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Temporary motorcycle insurance

Cut back your policy’s term length without cutting back the coverage you need.

Updated

A temporary policy allows you to buy coverage for as short as one day up to several months, depending on your needs. However, brief terms could mean paying more per month for insurance if you need coverage for several months, so make sure it’s the right fit for you.

Who needs temporary motorcycle insurance?

Temporary insurance works well for riders who travel, but you might have other reasons for needing a short-lived policy. Reasons to get temporary bike insurance:

  • Renting a motorcycle. You might need minimum liability or supplemental coverage if your provider doesn’t cover your rental bike.
  • Traveling abroad. Getting insurance at your destination can vary by country, and you may need proof of insurance to get through customs. So do your research ahead of time.
  • Riding a friend’s bike. Understand if and when your friend’s insurance covers you, so you can get extra protection if needed.
  • Shopping providers. Need more time to look for insurance once your current term ends? Rather than renewing for six months or a full year, you could opt for a temporary policy instead. This may be more pricey, so an alternative would be to get a policy with free cancellations instead.

What kind of temporary motorcycle insurance coverage can I get?

Short terms and flexibility are the gist of temporary insurance, but you can opt for specific types of temporary policies that include:

  • Storage insurance. Get comprehensive coverage for your bike, which includes theft, weather and accidental damage protection while it’s resting in the garage for winter.
  • Seasonal policies. Also known as lay-up insurance, a seasonal policy gives you wider coverage during riding season and reduces to comprehensive coverage only during offseason.
  • Daily to monthly coverage. Customize your term so that you get the coverage you need for specific amounts of time.
  • International insurance. Safeguard your bike when touring faraway roads with coverage abroad. Standard policies don’t typically cover a road trip to Mexico or Canada, for example.

    Compare temporary motorcycle insurance policies

    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.
    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.
    Esurance motorcycle insurance
    Included free
    No
    43 states
    Cover pricey riding gear while snagging bike-specific discounts for motorcycle licensing or safety courses.
    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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    Compare up to 4 providers

    How do I get temporary motorcycle insurance?

    Many riders look for temporary insurance for vacation riding or borrowing a friend’s bike. Follow a few steps to get your short-term policy:

    • Find the right type of provider. Some standard providers offer specific short-term protection like vacation rental coverage, but it’s best to look for specialized temporary insurance providers. If you’re renting, you could opt for insurance from the bike rental company too.
    • Compare providers. Look at the coverage, benefits and cost that each temporary policy offers. Consider quotes from multiple providers.
    • Choose coverage. Finalize the temporary coverage you need, such as liability-only, supplemental liability or collision coverage. You’ll also need to choose a deductible that you’re comfortable paying before your policy kicks in.
    • Set your start and end dates. Enter the dates you need coverage for or set up automatic renewals to avoid a lapse if you need extended coverage.
    • Pay your security deposit. Some types of temporary policies for rental bikes require a deposit.
    • Finalize details. Complete your application with personal information and bike details to start your policy.

    What should I watch out for with temporary motorcycle insurance?

    You’ll want to be aware of a few nuances when getting this policy:

    • Lapsed coverage. When you’re riding for fun or using a temporary policy to bridge a gap in insurance, it’s easy to forget when that coverage ends. You could set up automatic renewals to avoid that problem. Otherwise, you’ll get dinged with higher premiums when you try to get a long-term policy down the road.
    • Age requirements. Some providers have a minimum age for buying a temporary policy, such as 21, to ensure less-risky riding.
    • Paying more than necessary. Temporary coverage may cost more per day than an annual policy. You might look at other options for your situation to avoid paying a higher premium.
    • Cancellation fees. You could be charged for canceling your term early. For example, vacation rentals might have a fee for canceling less than 24 hours before your reservation time starts.
    • Forgetting proof of insurance. Keep proof of your coverage on hand anytime that you’re riding a bike, especially in unfamiliar territory.

    What are the alternatives to temporary motorcycle insurance?

    You might have several ways to avoid purchasing a short-term policy. Some standard providers work with you if you need coverage for several months or would like to reduce coverage during the riding offseason. You might also be able to call your agent and ask about add-on coverage for rentals or international coverage.

    You could also choose to purchase a six-month or annual policy and cancel before the term ends. But this option could result in a cancellation fee and a higher premium the next time you buy a policy if you have a coverage lapse.

    Bottom line

    Sometimes, a typical motorcycle insurance policy doesn’t meet your short-term coverage needs, whether you’re covering a rental or taking your own bike abroad. When that happens, you can look for temporary bike insurers with the best coverage, cost and benefits.

    Frequently asked questions about temporary motorcycle insurance

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