Motorcycle Insurance vs Car Insurance

When looking at motorcycle insurance vs car insurance, many factors are considered. States require less overall coverage for motorcycle drivers, making it typically cost less than car insurance at $58/mo on average.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 5, 2020

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Here's what you should know...

  • Just like with cars, every motorcycle insurance is different based on factors like model, location, and your driving record
  • States require less overall coverage for motorcycle drivers, but they still need to meet minimum liability
  • Does motorcycle insurance cost more than car insurance? Typically, the average motorcycle costs less to insure per month than the average vehicle

You’ve always had a sensible car, but you have the discretionary income and desire to purchase a motorcycle and live that “Easy Rider” lifestyle you’ve dreamed of since you were a kid.

After doing your research to discover the right motorcycle for you, you go down to the dealer and purchase this hog and are ready to roll into the sunset. But this is only the beginning.

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Read this article to find out if motorcycle insurance rates are truly as daunting as car insurance rates. There are many similarities between the two types of insurance covers. However, the nature of motorcycles makes certain types of coverage more essential than others. Finally, this article address the cost differences between the two.

Similarities of Car Insurance and Motorcycle Insurance


When you purchase a motorcycle there are still many of the same factors the insurance company goes over to figure out how much it will cost you to insure your bike.

  • Type of bike you are driving
  • Cost of the bike
  • Where you live
  • The people riding your bike
  • The amount of time you plan on riding your bike
  • The type of coverage you are looking to purchase

Certain vehicles cost more to insure than others. As with a car, the more moderate the vehicle the less your insurance premiums will be. For instance, it will generally cost more to insure a sports car than a minivan. You’ll find the same thing when looking to insure a motorcycle.

So, buying the sleek shiny new ride will cost you a bit more to insure than the moderate and no-frills bike. Motorcycles have many different types of engines. The more powerful the engine you are riding on, the higher your insurance premiums are going to be.

Also, the amount you are paying for any type of vehicle will alter your insurance premiums.

Think of it logically, the more the insurance provider might have to pay out in the result of your bike being stolen or wrecked, and the higher your policy will be for you.

Again, as with a car, if you live in a heavily crime-infested area, then no matter what you buy (car or cycle) it will cost you more than if you lived in a community where crime and theft were on a downward slope. In that same regard, if you have a motorcycle model that has a higher propensity to get stolen than another model, then this will raise your rates as well.

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Who Rides the Motorcycle Affect Insurance Rates

Will you be the only one riding this vehicle, or will others be driving it as well? As with a car, you will need to have enough insurance coverage for all of those who ride the bike and would-be passengers.

Are you going to be a weekend warrior with this new two-wheeled terror, or use it on a daily basis as your main source of transportation? As with cars, the insurance company wants to know how often you plan on riding this machine. If you are truly using it just for your monthly motorcycle get together with your friends, then this will lower your rates immensely.

On the other hand, if this is taking the place of your car then, of course, this will affect your rates as well. Basically, like with nearly any vehicle, the more you are on it or are driving it, the higher your rates are going to be.

And while most states require you to hold some sort of liability insurance for your motorcycle, each state differs on the amount of other coverage you need to carry for a motorcycle.

As with any vehicle, the more insurance your purchase, the higher your rates will be. You, of course, need to figure out what coverage gives you peace of mind as well as fits into your financial budget.

Liability and Medical Coverage for Motorcycle Insurance


Although states require less overall insurance coverage for drivers of motorcycles, many require a higher amount of liability and hospitalization coverage in whatever insurance plan you end up purchasing.

Why does a motorcyclist need more coverage in these areas than one who drives a car? For the simple reason that you are much more likely to be injured if you are in an accident while riding a motorcycle. It is wise to purchase a higher level of liability and hospitalization insurance.

Motorcycle Insurance Rates

How much should motorcycle insurance cost? In regards to rates, motorcycle insurance premiums can be as little as hundreds of dollars a year to thousands of dollars a year. Typically, the average motorcycle insurance rate is less than the average monthly car insurance rate.

Moreover, depending on your current car insurance policy, you may be able to add your motorcycle to the policy – but that is not necessarily the case with all providers.

In the end, do your due diligence in finding out the best motorcycle insurance to fit your personal needs, as well as the insurance laws in your state regarding motorcycle coverage. Enjoy your ride!

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