want to jump straight to the answer? most people prefer to insure their bike or motorcycle with harley-davidson insurance services.
the twisties trace the pacific coast’s inlets to the broad vistas of olympic national park on into the cascades. there’s no question about it — washington state is a dream come true for motorcyclists. protecting your bike and your finances are essential, but motorcycle insurance contains some distinct differences compared to a standard auto policy. here’s what you’ll need to know before you choose the best motorcycle insurance in washington.
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washington motorcycle insurance: an overview
basic liability coverage and carrying proof of insurance is required for motorcyclists in washington, although many riders prefer to carry full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive as well, which guards against a wide range of risks.
here are the state-mandated liability coverage limits for washington motorcycle insurance.
state minimum insurance requirements for washington:
- $25,000 for injuries or death to another person
- $50,000 for injuries or death to all other people (per accident)
- $10,000 for damage to another person’s property
while washington state requires these limits at a minimum, always consider your potential financial exposure when choosing a coverage limit. if you’re found liable for damages above your coverage limit, you may be forced to pay the balance from your savings through the sale of assets or from your future earnings.
average annual rate with a clean driving record: $722
we surveyed 30 insurers with rates ranging from under $400 per year up to nearly $1,200 per year. we found an average annual cost of $722.
rates vary by insurer but are also affected by a number of individual factors such as claims history, your driving record and more. insured value plays a big role as well. for example, a custom harley likely costs more to insure than a 1982 gl500 honda silver wing, which, while nostalgic, isn’t worth as much as the harley and may cost less to insure.
washington motorcycle insurance law explained
washington state requires liability coverage in the minimum amounts outlined above, but most other types of coverage for your motorcycle are optional.
- lenders generally require full coverage, which includes collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. if you financed your motorcycle, you’ll probably need full coverage — many motorcycle owners choose full coverage even if their bike is paid off.
- guest passenger liability coverage can help pay for injuries to passengers if the accident is your fault. coverage limits match your liability limit selection for injuries to others.
- collision coverage helps pay for damage caused by impact with another vehicle, a fall or rollover, or contact with a stationary object. comprehensive coverage, another common lender requirement, protects your bike against theft, theft damage, falling objects, fires and more. both collision and comprehensive coverage are optional, but lenders usually require both coverage types as a condition of a bike loan.
- you can purchase coverage for custom equipment as well as accessories. for classic or collector bikes, a specialized policy that uses stated value or agreed value can help you fully insure your pride and joy. many insurers also offer the option of replacing damaged parts with original equipment manufacturer (oem) parts if you choose oem parts coverage on your policy.
- your motorcycle policy may also provide coverage for your own injuries through personal injury protection (pip). in washington, pip is optional but provides no-fault medical coverage which may benefit some riders depending on which other health coverage they might have.
- uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage helps cover your financial loss if another motorist damages your bike or causes an injury but does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover their liability for the accident.
washington motorcycle traffic laws you should know
motorcyclists in washington must have a motorcycle endorsement. because of differences in handling, 2-wheel motorcycles require a different endorsement than 3-wheel motorcycles. the state’s department of licensing offers a list of approved rider safety courses and completion of an approved motorcycle safety course may earn you an additional discount on your motorcycle insurance.
washington has had an on-again-off-again relationship with helmets. currently, riders and passengers are required to wear dot-approved helmets, although a senate bill now in committee seeks to give riders age 21 and over the freedom to choose whether they ride with or without a helmet.
generally, traffic laws for motorcyclists parallel those for cars. lane splitting is illegal in washington.
washington motorcycle insurance rates per bike
similar to auto insurance, motorcycle insurance rates can be affected by the type of bike you ride. while the myth of higher insurance rates for red vehicles has been debunked, sport bikes (of any color) can cost more to insure than touring bikes based on the frequency of accidents for each type of bike. however, the insured value of the bike plays a big role as well. for example, a new harley-davidson street glide cost about $22,000 whereas a kawasaki ninja 400 cost just over $5,000 new. the ninja may cost less to insure based on the actual cash value of the bike compared to the harley.
labor expenses and the cost (and availability) of replacement parts can also play a role in motorcycle insurance rates. some insurers consider thousands of data points when establishing insurance rates, making motorcycle insurance rates highly subjective.
generally, bikes with lower displacement (smaller engines) may enjoy lower insurance rates. cruisers and touring bikes often get a safety nod as well, reducing coverage costs in comparison to sportbikes. however, you’ll also find exceptions. the best way to know the exact cost of coverage for your particular bike is to reach out to a few insurers and collect some quotes.
motorcycle insurance quotes in washington
we compared quotes for a 2017 harley davidson flhtk ultra limited. the quote was for a 35-year-old married male with no accidents and over 5 years of riding experience. age and experience can play a big role in rates. we chose standard coverage and the insured value of the bike was $21,000.
|company||quote for a 1-year policy||price rating|
we also found rates that topped $1,000 annually, so it’s important to shop around and compare quotes from several motorcycle insurance companies.
motorcycle insurance discounts
in many cases, you can earn extra discounts as well. some insurers offer a discount for rider experience, for example. claims-free discounts and discounts for bundling with a home insurance policy are also common. here are several discounts offered by popular motorcycle insurance providers.
|company||discounts offered||overall rating|
|amica||multiple bike discount, homeowner discount, anti-lock brake discount, anti-theft discount||4.0|
|farmers||multiple bike discount, loyalty discount, homeowner discount, riding group discount, anti-lock brake discount||4.3|
|progressive||transfer discount, multiple bike discount, homeowner discount, claims-free discount, anti-lock brake discount, safety course discount, motorcycle driver’s license discount||4.3|
|aaa||multiple bike discount, loyalty discount, homeowner discount, claims-free discount, anti-theft discount, safety course discount||4.7|
|liberty mutual||multiple bike discount, homeowner discount, riding group discount, rider experience discount, anti-lock brake discount, anti-theft discount, safety course discount||4.7|
you’ll find some discounts are commonplace, while others may only be available through select insurers. for example, progressive offers a transfer discount which can save you money if you’re moving from another insurer. some discounts are also temporary, as is the common structure for transfer or “welcome” discounts.
best motorcycle insurance providers in washington
the evergreen state offers a wide choice of insurers for motorcycles, which makes it easy to shop rates and policy features. use the table below to compare policy features, discounts and rates from some of washington’s leading motorcycle insurance providers.
choosing the best motorcycle insurance in washington
the right motorcycle insurance policy can help protect your bike, but there’s more to consider. also consider liability coverage, medical coverage and how well your policy protects the features and equipment that make your bike unique. much like an auto policy, your motorcycle policy protects more than the vehicle itself — your policy also protects your lifestyle.
frequently asked questions
do you have to have a motorcycle endorsement on your license to buy a motorcycle in washington?
as of 2020, all motorcycle riders in washington must have a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. this means passing a basic knowledge skills exam as well as an advanced knowledge and skills exam for a motorcycle endorsement.
is insurance required in washington for motorcycle drivers?
as of 2019, washington requires all motorcycle drivers to carry minimum liability coverage as well as proof of insurance.
money-saving motorcycle insurance
harley-davidson insurance services provides services as a trusted motorcycle insurance agency that knows all about the motorcycle lifestyle. the company stands behind its policies with industry-leading services, coverage and support. you’ll also get money-saving motorcycle insurance discounts and experienced customer service and claims support.
you can get harley-davidson insurance today with a free, quick quote.