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ByMaggie Overholt Contributor

Maggie is a former senior content strategist at Reviews. She’s covered everything from smart hubs and stand mixers to home insurance and mortgages.

The Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies

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.

Why Trust This Review?

Since 2013, Reviews.com has helped millions of people find the best of the best when it comes to all sorts of products and services, including motorcycle insurance. We considered 30 of the best motorcycle insurance companies in the nation, consulted with experts, and updated this review regularly in order to bring you the most current information. The author of this review does not own stock in any of the companies reviewed or in any other motorcycle insurance provider.

The 4 Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies

The Best Motorcycle Insurance Companies: Summed Up

  Markel American Progressive Nationwide Safeco
Our review Our review
Best for
Range of coverage Specialty and vintage bikes High coverage limits Impressive discounts
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A A+ A+ A
24/7 claim support
Online claim filing
Compare rates Compare rates Compare rates Compare rates

Best Range of Coverage: Markel American


Best Range of Coverage
Markel American

Markel American

Pros
Widest range of coverage
Mechanical breakdown coverage
Rental reimbursement
Cheapest premiums in our price comparison
Cons
Fewer discounts
Limited customer tools

Why we chose it

Widest range of coverage

Markel claims to specialize in motorcycle insurance, and that dedication truly shows through in its policy options. It touches all the important bases, of course, including liability, un/underinsured motorist, collision, comprehensive, and medpay. Beyond that, it also has some standout selections that really cater to the everyday rider. Most notably, mechanical breakdown coverage and rental reimbursement could be a huge help to frequent riders and aren’t offered by any of our other top picks. If your bike is your main (or only) form of transportation, Markel is likely your best bet for comprehensive, reliable insurance.

Mechanical breakdown coverage

Markel is the only provider we’ve seen that offers mechanical breakdown coverage, a useful addition that can help replace or repair the electronic components on your bike. Adding this protection will cost you a small additional fee, of course. However, it may reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by a large proportion should part of your bike break down or give out from normal wear and tear.

Rental reimbursement

Markel is also our only finalist that will cover the cost of a rental car while your bike is under repairs. This is especially important for people who use their motorcycle as a means of daily transportation. Should your bike be in the shop for an extended period of time, those rental costs can take a heavy toll on your wallet. If you don’t have a second vehicle, Markel’s rental coverage will be a big help until you get your motorcycle back.

Cheapest premiums in our price comparison

When we reviewed the best cheap motorcycle insurance companies, we did an apples-to-apples quote comparison for a variety of profiles: an older driver versus a younger one, a sportbike versus a cruiser, a clean driving record versus one with a few infractions. Markel came back with some of the cheapest premiums in almost every scenario.

Even so, any discussion of price should be taken with a grain of salt. Premiums depend on you, your bike, and your driving record. Cost also varies by company — you’ll have to request multiple quotes to find your best price. That said, Markel is a safe bet for anyone looking for great affordable motorcycle insurance.

Points to consider

Fewer discounts

Markel has a shorter list of discounts than some of our other top picks. Most notably, it won’t lower your premium for belonging to a motorcycle association, being a homeowner, or paying your premium in full at the start of your policy, options that most other companies provide.

Even without those discounts, our Markel quotes were relatively cheaper than those from the competition. But if yours looks a little high, you may have more luck with one of our top picks with more discounts.

Limited customer tools

As a smaller company, Markel lacks some of the convenient tools you’d find with a bigger provider like Progressive or Nationwide. For instance, it doesn’t offer an app for easy, real-time claim filing. You’ll have to call an agent directly or go through Markel’s website — which is much less streamlined and user-friendly than the sites of our other top picks.

Best for Specialty or Vintage Bikes: Progressive

Best for
Specialty and Vintage Bikes
Progressive

Progressive

Pros
Specialty motorcycle coverage
Actual agreed value insurance
Plenty of discounts
Good customer resources
Cons
Lacks breakdown coverage
Coverage upgrades are pricey

Why we chose it

Specialty motorcycle coverage

Progressive falls just short of Markel for coverage volume. But where Markel does an excellent job covering daily riders, Progressive really stands out for its specialty bike coverage, earning it a spot among our best motorcycle insurance providers. Bikers with vintage, antique, or custom bikes will find a lot to love with this company.

For example, you might elect to add OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts coverage to your policy. This guarantees that any part replaced on the bike will come from its original maker — so your Harley stays a Harley, or your Suzuki a Suzuki.

Progressive policies also come with generous custom parts and accessories coverage: up to $3,000 included when you purchase comprehensive and collision. Most companies start at $1,000 included and will charge you extra to up that limit.

Actual agreed value insurance

Progressive is 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. This is critical for vintage or antique bikes that grow more valuable over time. It helps ensure that, in the event of an accident or theft, you’re reimbursed for what your bike would truly cost to repair or replace.

