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: Feb 23, 2021

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  • Car insurance will not cover your motorcycle 
  • You will need a separate motorcycle policy 
  • You can bundle your motorcycle and car insurance for savings

If you own both a car and a motorcycle, you know this is a really important question: Will my car insurance cover my motorcycle?

It may seem tempting to believe that your car insurance will cover you if you have a wreck on your motorcycle. After all, your car insurance covers you when you drive a rental car or someone else’s car, so why wouldn’t it cover your motorcycle usage?

However, this is a dangerous belief.

Just because you have car insurance, don’t assume that it will have what you need if you’re in a motorcycle accident.

Below, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about why you need motorcycle insurance. And we get it — in the same way you want affordable car insurance with top-notch coverage, you also want to be assured that you get the coverage you need for your motorcycle. So we’ll explore that too.

Learning more starts by sticking with us. You can also begin shopping for affordable rates, whether you’re on four wheels or two. Begin by entering your ZIP code into our free insurance comparison tool.

Will my car insurance cover my motorcycle?

The short answer? No. Your car insurance will not cover your motorcycle.

Here’s the deal: you need a separate policy for your motorcycle, one that lists it and any riders who might use it. This is of paramount importance, because you’ll absolutely need that coverage should you end up in an accident involving injuries or damage.

Simply put? If you cause an accident and you don’t have the proper coverage, you could be solely responsible for all of the damages. Speaking of coverage, let’s take a closer look at what you’ll want included in your policy.

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Types of Motorcycle Insurance

What does motorcycle insurance cover? Since we know your car insurance won’t cover your motorcycle, it’s important to take a closer look at what options you have. Incredibly, motorcycle insurance is not even required in some states, but that does not mean you do not need it.

Statistics show that, in an accident between a car and motorcycle, the motorcycle rider is almost sure to take the brunt of the damage.

In addition to purchasing a policy that includes liability, you’ll also want to consider one that includes coverage for medical expenses, repairs to your bike, and provisions for lost time at work if possible.

Some companies do offer “motorcycle endorsements” to your regular car insurance policy, which can be purchased separately. However, beware: these endorsements are usually very limited, and do not give you anywhere close to the amount of coverage a standalone motorcycle policy offers.

Having established that you need a separate motorcycle policy, what are the signs of a “good” one? At a minimum, you should look for the following:

Liability Coverage for Motorcycles

When it comes to the types of coverage you can get for your motorcycle, liability coverage will be tops. Just in the same way that liability is, in most cases, a requirement for cars, the same is true for motorcycles.

Liability insurance comes in two forms: bodily injury and property damage. These coverages kick in to cover costs should people suffer injuries or experience physical damage in an accident you caused.

While at least two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents are the fault of another driver, it is imperative that you have good liability coverage.

Your liability limits with a motorcycle may be a bit lower, as motorcycles do not often do the damage to others that cars can do, but what if you hit a pedestrian or a bicyclist? You need minimum liability coverage in amounts similar to that of your car insurance in order to protect your assets.

Perhaps you’re wondering if you really need coverage beyond liability insurance. In fact, you may be asking yourself: Is liability only car insurance really cheaper?

While purchasing liability only insurance will likely save you money on your monthly rates, it may not be your best option in the long run. Keep reading as we continue other forms of motorcycle insurance coverage.

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Collision Coverage for Motorcycles

If you have an accident on your motorcycle, whether you hit another vehicle or simply “wipe out” on a slick road, damage is likely to be done to your bike. This is where collision coverage becomes helpful, as it will help cover your repairs, minus the deductible.

Keep in mind that collision coverage is optional. For some, collision may not be as helpful, especially if their motorcycle is older.

Comprehensive Coverage for Motorcycles

Comprehensive insurance is another optional form of coverage for motorcyclists. In fact, full coverage motorcycle coverage exists when you combine collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance in one policy. In the same way that car owners may wonder how much full coverage car insurance costs, the same question will be valid for motorcycle insurance.

When it comes to comprehensive coverage, remember this: you are not covered for injuries under this form of insurance. Rather, this form of coverage covers unexpected events. This includes if your bike is stolen, damaged by water, or consumed in a fire.

Medical Payments Coverage for Motorcycles

Unfortunately, it is an all-too-real fact that many motorcycle drivers suffer personal injury in an accident. Unless your health insurance will pay all of your medical bills—and it may not—you need a medical payment policy to be sure you get the treatment you need after a motorcycle accident.

