The best motorcycle insurance companies should strike that perfect balance between strong financial ratings, diverse coverage options, and plenty of discounts. Of course, your premium ultimately depends on you, your motorcycle, and your riding habits. That’s why you’ll need to compare quotes from multiple motorcycle insurance companies to find your best price. We’ve compared just over 30 national insurance providers to find the best ones; you can find our top picks below, or use our quote tool to get started.
The 4 Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies
|Our review||Our review|
|Range of coverage||Specialty and vintage bikes||High coverage limits||Impressive discounts|
|Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates|
Best Range of Coverage: Markel American
Widest range of coverage
Mechanical breakdown coverage
Cheapest premiums in our price comparison
Limited customer tools
- Widest range of coverage
- Mechanical breakdown coverage
- Rental reimbursement
- Cheapest premiums in our price comparison
If your motorcycle is your primary (or only) form of transportation, Markel is likely your best bet for comprehensive, reliable insurance. Markel claims to specialize in motorcycle insurance, and that dedication truly shows through in its policy options. Most notably, mechanical breakdown coverage and rental reimbursement could be a massive help to frequent riders and is not available by any of our other top picks.
- Fewer discounts
- Limited customer tools
As a smaller company, Markel lacks some of the convenient tools you’d find with a more prominent provider like Progressive or Nationwide. The company also has a shorter list of discounts than some of our other top picks. However, even without those discounts, our Markel quotes were relatively cheaper than those from the competition.
Best for Specialty or Vintage Bikes: Progressive
Specialty motorcycle coverage
Actual agreed value insurance
Plenty of discounts
Good customer resources
Lacks breakdown coverage
Coverage upgrades are pricey
- Specialty motorcycle coverage
- Actual agreed value insurance
- Plenty of discounts
- Good customer resources
Bikers with vintage, antique, or custom bikes will find a lot to love with Progressive, our top pick that stands out for its specialty bike coverage. Progressive is also one of the only providers we’ve seen that insures bikes for their “actual agreed value” — meaning that your bike is covered at an agreed-upon future price, rather than what it’s worth today.
- Lacks breakdown coverage
- Coverage upgrades are pricey
When we requested quotes, Progressive started as the cheapest provider but quickly became the most expensive as we adjusted coverage to the recommended amounts. Progressive also lacks a few coverage options that could be useful in the event of an accident or breakdown, which could mean extra time, money, and hassle before you get back on the road.
Best for High Coverage Limits: Nationwide
Affordable coverage upgrades
Tolerant of “high-risk” riders
Built-in accessory coverage
No agreed value coverage
- Affordable coverage upgrades
- Tolerant of “high-risk” riders
- Built-in accessory coverage
- Big-company convenience
In our head-to-head quote comparison, Nationwide stood out for making it affordable to bump up your coverage. Nationwide also tends to be friendlier toward “high-risk” bikers than our other top picks. Its website is educational and easy to navigate, it offers both online and app-powered claim filing, and support is available 24/7 if you prefer to report an accident or file a claim over the phone.
- No agreed value coverage
- Fewer discounts
Nationwide does not offer actual agreed value coverage, the add-on that lets you insure your vintage or antique motorcycle at an agreed-upon price, ensuring that coverage keeps pace with its appreciating value. Nationwide has a shorter list of discounts than either Safeco or Progressive. That said, our Nationwide quotes often came back cheaper than Progressive’s, even with the difference in discounts.
Impressive Discounts: Safeco
Long list of discounts
Generous roadside assistance
Not ideal for specialty bikes
No online quote tool
- Long list of discounts
- Generous roadside assistance
- Comprehensive coverage
If you’ve been riding for a long time, we recommend starting your search with a quote from Safeco because it has a reduced price specifically for bikers “with multiple years of riding experience.” We’re also impressed that the company includes OEM (original equipment manufacturer) coverage with all its policies, coverage that makes sure you can maintain the integrity of your bike.
- Not ideal for specialty bikes
- No online quote tool
Safeco has a slightly shorter coverage list than Progressive and Markel, markedly missing actual agreed value coverage. Safeco is our only finalist that won’t give you a motorcycle insurance quote online. While that’s not a markdown on Safeco’s actual policies, we do prefer providers that make comparison shopping a little more convenient.
How We Chose the Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies
We started with 32 nationwide companies offering coverage in every (or almost every) state to be sure that our top providers would be available to just about anyone. For the same reason, we nixed companies with special eligibility requirements like USAA, a top-rated insurer that only sells policies to members of the armed forces and their families.
Strong financial backing
We also set a high bar for financial strength. Every company on our list had to earn an A rating or higher from AM Best (an independent agency that specializes in insurance ratings) as well as either an A from S&P Global or an Aa from Moody’s. These three major agencies judge the financial stability of a provider by measuring current assets against ongoing obligations. Top scores from at least two of them mean that your motorcycle insurance provider will remain solvent and able to pay out claims of any size.
Essential policy options
In most states, you’re legal to ride with only bare-bones liability coverage, which could potentially cost as little at $75 per year. Washington, Florida, Montana, and New Hampshire don’t require any motorcycle insurance. However, the agents and lawyers we spoke with agree that state minimums don’t reflect the reality of costs associated with an accident. They recommend five essential coverage options (with relatively high limits) to make sure you’re truly covered in the event of an accident or theft:
Covers damage caused by a collision with another vehicle. Most common accidents qualify as collisions, so this is the coverage you’ll likely use most.
Covers theft or damage caused by something other than a collision with another car or object. This includes vandalism, natural disasters, and damage caused by animals.
The amount your provider will pay out to the injured party if you’re at-fault in an accident. Experts recommend getting as much as you can afford, but 100/ 300/ 50 is a good starting point. (That’s $100,000 per person injured, up to $300,000 per accident, plus $50,000 in property damage.)
Covers your own repairs and medical bills if the person who hits you is un- or underinsured. As with liability, we suggest getting the highest limits you can — but at least 100/ 300 is highly recommended ($100,000 per person, or up to $300,000 total per accident).
Guide to Motorcycle Insurance
How to build the best policy
Determine the type of motorcycle you have and what you’re using it for
There are many different kinds of motorcycles, including:
- Cruisers: Common models where the rider places their feet forward and hands up high on the bars. This causes the rider to sit with spine erect or slightly leaning back.
- Touring motorcycles: These models are generally “wider” with larger fairings and screens to offer better wind and weather protection during long rides. Seating posture is more relaxed, with most models also featuring panniers or saddlebags.
- Sport bikes: Focused more on speed and acceleration. Riders straddle the motorcycle with higher footpegs to curl the legs up closer to the body to improve ground clearance.
- Sport-touring motorcycles: Combines the comfort and luggage space of a touring motorcycle with the speed and handling of a sport bike.
- Dirt bikes: These off-road motorcycles are light and durable to handle travel over uneven surfaces that are not conventionally paved. Tires are knobby to improve traction.
- Trikes: Also known as motorized tricycles. Similar to a motorcycle, only with three wheels. The handling is also different with many models, featuring housing that encloses the rider almost like a car.
Knowing what kind of motorcycle you’re trying to insure will help you when it comes time to determine coverage, as each of these tend to have their own traits and risks that help insurance providers adjust policies accordingly.
Insuring a dirt bike might be less expensive than covering a brand-new cruiser. Once you know what you’re covering, you can have a better idea of what to expect when gathering quotes.
Buy as much liability insurance as you can afford
While the more liability insurance you add to your policy, the more expensive your premium, poor coverage can really hurt you in the long run. If you hit someone and are underinsured, there’s a chance they may sue you to cover their losses — which could end up costing you your home or other assets. Attorney Chris Johnston suggests starting with at least 100/300 ($100,000 per person injured, up to $300,000 total per accident). However, with the right policy, it costs as little as a few dollars per year to get the most liability coverage your provider offers. That’s a small price for a lot of peace of mind.
Don’t settle for the first company you look at. Every provider has a unique underwriting process, meaning it’ll evaluate your “risk factors” (like age, bike model, and driving history) a little differently and come up with a personalized quote. You won’t know which one can offer you the best premium until you’ve looked at a few. That’s why we always recommend comparing quotes from multiple providers to find the coverage you need at the right price.
Add supplemental coverage
With the right policy, motorcycle insurance can cover anything from repairs for your bike to replacement costs for your favorite leather jacket — you just have to choose a provider that covers what’s important to you. To help you find the right fit, we put together a list of our top picks’ coverage options.
Don’t forget about medical coverage
Our insurance experts highly recommend an insurance policy with medical coverage. Brian Dunmire, motorcycle accident attorney, recommends PIP or medpay in the amount of at least $10,000. He points out that “oftentimes, these coverages can be added to your insurance policy for only a few dollars a month,” and they’ll be a huge help with medical bills.
The type of medical coverage offered with motorcycle insurance varies by state; typically you’re looking at personal injury protection (PIP) or medpay. PIP, or “no fault” insurance, is available in 24 states and required in 17 of them. It covers health insurance deductibles, medical copays, lost wages, and other costs — regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Medpay is similar to PIP but less comprehensive. It works with health insurance to cover deductibles and copays but won’t supplement lost wages, child care, or funeral expenses, like PIP will.
Stack your motorcycle and auto insurance
Upping uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage tends to raise premiums significantly. Attorney Joshua Wagner recommends looking for an insurance policy that allows “stacking” for a more reasonable price. If you insure your car and motorcycle through the same company and have 100/300 UM coverage on both, stacking gives you a $200,000 per person per accident on either vehicle.
Most states will require you to have the minimum liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage when operating a motorcycle on public roads. These limits vary by state and, true to their name, only cover the barest minimum should you prove to be at fault when a pedestrian is injured or you damage another vehicle.
We recommend purchasing more liability insurance — as much as you can afford. Attorney Chris Johnston suggests starting with at least $100,000 per person injured, up to $300,000 total per accident (100/300).
We also recommend adding additional coverage, including comprehensive, which can pay out if your motorcycle is stolen or damaged.
Motorcycle insurance, much like any other form of insurance, is a very personal decision. Your rates and other policy particulars will need to match your own individual needs and situations. Our top picks for the best motorcycle insurance might not necessarily be the best for you and your bike. We can’t stress enough the importance of getting as many quotes as possible.
To help you get started, here are our top picks for the best motorcycle insurance companies currently on the market.
The 4 Best Motorcycle Insurance Providers of 2020:
- Best Range of Coverage: Markel American
- Best for Specialty or Vintage Bikes: Progressive
- Best for High Coverage Limits: Nationwide
- Best for Impressive Discounts: Safeco
Some other popular providers include:
Start with these and go from there. You may even discover a local motorcycle insurance provider that offers the best coverage for your needs.
Premiums are incredibly personal; they depend on your age, the bike you ride, your driving record, and more. That means there isn’t one single “cheapest” or “best” motorcycle insurance provider for everyone. Still, some companies may be friendlier toward certain “risk factors” than others (e.g., better prices for younger riders). To explore price comparisons and learn more about these trends, see our review of the best cheap motorcycle insurance companies.
Motorcycle theft coverage is usually part of the comprehensive coverage on a motorcycle insurance policy. When your motorcycle is stolen, you need to file a motorcycle theft claim with your insurance provider after reporting the theft to the police. From there, you will need to provide your claims adjuster with all the pertinent information to make sure you are properly compensated. This information includes:
- Police report number
- Date, time, and location of theft
- Your motorcycle’s year, make, model, and mileage
- All existing photos and receipts for any custom parts or accessories
You will also need to sign over the title of your motorcycle to the insurance company. If you still owe money to a bank for a loan, you will need to get the bank to sign off.
Once you have done all this, it’s just a waiting game where one of two things will happen first:
- The authorities will recover your motorcycle
- The entire motorcycle theft claims process will finish and you’re compensated
In the event that your motorcycle is recovered, the comprehensive coverage will go toward repair costs. If your motorcycle turns up after you’ve gone through the motorcycle claims process, then it is now the property of the insurance company.
Our experts highly recommend maintaining coverage year-round, even if you live in a northern state and won’t be riding during the winter months. Keeping your policy active ensures that your bike is protected against theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. Plus, as Agency Principal John Espenschied points out, “you never know when you’ll have a nice sunny day and have the urge to go for a ride” — and if anything happens to your bike while your policy’s not active, you’re out of luck.
Some motorcycle insurance providers address the issue of insuring your bike all year-round with lay-up insurance. During the lay-up period, your insurance will continue to cover your motorcycle against theft and any possible damages that can occur while it’s in storage.
Our Other Motorcycle Insurance Reviews
We’ve been looking into motorcycle insurance for a few years now. For a deeper dive into premiums, check out our other review: