Let’s take a look at the top recommendations for motorcycle insurance then we’ll delve into the different types of coverage and other factors you need to fully understand the policy you choose.
Safety is an important factor when you are riding down the highway. Although motorcycle fatalities dropped 5% in 2018 to 4,985, injuries and fatalities are still far too common. Share the road, remain alert and sober, and wear your helmet to protect yourself, your passenger and other motorists. These habits can keep you alive and save you money on your insurance.
If your budget is the sole factor, Geico and Nationwide have the best price in many states. However, it’s important to shop around for different factors such as coverage, lifestyle and individual pros and cons.When shopping for motorcycle insurance, use the state minimum requirements for quotes and coverage evaluation. If you have a classic chopper or a foreign motorcycle with custom parts and gear, for example, you will want an insurer that covers these features well.
Consider these top motorcycle insurance options in 2020 in your search:
Geico: Best Price in Many States
Geico has earned high ratings from the consumer watchdog group A.M. Best, and it nearly always has the lowest price for motorcycle insurance. Shop online to find the best prices in your state. Typically, GEICO provides simple coverage if you have a clean driving record and want the cheapest priced.
The company’s customer service doesn’t have the best reputation despite the cute ads on television. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners rates the company just above average in the way it handles consumer complaints.
- Great rates in nearly all states
- Covers motorcycles, moped, scooters
- Great for online shoppers
- A++ rating from A.M. Best
- Inconsistent customer service
Nationwide: Best cheap motorcycle insurance
Nationwide is also a very affordable motorcycle insurance option. The company offers OEM coverage unlike other insurers that go with the most affordable replacement parts when they approve quotes. However nationwide won’t cover motorcycles over 10 years old.
The company has multiple coverage discounts. For instance, if you have your home and motorcycle insurance through them, you could save money.
Completing a motorcycle safety course also saves you money with Nationwide. Some riding clubs also enjoy a discount through this company’s affinity relationships.
Markel: Best Overall
Markel has been providing insurance for motorcycles for more than four decades, and they offer a variety of coverage types. The company doesn’t have all the bells and whistles when it comes to tech tools. However, its discounts and coverage make it highly desirable for most bike owners.
- Long list of discounts
- Wide coverage range
- Accident forgiveness program
- Limited pack options for customer service
- Unavailable in North Carolina or Massachusetts
Markel has customizable policies with a wide variety of coverage types and options. It also offers trip interruption, rental reimbursement and accessory coverage up to $30,000. If you’re having trouble getting coverage for an unusual type of motorcycle, contact Markel. The company typically covers:
- Dirt bikes
- Sport bikes
- Touring motorcycles
- Street bikes
- Sport-touring bikes
- Big twins
- Custom motorcycles
Markel offers several discounts, saving motorcycle riders up to 35% on premiums. These discounts include:
- Transfer discount of 10%
- Anti-lock brakes
- Anti-theft alarm
- Multi-vehicle discount
- Renewal discount
- Safe driver discount for accident-free riders who finish a safety course
With 40 years’ experience, the company has an excellent financial strength rating with A.M. Best and a Better Business Bureau rating of A+. Customer reviews on Yelp credit Markel with great coverage and excellent customer service specialist who answer questions promptly. You can also get online quotes and set up automatic bill pay through this company.
The company’s small size skew its claims satisfaction ratings on the National Commission of Insurance Commissioners site. It had no complaints in 2018 and two in 2017.
These policies are not available in every state. For the states it does operate in, not all coverage types are available depending on geographical location. This small provider does not have smartphone apps, but you can access policy management online.
Markel lacks the marketing power of larger companies such as State Farm, but it has perks such as mechanical breakdown coverage for motorcycle riders. It’s part of the standard coverage which is important for those who have older bikes.
The company’s vanishing deductible program offers a 25% reduction every year a driver goes without an accident.
They also have an accident forgiveness program which is unusual for motorcycle insurance. After four years of an accident-free history, Marco waives any surcharges for the accident.
Safeco: Best for Extra Discount Options
Safeco has a dozen discount options. It offers many free features other companies pay for.
