Your motorcycle insurance should be able to cover you completely in the event of an accident – even if it’s cheap. That’s why it’s always best to select the level of coverage you want on your policy first, then shop around for the best price on it.
I researched every nationally available motorcycle insurance company in the U.S. to find the ones that offered the best claims handling and coverage options, as well as the deepest discounts and most customizable policies. Progressive came out on top with the soundest financials, quality customer satisfaction ratings, consistently low premiums, and a long list of possible discounts to make its policies even cheaper.
Pricing on any given motorcycle policy varies from person to person, however. Like all insurance, it depends on a wide range of factors, including age, years of riding experience, type of bike, and even ZIP code. That means the best way to find the lowest price on the type of policy you want is to request multiple quotes.
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The Simple Dollar’s Top Picks for Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance
- Best Overall: Progressive
- Best for Custom/Vintage Bikes: Foremost
- Honorable Mention: Nationwide
- Honorable Mention: Markel
These four motorcycle insurance companies offer solid coverage and a great selection of discounts to bikers nationwide. They all underwrite their own policies and met my criteria for financial strength, so you can expect them to be there when you need them, whether it’s years from now or a mile down the road.
How I Found the Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance
The top picks had to be available nationwide and underwrite their own policies.
I cut any providers that weren’t available to all bikers in every state. That meant cutting regional and exclusive providers, like USAA, that otherwise provided good coverage. If for some reason, you don’t find a good deal with one of our top picks, you might want to explore these options instead. I also cut out the unnecessary middleman, eliminating companies who didn’t sell their own policies.
Financial stability was a top priority.
I required all top providers to have at least an A- rating from A.M. Best, as well as a similar rating from either Moody’s, Fitch or S&P. These ratings are a measure of how likely it is that the insurer will be able to pay out your claim when the time comes. No one wants to pay for insurance to have their safety net disappear when they need it, so high financial strength ratings are critical.
I evaluated the remaining providers based on their coverage.
Insurers are required to provide certain types of coverage by law, including liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. These make up a basic policy, but the best companies offer additional coverages, like original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coverage, which repairs your vehicle with parts made by the original manufacturer, and accident forgiveness. I also gave bonus points to any company that offered mechanical breakdown, safety equipment, and custom and vintage bike coverage.
There had to be plenty of opportunities to save.
The best cheap motorcycle insurance providers offer their customers a variety of discounts, like safe driver and multi-vehicle discounts. Some companies also give you a break for taking a motorcycle safety course or having certain vehicle safety features installed on your bike. I also looked for other opportunities to save, such as a vanishing deductible, which decreases every year you don’t have an accident.
Premiums didn’t factor into the final decision.
It’s impossible to say which company is the cheapest overall because insurance rates are so personalized. The company that offers you your most affordable rate may be one of the more expensive options for your neighbor. In order to find out which insurer offers you the best deal, you have to get quotes from several companies and compare them.
The Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance Companies of 2018
Best Overall: Progressive
In terms of coverage, Progressive was miles ahead of all other competitors. If you get into an accident, it will pay the full replacement cost of your bike, even if that’s more than its depreciated value. It also uses OEM parts automatically in your repairs, whereas most insurers either require you to pay extra for this option, or don’t offer it at all.
Owners of custom bikes will appreciate the $3,000 of accessory and custom equipment coverage that’s included when you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. And if you decide you need more protection, you can up that limit to $30,000. You can also add coverage for personal belongings in case they get damaged in a crash, though this type of coverage costs extra.
As far as discounts go, Progressive offers pay-in-full, safe driver, and homeowners discounts. You can also save if you have a valid motorcycle license or endorsement, or if you take a certified safety course. Safe drivers are also rewarded with unlimited small accident forgiveness ($500 or less) and large accident forgiveness after four years of safe driving. Progressive also offers a disappearing deductible option, which lowers your premium by 25% every policy term you don’t have an accident.
Best for Custom/Vintage Bikes: Foremost
Foremost is a good choice if you’re looking to insure a custom bike because it offers $3,500 of optional equipment coverage standard when you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. This covers your custom paint jobs and any other items that were added after your bike had been purchased from the manufacturer. If you need more than $3,500 of coverage, you can raise this limit up to $15,000. Foremost also offers $1,500 of safety apparel coverage to protect your helmets, goggles, and other safety equipment that may get damaged in an accident.
Its array of discounts isn’t as impressive as some of the other companies on the list, but there are still plenty of options to save. If your bike has anti-lock brakes or an airbag, you’ll get a discount for that. Insuring multiple bikes, taking a safety course, or being a member of one of Foremost’s affinity groups will also translate into savings. Accident forgiveness is available to riders with a clean driving record.
If you ride with a DOT-approved helmet, Foremost will provide you with an extra $500 of medical payments coverage at no cost to you. And if your bike has a stolen vehicle recovery system, your Other Than Collision deductible will be reduced by $500 in the event that your motorcycle is stolen.
Nationwide offers all the standard types of motorcycle insurance coverage, plus $3,000 of custom equipment coverage if you purchase comprehensive protection. This limit can be raised up to $30,000 if you need it. Like Progressive, Nationwide offers OEM coverage, but Nationwide requires you to purchase this as an optional add-on and it only covers motorcycles that are under 10 years old.
Nationwide’s selection of discounts are on par with Progressive’s. Owning a home and insuring multiple motorcycles can help you save, and so can taking a motorcycle safety course. If you’re a member of a riding association or one of Nationwide’s affinity groups, you can earn additional discounts. If you’re already a Nationwide customer, bundling your motorcycle insurance with your home and auto policy is one of the best ways to cut your premiums down significantly.
Markel offers all the basic types of coverage, but its accessory coverage falls behind the other companies on this list. You only get $1,000 included when you purchase comprehensive coverage. You can add up to $30,000 of protection for custom equipment, but you’ll have to pay extra for higher limits.
Markel is the only company on this list to offer mechanical breakdown coverage, though. This pays for any repairs your bike needs due to normal wear and tear. If you’re interested in this type of coverage, Markel is worth checking out.
Its selection of discounts is smaller than Nationwide’s or Progressive’s, but safety-conscious drivers should still find plenty of savings here. If your bike has an anti-theft device or anti-lock brakes, you’ll be eligible for discounts. Completing a safety course and staying accident-free will also lead to savings. Markel offers accident forgiveness to drivers that go four years without an accident, and for every accident-free year you have, your deductible will decrease by 25% until it’s gone.
Things to Know Before You Buy
Motorcycle insurance isn’t complicated, but there are a few things you should know before you commit to a purchase.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Most states require you to purchase some level of motorcycle insurance, usually similar to auto insurance minimums. The five exceptions are Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, and Washington. These states view motorcycle riding as an inherently risky activity, similar to rock climbing, and since you are knowingly engaging in that activity, any injury or property damage that may result is your responsibility.
But even if your state doesn’t require motorcycle insurance, it’s worth the investment. Motorcycle drivers are five times more likely to be injured in a crash than automobile drivers. Even a small injury could cost you a lot in medical bills, and if you don’t have insurance and injure someone else, you’ll be left paying it all out of pocket. And then you’ll have to cover the repairs on your bike, too.
Even the state minimums often aren’t enough to provide adequate protection. Most states require $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage, in case you injure someone in a crash. But if that injury costs $40,000 to fix, you’re going to be left cracking open your savings account to cover the remaining $15,000. If you can afford to do so, aim for $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $300,000 per accident. That should ensure you have enough to cover even the most serious accidents.
What Factors Affect My Premiums?
Motorcycle insurers consider several factors when calculating your premiums, including:
- Age: As with auto insurance, younger riders present more of a risk because they have less experience on the road and are more likely to get into an accident. If you’re under 25, you can expect your rates to be much higher than average.
- Motorcycle experience: The longer you’ve had your motorcycle license, the lower your rates are likely to be. Taking a motorcycle safety course is also a signal to your insurer that you know how to operate a motorcycle safely.
- Driving record: If you have several accidents on your record, expect your rates to go up. Statistically, this indicates that you’re likely to have another one, which means your insurer is at a higher risk of having to pay out the claim.
- Where you live: Areas where there is a high risk of theft or inclement weather may see above-average insurance premiums. Both of these things increase the risk of a claim, so you’ll be charged more to offset this.
- Credit history: All insurers look at your credit history, as it is considered a good indication of your responsibility. It has been proven that there is a correlation between your credit score and how likely you are to get into an accident.
- The type of bike: Newer, more expensive bikes are going to cost more to insure than an older model. Custom and vintage motorcycles are also likely to be more expensive to insure.
- How often you ride: Less time on the road means less chance of an accident, so if you don’t ride your bike that often, you may be eligible for low-mileage discounts.
- The level of coverage: If you purchase higher coverage limits, you can expect your premiums to rise accordingly.
How Do I Get a Good Deal on My Motorcycle Insurance?
There are several things you can do to lower your motorcycle insurance premiums, including:
- Get quotes from several companies. Compare their rates and coverages to make sure you’re getting the best deal before committing to a purchase.
- Take advantage of discounts. Look at what discounts the insurer offers that you may qualify for. Not all discounts may be available in all states, though, so it’s a good idea to talk to a representative and see which ones are available in your area.
- Take a safe driving course. Most motorcycle insurance providers will give you a break on your premiums if you complete an approved motorcycle safety course.
- Choose a higher deductible. This means you’ll have to pay more upfront in the event of an accident, but the difference in your premiums is worth it.
- Bundle your policy. If you’re choosing a provider that offers multiple lines of insurance, consider bundling your motorcycle insurance with your home or auto policy. Most providers offer deep discounts to customers who do this.
- Join a riding club. Many insurers give discounts to members of motorcycle riding associations.
Finding cheap motorcycle insurance is mostly about setting aside the time to get quotes. But don’t just settle for the one that offers the lowest monthly premiums. Choose too little coverage and you could wind up with a big bill following an accident. Instead, go with the company that offers you the best deal on the most coverage.
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Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.