How to shop for motorcycle insurance

How to shop for motorcycle insurance

Posted by Ben Baker on May 23rd 2016

Not sure how to shop for motorcycle insurance? Here’s a guide to help cut the clutter.

We are not recommending any insurance company listed here. We just use their websites to provide the information you need to know.


Step one is to find out what your state law requires. lets you select your state to find out what’s required. You may be surprised to learn that motorcycle insurance is not a requirement in all 50 states.

For instance, Florida lets a rider take a pass on insurance, if the biker can prove enough cash in the bank to cover claims. A state form is needed to show proof.


Liability insurance covers the other person if you cause a wreck. Comprehensive (comp) covers the other person and you.

If you wipe out or go down and it’s your fault, your bike is not covered with liability. If you have comp coverage, your bike is covered. If it’s a solo crash, liability will not cover you. Comp will.

Allstate has a short article that gives more detail on these policy types.


“Unlike automobile insurance, motorcycle passengers aren’t automatically covered, so if you plan on riding two-up, you’ll want to invest in Guest Passenger Liability Coverage as well. This will pay for any injuries a passenger sustains while riding with you,” writes Bryan Harley for

Check the policy. If you don’t see coverage for a passenger, ask the insurance agent. If the agent says a passenger is covered, ask him to show you that in the written policy. If it’s not in the written policy, assume any passenger is not covered.

It has to be in writing.

If the agent won’t provide passenger coverage in writing, find a new insurance company.


If you buy a new ride, the day after you bought it, it’s worth less than you paid. That depreciation is just going to happen.

Gap coverage takes care of that, especially if you are financing the bike. The gap policy will pay off your loan if the bike is totaled in a crash, no matter what the crash is. You can be parked and inside a building and someone can run over your iron steed in the parking lot.
Gap pays the difference between what you owe and what the insurance company says the bike is worth


The policy cost is a major factor. Before you choose a cheaper policy, look carefully at the coverage. Compare it to the more expensive policy. A good way to do this is to use a notepad.

On one-half of the paper, list what Policy A covers. On the other half, list what Policy B covers. Compare and see which better fits your needs and style.

For instance, some policies offer free towing and free delivery of gas. Some don’t. If you ride long enough, you’ll eventually hit reserve and wonder if you will make it to the next station. Having an insurance policy that delivers a gallon of gas can be a real peace of mind. Is that worth a few extra dollars a year? That’s a question you have to answer.


You can buy insurance online or you can buy it from an insurance agent in your town. Some companies sell the same policy through a brick and mortar office and their website.

QuoteWizard has a good rundown of the pros and cons of each method of buying insurance. Here are a few things the article does not address:


You can take your time and won’t be pressured. You can review the policy when you want you.

Getting help means getting online or calling the claims office wherever that is. You have no guarantee that you’ll deal with the same person on subsequent calls.

In person

You are dealing with someone in your community. This is good and bad. It’s bad because if the office is closed, think a weekend or night, then you have to call the claims office. You’re right back to the same situation as buying online.

The good is you are dealing with someone in your community. If you have issues, you go and sit at their desk until things are resolved. You can also ask the agent to explain the policy.


The aptly named website tries to explain how bike insurance premiums are figured. The article “How motorbike insurance is calculated” says insurance is based on a bunch of factors.