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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Motorcycles are a popular vehicle choice among more than just “biker” types. Their fuel efficiency and compact size make them excellent for commuting to work and school, and they’re more affordable to buy and maintain than many cars. Whether you’re buying a motorcycle as a full time vehicle or simply ride one on the weekend, it’s important to buy the right kind of insurance for your bike.
All vehicles operated on public roads require liability insurance. This is true of cars and motorcycles alike. Liability limits will differ from one type of vehicle to the next, however, so your motorcycle policy will not necessarily carry the same coverages as your auto policy. Because of this, motorcycle insurance tends to be cheaper than auto insurance, but there are several factors that you must take into account when estimating the cost of your policy.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Motorcycle Insurance?
Just like car insurance, motorcycle insurance premiums vary depending on your risk. People at a high risk of being involved in an accident will pay more for insurance no matter what type of insurance they have. Age, gender, driving history and credit score are all used to assess a driver’s risk for any type of vehicle. With motorcycles, however, the coverage you carry has a greater affect on your risk assessment than with other types of vehicles.
Motorcycles are generally considered low risk for liability but high risk for personal injury and first-party damages. A motorcycle cannot do as much damage to another person’s property as a large car or truck could, so you’re a lower risk for liability claims when you ride a motorcycle. However, people who drive motorcycles are at a higher risk of being injured or killed in accidents than individuals who use other types of cars.
All of this means that the cost of a full coverage policy for your motorcycle will be much higher than the cost of a liability-only policy for the same bike. This price discrepancy might be much wider than it would be for a different type of vehicle. Nonetheless, your motorcycle’s coverage will still probably be cheaper than your car’s coverage due to its size and cost. Because motorcycles are affordable to repair and replace, insuring them will generally cost less. Your first-party medical coverage will most likely be the most expensive part of your policy.
How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?
Average insurance premiums vary widely from one state to the next, and no two people pay exactly the same for motorcycle insurance. The only way to know for sure how much your insurance will cost is to get a personalized quote based on your specific driving history and vehicle.
The average cost of a motorcycle policy will vary depending on the size and power of your bike. A motorcycle with a small engine will cost around $75 per month for full coverage and $32 for liability-only insurance. A high-performance bike with a 500 cc engine could cost as much as $200 a month for full coverage insurance.
Tips for Keeping Insurance Costs Low
Whether you’re using your motorcycle as your primary mode of transportation or simply ride on the weekends, there are a few ways you can save money on coverage:
- Keep your deductibles high
- Choose reasonable liability limits
- Consider opting for a liability policy with medical coverage
- Wear appropriate safety gear; you can get a discount for using a helmet and leathers
- Beware of road hazards that can cause deadly accidents while riding
- Bundle your policy with your auto or homeowner’s insurance for a discount on both policies
- Provide odometer readings and take advantage of low mileage discounts
Some insurance companies may offer additional discounts on their motorcycle policies that you can take advantage of. When you get a quote, compare between multiple insurers to ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal. Also ask for any additional discounts or savings that might be available to you when you apply for coverage; there may be programs available to you that were not advertised at the time you got the initial quote.
When you buy your policy, be sure to discuss your driving habits with your new insurance company to get an idea of how much coverage you really need and maximize your savings. Weekend warriors have different needs from regular commuters, and you might be paying too much for insurance or carrying too little protection if you opt for the wrong type of policy.