- Covers custom parts and OEM parts
- Numerous discounts
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- 24/7 claims filing
- Coverage not available in AR, DE, HI, NH, MT, VT or WY
- No online quote
Safeco has all the standard motorcycle coverage options. Its add-on options stand out and include:
- Roadside assistance
- Trip interruption
- Custom parts up to $20,000
- OEM parts provisions
- Riding gear and accessory coverage
- Two-year replacement coverage for new Harley-Davidson
More than a dozen ways to save for motorcyclists make Safeco a great option for some riders. By stacking discounts, you can save up to 40% on your insurance costs. Discounts include the following:
- Safe driving discount (with safety course completion)
- Riding club discounts (24 riding club partners)
- Experienced rider discounts
- Garage storage
- Safety and anti-theft
- Multi-cycle/multi-policy discounts
- Continuous coverage discount for claims-free motorcycle owners
- Pay annual premium in full discount
Safeco agents provide excellent local coverage. Safeco prides itself on making sure you can always access a local agent. Customers seem generally happy with the claims process. There are a few reviews online indicating delays on approvals.
Safeco has comprehensive insurance but is not available in all states. If you’re looking for an exclusive online experience, Safeco is also not a good choice. The only way to get a quote is through an in-person conversation with an agent.
Some customers appreciate working with the local agent while others would rather do their account management online. Safeco offers local agents but also allows claims filing online. You also have 24/7 access to your policy through its smartphone apps.
Safeco’s special coverage options include your custom parts and riding gear. Additionally, it provides basic insurance at a decent price. It’s a great option for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles of fancier coverage.
Harley-Davidson: Best for New Riders
As one of the top motorcycle makers in the world, Harley-Davidson knows a thing or two about the coverage needed by riders. You can get your coverage when you buy your bike at a Harley dealership. Here are some of the perks offered by Harley-Davidson:
- Maintenance and warranty options included with coverage
- Extensive coverage for all brands
- Accident forgiveness policy
- Coverage not available in all states
- No homeowners or car insurance so you cannot bundle products
Harley-Davidson offers numerous perks with his coverage including a long list of discounts that include:
- Experienced driver discounts
- Affinity discounts (Harley Owners Group)
- Completed safety courses within the last five years
- New bike discount
- Homeownership discount
- Multi-cycle discounts
- Anti-theft device
- Claims-free discount for every six months without a claim
- Customer loyalty discount by year
- Paid on time discount
Harley-Davidson is a well-known motorcycle company and has a dedicated customer following. However, its insurance arm is underwritten by century insurance, a well-established mutual insurance company. It’s hard to tell what the customer satisfaction ratings for Harley-Davidson are. However, century insurance has an A+ in financial strength from A.M. Best and an A+ rating from the BBB.
You can’t get Harley-Davidson coverage in Hawaii, Alaska or Washington DC. The policy and coverage vary between states, so it’s good to talk to an agent to get an online quote prior to switching to Harley-Davidson. There is no mobile app, but you can conduct your business online, in person or via the telephone.
Top policy customers enjoy extended service plans such as appearance protection, bike loans, planned maintenance and a Visa card to spend money on Harley-Davidson gear. These are great perks for new riders.
The company has an unparalleled customer accident forgiveness policy. If you maintain motorcycle insurance for one year, the rates will not go up after the first accident.
Dairyland: Best for High-Risk Drivers
Because of discounts, many motorcycle insurance companies don’t accept high-risk drivers. Dairyland offers insurance to drivers with spotty records.
- Covers high-risk riders for those needing their SR-22 documentation
- Replacement cost available for motorcycles under three years old
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Around-the-clock claims processing
- Numerous customer complaints about cost
- Not available in some states
Dairyland covers motorcycles, mopeds and scooters. Beyond standard coverage, Dairyland has a physical damage plus protection option. This ensures genuine OEM replacement parts when your bike requires repairs. Aftermarket parts are also covered.
