Cheap Motorcycle Insurance for 2020

  • Craig Fitzgerald
  • 6/18/2020

Insuring a motorcycle is cheaper than insuring a car, but it can take work to find the best deal. We’re here to help.

Who has the cheapest motorcycle insurance?

GEICO is generally your best bet. But it pays to shop around.

We sampled information from a number of sources and developed a range of what motorcycle insurance should cost. We based these samples on a rider with at least a decade of motorcycle experience, a clean driving record, riding a relatively basic motorcycle: A 2018 Honda ST1300. We based the coverage in Massachusetts because it’s where we’re from.

We also focused on JUST the cheapest motorcycle insurance, adhering to the state minimum requirements, which we’ve detailed further down the article. Depending on your state, your rates may be higher or lower.

The important thing to remember is that insurance rates can vary widely, and prices can change almost daily. This range is only a GUIDE to give you a basic idea about the rates insurance companies charge motorcyclists today.

DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your motorcycle.

Who has the best cheap motorcycle insurance?

  • Cheapest Large Insurance Carrier - Here’s the deal: GEICO advertises that it’s 15 percent cheaper than others - and this is generally true because it eliminates the middle men (insurance agents). You simply can’t get insurance cheaper, unless you go with USAA, which is only available to active military or their families.

  • Best Overall - Dairyland. You may not have heard of these folks before, but they offer excellent motorcycle coverage for not a ton of money, in 34 different states

  • Best Insurance in All 50 States - If we weren’t going to opt for Dairyland, which isn’t available everywhere, we’d have to go with Progressive.

How much does motorcycle insurance cost?

We attempted to get quotes from all of the major motorcycle insurers, but there are several that just don’t offer enough coverage across the country. For example Rider provides insurance specifically for motorcycles, but they’re only available in a handful of states. Dairyland provides coverage in 34 states, which was our minimum for “nationwide” coverage.

Rates we found
GEICO$99
Progressive$296
Harley-Davidson$324.64
Dairyland$115.52

Who are the nation’s best motorcycle insurers?

  • GEICO - These guys are the elephant in the room, and there’s a good chance you probably have your car insured with them, too. There are no frills here. You don’t get roadside assistance as part of the deal, but GEICO does have 24/7 customer support, a ton of discounts and flexible payment options.

  • Progressive - Also enormous, Progressive probably insures more motorcycles than any other company in the country, and like GEICO, they’re available across the country. It’s also cheap because roadside assistance only comes when you pay extra for it, but there are plenty of discounts available and they do offer more add-ons and custom coverages than GEICO does.

  • Dairyland - Dairyland is the smaller player in motorcycle insurance, but they do get high marks for customer service. They’re half the cost of Progressive, include roadside assistance as a standard feature, and have lots of added features like its “Diminishing Deductible” program that reduces your deductible on Comprehensive coverage every year you don’t file a claim. For the extra fifteen bucks a year over GEICO, it’s a pretty good option.

  • Harley-Davidson - Yes, Harley-Davidson offers motorcycle coverage. It’s insanely expensive compared to the other insurers, but it’s not really comparing apples-to-apples. Harley-Davidson doesn’t offer bare-bones coverage. You’re getting a comprehensive package with a $1,000 deductible that covers fire, theft, and collisions. When you compare that to the others, the rate is almost identical to Dairyland. Which is doubly interesting because it appears that Harley-Davidson is really just a white-labeled version of Dairyland. It uses exactly the same quote engine as Dairyland does.

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How can you get motorcycle insurance discounts?

Like ordinary car insurance, there are a million discounts that you can apply to drop your insurance cost significantly. When we got quotes, we didn’t select any of these, but they were all questions on the quote engine that would impact the overall insurance rate:

  • Pay in full - If you can afford to pay up in full at the time you choose an insurer, you can save money. That’s not true of every insurer. GEICO and Progressive offer a nominal discount for paying up front. Dairyland and Harley-Davidson do not.

  • Motorcycle club membership - If you’re a member of a motorcycle club, there’s likely a discount available for you. Harley Owner’s Group in particular is one that offers discounts with every major motorcycle insurer.

  • Anti-theft device - If your motorcycle has an anti-theft device, you can realize some savings, but only when you choose more expensive comprehensive coverage.

  • Anti-lock brakes - More and more, ABS is becoming a standard feature on motorcycles. Currently, though, you may be able to save a bit if your bike has ABS.

  • Motorcycle Rider Course - If you’ve taken a rider course like one offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, or Harley-Davidson (which has its own white-labeled MSF class), you can save up to 15% on your motorcycle insurance.

  • MSF instructor - There’s an even deeper discount if you’re an instructor of one of those classes. It’s also going to make you a better rider, so if you can spend the time teaching, it’s a pretty great way to feel good about training new riders.

  • Locked Storage - Theft is a huge problem with motorcycles. If you’re planning on comprehensive coverage and you have locked storage, you can get a discount.

What are the coverage limits by state?

Motorcycle Insurance is required by law in most states, except for Iowa, Michigan, and New Hampshire. In all 50 states, there are coverage limits to understand for Bodily Injury Liability -- both per person and per accident, and Property Damage Liability. Here’s how those limits break out by state:

StateBodily injury liability per personBodily injury liability per accidentProperty damage liability per accidentOther Notes
Alabama$25,000$50,000$25,000
Alaska$50,000$100,000$25,000
Arizona$15,000$30,000$10,000
Arkansas$25,000$50,000$25,000
California$15,000$30,000$5,000
Colorado$25,000$50,000$15,000
Connecticut$25,000$50,000$25,000
Delaware$25,000$50,000$10,000
Florida$10,000$20,000$10,000Florida requires a $10,000 medical benefit, but that can come from your health insurance
Georgia$25,000$50,000$25,000
Hawaii$20,000$40,000$10,000
Idaho$25,000$50,000$15,000
Illinois$25,000$50,000$20,000
Indiana$25,000$50,000$10,000
Iowa$20,000$40,000$15,000Surety bond, cash, or securities of $55,000
Kansas$25,000$50,000$10,000
Kentucky$25,000$50,000$10,000
Louisiana$15,000$30,000$25,000
Maine$50,000$100,000$25,000
Maryland$30,000$60,000$15,000
Massachusetts$20,000$40,000$5,000
Michigan$20,000$40,000$10,000
Minnesota$30,000$60,000$10,000$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person, $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Mississippi$25,000$50,000$25,000
Missouri$25,000$50,000$10,000
Montana$25,000$50,000$20,000
Nebraska$25,000$50,000$20,000
Nevada$25,000$50,000$20,000
New Hampshire$25,000$50,000$25,000
New Jersey$15,000$30,000$5,000
New Mexico$25,000$50,000$10,000You can either prove financial independence by leaving 60k in cash or surety bond with the treasurer's office or get liability insurance. Same as car limits.
New York$25,000$50,000$10,000$50,000 liability for death per person, $100,000 liability for death per accident,$50,000 personal injury protection
North Carolina$30,000$60,000$25,000
North Dakota$25,000$50,000$25,000
Ohio$25,00$50,000$25,000
Oklahoma$25,000$50,000$25,000
Oregon$25,000$50,000$20,000
Pennsylvania$15,000$30,000$5,000
Rhode Island$25,000$50,000$25,000
South Carolina$25,000$50,000$25,000
South Dakota$25,000$50,000$25,000
Tennessee$25,000$50,000$15,000
Texas$30,000$60,000$25,000
Utah$25,000$65,000$15,000
Vermont$25,000$50,000$10,000
Virginia$25,000$50,000$20,000
Washington$25,000$50,000$10,000
West Virginia$25,000$50,000$25,000$25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person,$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident,$25,000 uninsured motorist property damage coverage
Wisconsin$25,000$50,000$10,000You are required to show financial responsibility either with a $60,000 cash deposit with the Wisconsin department of transportation, posting a bond issued by an insurance company, or having liability insurance
Wyoming$25,000$50,000$20,000
Washington DC$25,000$50,000$10,000$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person, $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident,$5,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident

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FAQ

Q: Why is motorcycle insurance cheaper than car insurance?

A: Riding a motorcycle is significantly more dangerous than driving a car, so why would riding one be cheaper to insure than driving a car? The insurance company is betting you’re also not going to be riding your motorcycle to work every single day in the rain, snow, sleet and ice. Most riders are using their bikes on the weekends when the weather is nice, and consequently, the risk is significantly lower.

Q: How can I get super cheap motorcycle insurance?

A: Not sure how much cheaper it’s going to be than GEICO at $99 a year, but if you want to get that down even further, look into the discounts we’ve provided above, and also, make some lifestyle choices: Get married! Buy a house! Be older! Then you can also bundle your motorcycle insurance with your car policy. Oh, and don’t ride like a squid and get a million tickets.

Q: Can I buy seasonal motorcycle insurance?

A: Not really. You can make payments month-to-month and then cancel in the fall, and restart your insurance the next spring, but that’s a total hassle. Plus, you wouldn’t be able to ride on those rare gorgeous days in December or early spring, and that would stink.

Q: Why is my insurance so high with no accidents?

A: The short answer is “Because you live in Florida.”Even if you don’t live in Florida, your age, marital status, the city or town you live in, your credit score, and your driving record all have an influence.

Q: Is an older bike cheaper to insure?

A: Absolutely. We chose a 2018 Honda ST1300 because there are a few around and it’s not the most expensive bike on the block, but you can save quite a bit riding a 1973 Jawa 350. Of course, you’d have to ride a 1973 Jawa 350.

Editor's note and disclaimer: Car Talk is supported by our fans, readers and listeners. When you click on some of the links on our website, we may receive referral compensation. However, you should know that the recommendations we make are based on our independent editorial review and analyses.