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How much does motorcycle insurance cost?

Expect to pay around $63 a month or $750 a year for motorcycle insurance. Your rates depend on factors like your bike, mileage, coverage, location and age.

For example, a new bike valued at $15,000 may start at $16 a month for liability-only coverage, or go up to $42 monthly for full coverage insurance. A bike with twice this market value can see double this insurance premium.

How much motorcycle insurance do I need?

Motorcycle insurance is required in most states, though each state has different motorcycle insurance laws based on factors like engine size.

If your bike has an engine smaller than 50cc or top speeds below 30 mph, it’s likely classified as a moped or scooter with different insurance requirements.

To build your policy, start with your state’s minimum liability coverage, such as $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident and $25,000 property damage liability. Consider raising your limits to protect your assets in case you’re sued because of an accident.

What motorcycle insurance coverage do I need?

Liability insurance is typically the only type of coverage legally required for motorcycles. Many states don’t require insurers to offer personal injury protection for bikes, unlike car insurance.

Want wider coverage on a new, classic or expensive bike? Look for a motorcycle policy that includes full coverage, which is liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.

Bodily injury liability

Covers the medical costs of the other drivers if you’re in an at-fault accident, including emergency medical costs, surgery costs, legal help and funerals.

Property damage liability

Covers damage you cause to someone else’s property or vehicle in an accident. This coverage won’t cover damage to your own bike.


Covers damage to your motorcycle from non-collision damage, including weather, vandalism, falling objects, vandalism and theft.


Covers repairs to your motorcycle if you’re involved in an accident involving another vehicle or solid object, like a tree or telephone pole.

Bike accessory

Covers damage to windshields, luggage racks, storage and other personal items.

What does motorcycle insurance cover?

Depending on the types of coverage you choose, motorcycle insurance can cover situations like:

  • You’re involved in a collision with another vehicle.
  • You swipe a mailbox and scratch your paint.
  • Your bike is stolen while it’s parked.
  • Your windshield is cracked by a rock.
  • You lose your keys and don’t have your spare.
  • Your tire pops on a nail.
  • Your side mirror is broken in the parking lot.

What about my helmet?

You should replace your helmet after almost any blow to the head, according to the standard-setting Snell Foundation. The good news is comprehensive bike insurance covers the cost of a new helmet after a crash.

New bike helmets can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 although you can find solid options for $150 or $200, according to the NADAguides.

What other bike coverage can I get?

Consider the extras available in a policy. For example, accessory coverage or custom parts and equipment coverage also protects helmets, sidecars, antennas, trailers, custom paint or trike conversion kits.

Some extras include:

  • Gap insurance for loaned or leased bikes
  • Passenger coverage
  • Windshield and glass damage
  • Rental reimbursement & trip interruption
  • Bike trailer

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What motorcycle insurance discounts can I get?

Like with car insurance, you might qualify for discounts to help you save on your premiums, such as:

  • Riding safety course discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Motorcycle club discount
  • Storage, layup or seasonal discount
  • Safe driver or claims-free discount
  • Paid in full discount
  • Anti-theft device discount

How does a layup policy work?

If you only ride your bike in the summer, a seasonal, temporary or laid-up policy will cover only when you ride regularly. You still may have comprehensive coverage during winter or when you don’t ride, but liability and collision will drop off and lower your premiums overall.

How can I get cheap motorcycle insurance?

You may pay more on your premiums if you’re a young or inexperienced driver or if you have accidents on your driving record. However, you can help to reduce your premiums in a few ways:

  1. Choose the right bike. Large, powerful engines are expensive to insure.
  2. Keep your bike safe. Garaging your bike lowers the likelihood that your bike will be damaged.
  3. Drive safely. Use defensive driving to avoid accidents and build a no-claims history.
  4. Reassess the value of your bike. If you’re buying a brand new motorcycle, check its market value in a few years to make sure you’re not overinsured.
  5. Choose your payment options. Motorcycle insurers charge less if you pay annually or use autopay.
  6. Get discounts. Qualify for discounts for loyalty, no claims, signing up online or multiple policies.
  7. Only pay for the coverage you need. You can find free perks included in some policies, so avoid paying extra for these options.

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Ask an expert: What’s the best type of motorcycle coverage to buy?

Brad Larson

Brad Larson
Licensed insurance agent for

If you’ve put money into an upgraded engine or exhaust, or if you’ve invested in chrome accessories or any other specialty parts, the best policy for you is one that will cover replacement costs of those upgrades.

If you have an expensive brand of motorcycle, there are some insurance companies that base their rates on engine size rather than the brand of motorcycle. A quote comparison will help you identify those companies because the price difference will be obvious.

Liability-only coverage is the cheapest option and a good one when your motorcycle isn’t worth much money.

Is a seasonal policy worth it?

Depending on your lifestyle, a seasonal policy can be a good option. If you’re okay with putting down the keys and not riding over the winter — even when it’s an unseasonably warm and sunny day — then a seasonal policy can help you save a little money.

It may not help you save as much as you expect though, because continuous coverage tends to be less expensive per month than seasonal coverage.

If you have full coverage and want to make it seasonal coverage, you should make sure your motorcycle can be garaged. If left on the street or driveway, there’s too much risk of damage — which outweighs your savings.

How is motorcycle different from car insurance?

While nearly every state requires liability insurance for cars, there are a few states that don’t require any type of coverage for motorcycles. That lack of requirement doesn’t equate to a lack of need, though. A motorcycle can cause a lot of damage, and without liability insurance, you’ll be responsible for that damage out of pocket.

Often with full coverage (i.e. comprehensive and collision coverage), a motorcyclist chooses a policy that covers upgrades and accessories. While it is possible to get similar coverage for a car, it’s much more common to purchase that specialty coverage for a motorcycle.

Besides that requirement difference, motorcycle insurance is essentially the same as car insurance. You have the option of purchasing comprehensive and collision coverages unless you have a loan, in which case the lender will almost always require full coverage.

Common questions about motorcycle insurance

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Roslyn McKenna Ayers is insurance manager at ValuePenguin and a former publisher at Finder, specializing in home and auto coverage. Her expertise and analysis has been featured on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest. She holds a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College. See full bio

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