Gianetta Palmer is a writer for, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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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: Nov 24, 2020

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If you own both a car and a motorcycle, you know this is a really important question: Will your car insurance cover your 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 when comparing motorcycle insurance and car 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 car insurance comparison tool.

Table of Contents

Why your car insurance won’t cover motorcycle accidents

You need a separate policy for your motorcycle, one that lists it and any riders who might use it. This is of paramount importance—not only are you not covered for injuries and damages to your bike with your car insurance, but you have no liability coverage, either, and if you cause an accident, you could be solely responsible for all damages.

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Motorcycle insurance and car insurance offer different types of coverage

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, so you want a policy which covers your medical expenses and the repairs to your bike, with additions 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? Because many states do not regulate motorcycle coverage as they do car insurance policies, you can easily be taken in by a company which advertises “cheap” motorcycle policies, but simply does not provide the coverage you need. At a minimum, you should look for the following:

Liability Coverage for Motorcycles

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.

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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. You want a good collision policy which will repair the damage to your motorcycle.

Comprehensive Coverage for Motorcycles

When it comes to comprehensive coverage, remember this: you are not covered for injuries under this form of insurance. Rather, this is important coverage to have if your bike is stolen, damaged by water, or consumed in a fire. Your liability and collision will not cover these events, so it is best to have comprehensive coverage, as well.

Medical Payments Coverage

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.

You may also choose add-ons to your motorcycle policy just like those for your car. 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 such safety equipment, training classes and good driving discounts. Talk to your agent to be sure you are taking advantage of all available discounts.

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:

  • 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. 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.

Will your car insurance cover your motorcycle? A Final Word

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 car insurance comparison tool.