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Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Ana Reina
Updated: October 16, 2020 10:33 AM ET | Originally published: October 15, 2020
Money; Getty Images

To select the best motorcycle insurance companies on the market, we took into account the factors we think matter most to consumers, including:

Discounts

We favored lenders that offer a wide variety of discounts. Most insurers offer the standard discounts for taking a safety course and for buying multiple policies from them. Others reward customers for certain memberships and certifications, and for remaining claim-free for a number of years. We also noted companies’ policies on forgiving accidents, so that these mishaps will not necessarily increase your insurance rates. The more discounts your insurer offers, the greater your likelihood of snagging a lower rate.

Coverage and Add-Ons

We gave credit to companies that offer additional coverage and benefits, such as rental reimbursement, trip interruption, and accident forgiveness.

Claims Process and Customer Satisfaction

If you ever need to file a claim, you want the process to be as hassle-free as possible. We favored lenders that provide an online claims process and 24/7 customer service.

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Money’s Top Picks

Progressive
Best for Accident Forgiveness

Pros

  • Especially wide variety of discounts available
  • Offers ample add-on coverage options for policy customization
  • Request a quote and purchase a policy completely online

Cons

  • Could cost more than companies with less customization options

Progressive stands out from other motorcycle insurers in part for its generous Accident Forgiveness benefits. The company’s Small Accident Forgiveness covers claims for minor collisions that cost the company less than $500 after you’ve paid the deductible (without an impact to your premium), while Big Accident Forgiveness covers your first accident if you’ve been a Progressive customer for at least four years and been accident-free for three years, regardless of the cost of the claim.

Progressive also writes policies for the widest range of machines of any company on this list. It insures not only regular motorcycles, but mopeds, dirt bikes, sports and performance bikes, auto cycles, enduro bikes, touring bikes, three-wheel trikes, collectibles, scooters, and ATVs and UTVs.

Besides the standard coverage options, Progressive also sells add-ons like total loss replacement for motorcycle models that are less than a year old; enhanced injury protection, which offers a benefit of up to $250 a week for two years if you’re injured and can’t work; and carried-contents coverage for items that are damaged, stolen, or lost while on your motorcycle.

Other additional coverage options through Progressive include roadside assistance anywhere in the U.S. or Canada; trip interruption, which gives you up to $500 to cover food, hotel or transportation costs while you’re away from home; and a so-called disappearing deductible, which grants you a 25% discount for every claim-free renewal on your motorcycle policy.

Finally, Progressive offers the broadest range of discounts. These include breaks on their premium for those who bundle policies, have a clean driving record, request a online quote before their policy starts, switch from another carrier to Progressive, are members of an organization like USAA or Harley Owners Group, add a motorcycle endorsement to their driver license, take a safety course, pay in full upfront, pay on time, and enroll in automatic payments.

GEICO
Best for Discounts

Pros

  • Notably long list of discounts
  • 24/7 customer service via phone, app, or live chat
  • Make a lump sum payment or choose a one-, four-, six-, or nine-month payment plan
  • Includes coverage for your helmet and other accessories, along with emergency roadside service at no extra cost with comprehensive and collision coverage

Cons

  • Not great for policy customization, as it doesn’t offer many add-on coverages.

If you’re looking for low rates, and aren’t interested in policy customization, Geico is worth a close look.

Geico uniquely includes accessories coverage with its comprehensive and collision policies, rather than selling that as an extra-cost add-on. That means such items as your helmet, non-stock sidecar, trike conversion kit, seats and saddlebags, electronic equipment, backrests, and chrome pieces are covered at no additional cost. Depending on your needs, you can buy additional coverage for accessories.

In part because of that built-in accessories coverage, Geico doesn’t offer a lot of add-ons. It does, though, provide all the standard coverage options, from liability to comprehensive, and does so for standard motorcycles, sport bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, touring bikes, scooters, enduro bikes, and some customized bikes.

