Best Motorcycle Insurance in New York

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I researched five top motorcycle insurance companies in NYC and one thing I noticed right off the bat is that premiums can vary greatly depending on a bunch of factors. For instance, the state average is $616 a year, but I was quoted anywhere from $2,037 to $605 for the same exact policy. The company you choose can have a huge impact on how much you pay — that’s why it makes sense to shop around. You can use the quote tool below to get started.

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The Best New York Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle Insurance CompanyBest For...
NationwideBest Overall
DairylandBare-Bones Coverage
ProgressiveCoverage & Discount Offerings

To find the very best motorcycle insurance in New York, I started my research with five companies that had an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or better (which is the second highest financial strength rating a company can receive) and that offered all the basic coverages: liability, uninsured motorist, medical payments, property damage liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages. (Basically, I used the same methodology as The Simple Dollar’s national motorcycle insurance review). Why? Coverage options and customer support tools are important, but the most important job an insurer will ever have is to pay your claim. I wanted all my recommendations to have the financial stability to payout without a hitch. Once my list was settled, I started getting quotes.

Since insuring motorcycle is slightly different process in NYC than it is upstate, I decided to get quotes for a 35 year-old homeowner in two locations: Buffalo and NYC. I got two different quotes for each profile: one for the minimum coverage required by the state, the other for my recommended coverage. But what about the bikes? After researching Gear Patrol’s top recommendation for the best urban cruiser, I used a 2016 Harley-Davidson Street 750 for my quotes since it can handle the intensity of NYC, but is also comfortable enough for a cruise through upstate New York.

While my evaluation of the companies focused heavily on premium cost, that wasn’t the only factor I considered. I also payed close attention to how many discounts and coverage options each offered as well as how easy it was to obtain quotes online and file claims.

When all of my evaluations were completed and the quotes were all gathered, Nationwide won the award for the best company overall. Dairyland was the overall cheapest option, and Progressive stood out for its many discount and coverage options.

Here’s how my quotes stacked up:

My Annual Premiums for State-Minimum Coverage (20/50/10)

Motorcycle Insurance ProviderProfile 1:
35 year-old homeowner in New York City
Profile 2:
35 year-old homeowner in Buffalo

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

Motorcycle Insurance ProviderProfile 1:
35 year-old homeowner in New York City
Profile 2:
35 year-old homeowner in Buffalo

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Reviews

Nationwide: Best Overall

Right from the start I was impressed by Nationwide. Its quote tool was polished, and the quotes themselves were very competitive — if it wasn’t the cheapest option, it was often the second cheapest. And the rest of my evaluation was more of the same. In fact, Nationwide scored second place overall with Progressive edging ahead due to offering a safe driver discount and “actual agreed upon value” coverage. That said, Nationwide isn’t the best option for those who have custom or classic rides that are hard to valuate.

For my NYC rider, Nationwide was the third cheapest option (Geico’s quote was slightly cheaper) for state-minimum coverage. For my recommended coverage, it was actually the most inexpensive coming in at just $605 for the year. Dairyland, the next closest, was almost $100 more expensive. Nationwide also gave me the second cheapest quotes on both policies for the rider from Buffalo.

While Dairyland was consistently cheaper than Nationwide, it didn’t hold up as well in my evaluation. Nationwide customers can easily file a claim via a mobile app or online, while Dairyland customers have to call an “800 number.” Nationwide also offers a “paid-in-full” discount and a discount for anti-lock brakes, while Dairyland doesn’t. At the end of the day, Nationwide’s coverage and discount offerings as well as its claims process set it apart from Dairyland, and its competitive pricing beat out Progressive.

Dairyland: Cheapest Coverage

If you are looking for the cheapest coverage you can get your hands on, Dairyland might be your best bet – that is unless you own a custom or vintage bike. Dairyland doesn’t offer special coverage for those (or trikes either for that matter). Another downside is that Dairyland doesn’t offer a bundling discount. It does, however, offer a renewal discount each time you renew your policy while Nationwide and Progressive do not.

Dairyland ended up being the cheapest option for all but one of my quotes – it was the second cheapest option for my recommended coverage for the rider in NYC. While I can’t guarantee that it will the absolute cheapest option for you, if you are looking for cheap coverage you will at least want to get a quote.

Progressive: Most Discount and Coverage Options

While Progressive wasn’t quite as competitive in terms of pricing, it did earn a mention in this review due to the quality of its discount and coverage options. For instance, if you’ve been an especially safe driver (without any tickets or accidents), Progressive will reward you with a discount on your yearly premium, while Nationwide does not. Progressive also offers to cover your motorcycle for an actual agreed upon value – no other company I evaluated offers that coverage.

Progressive was the third cheapest option for every quote I received except the state-minimum coverage for the NYC rider. I would have to spend an average of $50 to $100 more if I wanted to Progressive. However, that might not necessarily be the case for you. Since the company has the absolute best assortment of discounts and policy offerings, it’s worth your time to get a quote.

Compare Affordable Motorcycle Insurance Rates in New York

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How much coverage do I need in New York?

The State Minimum

First things first: Motorcycle insurance is required in the state (unlike other states like New Hampshire and Washington). The law requires riders to maintain liability coverage in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for personal injuries caused to other parties, as well as $10,000 in property damage. This is usually written as “25/50/10.”

In addition to the minimum liability limits, New York also requires riders to purchase uninsured motorist coverage for the same amounts as liability ($25,000 and $50,000 or 25/50). This coverage comes into play if you are injured by a party that is not covered by liability insurance. Also, you are required to purchase $50,000 of liability coverage for any pedestrians that you cause injury to.

My Recommended Coverage

While you can save some serious cash up front by going with state-minimum coverage, that doesn’t mean it’s the best long-term financial decision. The coverage I recommend comes with $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident of liability insurance as well as $25,000 for property damage caused by you. In addition, I recommend upgrading the state mandated uninsured motorist coverage from 25/50 to 50/100, and including underinsured motorist coverage (this covers expenses above and beyond the other party’s insurance limits should your injury cost more than their insurance company will cover). I also included collision and comprehensive in my quotes to cover my shiny new Harley if I wrecked it on a patch of ice or if it were to get stolen.

The upgraded liability insurance limits are a no-brainer – it would have only cost me $13 more a year. The biggest reason for the jump in price from the state-minimum coverage to my recommended limits is collision and comprehensive and the upgraded uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Here’s why I recommend purchasing upgraded coverage:
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Everyone knows that riding a motorcycle comes with certain risks (and of course many rewards). For instance, 161 riders were killed in New York between 2004 and 2013 – and think how many more were seriously injured! That’s why I recommended purchasing upgraded uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If you were in a serious accident that incapacitated you, you could be facing a ton of medical debt if the person who hit you wasn’t currently covered by liability insurance. Even if they were covered by the state-minimum limits, you could still be in trouble, since the average cost of a total or partially disabling injury was $74,900 in 2013. That could leave you with $50,000 in medical debt.

Collision & Comprehensive
Collision and Comprehensive is a good call for most people, but others might be okay without it – it really depends on your individual situation. For instance if you live in the middle of New York City and your bike is parked outside at night, it makes a whole lot of sense to make sure you could replace it if it gets stolen – especially if you depend on it to get around. However, if you live in a quiet suburb and only take your bike out on weekends and it’s parked in the garage at night, you might be able to sleep at night without collision and comprehensive. The bottom line is that if you can’t afford to lose your motorcycle, then it’s wise to get collision and comprehensive.

The Bottom Line

Nationwide is the best overall, but all five of my top companies have the financial standing and reputability to pay your claims and treat you well during the process. So to find the absolute best rate possible, you’re going to have to get compare quotes from multiple companies yourself. It’s the only way to make sure you get the coverage you need at an acceptable rate.

Compare Affordable Motorcycle Insurance Rates in New York

Save money on motorcycle coverage with our simple comparison tool.