The discounts offered by Dairyland are not as numerous as some insurers but include many opportunities to save such as:
- Discount for passing a safety course
- Group discounts for riders’ clubs
- Transfer discount when you switch to Dairyland
- Loyalty discount starts at over one year of coverage
- Homeowner discount
- Multi-cycle discount
Dairyland is a part of Sentry insurance which receives high ratings for customer satisfaction as well as financial stability. Of over 4,400 reviews on Trustpilot, 74% rated the company excellent, giving the company a 5-star overall rating. As mentioned above, Sentry Insurance has an A+ BBB rating and excellent financial ratings from A.M. Best.
Dairyland is available in 45 states but you cannot obtain coverage in HI, OK, NJ, CA or and Washington, D.C.
Dairyland policies are tailored for high-risk drivers. Drivers with good credit and clean driving records may wish to seek insurance through another provider to get lower rates.
Dairyland is a great choice for tech-savvy riders who value access to their account on mobile apps. The company’s mobile apps are available on Apple App Store and Google Play. Customers pay their bills, view insurance cards and access their account information through these apps. In addition, Dairyland’s website is easy to navigate and available 24 hours a day.
Physical Damage Plus coverage is a program highlight. Dairyland pays for OEM parts. To those looking to maintain authenticity, Dairyland’s Physical Damage Plus is useful in the unfortunate event of an accident.
USAA: Best for Military Members
USAA offers numerous insurance products for veterans. The company has a solid standing and great ratings from the Better Business Bureau and J.D. Power. This insurance benefits active military personnel and veterans.
- Industry leader
- Competitive rates
- Many discounts
- 24/7 availability for claim filing and customer service
- Exclusively available to current or previous military members
USAA covers all the basic motorcycle insurance types and also offers roadside assistance and generous customer parts coverage ($30,000).
The coverage for motorcycles is fairly sparse, but USAA covers the following trikes and bikes:
- Street bikes
- Touring motorcycles
- Dirt bikes
USAA it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the higher-end insurance companies. Many military families go with it due to low rates and discounts.
USAA discounts include the following:
- Multiple-policy discount if you purchase home, car and life insurance
- Multi-cycle discount for those with more than one bike
- Loyalty discount
- 5% off for taking a motorcycle safety course
- Family discount 10% for family members recommended through a veteran
- New motorcycle discount (less than three years old)
Storage discount for proper storage
- Good driver discount with each passing accident-free year
- Seasonal discount if you don’t ride year-round
USAA is known for its outstanding service. They rated the highest in J.D. Power’s 2020 Insurance Shopping Study.
Only current or former military personnel can purchase USAA. This allows the company to maintain its standards for those who face the greatest on the job danger.
The company has many convenient payment choices. members pay in full or in monthly installments. Many choose to automate bill pay through their checking account or a credit card. Others check by mail, telephone and other methods.
USAA has free mobile tools available at Samsung Page, Google Pay and Apple Pay. You can also pay through your phone and gain access to all your account information. USAA also has banking and investing services available in its online tools and apps.
Foremost: Best for Vintage Bikes
Just like cars, classic bikes require specialized insurance to save money. Foremost is the best coverage for vintage and custom bikes.
Pros and Cons
You can get coverage on your bike that’s at least 25 years old or that has $30,000 or more in custom parts. You also get discounts for anti-theft devices and wearing your helmet. Additionally, trailers and other equipment are covered. On the downside, you can’t get this coverage in Hawaii or Massachusetts and options may change from area to area.
Because they specialize in vintage or custom bikes, they understand the special needs of these bikes. Coverage options are broken into packages and the company covers custom parts up to $30,000. It also has traditional insurance to satisfy state minimums. Additionally, Foremost provides the following coverage add-ons, based on your coverage:
- Helmet and safety apparel
- Optional equipment and personal effects
- Trip interruption
- Rental reimbursement
- Total loss replacement (up to 5 years)
- Trailer coverage
Ask your agent about the three types of standard motorcycle insurance. Foremost is among the few companies offering full coverage for specialty bikes. Vintage elite and vintage plans specifically carry motorcycle insurance for bikes that are at least 25 years old. If you have properly maintained and stored your vintage bike, you might save a lot through Foremost.
