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A Beginner’s Guide to Motorcycle Insurance

Motorcycle insurance and car insurance aren’t apples to apples.

With summer just around the corner, motorcyclists across the country are eager to get on their bikes and ride. But before you hit the pavement, it’s important to have insurance coverage in place that will cover you in case of anything unexpected. Whether you live in a state requiring motorcycle insurance or not, it is best practice to have a motorcycle policy that protects your financial well-being and that keeps you in compliance when riding across state lines.

Similar to car insurance, motorcycle insurance features various coverage types and degrees of protection. The cost of motorcycle insurance varies depending on the type of bike you own, your driving history and the insurance policy you select or customize.


Motorcycle insurance includes some of the basic coverage categories as car insurance such as:

  • Liability insurance: Covers you if you are held liable for damaging property or a person while on your bike.
  • Personal injury protection: Covers things like medical expenses, lost wages and related damages that occur to yourself or anyone riding with you. (If you’re a new motorcycle owner and you’re worried about wiping out, personal injury protection coverage would be good coverage to increase.)
  • Comprehensive insurance: Covers damage to your motorcycle that’s not caused while riding it. This insurance may protect you against a hit-and-run, vandalism, theft or fire.
  • Collision insurance: No matter who is at fault, if you have collision insurance you are covered against damage caused from another vehicle or object.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: If you’re in an accident caused by a driver or motorcyclist who does not have insurance, or whose insurance won’t cover the full cost of repairing or replacing your damaged bike, uninsured motorist coverage will cover you.

Motorcycle insurance and car insurance aren’t, however, apples to apples. Here are a few coverages unique to motorcycle insurance:

  • Guest passenger liability insurance: Depending on your policy, personal injury protection may not protect passengers. Guest passenger liability insurance, however, will ensure medical expenses are covered for passengers injured on your motorcycle.
  • Accessories or added equipment coverage: If your bike has add-ons or accessories like sidecars, custom exhaust equipment, radios and helmets, this coverage will help cover the expense of damaged accessories or added equipment. 
  • Personal item coverage: You can also customize your policy to cover theft or damage to personal items or gear that you’re carrying on your bike, like camping gear or a laptop.


Be sure to talk with your insurance agent about what policy is best for you and your bike. A Motocross rider is going to have a different policy than a diehard Sturgis fan or a new motorcycle owner looking to cruise on single-lane highways or ride across town. See you on the road this summer!


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This content is for informational purposes only.  Consult your actual insurance policy for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, and exclusions.

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