Young riders with sport bikes pay the most.
You probably don’t need us to tell you this, but our quotes confirm that young riders pay significantly more to insure a lighter, faster supersport than a heavier cruiser — in some cases double. But not every provider ranks that risk the same. Progressive’s rate hikes for supersports were significantly less than our other finalists’ — about 6 percent more for basic coverage and 38 percent more for enhanced, as opposed to Nationwide markups of roughly 3 and 77 percent, and the enormous markups from Markel of 81 and 106 percent. In general, young riders on fast bikes can expect their premiums to be on the high side, but Progressive seems to offer better value than most for quality coverage.
Insurance minimums vary by state.
It seems crazy, but five states — Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, and Washington — don’t require any motorcycle insurance at all, and several others with no-fault auto insurance laws exempt motorcyclists from the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage that’s required of other drivers (and pays medical bills after an accident). The most common type of required insurance is liability, with state minimums written in triple-slash format (e.g., 20/40/10). The first two numbers refer to bodily injury liability limits and the third number to property damage liability. For example, 20/40/10 means a limit of $20,000 for one individual and coverage for up to $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident — and $10,000 coverage for property damage. You can check your state’s minimum liability limits here.
Uninsured motorist coverage is even more important in states with low insurance minimums.
If your state doesn’t require motorcycle insurance of any kind, it’s technically your choice whether or not to buy it. But in states that require only a small amount of auto liability insurance, there’s a higher chance that if you get in an accident where you’re not at fault, the other driver’s policy won’t be able to cover the damages. In situations like these, your own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage could be the only thing standing between you and a hard financial hit.
There are lots of ways to lower your premium.
You can’t control everything in your insurance profile, but there’s still plenty you can. As our quotes show, sport bikes like the Honda CBR650 are more expensive to insure than cruisers like the Harley Softail, even though the Harley itself costs almost twice as much. In general, bikes with engines under 600cc are cheaper to insure, as are older bikes. Your credit score and commitment to road safety (in the form of a clean driving record and safety course completion) also weigh in, so it pays to tighten up your profile in those areas.