If you’ve never had a motorcycle insurance policy before, you may be surprised to realize that even “cheap” motorcycle insurance can cost a lot more than your typical automobile insurance. It’s simply much riskier to drive a motorcycle. However, this isn’t to say that it isn’t possible to find cheap motorcycle insurance if you’re willing to do a little research and learn what insurance companies like to see before they bring down insurance prices.
Factors that Affect Your Motorcycle Insurance Rate
Just like with automobile insurance, your motorcycle insurance premium considers a variety of factors, including:
Newer, more expensive motorcycles will mean higher premiums.
Your Age and Experience
Typically, older people pay less for vehicle insurance than younger people. For motorcycles, experience plays an additional role: A younger person with more experience driving motorcycles can expect to pay a lower premium than an older person who just got their first bike.
Where you keep your motorcycle plays a role in your insurance premium. If you live in an area with a lot of crime or vehicle accidents, then you will need to pay more for insurance.
A driving history with fewer traffic tickets and at-fault accidents results in a lower premium. Generally, the insurance company considers your entire driving history, not just your motorcycle driving history.
Motorcycle Club Membership
Many motorcycle insurance companies provide discounts to members of particular motorcycle clubs or associations.
How Often You Use Your Motorcycle
If you plan to drive your bike every day, you can expect to pay a higher premium than if you just want to take it out on weekends.
Keep in mind that intentionally misleading the insurance company — for example, providing an address that’s different from where you normally live and keep your motorcycle — is fraud. If the insurance company finds out that you knowingly gave them incorrect information, they may drop your coverage. In the worst case, they may even refuse to process a claim if you’re involved in an accident!
How to Lower Your Motorcycle Insurance Premium
Whether you’re shopping for a new policy or trying to trim costs with your existing motorcycle insurer, there are plenty of ways to lower your premium.
Take a Safety Course
Have a Clean Driving Record
If your driving record shows that you haven’t had any at-fault accidents or traffic violations in the last few years, then you’re likely to get a discount for “good behavior.”
If you’re not sure what’s on your driving record, you can find out by contacting your state DMV.
Secure Your Bike
Motorcycles are much easier to steal than cars, so it’s no wonder why keeping your bike secure is such a big deal. If you keep your motorcycle in your garage at night instead of parked outside, chances are that your insurance company will be willing to offer a discount on your premium. Also, each motorcycle insurance company has its particular list of approved security systems. If you have one installed or if you’re willing to get one installed, you can look forward to even more insurance savings.
Ask About Lay-Up Periods
If you only use your motorcycle for part of the year, your insurer can likely offer lay-up insurance. For a reduced rate, the insurer will cover theft and damage to your motorcycle while it’s in storage. Once you’re back on the road, simply let your insurer know so that you can receive full coverage again.
Most insurance companies charge more when they see that you’ve had gaps in your motorcycle insurance coverage, even if it was because you weren’t using your bike. The longer you stay insured with no gaps, the lower your premium will be. Note that maintaining lay-up period insurance won’t count as a gap in your coverage.
Become a New Customer
Occasionally, insurance companies offer special discounts to customers switching from another insurance company. Just don’t expect to get the same discount when you renew your policy!
Be a Repeat Customer
Most insurance companies offer discounts to customers who have multiple policies with them, especially auto or homeowners insurance. In many cases, having a policy within the same household counts, so your spouse or partner’s policy can still get you a discount and cheaper motorcycle insurance.
Increase Your Deductible
For collision and comprehensive motorcycle insurance, you usually have some flexibility in setting your policy’s terms. If you’re looking to save some money on your premium, you should consider increasing your policy’s deductibility. If your motorcycle is damaged, the deductible is the amount of money you agree to pay before the insurance company starts covering the costs. A higher deductible means that you’re covering a larger share of the costs in case of an accident or theft. That’s why the insurer is willing to charge a lower premium when you increase the deductible.
The downside is that if there is an accident or theft, you’ll be faced with a higher surprise bill. So always make sure that the deductible is an amount you’re comfortable paying at a moment’s notice to repair your motorcycle.
Decrease Your Policy Limit
Another option for collision and comprehensive motorcycle insurance is to decrease the policy limit. The policy limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay if your motorcycle is damaged. Since the insurance company is on the hook for less money, a lower policy limit means a lower premium.
If the value of your motorcycle is well below the policy limit, then it makes a lot of sense to lower the limit. You might consider further lowering the policy limit if you’re comfortable doing that. The downside is that you’ll get less money from the motorcycle insurance company if your motorcycle is damaged or stolen.
Pay Your Premium Up Front or Pay Online
It’s usually cheaper to pay the entire premium in advance. If you can’t afford to do that, then opt for the payment plan with as few payments as you can manage — plans with more installments usually have more added fees.
In addition, many insurance companies will offer a small discount if you choose to pay online or sign up for automatic payments by credit card or bank transfer. If you do sign up for automatic payments, just don’t forget to set a future reminder to yourself to make sure that there’s enough money to cover the payment.
Even if your first motorcycle insurance quote looks like a great deal, it’s still a good idea to shop around and get at least two or three additional quotes just to make sure you’re making your decision based on enough information.
As you request and compare different motorcycle insurance quotes, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:
If you’ve been involved in any at-fault accidents or traffic violations recently, then you should share this with the car insurance company so they can give you the most accurate quote.
Remember that policy limits and deductibles affect the motorcycle insurance premium. That’s why you should make sure that you’re comparing “apples to apples” and that all the policy limits and deductibles are the same. If they’re not, contact the insurance company and ask for a revised quote with the deductible and policy limit you’re looking for.
Just because the coverage is available doesn’t mean that it makes sense for you to pay for it. Beyond the legally required minimum liability coverage, the purpose of insurance is to help pay for expenses that you couldn’t pay yourself in an emergency. For example, if you know that you could get around in your automobile if your motorcycle needs to spend some time in the shop for repairs, then it doesn’t make sense to purchase courtesy bike coverage (a rental bike for you to drive until your own bike is ready).
You might feel like motorcycle insurance is supposed to be expensive. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal! You’d be surprised how quickly people find motorcycle insurance that’s cheaper than what they’re already paying. All it takes is a few minutes to get a quick online quote, though speaking directly to an expert online or in-person is always an option too.