Best Motorcycle Insurance in CA

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Contributor, Benzinga
April 22, 2022

Quick Look: The Best Motorcycle Insurance in CA

  • Best for Specialized Motorcycle Coverage: Markel
  • Best for Affordable Coverage: Dairyland
  • Best for Personal Property Coverage: Farmers
  • Best for Military Personnel, Retirees and Their Families: USAA

Given its beautiful weather and gorgeous scenery, it's no surprise that California has one of the highest numbers of registered motorcycles. But accident risk rises when so many riders are on the road, especially in a state that has the nation’s highest number of uninsured motorists. We’ve analyzed the 4 best companies for motorcycle insurance in CA so you can worry less and spend more time letting the wind whip your hair on the California highways.

Best Motorcycle Insurance in CA

Sure, you can choose from a long list of motorcycle insurance companies in California. But some companies stand out from the crowd because of price, options and available discounts. Here’s our list of the best motorcycle insurance providers in California.

1. Best Overall: Markel

Markel has specialized in motorcycle insurance coverage for more than 40 years. The carrier won’t cover your car or home but it offers policies for almost any type of motorcycle, including sport-touring bikes, street bikes, scooters and mopeds, dirt bikes, tricycles and almost any other type of motorcycle you can name.

Markel offers a long list of discounts that can add up to 35% in savings on your motorcycle policy. It even offers a 10% discount to transfer your policy. It also offers a diminishing deductible, which decreases your rate by 25% for each policy year you remain accident-free.

2. Cheapest Motorcycle Insurance in California: Dairyland

No company can beat Dairyland for low rates. You can get a policy the same day you purchase it with a payment of less than $200. That gets you state minimum coverage levels and the carrier even throws in roadside assistance. It’s a pretty barebones policy but it can do the job if you can’t afford more insurance coverage.

If you decide to increase your coverage to a mid-range or premium policy, Dairyland offers lots of coverage options and available discounts. Dairyland is financially solid, has good customer service reviews and more than 50 years of experience in motorcycle insurance.

3. Best Coverage for Multiple Bikes: Farmers

Since you can bundle your home, auto, life insurance policies with the same carrier and get a discount for it, adding multiple bikes to your policy makes more sense with Farmers Insurance. You’ll get a multi-policy discount and you can receive other discounts for completing an approved motorcycle safety course and having anti-lock brakes, airbags and optional equipment coverage. 

Other options include medical payments, liability for bodily injury and property damage, comprehensive, collision and more. The carrier also offers replacement cost coverage for motorcycles less than 2 years old.


You can expect a 5% discount off the total cost of your policy when you have a USAA member number. USAA offers basic motorcycle insurance coverage in California for less than $500 a year and promises military members and their families the best combination of pricing and service. Coverage is offered for a 1-year policy and includes 24-hour roadside assistance.

Options include liability for bodily injury/property damage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive, collision, custom parts and medical payments. USAA offers an array of other discounts including motorcycle safety course savings and savings for claims-free and insurance for multiple motorcycles.

What is Motorcycle Insurance?

No matter what you drive — car, truck, bus, or motorcycle — it is always important to invest in vehicle insurance. Most notably, as a driver and rider of a motorcycle living in the state of California, you must be mindful of state law requirements. Minimum state insurance mandates include $15,000 per person for personal injury, $30,000 per person per accident, and $5,000 for property damage. The average California motorcycle insurance rate with a clean driving record is $690 per year.

CA Motorcycle Insurance Overview

  • Minimum state insurance requirements:
    • $15,000 per person for personal injury
    • $30,000 per person per accident
    • $5,000 for property damage
  • The average insurance rate with a clean driving record is $690.

Remember, too, that motorcycle insurance in California could be a little pricy in some locations because of the risks involved. For example, insurance carriers will likely charge more if you live in large urban areas where accidents and litigation are more common.

CA Motorcycle Insurance Law Explained

If you live in California, you should be familiar with the laws regarding motorcycles and car insurance. You are mandated by law to have a motorcycle license and a motorcycle insurance policy if you ride. To get a motorcycle license in California follow these steps:

  •  Pass a written and vision test administered by the state.
  • Complete a California Highway Patrol motorcycle basic rider course or a driving test if you are 18 or older.
  • Obtain a certificate of completion of motorcycle training.

It is entirely possible to purchase more coverage than what was previously discussed earlier if you think doing so is in your best interest. It is actually highly recommended that you consider additional coverage. Minimal coverage does not fully protect you if you are involved in an accident, especially if the coverage doesn’t handle uninsured or underinsured motorists.