Foremost offers discounts that are hard to find with any other carrier. They include the following:
- DOT-approved helmet: you get $500 of extra medical coverage if you wear one
- Theft recovery provisions: $500 as a waiver on your deductible if you have recovery devices on your bike
- Safety equipment discounts
- Safe driver discounts for completing a motorcycle safety course
- First accident waiver
- Affinity member discounts such as AARP
- Multi-bike discount
- Multi-policy discount
- Policy renewal discount
As a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group, foremost has an A+ BBB rating and an A from A.M. Best.
There is a geographic limitation with riders in Massachusetts and Hawaii unable to get foremost insurance. Also, there are some add-ons that are restricted based on your location. For most only issues insurance to certain people. It will not accept high-risk motorcycle riders or those who have a suspended license. The company also considers credit score. If you have poor credit, this may not be the company for you.
The company includes $3,500 for customized equipment. Policy options for custom bikes make this a great policy for those who put time and money into their bikes.
Types of Motorcycle Coverage
Understanding the state-mandated insurance requirements starts with knowing the liability coverage required in your state. In most states, motorcycles must follow the automobile minimums for financial responsibility. Here are the major types of motorcycle coverage available.
Liability insurance pays for property damage and bodily injury caused by an accident that is your fault. It doesn’t cover damage to your vehicle or medical bills from injuries you sustained in an accident that you caused. You may be able to purchase guest passenger liability to cover anyone riding with you, depending on the terms of your policy.
Motorcycle collision insurance pays for damage to your bike in a collision with another motor vehicle. This usually covers up to the book value of the bike not including the deductible.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damages by other events such as theft, fire or vandalism. Your insurance company pays for the damages up to the book value of the motorcycle.
Coverage for customized motorcycle parts fills the gap between what your regular insurance covers, which is typically factory standard parts, and the cost of aftermarket parts that you have added to your motorcycle. This includes parts such as custom paint, chrome accessories, trailers and sidecars.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage handles damages to your property for an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured rider. UM/UIM policies reimburse you for medical treatment and, sometimes, property damage.
The following optional coverage types are worth considering for your motorcycle:
- Roadside Assistance: You can get help if you’re stranded and subscribe to a roadside assistance program. Many insurance companies offer this service for additional premiums. It typically includes towing.
- Trip Interruption: If you are unable to continue your trip due to car issues, trip interruption pays for part of your losses.
- Equipment Coverage: Some companies cover your safety equipment and helmet as well as your motorcycle. This can be helpful if you spend a lot of money on your gear.
- Rental Reimbursements: If you have to rent another vehicle while your motorcycle is being repaired or replaced, rental reimbursement coverage pays the cost.
- Accessory Coverage: If you have a windshield, a mounted GPS or saddlebags or other accessories, this coverage would pay part of the cost in the event of an accident.
- OEM Endorsement: Repairs that use OEM parts cost more particularly on vintage bikes. This endorsement ensures that you get OEM parts for repairs related to an accident.
- Guest Passenger Liability: In some states, you need guest passenger liability to cover injuries to passengers.
Factors That Impact Cost
Shop around to find a company that meets your needs for a reasonable cost. The following factors impact your motorcycle premium:
- Your age, your driving history and location
- Type of bike (cruiser, sport, custom, standard)
- Age of the bike covered
- Annual mileage
- Where you store the bike
Maintaining a good credit history and a great driving record can keep your motorcycle insurance costs down. Check out the tips below for additional discounts that can save you money on your motorcycle insurance premium:
- Training course discounts for riders who finish a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) rider course.
- Multi-bike discounts give you a discount based on additional bikes added to your policy.
- Discount for riding club with an affinity program with your insurer.
- Mature rider discounts save money for mature, experienced riders.
- “Lay-up” policy savings. This option is widely available throughout the Northeast. You can save money by suspending coverage in the winter when you no longer use the bike.
Wearing your helmet and practicing safe riding rules can reduce your risk of an accident. However, riding a motorcycle is inherently more dangerous when compared to other vehicles, as seen in III statistics offered by the III. Choose the insurance that covers you, your vehicle and your family in the event of a crash that damages your bike or results in injury or death.