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Motorcycle insurance with a DUI

Insurers may charge more, but you can often get coverage after a DUI.

Updated

Black motorcycle and beer

When it comes to motorcycle insurance, insurers look closely at your driving record. With a DUI to your name, you’ll likely be able to buy coverage, but your options are limited, and the premiums are much more expensive.

What insurance do I need after a DUI?

Motorcycle insurance is required in most states and generally a good idea in the rest. The laws vary by state, but typically, if your bike has an engine over 50cc, it’s classified as a motorcycle.

After your DUI, you may need to file a SR-22 to regain your full driver’s license. Also known as a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR), the form confirms that you’re meeting the state’s insurance requirements. If you need a SR-22 to get back behind the wheel, you’ll be notified by a judge in court or your state’s DMV.

Your insurance company usually files the SR-22 on your behalf, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping around for a policy. Typically, insurers that specialize in high-risk drivers will have no issues with SR-22s.

What kind of coverage should I get as a motorcyclist with a DUI?

It depends on the insurer. Some carriers will refuse to cover you, while others will make their full suite of coverage available to you.

As for how much coverage you should get, make this decision based on your budget, as well as how and where you ride your motorcycle.

These are the standard motorcycle coverages:

  • Bodily injury liability. Legally required in most states, this covers the cost of injuries you cause to someone else in an accident or incident, such as healthcare.
  • Property damage liability. Another basic coverage, this takes care of the damage you cause to someone else’s property or vehicle.
  • Collision. This covers the damage to your bike if you’re involved in an accident.
  • Comprehensive. This pays for the damage to your bike caused by anything other than a collision, like falling objects, vandalism and natural disasters.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist. This coverage pays for damage caused by a driver with little to no insurance.
  • Loan or lease gap. This kicks in to cover the remainder of your loan or lease after a total loss.
  • Motorcycle equipment. An optional coverage, this pays to repair or replace customized equipment, such as saddlebags or extra chrome.

Compare motorcycle insurance with a DUI

Name Product Roadside assistance Accident forgiveness Available states
Progressive motorcycle insurance
Optional
Yes (earned after 3 years with no accidents and 4 years of loyalty)
All 50 states
Enjoy some of the widest coverage with the lowest price thanks to add-ons and freebies like replacement cost coverage.
Esurance motorcycle insurance
Included free
No
43 states
Cover pricey riding gear while snagging bike-specific discounts for motorcycle licensing or safety courses.
Allstate motorcycle insurance
Included free
Yes
All 50 states
One of the longest lists of coverage options for bikes, plus free perks like equipment coverage for your high-end riding gear.
Liberty Mutual motorcycle insurance
Optional
No
All 50 states
Enjoy unique perks along with your wide bike coverage, like free accident forgiveness after going claims-free with any insurer.
The General motorcycle insurance
Optional
No
43 states
Avoid riding interruptions with acceptance as a high-risk driver, help with filing an SR-22 and instant access to proof of insurance.
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How much does motorcycle insurance with a DUI cost?

There’s no way to get around it: a DUI will bump up your premium for at least three years.

The reason is simple. If you have a DUI on your record, your insurance company will view you as a high-risk driver, and charge you a higher rate to compensate for the risk they’re assuming in insuring you.

Typically, you can expect your rates to increase by 10% to 100%, though it depends on the provider and where you live. In some states, you’ll pay the inflated premium for as long as the DUI is on your driving record — which can be up to 10 years.

To give you some context, the average insurance increase for a DUI is over $1,200 a year. That puts the average cost of insurance after a DUI at $2,500 per year. To get the best post-DUI rate, take the time to compare providers.

How can I save on motorcycle insurance with a DUI?

With a DUI to your name, your insurer has the right to hike up your rates for at least three years. But there are a few things you can do now that may cut down the costs of your motorcycle insurance:

  • Choose a lower level of coverage. For example, forgo collision and comprehensive coverage in favor of simple liability coverage.
  • Ditch the extra coverage. On that note, say no to coverage you don’t need to pay for, such as helmet coverage or glass coverage.
  • Ask around about discounts. Even with a DUI, you may qualify for discounts for things like paying your premium in full or bundling your home and motorcycle coverage.
  • Complete a sober driver program. The NHTSA is one of many providers around the country that offers drunk driver awareness courses. These programs are designed to educate drivers about the dangers of getting behind the wheel with alcohol in your system, and your insurer may have a list of approved courses that could lower your premium.
  • Invest in a breathalyzer. Also known as an alcohol ignition interlock, this device will stop your motorcycle from starting if your blood alcohol content is higher than zero. Your insurer may offer you a lower premium for fitting one onto your bike.
  • Park your bike in a secure garage. This decreases the likelihood of damage or theft, and may result in a lower premium.
  • Switch to a cheaper bike. Consider a model with a less powerful engine if you’re buying a new bike. Motorcycles with mightier engines are more expensive to insure.
    Case study
    Joe was riding his motorcycle along the main road near his home, when he ran a red light and hit a parked car. The police saw him speed through the red light, and pulled him over for a breath test. While the car wasn’t damaged and nobody was hurt, Joe blew a 0.06 and was charged with a DUI.When he went to renew his motorcycle insurance a few months later, his insurer assessed his driving record and discovered the DUI conviction. Since Joe was now deemed to be a danger to other drivers on the road, the carrier had no choice but to raise his rate. But Joe’s record had been spotless before the incident and he’d never made a claim, so the insurer took that into account.

    What else should I know about car insurance after a DUI?

    You may be required to keep SR-22 insurance for three to five years, depending on your state. The biggest caution is to make sure you maintain SR-22 status. If you have a lapse in coverage, you’ll have to reapply for SR-22 insurance, and the timer starts over.

    Bottom line

    A DUI will have a major impact on your motorcycle insurance. It might make it tricky to get coverage, and it will almost always leave you paying a much higher premium.

    But there are carriers that specialize in high-risk drivers, and you may be able to strategically cut down the cost of your insurance.

    To get the best possible rate, compare motorcycle insurance providers.

    Frequently asked questions about DUIs and motorcycle insurance

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