You might see a higher premium than more experienced riders on the road. However, that higher cost could reflect not being eligible for a claims-free discount. Plus, new riders might choose higher liability limits and optional coverage for added safety.
How do I compare motorcycle insurance as a new rider?
Here’s several situations to consider when getting coverage as a newbie learning the rules of the road:
High liability limits. Because liability covers you for damage and legal expenses, you might opt for a limit that covers the value of your personal assets. For example, consider a minimum of $300,000 total for bodily injury liability per accident, as recommended for car drivers by the Insurance Information Institute.
Bike value. When weighing protection for physical damage, consider the market value of your bike. Brand new rides need more coverage than a restored scrap bike.
Personal injuries. Because you have less protection on a bike during an accident, ensure you have the medical coverage you need. Coverage can come from health insurance or a motorcycle insurance add-on like medical payments or personal injury protection.
Accessories and equipment coverage. Custom equipment, modifications from original parts or safety accessories like your helmet are all covered separately from your bike. Some insurers offer free accessories coverage, but check to be sure what’s covered.
Passengers. You might want to show off your bike to friends and family, but make sure you understand how they’re protected before they hop on your bike.
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What kind of coverage should I get as a new rider?
Most states require motorcyclist to carry insurance to ride legally, but wide coverage for new riders may be more of a necessity. Consider these standard and optional types of coverage for the best protection:
Property damage liability. Most states require this coverage. It pays for another person’s vehicle or personal property if you’ve caused the damage.
Bodily injury liability. Cover medical bills and court fees if other drivers or passengers get hurt when you’re at-fault for an accident. Required in most states.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Be prepared for other drivers with less coverage than they may need to pay for the damage they caused. Some states require this coverage.
Collision. This add-on protects your ride from damage that you cause, paying to repair or replace your bike.
Comprehensive. Cover your bike for accidents not involving other vehicle collisions — like weather damage, theft, vandalism or falling tree branches.
Medical payments. Opt for this coverage to help with medical bills, including your health insurance copay and deductible.
Loan or lease gap. If you financed or leased your bike, you’re probably required to keep this coverage. Gap coverage pays the remainder of your loan or lease if your bike gets totaled and is worth less than you owe.
Guest passenger liability. Help your passengers cover their medical bills if they get hurt in an accident you cause.
How much does motorcycle insurance cost for a new rider?
The average motorcycle premium is $518 per year. However, your premium may vary based on several factors that affect accident risk such as:
Bike make, model and value
Case study: New bike in the family
Shannon just received her motorcycle license to ride alongside her dad, David, who has ridden for five years with no accidents. David’s insurance premium is $405 per year, which reflects his 10% claims-free discount and choice to ride a used cruiser.
Shannon has a newer bike and a 5% discount for her stellar high school grades, bringing her premium to $570. The father-daughter duo could save even more by bundling both motorcycles on the same policy.
What should I watch out for?
Just because you’re new on the streets doesn’t mean you have to fall for rookie mistakes. Take preventative measures to ward off these unwelcome situations:
Guard against theft. Bikes have a lower chance of recovery than cars, and you might not get the full replacement cost from insurance unless you purchased extra coverage. Lock it up in a garage for safekeeping.
Navigate state motorcycle laws. Every state has different bike insurance requirements — you’ll want to fully understand yours and get the proper coverage before getting on the road.
Avoid sport bikes. Sport bikes cost up to five times more to insure than cruisers.
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How can I save on motorcycle insurance as a new rider?
No matter how green you are on the road, you can still have the street smarts to save money. Explore these savings options:
Apply for a motorcycle endorsement. An additional credential on an existing license states you’re legally able to drive a motorcycle — and this could help you save.
Add safety features. Deck out your ride with an antitheft device, antilock brakes or airbags for added safety and savings.
Take a riding safety course. Prove that your safety habits go beyond years of experience with credentials from an approved motorcycle safety course.
Keep a good student status. You could land a discount for keeping high grades or reducing coverage while you’re away at college.
Pay on time. Keep this solid financial practice, and you might get a quick and easy discount.
Bundle with home and auto. Chances are that you or your parents have multiple insurance needs, and bundling them could help you save.
Frequently asked questions about motorcycle insurance for new riders
Not necessarily. Your bike insurance premium is more closely tied to your driving record and age. If your driving record stays clean, then you’ll probably see a lower premium. However, you could see it go up with accidents on record, no matter how long you ride.
It depends on the state. Even if your state doesn’t require one, your insurer may offer a discount for getting a motorcycle endorsement anyway.
Cruisers and standard bikes cost the least for insurance, although the exact costs vary by your bike’s make and model.
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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