Roadside Assistance and Other Motorcycle Insurance Coverages

How does motorcycle insurance work? We get it. Your car insurance won’t cover your motorcycle. However, with your motorcycle coverage, you have many of the same riders and add-ons available that you can find while insuring your car.

One example? In the same way you can opt for your car insurance to cover towing charges, you may be able to do the same with your motorcycle.

Towing and roadside service, gap coverage, and replacement of personal property can all be added to a motorcycle policy.

Many insurance companies also offer similar discounts to car insurance on motorcycle insurance policies. Keep reading as we explore some of the most common discounts you can begin taking advantage of now.

Cost of Motorcycle Insurance

How much does motorcycle insurance cost? What you end up paying for motorcycle insurance will vary from person to person. Where you live, how long you’ve had your bike, and how much coverage you choose to purchase will all play a role in your bottom line.

We do, however, have a guide in which you can begin to gauge just how much you might end up paying each month. First, let’s look at the states with some of the lowest, average monthly rates for motorcycle insurance. Here’s a look at the ten states with the lowest premiums:

States with the Lowest Average Motorcycle Insurance Rates
StateAverage Monthly Rate
North Dakota$32
Iowa$34
Wyoming$37
South Dakota$39
Nebraska$39
Maine$41
Wisconsin$42
Kansas$43
Vermont$43
Montana$44
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The state with the lowest, average monthly rates for motorcycle insurance is North Dakota at $32 a month. What’s more is that Iowa, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska all have average rates in the thirty dollar range.

Now, for a look at the states with some of the highest average monthly premiums in motorcycle insurance:

States with the Highest Average Motorcycle Insurance Rates
StateAverage Monthly Rate
Tennessee$68
Rhode Island$74
Georgia$74
Florida$76
Arizona$78
Missouri$78
New York$81
Michigan$90
Louisiana$98
California$113
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We can clearly see that only one state boasts average monthly motorcycle insurance rates that are over one hundred dollars, and that’s California at $113.

Both Michigan and Louisiana have average rates in the ninety-dollar range, and in the state of New York, motorcyclists  average $81 a month in rates.

How to Save on Motorcycle Insurance

Here’s some good news: savings on your monthly rates aren’t exclusive to conventional cars. In the same way you might find yourself looking for the best car insurance discounts, you can absolutely do the same for your motorcycle.

Before we dig into ways to save on your motorcycle insurance, let’s look at some factors that can impact what you pay in premiums.

Factors Impacting the Cost of Motorcycle Insurance

By now, we’re sure you’ve asked yourself this question: how much does motorcycle insurance cost? And, you’ve probably also asked yourself this: how can I pay as little as possible, while still getting great coverage?

It’s a well-known fact: in the world of insurance, underwriters will always look to a variety of factors to determine your rates.

The Insurance Information Institute (III) points to the following as some of the most common variables that will affect your motorcycle insurance:

  • General demographic information, such as where you live and how old you are
  • Your driving record, which includes past accidents
  • Kind of motorcycle you ride.
  • How many miles you ride a year
  • Where you keep your bike overnight

Of course, these factors will result in different rates with different companies. So, it’s always worth it to shop around

Discounts for Motorcycle Riders

Now, let’s talk discounts. For those who have motorcycles, you have some options.

Here are some key money-saving factors to keep in mind:

  • Safety First. If you take an approved course, such as one offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), you may be entitled to a discount.
  • Bundle Policies. Can you combine car and motorcycle insurance? If you have multiple policies – whether that’s a car and a bike, two bikes, or your bike and your home – your insurer may opt to offer a discount as an incentive to get all of your policies with them.
  • Organizations. If you’re part of a motorcycle club, it’s possible your insurance company may offer a special rate. Be sure to speak to an agent or representative to learn more.

And of course, you’ll also want to consider some of the more common discounts that also come along with typical car insurance policies, such as safe driver or low mileage. We can’t emphasize this enough: call your insurance company to see where you can take advantage of more savings.

By now, we’ve answered the question of whether your car insurance will cover your motorcycle — it won’t. Now, it’s up to you to ensure you have the proper coverage for your motorcycle.

Begin crafting your policy by ensuring you have enough liability coverage to not only fulfill your state’s legal requirements, but to also ensure that you’re not left paying bills you just can’t afford.

Once you’ve got liability coverage out of the way, begin exploring other options, such as comprehensive, collision, uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage, and more.

Now is the time to begin shopping for the lowest rates and the best coverage for your car or motorcycle. Start now and enter your ZIP code into our free insurance comparison tool.