Plenty of discounts

In addition to its robust coverage, Progressive offers a long list of discounts for qualified riders. The company will discount your premium for belonging to a motorcycle association, maintaining a safe driving record, bundling multiple kinds of insurance, and more. It also gives price cuts for homeowners (Markel doesn’t) and buyers who switch over from another company (unlike Safeco and Nationwide). Such a long list means that just about anyone will be able to save some money on their Progressive policy.

Good customer resources

As one of the largest auto insurance companies in the U.S., Progressive has the means to provide excellent resources for its customers. Among these are a 24/7 support center, a slick, informative website, and a helpful knowledge base that navigates some of the subtler insurance questions (What actually impacts your premium? Does “full coverage” exist? What if someone hits your parked vehicle?). To top it off, Progressive has a comprehensive mobile app that allows customers to easily view coverage and file claims. Smaller companies like Markel don’t offer the same level of convenience.

Points to consider

Lacks breakdown coverage

Progressive lacks a few coverage options that could be useful in the event of an accident or breakdown. For example, it doesn’t cover towing or rental reimbursement — meaning if you get in an accident, the cost to move your bike and rent alternate transportation will come out of pocket. It also doesn’t offer mechanical breakdown coverage, which would otherwise foot some of the bill to repair your bike’s electronics.

These omissions could mean extra time, money, and hassle before you get back on the road. If you ride every day and need a quicker, more affordable turnaround on repairs, start with a company like Markel.

Coverage upgrades are pricey

Progressive claims to insure motorcycles starting at a stunningly low $75 per year, but don’t expect to pay so little. That $75 quote is (of course) dependent on the underwriting process, and it represents the bare minimum liability insurance you could possibly purchase. To truly be protected, you’ll need to round out your policy with higher liability limits, un/underinsured motorist coverage, medpay, etc. — and your Progressive quote will likely shoot upward as you begin adding these extra protections.

When we requested quotes, Progressive started out as the cheapest provider but quickly became the most expensive as we adjusted coverage to the recommended amounts. That’s not to say Progressive will always be the most expensive; remember, quotes are personal. Still, it’s worth comparing your Progressive quote with estimates from a few other providers to make sure you’re getting the coverage you need at the right price.

Read our full Progressive review.

Best for High Coverage Limits: Nationwide

Best for
High Coverage Limits
Nationwide

Nationwide

Pros
Affordable coverage upgrades
Tolerant of "high-risk" riders
Built-in accessory coverage
Big-company convenience
Cons
No agreed value coverage
Fewer discounts

Why we chose it

Affordable coverage upgrades

In our head-to-head quote comparison, Nationwide stood out for making it affordable to bump up your coverage. That means you could potentially upgrade from a medium-sized policy to a maximum one (say, $500,000 liability and un/underinsured motorist limits) for just a few dollars per month. By comparison, Progressive’s price skyrocketed to nearly double when we went for its highest limits. This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule; quotes are always dependent on your personal details. Even so, Nationwide is likely to be a good choice if you’re looking for a large policy with a reasonable price tag.

Tolerant of 'high-risk' riders

Nationwide also tends to be friendlier toward "high-risk" bikers than our other top picks. It offered the lowest premiums for our sample profiles that included younger bikers (20 years old, as opposed to 35 or 50) and pricier, faster bikes (we looked at a Suzuki sportbike against lower-priced Harleys and Hondas). According to the insurance experts we spoke to, these are typically the most expensive categories to insure. If you fall into that "high-risk" sector, we recommend starting your search with Nationwide.

Built-in accessory coverage

Nationwide has the best built-in accessory coverage of any of our top picks. Every policy comes with $2,000 insurance for your personal belongings, from safety equipment to luggage. By comparison, most providers only cover around $1,000 worth of optional equipment. If you’ve invested a lot in motorcycle accessories or if you travel with valuables often (say, commuting to work with a laptop), then this extra padding is an important safeguard.

Big-company convenience

Like Progressive, Nationwide comes with all the convenience that a major company can offer. 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. These little things can help smooth the process (and reduce your headache) should you end up needing to access you insurance.

Points to consider

No agreed value coverage

Nationwide does not offer actual agreed value coverage — one of the options that we love from both Markel and Progressive. This add-on lets you insure your vintage or antique motorcycle at an agreed-upon price, ensuring that coverage keeps pace with its appreciating value. If your bike is growing pricier, we recommend choosing an insurer that makes this option available.

Fewer discounts than competitors

Nationwide has a shorter list of discounts than either Safeco or Progressive. For one, it’s our only top pick that doesn’t expressly offer a discount for maintaining a "no at-fault accidents" driving record. Nationwide won’t lower your premium for being a "mature rider," renewing your policy, or transferring over from another company, either. That said, our Nationwide quotes often came back cheaper than Progressive’s, even with the difference in discounts. Your own premium will depend on your bike, riding habits and the level of coverage you choose — so make sure to compare quotes to see if Nationwide is right for you.

Read our full Nationwide review.

Impressive Discounts: Safeco

Best for
Impressive Discounts
Safeco

Safeco

Pros
Long list of discounts
Generous roadside assistance
Comprehensive coverage
Cons
Not ideal for specialty bikes
No online quote tool

Why we chose it

Long list of discounts

Safeco gives customers ample discount opportunities, meaning most everyone will be able to save on their policy. Only Progressive matches this company for number of discounts offered, but Safeco has one option we love over Progressive: a mature rider discount. In fact, Safeco is the only one of our top picks that has a reduced price specifically for bikers “with multiple years of riding experience.” If you’ve been riding for a long time, we definitely recommend starting your search with a quote from Safeco.

Generous roadside assistance

All of our top picks offer roadside assistance as an add-on for their motorcycle policies; only Safeco sells it as a bundle. When you purchase roadside assistance from this company, it also comes with trip interruption and towing coverage automatically built in. That means you’ll be fully taken care of in the event of an accident or breakdown.

Comprehensive coverage

Along with the five core coverages we looked for, Safeco has some great add-ons in motorcycle-specific areas. We’re impressed that the company includes OEM (original equipment manufacturer) coverage with all its policies. This ensures that, should you need a part replaced, you’ll be covered for the cost of authentic manufacturer parts, thus maintaining the integrity of your bike. Safeco policies also come with $1,000 of coverage for safety apparel at no additional cost, making sure you stay protected as well as your bike.

Points to consider

Not ideal for specialty bikes

Safeco has a slightly shorter coverage list than Progressive and Markel. The one place where you can really feel the difference is its specialty motorcycle coverage (or lack thereof). Like Nationwide, Safeco doesn’t offer actual agreed value coverage — meaning it’s not the best choice for vintage or antique motorcycles that are only increasing in value over time.

No online quote tool

Safeco is our only finalist that won’t give you a motorcycle insurance quote online. To compare its prices with our other top picks, you’ll have to call the company and request a personalized quote from an agent. While that’s not a mark down on Safeco’s actual policies, we do prefer providers that make comparison shopping a little more convenient. An online quote process makes it much easier to weigh your options before buying.

Guide to Motorcycle Insurance

How to build the best motorcycle insurance 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.

Compare quotes

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.

Markel American
Progressive
Nationwide
Safeco
Custom parts and equipment
Roadside assistance
Trip Interruption
Guest passenger liability
Accessory, safety gear, and equipment
Total loss coverage
Trike coverage
Vintage/ antique bike
Agreed value
OEM parts
Transport trailer
Rental reimbursement
Mechanical breakdown
Enhanced medical
Accident forgiveness
Towing
Motorcycle insurance coverage explained
  • Custom Motorcycle/Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage: Covers repair and replacements for any parts on your bike that weren’t installed by the original manufacturer.
  • Roadside Assistance: The provider will cover the cost of common roadside assistance services as a part of you insurance plan.
  • Trip Interruption Coverage: Covers up to a set amount for food, lodging, and alternate transportation if your bike breaks down mid-trip.
  • Guest Passenger Liability: Protection for any passengers on your motorcycle; includes bodily injury and property damages.
  • Accessory, Safety Gear, and Optional Equipment Coverage: Covers the replacement of safety apparel and other optional accessories in the event that they’re damaged or ruined in an accident.
  • Total Loss Coverage: Pays for a new bike in the event that the cost to repair yours is greater than its total cash value.
  • Trike Coverage: Insurance specific to repairing or replacing a three-wheeled motorcycle.
  • Vintage/Antique Coverage: Coverage for a vintage or antique bike.
  • Agreed Value Coverage: In the event of an accident or theft, you’ll be reimbursed for what your bike would truly cost to repair or replace.
  • OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Parts Coverage: OEM coverage ensures that any parts repaired or replaced on your bike will be done so with components from the original manufacturer. In other words, if your Harley’s engine dies, it’ll be replaced with another Harley engine.
  • Transport Trailer: Covers repairs and replacement of a trailer specifically designed for towing your motorcycle.
  • Rental Reimbursement: The provider will cover a portion of rental costs in the event that your bike is inoperable for a period of time and you require alternate transportation.
  • Mechanical Breakdown Coverage: Covers repair and replacement of any mechanical components of your motorcycle if they weren’t damaged in an accident.
  • Enhanced Medical Coverage: Pays out a stipend every week for up to two years in the event that you’re injured and unable to work after an accident.
  • Accident Forgiveness: Accidents that cost the provider up to a certain amount will not affect the cost of your premium.
  • Towing: The provider will cover towing costs.

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.

Motorcycle Insurance FAQ

What are the coverage requirements for motorcycle insurance?

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.

What are the best motorcycle insurance providers?

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 2019:

  1. Best Range of Coverage: Markel American
  2. Best for Specialty or Vintage Bikes: Progressive
  3. Best for High Coverage Limits: Nationwide
  4. 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.

What's the cheapest motorcycle insurance?

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.

What can I do oif my motorcycle is stolen?

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.

Can I save money by canceling my motorcycle insurance for the season?

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:

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