You want to prevent anything that would cost you thousands of dollars for injuries or damages sustained in an accident. Insurance does exactly that for drivers. You only have to pay a few extra dollars a month in order to protect yourself, your passenger, or other drivers and their vehicles.

As a motorcycle driver, or operator of any vehicle on the road, remember that it is necessary to carry proof of insurance at all times. Failing to do so, if you are pulled over, may result in a citation, fines, and even jail time.

CA Motorcycle Insurance Rates per Bike

The amount you pay for motorcycle insurance depends on a number of factors, including your age, where you live and your riding habits. Your claims and credit history can also help determine your rate. 

  • Covering a motorcycle in California will cost you about $57.50 a month, or $690 a year.

Your insurance costs could be impacted by the following: 

  • A less-than-perfect driving record
  • The coverage levels you choose for your motorcycle
  • Your driving experience
  • The type of motorcycle you ride 

Sports and high-performance bikes cost more to insure than cruisers or touring motorcycles. Your rate is also impacted by how you use your motorcycle. People who use their motorcycles recreationally only pay less than someone who rides to and from work.

You can reduce the cost of your policy by bundling it with auto or homeowners insurance policies and by completing a driver safety course. Discounts are available for bike club and other memberships. Older drivers can get discounts for taking a safety course for riders 55 and older.

Motorcycle Insurance Quotes

Depending on the insurance carrier you select, quotes can be dramatically different for a 1-year policy. Of course, your bike, driving record, ZIP code and other factors will determine how much you’ll actually pay for your policy. Here are quotes from 5 motorcycle insurance carriers:

CompanyQuote for a 1-year policyPrice Rating

Harley Davidson

Motorcycle Insurance Discounts

Most motorcycle insurance carriers offer a few discounts, but some offer an impressive list to help you save money. Here are the discounts 5 carriers offer.

CompanyDiscounts OfferedOverall Rating
Loyalty, homeowner, riding group, safety course4.7
McGraw PowersportsTransfer, multiple bike, riding group, claims-free, rider experience, anti-lock brake, anti-theft, safety course, motorcycle driver’s license3.0
EsuranceMultiple bike, homeowner, military, riding group, claims-free, rider experience, smart rider, anti-lock brake, anti-theft, safety course, motorcycle license4.3
NationwideMultiple bike, homeowner, riding group, anti-lock brake, safety course4.7
State FarmMultiple bike, homeowner, claims-free, anti-theft, safety course4.7

How to Compare CA Motorcycle Insurance

When you compare California motorcycle insurance you want to look at quotes from each agency. Keep in mind that when you compare insurance, there are other factors that contribute to determining how much you pay for your policy. The type of bike you own and drive, your driving record and your ZIP code are just a few of the elements that can impact your policy cost. Benzinga gathered quotes from 5 motorcycle insurance carriers to aid you in your search.

How to Buy CA Motorcycle Insurance

The ways you can purchase California motorcycle insurance are listed below:

  • Visit or call any local department of motor vehicles (DMV) office in California at 916-657-6520.
  • Get a self-insurance certificate.
  • Reach out to a licensed insurance agent and ask for a quote for a policy.
  • Visit an insurance company online and ask for a quote.

Most people find it convenient to purchase insurance, find that it provides a strong level of protection and helps establish financial responsibility. Don’t neglect insurance on your motorcycle because you never know what can happen at any given time.  

Choosing the Best CA Motorcycle Insurance

You want your motorcycle insurance to be as unique as you, your bike and the way you ride. To maximize effectiveness, tailor your policy to meet your personal needs. You have to be aware that policies vary by insurance carrier, and your rate will be reflected in whatever you choose.

Discuss your coverage plan with your agent to avoid anything unexpected that could pop up. Talk with your agent about addressing any gaps in coverage you will need to fill.

Pick the Right Policy

Your motorcycle insurance should be as unique as you, your bike and the way you ride. It’s important to tailor your policy options to your individual needs. Remember, policy options vary with each insurance carrier, and your rate will reflect the options you choose.

Be sure to go over your coverage with your agent to avoid any surprises with your policy and address any coverage gaps in coverage you need to fill.  

Frequently Asked Questions


Can you lower your motorcycle insurance premiums?


Yes, you can increase your deductible and shop around for more affordable motorcycle insurance.


Is motorcycle insurance required?


Yes. You must carry motorcycle insurance if you want to ride legally.

Money-saving Motorcycle Insurance

Harley-Davidson Insurance Services provides services as a trusted motorcycle insurance agency that knows all about the motorcycle lifestyle. The company stands behind its policies with industry-leading services, coverage and support. You’ll also get money-saving motorcycle insurance discounts and experienced customer service and claims support. 

You can get Harley-Davidson Insurance today with a free, quick quote.