Best Motorcycle Insurance in Ohio

Advertiser Disclosure

What’s better than cruising through the Buckeye State’s glorious scenery? Cruising through glorious scenery with rock-solid confidence in your insurance provider — that’s what.

I applied for 24 quotes from 6 companies to determine which companies offer the best policies at the most affordable rates. What I discovered was this: Progressive is probably going to give you the most bang for your buck, but the only way to be completely sure you’re getting a good deal is to get multiple quotes for yourself. For instance, two of my quotes for the same bike and driver were $442 and $743 (the state average is $457) – that’s a difference of $300 for the exact same policy. Use our tool below to get started.

Find the Best Motorcycle Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

The Best Ohio Motorcycle Insurance

  1. Progressive: Best Overall
  2. Esurance: Best for Cheap Coverage
  3. Markel: Best for Older Bikes

I started my search with eight companies that met The Simple Dollar’s financial stability and coverage standards (which are outlined in The Simple Dollar’s national insurance review). Using similar methodology, I applied for two different policies (state-minimum coverage and my recommended coverage) and evaluated each company on a variety of factors, including financial stability, claims processing, coverages, and discounts.

Before applying for quotes, I knew I wanted to illustrate one of the biggest factors that’s used to price policies: age of the bike. To do that,  I spoke with Dave Eggar, general manager of Mid-Ohio Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, to see what the most popular brands in the area were. He pointed me toward Harley Davidson, so I applied for two different policies using a brand-new and older version of the same bike (a 2016 Low Rider S. that runs about $18,000 and the 2004 Dyna Glide Low Rider, which is about $12,000).

In the end, Esurance ended up being the cheapest option, while Progressive wound up as my top recommendation thanks to its policy offerings and available discounts. Markel also stood out as the cheapest for older bikes, although I couldn’t even get a quote for a 2017 model Harley (I did opt to get quotes for a 2016 version for the purpose of comparison).

Here’s what I was quoted:

My Annual Premiums for State-Minimum Coverage (25/50/25)

Motorcycle Insurance Provider
Bike 1:
2004 Harley-Davidson Dyna Glide Low Rider
Bike 2:
2017 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
Progressive
$75
$75
Esurance
$75
$75
Markel
$50
N/A
GEICO
$99
$99
Dairyland
$95
$132
Nationwide
$100
$100

My Annual Premiums for Upgraded Coverage (50/100/25)

Motorcycle Insurance Provider
Bike 1:
2004 Harley-Davidson Dyna Glide Low Rider
Bike 2:
2017 Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
Progressive
$269
$563
Esurance
$222
$447
Markel
$260
N/A
GEICO
$402
$743
Dairyland
$347
$669
Nationwide
$391
$619

Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Reviews

Progressive: Best Overall

Progressive consistently wasn’t the cheapest option, but it scored the highest on my evaluation of each company’s policy offerings, discounts, claims process, and online quote tools with a score of 118 out of 130 possible points (compared to Esurance’s score of 105). Esurance also lagged behind in J.D. Power’s assessment of each company’s policy offerings – Progressive scored three stars, while Esurance only managed two.

The first thing that stuck out to me about the quote process was how easy it was to complete. I only spent about 10 minutes getting four different quotes from, while Markel’s clunky quote tool burned through 20 minutes on just one.

When it comes to money, Progressive ended up tying for the cheapest state-minimum coverage for my brand new Harley, and tied Esurance for second place with the older model. It also ranked third in price for the older bike, and second for the newer ride (not including Markel’s quote for the 2016 model) for my upgraded coverage.

Esurance: Cheapest Coverage

Esurance and Progressive were neck and neck in terms of pricing for the state-minimum coverage, but for more robust coverage (which I strongly recommend) Esurance was the clear winner. For my older bike, Esurance had Markel beat by about $40, and Progressive by $120 for my new ride. So if you’re looking for the cheapest coverage you can get your hands on, Esurance is a great place to start. (Just remember: The cheapest insurance is not always the best idea.)

