Riding your insured bike on the open road costs much less than driving a car. However, bike rates differ based on many factors like whether you have customized parts or ride cross-country. Insurance companies take note of your sporty or cruising bike type as well.
Motorcycle insurance policies cost around $59 per month or $700 per year on average, but the rate can vary with different bike models, insurance companies and states. If you’re opting for full coverage, expect your policy to stick to the upper end of that range. However, even a high premium is a steep decrease from the average car insurance average at $108 per month or $1,300 per year.
Motorcycle insurance rates by bike type
One major insurance factor is which bike you decide to show off your leathers on. One type of bike may bring a much different rate than another, especially when comparing racing bikes to cruisers. How these types might affect your rates:
Choppers. This bike is made for show, often including customized extras that could make it more expensive to insure.
Cruisers. This standard, iconic motorcycle gives casual riders what they need and not much more. You might expect an average rate for this type.
Dirt bikes. Since these bikes aren’t for riding the streets, they typically cost less than other motorcycles to insure and may get classified as an ATV.
Scooters. These small, low-powered bikes probably won’t raise many concerns about risk with your insurance company.
Sport bikes. These bikes are made for high performance with some street riding and may require more expensive specialty insurance.
Trail bikes. The cost of insurance for this type of bike depends on whether it’s classified as a pure ATV or street legal bike. An ATV would cost less to insure.
Touring bikes. These bikes can get pricey and come with powerful engines, making them a higher risk for insurers.
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Long list of discounts, like for riding groups or a motorcycle license
You may be riding in style, but how you ride and which bike you choose could affect your premium. Companies consider several features about your bike, such as:
Sale price. A high ticket price could mean your bike costs more for your insurance company to repair, requiring more cost upfront for you.
Customized parts. Like the ticket price, customizing or modifying your bike with extra chrome, new seats or custom headlights could bring up the value. Plus, you might want extra coverage for these special parts.
Engine size. A big bike engine might win on the road or racetrack, but a small engine wins with cheap insurance.
Higher cc’s. While the sound of a high-powered motor may be appealing, your insurer sees it as a risk. In fact, a bike with over 1,000 cc’s could bring rates over double compared to one with less.
How you use your bike. Planning to use your motorcycle as a racer or a casual cruiser? Your answer could add dollars to your premium if you’re racing or traveling cross country versus taking weekend spins.
Theft rates. Since theft is such a large problem for motorcycles, one with an overabundance of theft appeal could leave you paying extra for the risk.
Safety features. A bike with the latest safety gadgets could bring a deeper discount than older models with few safety features.
Will my age affect my motorcycle insurance rate?
Yes, your age directly influences your rate, with younger riders bringing the highest rates. That’s because young bikers have less experience and may make riskier choices on the road.
For example, motorcycle insurance for a 21-year-old could reach into the thousands, while drivers in their 30s might only pay a few hundred per year.
Why is motorcycle insurance cheaper than car insurance?
A motorcycle policy costs about half the price of car insurance, and that could be for several reasons, including:
Cheaper repairs. Bikes have smaller engines with fewer parts to repair and replace.
Coverage needs. Motorcycle owners often opt for less coverage. That’s because accidents tend to be caused by another driver, and at-fault accidents don’t involve much damage to other cars and people involved.
Coverage restrictions. Many states restrict drivers from getting PIP coverage, or personal injury protection, because bikers have a greater risk of bodily injuries.
Lower liability. Companies charge less for liability because they’re less likely to have high payouts for damage caused by a motorcycle.
Lower mileage. Bikers may use their bikes in town or on weekends, which lowers the number of miles they drive.
Smaller size. No matter who’s at fault, a bike’s small size often incurs less damage than the other vehicle it encounters.
Generally, you can get motorcycle coverage for a few hundred dollars per year, which is far less than you’d spend on car insurance. But your exact rate varies based on your bike model, sale price, customizations and how you use it.
Bikers can get into accidents in different scenarios, such as colliding with a driver who didn’t see the motorcycle, driving at high speeds, driving between traffic, in intersections and while making left-hand turns. Knowing these risks could help you drive more defensively on the road.
Common types include liability, comprehensive, collision, fire and theft and customized parts. You can also find specialty insurance for limited-edition, racing or classic bikes.
Sarah George is a writer at Finder who unravels complicated topics about insurance, business and finance. She's been wordsmithing for nearly five years, after earning an English education degree. Her insurance know-how has been featured on CarInsurance.com. You can usually find Sarah sipping hot tea and talking through movie plots in her downtime.
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