The 6 Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies

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There’s nothing like the feeling of the open road on a motorcycle. The warm breeze. The sun and clouds crossing the sky. The other vehicles pulling out in front of you… Wait! What? You’ll probably want the best motorcycle insurance as well before you head out on your two-wheeled adventures.

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Quick Look: The Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies

What Does Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

Motorcycle insurance is similar to car insurance in many ways, but there are some important distinctions and not knowing what to look out for can lead to gaps in coverage. Another important thing to consider is that insurance is regulated at the state level, which means your insurance options can vary from state to state.

These are the basic coverages you’re likely to find on your motorcycle policy:

Liability Coverage. We tend to think of insurance as coverage for the vehicle itself. However, state insurance laws don’t require coverage for the vehicle at all. Instead, they require liability coverage to pay for damage to the property of others or injuries to others if you’re involved in an accident. You’ll probably want to choose a higher liability limit than the state-minimum, however. The state-mandated limits are usually pretty low and you’re personally responsible to pay any liability that exceeds your coverage limit.

Medical Payments Coverage or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Medical payments can help cover the cost of your injuries in a motorcycle mishap or the injuries of your passengers. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can enhance basic medical coverage by adding coverage for lost wages or other expenses related to a motorcycle accident injury.

Your default coverage amounts may not be structured in a way that adequately protects you. Invest some time discussing this coverage with your chosen insurer.

Collision Coverage. This coverage pays toward the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle if it’s damaged due to a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object.

Comprehensive Coverage. Motorcycles can be damaged in a number of other ways as well, including falling limbs or fire and floods. Comprehensive coverage protects against these risks and also provides coverage for theft and vandalism.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident in which the other driver does not have insurance or doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your damage or injury-related liability.

Guest Passenger Liability Coverage. If you ever have second riders, you’ll want to be sure they are covered for medical expenses as well as injury-related liability.

Customized Equipment or Collector Bike Coverage. If your bike has customized equipment or is a collector bike, you’ll want to discuss your coverage options with your insurer.

As a default, motorcycle insurance policies usually use the actual cash value to provide a coverage limit for your bike. This means the coverage amount is depreciated based on wear and tear due to age, which also means standard coverage won’t cover your custom chrome or provide full-value coverage for your classic bike.

How Much Does It Cost?

Like most types of insurance, motorcycle insurance rates are based on a number of factors. Your insurance can cover the cost of your bike, the liability limit you’ve chosen and the medical coverage you’ve chosen, but then insurers start to consider factors that can affect the likelihood of a claim. Expect a wide range of prices depending on some of the risk factors we’ll discuss below.

Average Cost. In a low-traffic state with liability-only coverage and an experienced rider with a clean driving record, your motorcycle insurance might cost less than $200 per year. However, if you’re in a more populated area (and maybe your driving record is less-than-perfect) the insurance cost for your motorcycle can easily be several times as much.

If you’re under 25 and need to insure the latest sportbike, insurance prices can get up into the thousands. The reason insurance companies don’t advertise a fixed cost for insurance is because there isn’t one.

Factors that Affect Cost. The rating factors for car insurance and for motorcycle insurance are often very similar. Your motorcycle insurance premium is a reflection of the risk of a loss as determined by the insurer. In the insurance world, a loss is a claim that the insurer has to payout.

Here are some of the biggest factors that can affect your insurance cost:

  • Insured value refers to the coverage limits you choose and to the value of your bike. If you choose higher medical coverage limits or higher liability limits, the potential claim payout for the insurer is also higher. Expect rates to climb with higher coverage limits. The bike itself is also a potential loss, so a more expensive bike is more expensive to insure.
  • Age or driving experience. Younger drivers tend to pay much higher rates as do newer drivers. In fact, some insurers won’t insure new drivers at all. The roads can be dangerous and experience can often make a difference in knowing how to avoid an accident.
  • Type of vehicle. A newer sport motorcycle will probably cost a lot more to insure than a 10-year old touring bike. Insurers look at the average cost of a claim when they consider the type of bike. Engine displacement can make a difference as well, and bigger engines often lead to higher premiums.
  • How the motorcycle is used. Occasional sunny-day riders can generally expect to pay less than those who use their bikes daily for their commute.
  • Location. More congested areas tend to have higher rates, as do areas with higher vehicle theft rates. Also, some states are more expensive than others due to state-imposed insurance regulations.
  • Driving and claims history. Careful driving can pay dividends in the form of lower insurance rates. Insurers look at your driving history, including moving violations. Prior claims (including auto claims) can affect your insurance rates as well.
  • Your credit score or insurance score. Insurers may use your credit score as a rating factor when setting a policy premium. This practice is very common for auto insurance and home insurance as well. In some cases, an “insurance score” is used, which evaluates both credit and claim history.
  • Deductibles. The deductible is the part of the claim that you pay. Choosing a higher deductible means you assume more of the risk yourself and that the insurer pays out less in a claim. Rates tend to be lower when you choose a higher deductible. It’s worth asking how much of a difference the deductible makes for your premium. For example, choosing a higher deductible for comprehensive coverage often doesn’t make much difference to your cost but can effectively reduce your coverage amount.
  • Drivers safety courses. You can reduce your cost by bundling auto and motorcycle insurance or complete driver safety courses. Discounts are often available for bike club members as well. Be sure to ask your agent which discounts you can earn.