Geico’s ample discounts include giving you up to 10% off your premium if you switch from a different carrier to Geico, have more than one motorcycle insured with Geico, or have been a loyal customer. There’s a 20% discount for successfully completing a Motorcycle Safety Foundation or Military Safety Course, along with 5% off for bundling multiple policies, such as for a car and motorcycle, and a 10% experienced riders discount if you are at least 50 years old.

Harley-Davidson
Best For New Riders

Pros

  • Specializes in motorcycle insurance
  • Offers rental reimbursement coverage, roadside assistance, and equipment coverage
  • Discounts and benefits for Harley Owners Group members
  • Submit claims online or over the phone 24/7

Cons

  • Coverage is not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or Washington, D.C.

Harley-Davidson insures bikes as well as making them, and its policies offer rewards to loyal Harley riders, while also selling policies for bikes of any brand. Besides insurance, Harley-Davidson also sells extended service plans, provides loans to buy your bike, and offers theft and appearance protection. There’s even a Harley Davidson Visa credit card that earns rewards you can redeem for H-D gear.

You can also take safety courses from the Harley-Davidson Riding Academy that, after completion, help reduce premium costs.

Dairyland
Best For Vintage Bikes
Best for Those With a Problematic Riding History

Pros

  • Coverage option to use genuine, original manufacturer replacement parts in repairs.
  • Discounts for Harley Owners Group riders
  • Sells SR22 insurance

Cons

  • Doesn’t sell policies in Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island
  • Doesn’t offer online claims processing, although they have a dedicated 24/7 claims phone line

Dairyland stands out from others on this list in two ways. The first is through its Physical Damage Plus coverage. Instead of using aftermarket parts for repairs, Dairyland will pay for genuine, original manufacturer replacement parts. Although it’s optional coverage, Physical Damage Plus can be ideal for riders who own a rare or vintage motorcycle and want to preserve the machine’s integrity.

In addition to the standard coverage and its Physical Damage plus add-on, Dairyland offers replacement-cost insurance, roadside assistance, trip interruption, and rental reimbursement.

Dairyland’s second distinction is that it sells SR22 insurance. This coverage is for people who have driving violations for a DUI, DWI, reckless driving, at-fault accidents, driving without insurance, or driving without a license.

Farmers
Best For Track Riders

Pros

  • Offers track-day insurance, for non-competitive riding
  • Customer service over the phone and email, and a live chat feature from 8 am to 9 pm (CST) for pressing questions.

Cons

  • Coverage and discount options can vary by region.
  • Can only submit claims online.

While most insurers won’t insure you if you’re using your bike on a track, Farmers stands out by offering at least one coverage tier that includes track-day insurance — albeit not if you’re riding in a competitive event.

Farmers offers three pre-packaged plans — the Saver, the Plus, and the Elite.

The Saver, Farmer’s most basic package, includes First Accident Forgiveness, $500 for apparel coverage, optional equipment towing, and roadside assistance. The Plus package adds track-day coverage for those looking to ride in a non-competitive bike course. It also includes $3,500 for optional equipment, $1,500 for safety and apparel, total loss replacement coverage for up to two years, and trip interruption coverage.

Lastly, the Elite package features enhanced rental coverage, $2,500 for safety apparel coverage, $2,000 for personal effects, $5,000 for optional equipment, and total loss replacement for up to 5 years at the original value of a new motorcycle.

Farmers also offers benefit options for vintage and custom bikes, low-speed vehicles, legal ATVs, and transport trailers.

What to Know About Motorcycle Insurance

There’s a common joke among motorcyclists that there are two kinds of bikers: those who have been in accidents and those who will be in accidents. Although this is only half true, according to statistics, the consensus is that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Riding a motorcycle carries its inherent risks due to the nature of the sport. Motorcycles don’t come with the protection of an enclosed automobile, and they’re less stable than passenger vehicles for emergency braking, and swerving.

Andrea Chapman from Ohio is a motorcyclist who has been riding with her husband, Mark, for over 20 years, and they have always owned insurance on their bikes, as required by the state.