Markel: Best for Older Bikes

Markel doesn’t write home or car insurance policies; it’s more of a niche provider focusing on certain specialized markets, such as motorcycle insurance. What this means is that insuring your two-wheeled (or three-wheeled) ride isn’t an afterthought for the company; it’s a priority. However, you won’t be getting any “multi-line” discounts from Markel that you would from Progressive, and the resources and tools available online aren’t quite up to par.

When it came time for quotes, Markel offered great prices for my 2004 Harley, especially for the state-minimum coverage – for just the price of a nice steak dinner you could cover that ride for a whole year. For my recommended coverage, it edged out Progressive as the second cheapest option.

When I tried getting a quote for the brand-new, 2017 Harley Low Rider S I had my eye on, however, I found out that Markel wouldn’t allow me to get a quote online. Instead, I had to opt for the 2016 model. While Markel’s quote for the 2016 model was cheaper for both coverage profiles than Progressive and Esurance, it obviously wasn’t a fair comparison. Markel could be quite a bit more expensive for a brand new cycle – providing you could ever get a quote.

Find the Best Motorcycle Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

How much coverage do I need in Ohio?

The State Minimum

While not all riders are required to wear helmets in Ohio, liability insurance is a requirement for all motor vehicles, including motorcycles. The minimum amount of insurance you must purchase for your ride is expressed as 25/50/25. This translates as $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for injuries caused by you and $25,000 in liability for property damage.

My Recommended Coverage

While getting a whole year’s worth of insurance for $50 seems like a killer deal, it’s not a great long term decision. My recommendation is to purchase liability insurance with higher limits of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident for injuries ($25,000 for property damage should be sufficient since a motorcycle isn’t likely to do as much property damage as a car would in an accident). I recommend opting for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage with the same amounts as the liability coverage (50/100 for your own injuries). I also included comprehensive and collision insurance with $500 deductibles in my quotes.

You might balk at the idea of paying an extra $500 a year for my recommended coverage, but here are a couple of reasons you should at least consider it:

Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage

124 riders were killed in the state of Ohio between 2004 and 2013. Imagine how many more riders were seriously injured. If you were struck and severely injured by a motorist with no coverage you could be stuck with tons of medical debt. Even if the motorist at fault had the minimum coverage, you could still be in trouble since the average cost of a totally or partially disabling injury was $74,900 in 2013. That means that the state-mandated liability coverage would only cover the first $25,000 of that accident, leaving you with medical bills up into the $50,000 range.

Since the chances of getting seriously injured are greater when riding a motorcycle than when in the relative safety of a car or truck, I highly recommend that you spend the extra $400 a month it would have costed me for underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.

Collision & Comprehensive

Most lenders require comprehensive insurance as a condition of the loan, however if you own your motorcycle outright, then you are faced with a difficult decision. The more expensive your ride, the more you are likely to pay for comprehensive and collision — but you also have a whole lot more to lose in the event that you wreck your motorcycle. If you have an older, cheaper model you won’t pay as much for coverage, but you also don’t have as much of an investment to worry about.

Really this boils down to balancing risk and reward. If you can’t live without your bike, you should opt for the coverage. If you park your bike outside at an apartment complex you should also seriously consider whether you can afford to have it stolen. However, if you only take your bike out for an occasional weekend cruise now and then and it’s securely parked in a garage at night, you might be okay putting the extra $200 a month it would have cost me for collision and comprehensive into some shiny new accessories.

The Bottom Line

No one likes overpaying for anything – least of all insurance. So if you want to get back to cruising the highways of Ohio without worrying about your whether your coverage can withstand a worst-case scenario, put a little work into getting some quotes from my three recommended companies. With a little bit of time and patience, it’s possible to get a policy that protects you from outright financial ruin and gives you a little extra money to spend on your ride.

Find the Best Motorcycle Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.