How does motorcycle insurance work?
Like car insurance, motorcycle insurance protects you from financial liability if you cause an accident while on your motorcycle, and it can also pay for damage to your bike.
Find the right insurance coverage for your bikeChoosing the right insurance policy is much like choosing the right motorcycle. You want it to fit your needs and lifestyle—and to be within your budget. Here's a guide to insurance coverage for your bike—and some tips to make your insurance ride more "easy" on your wallet.
Motorcycle coverage basics
Although most states require you to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage, other types of coverage are usually optional. Ask your insurance professional which laws apply in your state and understand all the coverage options available to best fit your needs.
- Liability insurance covers bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to other people involved in an accident. It doesn't cover injury to you or damage to your motorcycle. Guest Passenger Liability, which provides protection in the event that a passenger is injured on your motorcycle, may also be available to you, depending on state laws and the company issuing your policy.
- Motorcycle collision insurance covers damage to your motorcycle if you are involved in a collision with another vehicle. Your insurance company pays for damages (usually the book value of your bike before the loss occurred), minus your deductible.
- Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by an event other than a collision, such as fire, theft or vandalism. Like collision coverage, your insurance company will pay for damages, minus your deductible, and will cover only the book value of the motorcycle.
- Coverage for customized motorcycle parts. Many comprehensive and collision policies will only cover the factory standard parts on your motorcycle, or they will limit the coverage. If you decide to add on any optional accessories such as chrome parts, a custom paint job, trailers or sidecars, check with your insurer to understand the limits of coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage pays for damages to you and/or your property caused by another driver who either doesn't have insurance (uninsured) or doesn't have adequate insurance (underinsured). UM/UIM policies typically pay for medical treatment, lost wages and, in some cases, property damage.
Factors that affect your motorcycle insurance costs
- Your age, your driving record and where you live
- Type or style of bike you ride—for example, sport bike, cruiser or custom motorcycle
- Age of the motorcycle
- Number of miles you ride a year
- Where you store your bike