back to articles | March 05, 2024 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Motorcycle

How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Insurance

Owning a motorcycle is an exciting experience. It represents freedom to many people, and hitting the open road and feeling the wind on your face is more exhilarating.


Owning a motorcycle is an exciting experience. It represents freedom to many people, and hitting the open road and feeling the wind on your face is more exhilarating. However, buying a two-wheeler comes with responsibilities, including getting the right motorcycle insurance policy. This is not optional, as nearly all states require every motorcycle on the road to be insured.

With that said, even where it's not a legal requirement, having insurance gives you peace of mind, knowing that you won't have to pay out of pocket when you get into an accident. So, how do you choose the right motorcycle insurance? Read on to learn more.

Do you need motorcycle insurance?

You'll need your state's minimum coverage limits to ride your motorcycle legally. Minimum coverage typically includes bodily injury liability (which covers injuries caused to others) and property damage liability (which covers damage to others' property). If you also ride to other states or countries, you should check their requirements, too. In case you get caught riding a bike without proper insurance, you may face legal consequences like fines, license suspensions, and impounding of your motorcycle.

But that's not all. Depending on your coverage, motorcycle insurance can help you settle your medical bills, offer income replacement if you have lost income due to the accident, repair the bike, and replace a stolen bike.

How to choose the right motorcycle insurance

Motorcycle insurance is much like auto insurance. Both will protect you from unintentional harm to your automobile, theft, and third-party liability. You are also covered when any accessories are stolen along with your bike or car or if your automobile is damaged in a flood or fire. However, to choose the right coverage, you first need to understand the different types of coverage available for motorbikes.

Types of motorcycle insurance

There are several types of motorcycle insurance available in the market. Here are a few of the common ones.

Liability insurance

Every motorcycle on the road is required to have liability insurance. It covers damages and injuries resulting from an accident you caused. It is broken down into bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.

Bodily injury liability coverage covers medical expenses and lost wages of others you injure in an accident you cause. Depending on your state, this coverage may cover your passengers, too, or you may have to buy a guest passenger liability coverage. Property damage liability covers damage to another person's property (vehicles, structures) caused by your riding. It also covers legal defense if you are sued.

Collision insurance

Collision insurance covers damage to your own motorcycle, regardless of who is at fault, in an accident with a vehicle or object. For instance, if you lose control and hit a wall or another car, your collision cover will pay for your bike's repair, while your liability cover will pay for the damages to the wall or the other vehicle. While collision coverage is not legally required, you'll need it when you buy a motorcycle through financing.

Keep in mind that collision insurance has a deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before your insurance pays the rest). For instance, if the deductible is $700 and the repairs are $3000, your insurer will pay $2300.

Comprehensive insurance

Comprehensive insurance covers a wide range of problems. It goes beyond accidents, covering your motorcycle for non-collision events like theft, fire, vandalism, and weather damage. Therefore, if your bike is stolen or totaled due to flooding, your insurer will pay its total cash value minus the deductible. Like collision insurance, your bank will need you to have this coverage if they financed you to get the bike.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

PIP covers your medical expenses and that of your passengers regardless of fault. It may also cover lost income, funeral costs, and replacement services for duties you can't do. However, PIP is not available countrywide and is mandatory in some states. What it covers depends on the insurance company, so consult your insurance agent.

Uninsured or underinsured insurance

Uninsured insurance covers your medical expenses, motorcycle damages, and lost income if you can't work when hit by a driver without insurance. Similarly, underinsured insurance covers you when hit by a driver with insufficient coverage. But is this insurance necessary? Well, you are not required by law to have this coverage. However, with over 29 million uninsured drivers on the road, this coverage can offer valuable protection.

Roadside assistance

Roadside assistance is an optional add-on to your motorcycle insurance that provides various services in case of emergencies on the road. Typically, it's a safety net for unforeseen situations that can leave you stranded. The specific services offered vary depending on the provider and your chosen plan, but they may include towing, tire changes, battery jump-starts, fuel delivery, and locksmith services.

Custom parts coverage

Standard coverage might be insufficient if your motorcycle has expensive upgrades or accessories. Standard motorcycle insurance typically only covers stock parts installed by the manufacturer. If your custom exhaust gets damaged in an accident, your standard coverage may only pay for the value of basic stock exhaust, leaving you to cover the difference. The custom parts coverage bridges the gap by compensating you for the actual value of your customized parts.

Factors to consider when choosing the right motorcycle insurance

Getting the right motorcycle insurance can be confusing, whether you are looking for it for the first time or have been riding for over ten years. However, you need to ensure you have the right motorcycle insurance before you set off on an open road with your bike. Here are a few factors to consider when shopping for motorcycle insurance.

The type of your motorcycle

Your bike type will significantly impact the choice of motorcycle insurance. If you go for high performance like sports bikes and superbikes, you can expect the insurance cost to be higher. This is because their spare parts are expensive, and the insurance company will pay more to replace them in case they are stolen or written off. Moreover, modifications will also affect coverage and premiums. You may need custom parts coverage, as standard insurance won't cover them.

Riding habits

How often do you ride, and what's your riding experience? As a new rider, you can expect your premiums to be higher but will reduce as you gain experience. However, taking a riding course or joining a club could significantly reduce costs. Additionally, the more mileage you cover, the higher your insurance cost. A new rider may consider liability coverage, collision coverage, and PIP, while a long-distance rider may find roadside assistance more useful.


While anyone can be involved in an accident, certain situations may increase risk. For instance, consider comprehensive insurance if you live in an area with harsh weather like heavy snow, flooding, or high winds. Similarly, if the area where you store your bike has frequent theft, comprehensive cover is a good choice.

Cost of the insurance policy

One of the determining factors on the policy's cost is the type of insurance coverage you purchase. The good news is that the cost is low and affordable for everyone since the insurance regulatory authority sets the price of third-party insurance.

However, a comprehensive insurance policy costs more since it covers third-party and own damages. In addition, an insurer that offers enhanced coverage might also increase the cost of the policy. Make sure you choose the add-ons needed to keep the cost of your coverage within your budget if you opt for comprehensive insurance. You can also lower your motorcycle insurance costs by maximizing the available discounts.

The process of getting the right motorcycle insurance

Rules and guidelines vary between states and companies, but you can get the right and affordable motorcycle insurance by following these simple steps.

Gather information

Every state has minimum liability coverage requirements for motorcycles. This should be your starting point, but you can also explore additional coverage. Understand what each coverage entails to see if it fits you well. 

Shop around for quotes

Never settle for the first offer. Instead, get quotes from different companies for coverage options and pricing variations. You can contact multiple insurance companies and agents or use online quote comparison tools. Ensure you give accurate information for the quote to be more accurate, and remember to ask for discounts.

Evaluate and choose

After getting the quotes, it's time to evaluate and choose what works for you. Compare prices, coverage, and deductibles. While the cheapest quote may be appealing, also compare the level of coverage.

Secure your coverage

Once you settle on the insurance company you want, all that is left is securing your coverage. This can be done online or by visiting their office. You'll need proof of ownership, motorcycle registration, driver's license, and payment information. Read the policy document and ask questions where you don't understand.


Getting motorcycle insurance is a great way to secure your two-wheeler. However, the right insurance policy is personalized; what works for you may not work for someone else. Therefore, consider your needs, riding habits, risks, and budget to find the coverage that protects you without breaking the bank. You should also research widely and compare quotes from different providers. This way, you'll make an informed decision.