Types of Coverage You Should Consider for Your Motorcycle Insurance

Understanding the options available and choosing the right coverage can save you from significant financial loss in the event of an accident or other unexpected events. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, this guide will help you make informed decisions about your motorcycle insurance needs.

How Does Motorcycle Insurance Work?

Like auto insurance, motorcycle insurance covers injuries, other people’s property, and damage to your vehicle. If you have auto insurance, terms like collision, comprehensive, and liability will seem familiar to you.

The claims process for motorcycle insurance is similar to that for auto insurance. You report the loss or theft of your car to your insurance provider and initiate a claim. After examining the incident, the insurance provider determines the amount to be paid out.

Types of Motorcycle Insurance

Here are the different parts of motorcycle insurance and what they cover.

1. Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is one of the most fundamental components of any motorcycle insurance policy. It is required in almost every state in the United States. Moreover, it serves as crucial protection for both you and others on the road. Liability insurance covers the costs associated with injuries and property damage you cause to other people in an accident that you are at fault for.

There are typically two parts to liability insurance:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: This portion of your policy covers medical expenses, rehabilitation, and sometimes even lost wages for those injured in an accident caused by your motorcycle. It also covers legal defense costs if you are sued as a result of the accident.
  • Property Damage Liability: Property damage liability covers the cost of repairing or replacing the property of others, such as their vehicle, home, or other structures, if you cause damage in an accident.

It’s important to carry sufficient liability coverage to protect your assets and financial well-being. Motorcycle accidents can result in extensive medical bills and property damage claims. So consider coverage limits that are adequate for your specific situation.

2. Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is another vital component of your motorcycle insurance policy. It protects you in the event of an accident with a motorist who either has no insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses. Without UM/UIM coverage, you could be left to pay for your medical bills and motorcycle repairs on your own.

UM/UIM coverage typically includes:

  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: This part of the coverage pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if it’s damaged by an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Adding UM/UIM coverage to your motorcycle insurance policy can be a financial lifesaver if you’re ever in a collision with an inadequately insured or uninsured driver.

3. Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage, often referred to as “comp” or “other than collision,” is essential for protecting your motorcycle against non-collision-related perils. This coverage helps pay for damages to your bike caused by events such as:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Natural disasters (e.g., hurricanes, tornadoes, floods)
  • Falling objects (e.g., tree branches)
  • Hitting an animal (e.g., deer)

Comprehensive coverage is especially valuable for motorcycle owners because bikes are more vulnerable to theft and damage due to their smaller size and portability. With this coverage, you can have peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected even when you’re not riding.

4. Collision Coverage

Collision coverage is designed to pay for damages to your motorcycle if you’re involved in an accident with another vehicle or a stationary object, like a pole or guardrail. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

In the event of a collision, this coverage can be a financial lifesaver. It ensures that you won’t be left with hefty repair bills, and you can get back on the road as soon as possible. However, it’s important to note that collision coverage is not mandatory by law. So it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth adding to your policy.

5. Medical Payments (MedPay) Coverage

Medical Payments, often referred to as MedPay, is an optional coverage that pays for your medical expenses as well as those of your passengers if you’re injured in a motorcycle accident, regardless of fault. It can be especially valuable if you don’t have health insurance or have high deductibles, as it can cover immediate medical costs and provide quick access to necessary treatment.

MedPay coverage can help ensure that you and your passengers receive prompt medical care, reducing the financial burden of medical bills. The limits for MedPay coverage can vary, so consider your healthcare needs when choosing this option.

6. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is an insurance option available in some states. It is similar to MedPay but more comprehensive in its coverage. PIP covers not only medical expenses but also additional expenses such as lost wages, rehabilitation, and funeral costs. PIP is considered “no-fault” coverage, which means it pays out regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

If PIP is available in your state, it can provide an extra layer of financial protection in case of an accident, ensuring you and your passengers are well taken care of.

7. Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage

If you’ve invested in customizing your motorcycle with aftermarket parts and accessories, standard insurance coverage might not fully protect these additions. Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE) coverage can be added to your policy to ensure that your investments in upgrades and modifications are adequately covered.

CPE coverage typically has a set limit, so be sure to assess the value of your customizations and choose coverage that adequately protects them. This can include upgrades like custom paint, exhaust systems, saddlebags, and more.

8. Roadside Assistance and Towing

Having a breakdown or experiencing a flat tire can be a major inconvenience when you’re out on the road with your motorcycle. Roadside assistance and towing coverage can be lifesavers in such situations. It provides support for common road emergencies, including:

  • Towing your motorcycle to a repair shop
  • Fuel delivery
  • Jump-starting a dead battery
  • Assistance with a flat tire
  • Lockout services if you’re locked out of your motorcycle

Adding this coverage to your policy ensures that help is just a phone call away, making your rides worry-free.

9. Rental Reimbursement Coverage

In the unfortunate event that your motorcycle is damaged and requires repairs, rental reimbursement coverage can help cover the cost of renting a temporary replacement vehicle. This coverage can save you money and provide you with the means to continue commuting or enjoying your motorcycle trips even when your bike is in the shop.

Rental reimbursement coverage typically has daily and total limits. So choose a level of coverage that aligns with your needs and preferences.

10. Gap Insurance

Gap insurance is essential coverage if you’ve financed the purchase of your motorcycle or leased it. It addresses the “gap” between the actual cash value (ACV) of your bike and the amount you owe on your loan or lease. In the event of a total loss, such as theft or a severe accident, your insurer will pay the ACV of the motorcycle. Which may be less than what you owe on your loan or lease.

Gap insurance covers the remaining balance, ensuring you’re not left with the financial burden of repaying a loan or lease for a motorcycle you no longer have. This coverage provides peace of mind to those with financing arrangements for their bikes.

11. Total Loss Coverage (Agreed Value or Stated Value)

Total loss coverage, also known as “Agreed Value or Stated Value coverage”, is an option that allows you to establish the value of your motorcycle when you purchase your policy. Unlike standard coverage, which pays out based on the actual cash value (ACV) of your bike, agreed-value or stated-value coverage ensures that you receive a predetermined sum in the event of a total loss.

This can be particularly valuable for motorcycle owners with unique or vintage bikes, as it protects the full value of their cherished possessions. However, you’ll need to work with your insurer to determine the agreed or stated value and pay a slightly higher premium for this coverage.

12. Lay-Up Coverage

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions that force you to put your motorcycle in storage for an extended period, lay-up coverage is a cost-effective solution. This coverage allows you to reduce your motorcycle insurance to a minimum while your bike is off the road. It’s important to note that your motorcycle won’t be covered for riding during this time, but it helps save money during the off-season.

By selecting lay-up coverage, you can keep your bike insured while it’s in storage, ensuring that it’s protected from perils like fire or theft.

Factors that Affect Motorcycle Insurance Costs

Your motorcycle insurance rates will depend on a variety of rating factors that insurance companies review when calculating your costs. Your premiums may change based on these common rating factors, which include:

  • Your location: Every location has a different motorcycle insurance cost. Insurance costs will increase in places with a higher frequency of motorcycle thefts and crowded roadways.
  • Your driving history: Motorcycle insurance tends to be less expensive for drivers with clean records than for those with a history of moving violations or accidents where a claim was necessary.
  • Your age and driving experience: Compared to experienced riders who have owned a motorcycle for a long time, younger, less experienced riders have higher rates.
  • The amount of coverage you have: Your prices will increase when you get additional insurance. The cost of a full-coverage policy will be more than that of a policy that merely provides the minimum amount of insurance required by your state.
  • The type of bike you own: Insurance will cost more for motorcycles with bigger engines and more expensive parts than for bikes that are smaller and less expensive. This is because it would be more expensive to repair or replace a motorcycle of greater worth.

How to Save on Motorcycle Insurance

If you’re having trouble finding affordable motorcycle insurance, here are some steps that you can take to get lower rates.

  • Compare quotes: Since each insurer has a unique method of calculating risk, you might be able to get a lower price for the same coverage from certain companies than from others. Get many quotes for motorcycle insurance to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Bundle with another policy: It is a good idea to combine your motorbike insurance with your homeowners’ or auto insurance because many insurance providers offer generous multi-policy discounts.
  • Choose a high deductible: Since you will be required to pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim, raising your deductible will lower your motorcycle insurance rate.
  • Ask about other discounts: Other ways you might save money include payment discounts, association discounts, and responsible driver discounts. Find out from your insurance agent what options are available in your area.
  • Choose liability-only coverage: You can save money by not getting full coverage, but you should only think about doing this if the cost of full coverage each year exceeds the worth of your bike. If you don’t have collision and comprehensive insurance, you will be responsible for any damage to your motorcycle in the event of an accident or theft.
  • Take a safety course: Some firms will give you a premium discount if you complete certain training courses, like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s MSF Basic Rider Course.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about motorcycle insurance:

Is motorcycle insurance expensive?

Although it might still be costly, motorcycle insurance is generally less expensive than auto insurance. While the average monthly cost of motorcycle insurance is $60 nationwide, average rates are significantly higher in specific areas. A few other factors that will affect your premium include your age and driving record.

Do I need motorcycle insurance?

It is strictly illegal in several states to ride a motorcycle without insurance. Motorcycle insurance offers crucial financial protection against the high expenses of lawsuits, medical bills, and repairs that may arise from an accident, even if your state does not mandate it.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right motorcycle insurance coverage is a crucial decision for any rider. The various types of coverage available allow you to tailor your policy to your specific needs and preferences. While liability insurance is a legal requirement in most states, you should also consider additional coverage options like uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive and collision coverage, and medical payments to ensure that you and your bike are adequately protected in any situation.

Custom parts and equipment coverage, roadside assistance, and rental reimbursement can provide additional peace of mind. Gap insurance is a must if you’ve financed your motorcycle, and agreed-value or stated-value coverage can protect the full value of unique or vintage bikes. If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, lay-up coverage can help you save money during the off-season.

Understanding the types of coverage available and making informed choices based on your needs and circumstances is essential to enjoying worry-free motorcycle riding. Remember that while it’s crucial to have the right coverage, it’s equally important to regularly review and update your policy to ensure it remains in line with your changing requirements.

By selecting the right combination of motorcycle insurance coverages, you can hit the open road with confidence, knowing that you’re protected in any situation. Stay safe and enjoy your rides!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *