Best Motorcycle Insurance

We read the fine print to help you find the best motorcycle insurance

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There’s something about hitting the open road on a motorcycle that feels exhilarating and fun. However, even the most experienced riders have accidents, so it's important to be prepared with quality motorcycle insurance that will provide all of the coverage you need.

When comparing options for motorcycle insurance, you want to think of the big picture as well as the little details. This means protecting investments such as custom parts or expensive riding gear—which not every company is willing to cover—in addition to meeting your state’s minimum requirements for liability coverage.

To make things easier, we read the fine print on policies for more than 30 national motorcycle insurance providers to find the best options in terms of coverage, discounts, customer satisfaction, and other perks. Based on our findings, we have selected a list of five top providers for motorcycle insurance.

Below you'll find motorcycle insurance offers available from our advertising partners, followed by our complete in-depth list of the best motorcycle insurance companies we've found.

Best Motorcycle Insurance of 2022

Best Overall : Markel


With more than 45 years of experience in motorcycle insurance and more than 70 years as company, as well as a wide array of coverage options, Markel earns its title as the best overall choice for motorcycle insurance. Although the company doesn’t offer all of the tech tools that larger companies provide, it more than makes up for it in its wide range of coverage options and discounts.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Extremely wide range of coverage

  • Expansive list of discount offerings

  • Offers accident forgiveness

Cons
  • Limited tech tools for customers

  • Coverage not available in Massachusetts or North Carolina

Coverage

Markel offers customizable policies with its motorcycle insurance so you can protect your bike and all of its accessories. Within its policies, Markel provides the following types of coverage:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Passenger liability for anyone riding with you
  • Medical payments and funeral expenses
  • Collision and comprehensive
  • Accessory coverage up to $30,000
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Mechanical breakdown and trailer coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Trip interruption and rental reimbursement

Furthermore, Markel insures more motorcycle types than is typical, making it attractive for anyone having trouble getting coverage. The company covers all of the following types of bikes and trikes:

  • Cruisers
  • Touring motorcycles
  • Sportbikes
  • Sport-touring bikes
  • Big twins
  • Street bikes
  • Scooters/mopeds
  • Dirt bikes
  • Trikes
  • Custom motorcycles
Discounts

Markel offers extensive discounts to its clients, which can save insured motorcycle drivers as much as 35% off their typical premium costs. These discounts include:

  • Transfer discount of 10% off just for switching to Markel
  • Anti-lock brakes discount
  • Anti-theft alarm discount
  • Multi-unit discount for those who insure more than one motorcycle
  • Renewal discount for drivers who continue to use Markel year after year
  • Safe driver discount for those who go accident-free or take a safety course
  • Safety course discount for those who take an approved safety class
Customer Satisfaction

Markel has more than 70 years of experience in the insurance industry. The company maintains a financial strength rating of A with AM Best. Although Markel is smaller compared to other insurers, it receives few complaints. In 2021, the company had only five complaints to state insurance departments. It consistently has fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Limitations

Markel is licensed to operate in all states except Massachusetts and North Carolina, and coverages and limits may vary by state or geographic area.

Additionally, it does not have a smartphone app or other perks that some larger, nationally recognized brands may offer. Still, the company does offer online policy management and claim filing.

Additional Perks

Markel may not have the marketing power of larger companies such as Geico or State Farm, but it does offer several perks that most motorcycle insurance providers do not. For starters, Markel has mechanical breakdown coverage for riders, which pays for any repairs your bike needs due to normal wear and tear. Most insurance companies leave this coverage up to extended warranty providers, but Markel offers it as a coverage option, which is handy for anyone driving an older bike.

The diminishing deductible program is another discount feature that makes Markel stand out from the rest. Each year an insured driver goes without an accident, the company offers a 25% reduction on the driver’s deductible until it reaches $0 after four consecutive loss-free years.

Finally, Markel is one of the few motorcycle insurance companies to have an accident forgiveness program. If you end up in an at-fault accident after at least four years with no accidents, Markel will waive its accident surcharge. This is a useful perk for relatively safe drivers who end up in a small wreck.

Best for Cheap Motorcycle Insurance : Safeco


With multiple discount options, Safeco offers great ways to save. The company also includes many free features for which competitors often charge, which makes it a safe bet for cheap motorcycle coverage.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Coverage for OEM parts

  • Discount options

  • 24/7 roadside assistance and claims filing

Cons
  • No option for online quotes

  • Coverage not available in all states

Coverage

Like most other motorcycle insurance providers on this list, Safeco provides all of the basic types of coverage you’d expect or need, including:

  • Property damage and bodily injury liability
  • Passenger liability
  • Collision
  • Uninsured motorist coverage

However, where Safeco stands out is with all of the extra features and add-on options it provides:

  • Roadside assistance
  • OEM parts coverage
  • Safety apparel coverage (Add-on)
  • New Harley-Davidson replacement coverage (Add-on)
Discounts

With several available discounts for motorcyclists, Safeco offers some of the best savings in the industry. Discounts vary by location and policy, but you may be able to save on your premium by stacking some of these discounts:

  • Claims free discount for those who have had 12 months without a claim
  • Experienced-rider discount for those who have been riding the same bike for a while
  • Multi-cycle and multi-policy discounts for those who bundle
Customer Satisfaction

Unlike some insurance companies that don’t really connect with you, Safeco prides itself on the availability of local agents and their attentiveness to your needs, making sure you have the coverage you need anytime you’re out on the road.

Safeco and its parent company, Liberty Mutual, have been awarded A ratings from AM Best. J.D. Power scored Safeco below average in its 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Additionally, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that Safeco receives far more complaints than expected in the market.

Limitations

Safeco isn’t a good choice for those looking for an exclusive online experience. You have to speak with a representative directly to get a quote, and its online resources are fairly limited, even on its smartphone app, available through Apple and Google Play.

Additional Perks

While some see working with a local agent as a drawback, others view it as a perk. With Safeco, you get the best of both worlds: You have a local agent available to you, but you can file claims online and access your policy 24/7 through Safeco’s customer portal and smartphone app.

Aside from some of its special coverage inclusions, such as coverage for OEM parts and your safety apparel, Safeco is a basic company with basic offerings. However, if you’re looking for cheap insurance without bells and whistles, you’ll save lots of money with Safeco.

Best for New Riders : Harley-Davidson


Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson

Who knows motorcycles better than one of the top motorcycle makers in the world? Now you can buy your bike from Harley-Davidson and also obtain insurance coverage directly through your Harley dealership. As the company covers any type of motorcycle and offers some enticing perks, it’s a solid choice for anyone new to motorcycle riding.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Extensive coverage options for all motorcycle brands

  • Outstanding accident forgiveness policy

Cons
  • Coverage not available in all states

  • No other types of insurance policies (car, homeowner, etc)

Coverage

No matter what type or brand of motorcycle you own, Harley-Davidson Insurance is ready and willing to provide you with coverage. They offer a wide selection of coverages from the standard options you'd expect to specialized options. The options include:

  • Property damage liability
  • Bodily injury liability
  • Passenger liability
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Roadside assistance
  • Equipment coverage
  • Vacation rental insurance
  • Bike replacement cost
  • Optional equipment replacement cost
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
  • Medical expense coverage
  • Personal injury protection

Additionally, Harley-Davidson insurance has some special features:

  • Genuine Harley Davidson replacement parts
  • Harley Owner's Group membership discount
  • Harley Davidson Riding Academy, insurance discount for course completion
  • Harley family advantage
  • Accident forgiveness
Discounts

In addition to the lengthy list of provided coverage, Harley-Davidson offers a wide array of discounts for its customers:

  • Motorcycle license endorsement
  • Experienced driver discounts
  • Discounts for Harley Owners Group members
  • Riding academy discount if you completed an approved safety course in the last five years
  • New bike discount
  • Multi-cycle and bundle discounts
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • Claims-free discount for every six months you remain accident-free
  • Customer loyalty discount for every year you remain a Harley-Davidson insurance customer
  • Paid on time discount when you renew your policy after making consistent on-time payments
  • Homeownership discount regardless of your homeowner's insurance company
  • Military and law enforcement
Customer Satisfaction

While Harley-Davidson is known as one of the best motorcycle companies in the world and boasts a dedicated customer base, its motorcycle insurance is underwritten by Sentry Insurance. As a result, it’s difficult to gauge customer satisfaction ratings for Harley-Davidson insurance as an individual provider. Still, Sentry Insurance maintains an A+ rating of financial strength from AM Best.

Limitations

Harley-Davidson doesn’t provide coverage in Alaska, Hawaii, or Washington, D.C. Available coverage and policies also vary from state to state, so it’s best to talk to a representative or obtain an online quote before switching to Harley-Davidson. Finally, the company doesn’t offer a mobile app, so your business must be conducted entirely online, over the phone, or in person, which may turn away tech-savvy clients.

Additional Perks

Overall, Harley-Davidson’s perks make it a good option for new riders. On top of its policies, the company offers extended service plans, theft and appearance protection, planned maintenance, bike loans, and a Visa rewards card that allows you to redeem points on Harley-Davidson gear, all of which come in handy for new riders. 

Harley-Davidson also has an outstanding accident forgiveness policy as a standard part of all of its policies. As long as you maintain Harley-Davidson motorcycle insurance for at least a year, your rates won’t go up after your first accident.

Best for Military Members : USAA


USAA

USAA

USAA offers a wide array of insurance and financial products. What’s more, the company continuously receives high marks from rating services such as J.D. Power. If you are a current or former military member, then look no further than USAA for your motorcycle insurance.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Industry leader in customer service

  • 24/7 claim filing and roadside assistance

  • Several discounts available

Cons
  • Available only to current or former military members and their families

Coverage

USAA offers all of the basic types of coverage for your motorcycle, including:

  • Property damage and bodily injury liability
  • Collision and comprehensive
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Medical payment provisions
  • 24/7 roadside assistance (included with your policy)

While USAA’s motorcycle coverage is pretty bare-bones, the company does cover nearly any type of bike and trike, including:

  • Cruisers
  • Touring motorcycles
  • Sport bikes
  • Scooters/mopeds
  • Dirt bikes
  • ATVs
  • UTV or SXS

Discounts

While USAA may lack some of the added coverage features of other insurance companies, many military members choose it because of the low rates and attractive discounts. The latter include:

  • Save 5% when you purchase from USAA
  • Multi-cycle discount for those who insure multiple bikes through USAA
  • Safety training discount for those who complete an approved motorcycle safety course
  • Good driver discount for every year you remain accident-free
Customer Satisfaction

Ask any USAA member what the best part of their insurance coverage is, and more than likely they will mention the company’s outstanding customer service. USAA received higher ratings than any other insurance provider in J.D. Power’s 2021 Insurance Shopping Study and 2021 Claims Satisfaction Study.

Limitations

USAA insurance is available only to current or former military members and their immediate families. While that’s a major limitation, it allows USAA to deliver a quality product to those who sign up for some of the most dangerous jobs in the world.

Additional Perks

USAA provides several convenient payment methods to its customers. You can pay your policy in full or elect to pay in monthly installments. You can schedule automatic payments as well. Payment methods include checking accounts, savings accounts, mailing a check, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

USAA now offers its customers free mobile tools that allow you to access and manage all of your USAA banking, insurance, and financial products You can also chat with customer service within the app. Insurance customers can file claims and access their card. Banking customers can access mobile wallets, use bill pay service, and send money with Zelle. There also are tools for calculating a loan and to help locate an ATM.

Best for Custom or Vintage Bikes : Foremost


Not all bikes are built the same, and Foremost realizes that. It’s one of the few companies that specifically offers coverage for vintage or special edition motorcycles.

Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Covers bikes 25 years old or older as well as custom bikes with more than $30,000 of customization


  • Multiple discounts offered

  • Coverage for trailers and other equipment

Cons
  • Coverage not available in Hawaii or Massachusetts

  • No online quotes for homemade or kit assembled bikes

Coverage

Vintage or custom bikes aren’t the only types of motorcycles the company insures. Foremost will cover nearly any type of motorcycle or low-speed vehicle. Although Foremost groups its coverage options into packages, the company offers all of the following basic types of coverage:

  • Property damage and bodily injury liability
  • Collision
  • Medical payment provisions
  • Custom parts coverage up to $30,000
  • Personal injury protection
  • Passenger liability
  • Helmet and safety apparel coverage
  • Optional equipment coverage

Additionally, Foremost provides the following coverage add-ons or extras depending on the package you select:

  • Higher limits for equipment
  • Higher limits for medical payment and personal injury protection
  • Trip interruption, towing, and roadside assistance
  • Total loss replacement for up to five years
  • Trailer coverage

Besides the three levels of coverage for standard motorcycles, Foremost is one of the few companies in the industry that offers specialty coverage for specific types of bikes. The Vintage and Vintage Elite plans provide coverage specifically for motorcycles at least 25 years old that have been maintained or restored, and the Custom and Custom Elite plans provide coverage for “limited production, one-of-a-kind motorcycles or bikes with more than $30,000 in optional equipment.”

Discounts

Foremost also offers several discounts, including:

  • Multi-bike discount for insuring multiple motorcycles
  • Multi-policy discount for bundling policies
  • Endorsement discount for those who have met state requirements to have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver's license
Customer Satisfaction

Although the company is a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group, Foremost Insurance holds a stand-alone rating of A from AM Best. Farmers Insurance Group received a solid, above-average score and ranked 5th in J.D. Power’s U.S. 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Limitations

Due to its size and structure, Foremost motorcycle insurance does come with some limitations. Coverage is not available in Hawaii or Massachusetts.

Also, Foremost will not insure high-risk drivers, especially those who have a suspended or restricted license. Foremost also reserves the right to base premiums or deny coverage based on your credit score, meaning that it may not be the best option for those with poor credit.

Additional Perks

While Foremost doesn’t offer many additional perks, the fact that it has an unusually high $30,000 limit for optional equipment and policy options for custom bikes with customization of $30,000 or more makes it a good choice for those who invest lots of time and money in their motorcycles.

Compare the Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Provider Best For
Markel Best Overall Motorcycle Insurance
Safeco Best for Cheap Motorcycle Insurance
Harley-Davidson Best for New Riders
USAA Best for Military Members
Foremost Best for Custom or Vintage Bikes

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is Motorcycle Insurance?

Just as with any other type of insurance coverage, companies use a wide array of factors to determine how much to charge for motorcycle insurance, including age, gender, location, type of bike, average usage, requested coverage, driving history, and credit score. As motorcycles come with specific risks, you should compare policies and always read the fine print before committing to a provider.

Make sure that there are no coverage exclusions or hidden fees based on the type of bike you’re insuring, any custom equipment, and your typical driving time on the bike. Keep in mind that sports bikes or street bikes are the most expensive to insure because they pose the highest risk of accident and theft.

Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance?

The short answer is yes. Standard car insurance coverage does not carry over to your motorcycle. Some insurance companies do offer policyholders the option to add a motorcycle endorsement or rider to their existing policy, but these options do not always provide the best, most thorough coverage.

Also, each state maintains specific insurance requirements for motorcycles. While these usually are fairly basic, you still need to make sure you carry the coverage that’s required before you hit the road.

In most cases, a standalone policy is going to be your best bet to attain all of the needed coverage while also protecting other assets, such as custom parts, passengers, and riding gear. While it may not seem like it when comparing premiums, a standalone policy also could save you money, because these policies take into account the specific risks and coverage needs for motorcycles.

What Are the Different Types of Motorcycle Insurance?

Like car insurance policies, there are many types of motorcycle insurance that you may need or want to add to your policy. These individual types of coverage include:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability, which pays for the other party’s medical care and property damage if you’re found at fault in an auto accident
  • Collision coverage, which pays for damage to your own car regardless of fault
  • Comprehensive coverage, which pays for damage to your car in the event of weather damage or theft
  • Personal injury protection/medical payments, which cover your own medical expenses regardless of fault
  • Uninsured motorist coverage, which pays for your own medical and car repair bills if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver
  • Customized parts coverage, which is for parts you added to your motorcycle after purchasing it, such as sidecars, custom paint, and chrome wheel rims
  • Guaranteed asset protection (GAP) coverage, which pays the gap between what is owed on your car’s lease or loan and its current value if the accident caused a total loss
  • Accessory and riding gear coverage, which helps provide replacement funds for items such as helmets, leather, and other things you may wear or attach to your bike to help protect you while riding

What's a Lay-up Period and How Can It Help Me Save on My Motorcycle Insurance?

Unless you live somewhere with warm weather year-round, chances are you'll store your motorcycle for the winter. Because of this, most motorcycle insurance providers offer what's called lay-up insurance during the winter months.

During this lay-up period, you'll likely save money on your premium but still receive coverage for theft and other damages that could occur in storage. However, always keep in mind that your insurance company won't cover an accident that occurs on the road during the lay-up period, so don't select this option if you plan to ride year-round.

How Can You Get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance?

While you should never skip out on certain types of coverage just to save money, there are smart ways you can save on your motorcycle insurance. These include:

  • Looking for providers that offer lots of discounts
  • Taking a motorcycle safety course
  • Maintaining a clean driving record and good credit score
  • Joining brand-related owner’s groups or cycling clubs
  • Bundling policies such as car, life, and homeowners insurance with your motorcycle coverage
  • Choosing a bike that’s cheaper to insure

How We Chose the Best Motorcycle Insurance

When determining our top motorcycle insurance choices, we studied policies for more than 30 companies to see what each one offered in terms of coverage and discounts. We also evaluated each company based on several categories, including financial strength via AM Best, claims satisfaction ratings based on J.D. Power’s latest Claims Satisfaction Survey, and more. Our analysis is intended to be a useful guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare quotes before committing to a motorcycle insurance provider.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Markel Corporation and its Subsidiaries.”

  2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “Markel Amer Ins Co National Complaint Index.”

  3. AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Financial Strength Ratings of Safeco’s Operating Subsidiaries; Affirms Debt Ratings of Safeco Corporation.”

  4. AM Best. “Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company.”

  5. J.D. Power. “Auto Insurance Claim Satisfaction Rises on Combination of Soaring Vehicle Values and Growth of Straight-Through-Processing Claims Management, J.D. Power Finds.”

  6. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Safeco Ins Co of Amer National Complaint Index Report."

  7. AM Best. “Sentry Insurance Company.”

  8. J.D. Power. “Auto Insurance Shopping Surged During Pandemic in 2020 but Little Brand Differentiation Apparent, J.D. Power Finds.”

  9. AM Best. "A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Foremost Corporation Group and Its Members."