“We’ve had all kinds of bikes, from standards to cruisers and we’ve taken different approaches to buying motorcycle insurance. We’ve bundled it with our car and homeowners insurance in the past, but something we’ve always done is shop around for the best rates.”

When you’re shopping around, you want to find the right motorcycle insurance policy for your budget as well as the bike you’re insuring. That’s why we’ve made a list of the best insurance products of 2020 and broken down what you need to know before you buy.

The Key Types of Motorcycle Insurance

To purchase the best insurance coverage for your needs, it’s crucial that you understand the different types of motorcycle insurance.

The most common types of coverage are:

  • Bodily injury liability – protects you financially against bodily injury and property damage lawsuits in the event of an accident involving another person. Some insurers also include guest passenger liability coverage or sell it as separate add-on.
  • Motorcycle collision – if you’re in an accident with another vehicle, this coverage takes care of the damages to your bike.
  • Comprehensive coverage – covers damages caused by theft, vandalism, or fire.
  • Coverage for custom parts – most comprehensive and collision policies only cover original factory parts. This coverage takes into account sidecars, chrome parts, and custom paint jobs, among other items.
  • Uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage – protects you and your property in the event you’re in a collision with someone who has insufficient insurance coverage or doesn’t have insurance at all. UM/ UIM insurance can cover lost wages, medical payments, and, in some instances, property damage. Depending on what state you live in, uninsured could be required, and underinsured coverage could be optional protection, as with car insurance.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements by State

As with auto insurance, almost every state has motorcycle insurance liability requirements which include property damage and bodily injury liability if you’re in an at-fault accident. Some states also require other coverage types, too.

Only two states — Florida, Montana, and Washington — neither require motorcycle insurance nor impose legal or financial consequences if you do not have it. In Arizona, you have to prove you can cover the costs of a potential accident by submitting a check to the DMV, while Virginia charges an annual fee for driving without insurance.

Even if insurance isn’t required in your state, it’s still wise to buy it. Not doing so exposes you to potentially enormous liability if you’re involved in an accident that injures others or results in damage to their property. Such a claim could ultimately result in seizure of such assets as your home and vehicle in order to cover costs.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce motorcycle rider fatalities by between 22% and 42%, and brain injuries by 41 to 69%. However, helmet laws in the United States vary widely by state. And the nature of such laws in your state will affect what you pay to insure your motorcycle.

In 21states, and the District of Columbia, universal helmet laws require both drivers and passengers to wear this protection. Wearing a helmet is required in a further 27 states if you’re under 18 or 21 years old. Three states — Illinois and Iowa — don’t mandate helmet use for any riders.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, states that have lenient helmet laws have higher injury and mortality rates than those with helmet regulations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the cost of treating higher injuries among motorcyclists in those states are largely borne by the public, because governments pay many medical bills and much of the insurance cost of long-term care for un-helmeted riders after they’re injured.

Other Important Information About Motorcycle Insurance

  • As when insuring a car, your motorcycle insurance premium will be affected by such factors as your age, driving history, zip code, the age and type of motorcycle you’re insuring, the number of miles you drive annually, and where you store your motorcycle
  • Taking a riding course such as the one offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation can help you lower your premium if you’re under the age of 25 or have been involved in an accident in the past.
  • If you live in a state where it’s harder to ride during winter, consider a lay-up policy. Lay-up policies allow you to stop paying liability and collision coverage while keeping your comprehensive coverage (for theft, vandalism, or fire) active.
  • If you sometimes ride on a track, make sure your insurer covers you on track days. Some insurers do not cover track use at all while others will only cover track usage if you’re not participating in a competitive race and there are no money prizes involved.
  • In the event of an accident, insurers will inquire about the type of helmet you were wearing. Your insurance provider could deny your claim if you were not wearing a helmet or were wearing an improper one. Insurers typically require helmets that are DOT-approved.
  • While bundling your motorcycle insurance with your auto and home policies could help you save, in some cases, bundling can be more expensive than purchasing policies individually. The cheapest company for one type of insurance may not be the cheapest company for all of them.
  • Always shop around and compare premiums before settling on an insurance company.
Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST