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January 1, 2020
Find Motorcycle Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Compare companies & get the best coverage
Find Motorcycle Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Compare companies & get the best coverage
The best motorcycle insurance will keep you financially protected from whatever curveballs the road throws at you, whether it’s damage from lawsuits, bike theft, or paying medical bills so you’re fit to ride again.
There are plenty of companies out there offering motorcycle insurance. All of them are happy to take your money, but some are better than others. That’s why it’s very important to shop around. Companies can vary in their financial strength and ability to pay out for claims. Some companies provide different types of discounts and benefits that can offer you more protection for less money.
Read on to get a feel for the best motorcycle insurance companies for most people, but each individual need is unique. Use the comparison tool provided to get multiple quotes quickly, and decide on the best option for you.
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We looked through the top motorcycle insurance companies out there. We assessed companies according to their financial strength, customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction ratings, discounts, and the things that make each company unique. Motorcycle insurance often isn’t cheap, after all, so you want to make sure you go with the best. Here are this year’s ratings.
What are the best motorcycle insurance companies?
- Harley Davidson
Progressive has made a name for itself as one of the largest insurers of motorcycle riders in the U.S. In fact, the company claims to insure one out of every three riders. There are a lot of good reasons why Progressive has climbed to the top of the pack, starting with the things it offers standard on all policies.
All policies come with full replacement cost coverage with no depreciation. That means if your bike is totaled, Progressive won’t just offer you whatever your bike was worth before the accident. Instead, it’ll go one step further and give you the cash needed to purchase a new bike of the same model.
Progressive also guarantees that it’ll pay for OEM parts when getting your bike fixed after an accident. If you purchase collision and comprehensive insurance the company will also give you $3,000’ worth of coverage automatically for custom equipment and accessories such as riding gear, and you can purchase more coverage if you need. These are generally options that other companies charge for, but Progressive offers it as a regular part of its coverage.
Progressive has a solid financial footing as well, having been ranked as an A+ company by A.M. Best. It also offers plenty of ways to save on your premium with 10 different discounts for things such as paying your bill in full, completing safety courses, and being a member of the Harley Owners Group. You can also manage your account and file a claim wherever you are with Progressive’s mobile app, which can be especially handy if you take a lot of extended road trips.
Dairyland is owned by Sentry, a slightly more well-known insurance company. Don’t let this small company fool you, though: it still offers great motorcycle insurance policies. This company has a solid A.M. Best financial rating of A+, which means you can count on it to pay up when you need it.
You can choose from all of the standard motorcycle insurance coverage options with Dairyland, such as liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance. The company also offers a wide range of other optional coverages, such as roadside assistance, OEM part guarantee for repairs, and guest passenger coverage.
Dairyland has six different discounts available. If you’re a homeowner, a member of a riding club, or are renewing your Dairyland insurance policy, you may qualify for cheaper rates.
No one knows motorcycles better than the company that makes some of the best ones — Harley-Davidson itself. That’s why Harley-Davidson’s own insurance company made our short list of picks. You don’t necessarily need to own a Harley-Davidson specifically to qualify for insurance coverage. This company will insure most any motorcycle, whether it’s an Indian, a Honda, a Suzuki, or another type.
Harley-Davidson’s financial strength hasn’t been rated by A.M. Best. However, judging by the popularity of these motorcycles, there’s a good chance the company won’t be going under anytime soon.
One of the best things about Harley-Davidson’s motorcycle insurance is that the company offers more discounts than any other insurer we reviewed. The company offers 12 different discounts for a wide range of things including completing Harley-Davidson’s Riding Academy, installing anti-theft devices on your bike, or renewing your policy without any claims in the previous period. It’s the only company that rewards your riding experience with a discount commensurate with the number of years you’ve been riding.
Harley-Davidson also offers accident forgiveness standard on all of its policies. If your policy has been in place for at least a year, your rates won’t go up after your first accident. It also offers a wide range of optional coverage types, including the only policy we’ve seen specifically for covering bike rentals while you’re on vacation.
There are two distinct disadvantages to Harley-Davidson insurance. It’s not available to riders in Alaska, Hawaii, or Washington D.C. The company also doesn’t offer a mobile app, so your business must be conducted entirely online, over the phone, or in person.
Markel is another strong choice because this company offers specialized insurance products, not just cookie-cutter policies that other insurers dole out. This company has an A.M. Best rating of A, which isn’t bad but it’s not the best either.
You can still get the standard motorcycle coverage options from Markel, such as liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. A few things make the company stick out from the others, however. It’s the only insurer we reviewed to offer a “diminishing deductible” policy, where your deductible will decrease by 25% for each year you go without an accident. After four years of being accident-free, you won’t have to pay any deductible at all if you need to file a claim.
Markel is also one of the few companies to offer an accident forgiveness plan. If you go more than four years without getting an accident and suddenly need to file a claim, the company won’t raise your rate.
The only downside of Markel is that it doesn’t offer a mobile app. If you’re the type of person who values being able to conduct your insurance business on the open road, this may be one company to avoid.
Allstate is another good option for motorcycle coverage. Nothing in particular sticks out as especially good with Allstate, but it’s a solid option all-around. It also features an A.M. Best rating of A+, and received a slightly below-average rating on claims satisfaction from J.D. Power.
Allstate features all of the optional policy coverages you might expect, including coverage for trailers, rental reimbursement, and new bike replacement cost if you total your current bike. It does not offer a separate policy for guest riders, however.
All policies come standard with $1,000’ worth of coverage for custom equipment, with the option to purchase more. If you own a Harley-Davidson, a touring bike, or a touring sport bike, you’ll also get complimentary towing coverage if you happen to break down somewhere.
How to Choose the Best Motorcycle Insurance
The biggest thing to consider when choosing the best motorcycle insurance is what coverage you need. Everyone’s risk is different, and so you need to choose what type of insurance you need to match your own risks. Here are some things to think about:
- Do you ever carry passengers?
- Is your bike a target for thieves?
- Are OEM parts important to you?
- Do you travel far from home frequently?
- How good is your personal health insurance policy?
- Do you live in a state with many uninsured motorists?
- Does your life insurance policy cover you if you die in an accident?
- How much are your custom additions, such as sidecars or riding gear, worth?
Next, make a list of motorcycle insurance companies that offer the coverage you need. You can pretty much count on all motorcycle insurance companies offering the following types of insurance coverage:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist
- Medical payments or personal injury protection
Go to each of the companies on your list and ask for a quote. From there you can compare each company based on its cost, what features it offers, its reputation, and your overall feel of the company. This gives you a full picture of each potential company, so you can select the best motorcycle insurance for your individual situation.
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Breakdown of Motorcycle Insurance Types
It’s important to understand the different types of insurance so that you can pick the best motorcycle insurance coverage options for you.
Depending on which state you live in, you’ll need to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance. Generally, the minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance are the same as for auto insurance.
Liability insurance only covers other people that you injure, or other people’s property that you damage. It does nothing to protect you, besides providing a payout for the damage you may cause in an accident.
Liability coverage is generally expressed as a series of three numbers, such as 15/30/25 or $15,000/$30,000/$25,000. This refers to the payout limits for 1) each person injured, 2) the total injuries per accident, and 3) property damage. A 15/30/25 policy, for example, will only pay out up to $15,000 per person injured, up to a maximum of $30,000 per accident, and $25,000’ worth of property damage.
Just because you purchase the minimum required liability coverage for your state doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. If you cause an accident that injures more people or property than your policy pays out, you’ll have the pay the difference out of pocket. That’s why it’s wise to speak with an insurance rep or research the average claim payout in your state to see what you might expect to pay if you cause an accident.
If you cause an accident, liability coverage won’t help you get your own bike back on the road. For that, you’ll need to purchase collision insurance. This covers damage to your own property, regardless of whether you caused the accident or not.
Buying collision insurance provides you an advantage because even if someone else causes the accident, you can still file a claim with your own insurance company. This should get you back on the road faster because your insurance company can pay you immediately for the repairs. They can then pursue the other driver’s insurance company for payment, which is often a slow step in the process.
Just because you’re not physically on your bike doesn’t mean it’s not susceptible to financial threats. Even if it’s parked in a garage for the winter it can still be stolen, squashed by a fallen tree, or lost in a house fire.
This is where comprehensive insurance comes to the rescue. This covers your bike for all non-driving damage. Motorcycles can be especially prone to being stolen because they’re so portable, so this is a particularly important type of insurance to consider.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that one out of every eight drivers on the road is uninsured. Worse than that, many people purchase just the minimum liability coverage, which may not pay you enough if you get into a bad accident. It’s a bad game of roulette that you don’t want to play.
Buying uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help provide that extra protection if you happen to be unlucky enough to be hit by one of these drivers. You can try suing the person who hit you for damages beyond what their insurance policy pays out (if they have one), but chances are if they skimped on their own coverage, they won’t have much in the way of personal assets to pay you. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can help cover the cost in these cases.
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FAQ for Finding the Best Motorcycle Insurance
How do insurance companies set my rates?
Insurance companies can take a wide range of factors into account when setting your rates:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Where you live
- Your credit history
- How long you’ve been riding
- Your bike’s age, model, and style
What is an A.M. Best rating?
This is a measure of how strong a company’s finances are. It’s a good idea to stick with companies that have an A rating or higher, because this means they’re more likely to be able to pay out when you need to file a claim.
Should I buy the minimum motorcycle insurance required?
You can do this, but it’s generally not a good idea. If you can’t afford to pay for repairs or a replacement for your bike, or for the medical and damage payments that would result from an accident, it’s a good idea to purchase more insurance coverage.
If you don’t, you might not be able to afford to get back in the saddle again after an accident.
What is OEM parts coverage?
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. This coverage ensures that if you need a repair for the Harley-Davidson that’s near and dear to your heart, for example, you’re covered for Harley-Davidson parts and not spare parts from the bargain bin.
Some companies offer this as standard on all of their policies, and some companies charge a bit extra for it. If it’s important to you that your bike is repaired with authentic parts if you get into an accident, make sure you have this coverage.
How do I decide how much custom equipment coverage to get?
If you have a lot of custom gear or accessories for your bike, it’s a good idea to buy extra protection for it. The best way to assess how much you need is to simply make a list of what custom gear and riding accessories you’ve purchased for your bike, and how much you estimate it’s worth. Keep the list updated as you buy new equipment.
The Bottom Line
Buying the best motorcycle insurance you can afford ensures that you can take whatever hits riding throws at you. It’ll also give you peace of mind, since you know you’re not a stone’s throw away from financial catastrophe.
It may take a bit of research to find the best policy at first, but it’s time well invested. Make sure you revisit your insurance needs each year. If you get a new addition to your bike, for example, make sure your policy covers it so that you’re not left high and dry. If you follow these principles, you can enjoy many more stress-free years on the open road.
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