What to Look for in the Best Motorcycle Insurance

When choosing an insurer for your motorcycle, you might think of price first. Instead, you might want to consider some other factors. Claims satisfaction is important — after all, until there is a claim, insurance is just an expense with no real benefit.

  • Choose an insurer or agent that is well-versed in motorcycle insurance. Motorcycle insurance has some nuanced coverages. You’ll want to choose an insurer with staying power and strong financial reserves to pay claims.
  • A standard motorcycle policy for a collector bike or specialty bike doesn’t provide the right type of coverage for the bike itself. Look for insurers that offer agreed value if you have a collector bike.
  • Check to be sure your insurer covers your custom equipment. Often, this coverage is an add-on or is limited.
  • Read reviews and customer satisfaction surveys. Consider checking the insurer’s BBB rating as well.

Red Flags

Motorcycle insurance isn’t as common as auto insurance. As a result, you might encounter some agents who aren’t as well versed in the art of motorcycle insurance as others. Key coverage considerations, like medical coverage or custom equipment coverage, can be easily overlooked and leave you with costly gaps in coverage.

Generic policies may not cover motorcycles with custom equipment or collector bikes well. While not necessarily a red flag, if you have special coverage considerations, you may be disappointed with the coverage provided by a standard policy. Consider a specialty insurer.

Claims coverage is why we pay for insurance. Look for an insurer that has good claims ratings through J.D. Power’s annual claims satisfaction study for auto insurers as well as rankings by region. Although J.D. Power doesn’t provide a claims satisfaction study specifically for motorcycle insurance, the auto rankings are a good starting point.

Our Picks for the Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Motorcyclists have different coverage needs and priorities. Below are some of the best motorcycle insurance companies we’ve reviewed. Note that not all insurers operate in all states.

1. USAA

Available to U.S. armed service members, veterans and their families, USAA is a consistently good source for many insurance types. While membership is limited, USAA also accepts the family of existing members — and the family of those new members as well.

Expect top-tier claims support and agents who are willing to invest plenty of time to answer your questions and earn your business. USAA agents aren’t paid on commission, so you can feel more assurance that coverage suggestions are well-intentioned.

Discounts are available for approved safety courses, claims-free status, and for insuring more than one. (This can include ATVs, mopeds and scooters.)

Read Benzinga’s full USAA Auto Insurance Review

2. Hagerty Collector Motorcycle Insurance

If you have a classic bike or a collector bike, a standard motorcycle insurance policy just won’t do because most policies depreciate the insured value of your motorcycle. Hagerty works with an agreed value for your bike so you won’t have any unpleasant surprises if you have a claim. You’ll know exactly how much your motorcycle is insured for.

Hagerty’s rates are affordable and handled in-house, so you’ll avoid the hassle of working with a third party and you’re free to choose your own repair shop or even do the work yourself. Hagerty will even cover your riding apparel if it’s damaged in an accident.

3. Amica

Founded in 1907, Amica is a proven insurance provider and is often a leader in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ratings. Multi-policy discounts are available for home, auto and umbrella insurance policies, so you can save more by bundling.

Amica’s A+ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best means you can take comfort in knowing the company can handle any claims that come its way without cutting corners. Additional discounts are available for safety equipment, including anti-theft devices and anti-lock brakes.

Read Benzinga’s full Amica Auto Insurance Review

4. Auto-Owners Insurance

If it has two wheels and an engine and it’s approved for use on public roads, there’s a good chance that Auto-Owners can insure it. This Michigan-based insurer covers motorcycles, motor scooters, motorized bicycles, off-road motorcycles and trail bikes. Auto-Owners can insure your cars as well, possibly earning you a multi-policy discount.  

With a network of over 44,000 independent licensed agents in 26 states, chances are good you’ll find an agent nearby if you’re in a state serviced by Auto-Owners. Financial strength is also essential when choosing the best motorcycle insurance and Auto-Owners is rated A++ (Superior) by A.M. Best. Auto-Owners also outperforms many well-known competitors in J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction survey.

Discounts are available for safety features, touring bikes and Motorcycle Safety Foundation certificate holders.

5. Erie

With a focus on the northeast and midwest, Erie Insurance provides coverage for most insurance types, including road bikes and even off-road motorcycles. Expect top-tier claims service and attention to detail when it comes to extra coverages, like your gear and safety riding apparel, as well as custom paint, chrome and saddlebags.

Roadside assistance is available and your policy is good for a full 12 months. Customers who have Erie auto insurance with ERIE Rate Lock can also lock in their motorcycle insurance rates.

6. Farmers

Farmers is a large group of insurance companies that provides broad-market products and also allows specialized coverage. Farmers scores well in customer satisfaction surveys and provides your choice of three packages to insure the value of your bike, helping to reduce coverage gaps due to depreciation. There’s even an option to protect your personal property on your bike if it’s lost, stolen or damaged in an accident, a coverage most other insurers don’t offer.

Coverage is also available for vintage or custom bikes and options like trailer coverage and medical payments can be customized to your needs.

Choose the Best Motorcycle Insurance for You

There’s nothing generic about motorcyclists and it’s important to match your coverage to the type of bike(s) you have and the way you ride. The insured value of your motorcycle can vary from one company to the next, which is an important consideration for vintage bikes. Medical coverage options can vary greatly as well.

Be sure to ask your agent for details rather than assume something is covered. Often coverage gaps can be addressed inexpensively.

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