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What is motorcycle insurance?
There’s nothing quite like owning a motorcycle. The freedom of hitting the open road and feeling the wind on your face can't be described with words — nor should it. While safety apparel and motorcycle insurance are probably the least exciting aspects of owning a new bike, it is still important to ensure that you and your ride are protected.
The good news is motorcycle insurance is pretty similar to auto insurance — it comes with liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage for you, your passengers, and your bike. Let’s get into the basics of motorcycle insurance coverage, beginning with the various coverage options.
Motorcycle insurance — table of contents:
- Where to buy motorcycle insurance
- What’s covered by my insurance?
- Motorcycle insurance discounts
- Motorcycle insurance considerations
- What is the minimum coverage for my state?
- Motorcycle accident statistics
Where to buy motorcycle insurance
Most major insurance providers offer multiple lines of insurance — including motorcycle coverage. Here at The Zebra, we work with Liberty Mutual, Foremost, and Dairyland to offer you competitive quotes for a motorcycle insurance policy. Below are the coverage-specific options for each company.
Liberty Mutual motorcycle insurance
Liberty Mutual provides all the basic coverage options you can think of: collision, comprehensive, liability, etc., along with the below add-ons:
- Better bike replacement: this coverage will give you the upfront costs for a new bike after a total loss.
- Accessory coverage: this provides coverage to any new features you make to your bike.
- 24-hour roadside assistance: this coverage will provide you with roadside assistance if your bike is undrivable.
Foremost motorcycle insurance
Foremost is one of the biggest motorcycle providers in the U.S. The company offers a three-tier insurance program:
- Saver: this includes basic coverage including collision, comprehensive, and liability as well as coverage for your helmet, apparel, and roadside assistance.
- Plus: this includes all of the Saver options plus trip interruption and coverage for track racing. This coverage almost increases the amount of your basic coverages in a Saver policy.
- Elite: includes all coverage previously mentioned (with higher limits) as well as a diminishing deductible, permissive use, and coverage for any personal belongings on your bike.
Dairyland motorcycle insurance
Dairyland advertises low rates and offers a wide range of coverage options:
- Helmet coverage
- Optional equipment coverage
- Excursion diversion coverage
- Roadside assistance
- Physical damage plus — OEM parts
If you're looking for affordable motorcycle insurance, click below to see quotes from Dairyland.
Motorcycle insurance coverages
Most insurance policies include liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Let’s break that down further.
Liability insurance, coverage for damage you cause to other property or individuals, is required in 47 states with the exception of Florida, Montana, and New Hampshire. The lowest amount of coverage you’re required to have is the same as the requirement for auto insurance. Check out the table below for more details on the required amounts of coverage by state.
Collision and comprehensive coverage for motorcycles
Collision and comprehensive covers physical damage to your motorcycle. Collision coverage refers to when you collide with another vehicle or your vehicle is otherwise damaged in a typical car accident. Comprehensive coverage, or sometimes called “other than collision", would cover your motorcycle if it was stolen or damaged by an animal in the road. As with car insurance, collision and comprehensive utilizes deductibles that are deducted from a claims payout. Deductibles vary per your choice as well as your insurance company but typically range from $250 to $1,000.
Medical payments coverage
Known as Med Pay coverage, medical payments coverage handles medical costs incurred by you and any passengers injured in an accident. While riding a motorcycle presents an array of benefits, it can still be dangerous regardless of your level of skill or care. Consider if additional medical payments are right for you (note: it is not available in every state).
Insurance for custom motorcycle parts and accessories
Comprehensive and collision insurance typically covers damages to custom parts and accessories. Insurance companies typically cover up to $3,000 for your personalizations. So, let’s say you have a completely customized Harley Davidson motorcycle that cost you a pretty penny. You may want to consider increasing your insurance limits if your add-ons are worth more than what your insurance company will cover.
In the event of a breakdown, roadside assistance would help cover on-site towing and labor.
Hitting the open road is less desirable when it’s below freezing outside and insurance companies understand this. So, they offer what they call a lay-up period. During times of less-than-favorable riding conditions, you can place your motorcycle in storage and reduce your coverage — thereby reducing your premium as well. While in this period, you will usually still maintain comprehensive insurance if your vehicle is vandalized or stolen — but you won’t have any type of liability insurance.
Motorcycle insurance discounts
Many companies will offer discounts to policyholders who meet certain requirements.
Some common motorcycle policy discounts include:
- Multi-policy discount (bundling with your car or home coverage)
- Multiple motorcycle savings
- Discounts for transferring coverage
- Renewal savings
- Taking/teaching a motorcycle safety course
- Accident forgiveness
- Safe driver
- Paid-in-full discounts
Motorcycle insurance considerations
If you're looking for the best motorcycle insurance coverage, there are many things to consider. There are a number of things that can impact your rates, including your driving record, age, and credit history. The type of motorcycle you ride could also impact your rates. For instance, custom motorcycles may have higher premiums due to their unique, one-of-a-kind parts.
How much motorcycle insurance coverage do you need?
Minimums by state:
|State||Motorcycle Insurance Limits||Required by State|
Key motorcycle accident statistics and insights
Each year, thousands of Americans die in motorcycle accidents. More often than not, those that die or are seriously injured are the riders themselves. If you are a motorcyclist yourself, wearing a helmet will almost always mitigate severe injury or death. Do what you can to protect yourself and others, as well as prevent your insurance rates from increasing after getting into an accident.
The Zebra reviewed studies from government associations, non-profits and highway authorities to gather the most recent and important motorcycle accident statistics.
- Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a car crash than are passenger car occupants. (Insurance Information Institute)
- More than 5,000 people die in motorcycle crashes every day. (Insurance Information Institute)
- In 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas and 1,800 suffered serious injuries. (Texas Department of Transportation)
- On average, at least one motorcyclist is killed every day in Texas. (Texas Department of Transportation)
- Only 50% of motorcycle riders wear helmets when they ride. (HG)
- Some data suggest 42% of all motorcycle accidents involve left-turning drivers. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- Nearly 50% of motorcycle crashes resulting in a fatality are the result of drunk driving. (HG)
- Total annual bike injuries saw a similar rise between 2009 and 2016, jumping from 82,000 to 88,000. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- In 2016, 5,286 people died in motorcycle accidents. (Insurance Information Institute)
- In 2017, roughly 89,000 motorcyclists were injured in serious accidents, and 5,172 riders were killed in deadly motorcycle accidents. (Insurance Information Institute)
For more information on deadly car accident statistics, consider our Distracted Driving Statistics page.
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About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
- The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
- The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
- The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.