driving records and those who have not been involved in accidents or received any violations within a certain number of years will likely have lower insurance premiums than those with a history of being reckless on the road.
- Financial Responsibility. Lower rates may be offered to those who have demonstrated financial responsibility and have a history of paying their bills on time. Insurance companies know that if someone is responsible with their money, they likely will also be responsible with their life and their property and therefore less risky to insure. Before applying for motorcycle insurance, be sure to check your credit history because insurers will likely conduct a credit check. If you have a clean record, you will likely receive a lower rate.
After taking into consideration your coverage amounts and other factors, how much you pay for motorcycle insurance may still depend on your discount eligibility. Many insurance companies offer discounts on insurance premiums to bikers who meet one or more qualifications. Some common ones include renewing motorcycle insurance with the same company, insuring your car with the same company, or insuring more than one motorcycle with the same company. Discounts may also be applied for the following:
- Protective Measures. Given the commonality of motorcycle theft, insurers may reward bikers who take extra precautions to protect their property. For example, several insurance companies offer a discount to policyholders who install LoJack for motorcycles, which is a stolen vehicle recovery system that notifies owners if their motorcycle is moved without authorization and allows the police to track and recover it. Insurers may also offer discounts to bikers who go the extra mile to protect themselves and wear DOT-approved helmets or who own motorcycles that are airbag or anti-lock brake equipped.
- Association Membership. Some insurance companies give discounts to those who are active in the biking world and members of motorcycle organizations. These types of organizations include the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, American Motorcycle Association, Harley Owners Group, BMW Motorcycle Owners of America, Gold Wing Road Riders Association, Gold Wing Touring Association, and the Venture Touring Society.
- Safety Training. Those who have taken training courses from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation may qualify for a discount for up to three years after completing a course. These types of courses teach bikers of all levels to be safer on the road covering topics such as protective gear, pre-ride inspection, maneuvering techniques, street strategies, and collision avoidance skills.