Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Jun 19, 2020

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Motorcycles, like cars and trucks, must be insured in order to use them on public roads. For many people, motorcycles are a weekend hobby or occasional treat; other people use motorcycles as a primary form of transportation. Regardless of how often you drive your motorcycle, you must be sure to carry the proper amount of insurance. Motorcycles require liability coverage to pay for any damage or injuries you cause to another person or his property in the event of an accident. You can also purchase collision and comprehensive coverage on a motorcycle the same as you would for a car.

Does motorcycle insurance cost the same as car insurance?

Motorcycle premiums, like car insurance, are based upon risk. If a person is viewed to be at a high risk of being involved in an accident, he or she will pay more for insurance than someone who is at very low risk of being involved in an accident and filing a claim. Because of this, your motorcycle insurance premium will not be the same as anyone else’s insurance, even for the same type of motorcycle.

Motorcycle insurance may cost the same as your car insurance, or it may cost more. One unique thing about motorcycle insurance is the wide variance between carrying a liability-only policy rather than a collision policy. With cars, collision coverage is always slightly more expensive than liability; for motorcycles, this discrepancy is much higher.

Liability insurance pays to cover any damage that you cause with your vehicle. Collision coverage pays for damage caused to the vehicle itself, regardless of who is at fault for an accident. In the case of motorcycles, liability coverage is inexpensive because motorcycles cannot do as much damage to personal property as a full-sized automobile can. If you collide with a car or truck, the motorcycle will sustain more damage than the car will; it is less likely that you will total a full-size vehicle with your motorcycle than it would be to total a car with another car.

Collision coverage is more expensive on motorcycles for the same reason. Motorcycles are more likely to be severely damaged or destroyed in accidents than other types of vehicles. Motorcycles are also more likely to be involved in single-vehicle collisions, such as when a motorcycle slides or rolls over.

Medical coverage may also be slightly more expensive on a motorcycle than other types of policy. Motorcycle accidents at notorious for causing injuries, as the vehicle’s operator has less protection from the road or other vehicles. If you are involved in a motorcycle collision, you are more likely to sustain serious injuries than if you are in a regular car accident.

How much motorcycle insurance do I need?

If you use your motorcycle sparingly, you may be comfortable carrying an affordable liability-only policy. Motorcycles that are only driven a few hundred miles each year have a relatively low likelihood of being involved in an accident, and their operators might be willing to take the chance of an unpaid accident in exchange for affordable premiums.

If you are making payments on the motorcycle, however, you will need to carry full coverage until the vehicle is paid off. Once you pay off the vehicle, you can decide if you wish to keep the same level of coverage or drop to a more affordable liability policy.

Of course, individuals who use the motorcycle as a primary form of transportation should consider purchasing full coverage motorcycle insurance. Not only will it protect your motorcycle from damage in the event of a claim, it will also help to pay for injuries that you could sustain while operating the motorcycle.

How can I keep my motorcycle insurance cost affordable?

You can save money on your motorcycle insurance by buying it from the same company that insures your vehicle. By carrying multiple types of policy with a single company, you can get a discount on your total bill. You may also be able to save money on your motorcycle insurance by taking advantage of any safety features that can be added to the vehicle, such as anti-theft devices.

Your rates will also be lower if you maintain an excellent driving record. Keeping a driving record clear of accidents, DUI convictions and traffic violations is the easiest way to maintain affordable insurance rates for all of your vehicles. The lower your likelihood of being in an accident, the more your insurance company will reward you with rate decreases across all policies you carry with that company.

As motorcycle insurance becomes more common, more insurance companies will begin to release save driving incentives for motorcycle policies the way they have for car insurance. This means that you may be able to receive yearly rebates on your policy or reduced deductible amounts if you drive without any accidents.

As with all types of vehicle insurance, specific rates will change from one policy to the next. Your premiums will be affected by your age, driving history and several other factors, and no two people will pay exactly the same premiums. When purchasing motorcycle insurance, you can search online for a free quote and get an idea of how much it would cost to insure your motorcycle; by comparison shopping, you can be sure to get the best rates.