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Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance?

Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance?
Catherine Hiles
Updated September 14, 2021
4 Min Read

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of riding down a country road on a summer’s day atop a motorcycle. But that feeling comes with a cost. In addition to the purchase price of the motorcycle and the cost of gas, you have to remember to factor motorcycle insurance into your budget.

Almost all states require motorcyclists to have insurance. Only Florida does not have a legal requirement for motorcycle insurance. But like car insurance, it’s a good idea to take out a motorcycle insurance policy regardless of what the law says. It can protect you and your motorcycle in the event of an accident.

Motorcycle insurance requirements by state

Most states will require you to provide proof of insurance in order to register your motorcycle. Driving without insurance and registration comes with hefty fees so it’s not worth the risk when you can shop around for affordable coverage.

Although motorcycle insurance is required by most states, the amount of coverage varies. The numbers in the table below show how much insurance coverage is required for bodily injury per person, for bodily injury per accident, and for property damage. For example, Alabama requires motorcyclists to have $25,000 in coverage for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. 

StateMotorcycle insurance requirements (per person, per accident, property damage)
Alabama$25K, $50K, $25K
Alaska$50K, $100K, $25K
Arizona$15K, $30K, $10K
Arkansas$25K, $50K, $25K
California$15K, $30K, $5K
Colorado$25K, $50K, $15K
Connecticut$20K, $40K, $10K
Delaware$15K, $30K, $10K
FloridaNone
Georgia$25K, $50K, $25K
Hawaii$20K, $40K, $10K
Idaho$25K, $50K, $15K
Illinois$25K, $50K, $20K
Indiana$25K, $50K, $10K
Iowa$20K, $40K, $15K
Kansas$25K, $50K, $10K
Kentucky$25K, $50K, $10K
Louisiana$15K, $30K, $25K
Maine$50K, $100K, $25K
Maryland$30K, $60K, $15K
Massachusetts$20K, $40K, $5K
Michigan$20K, $40K, $10K
Minnesota$30K, $60K, $10K
Mississippi$25K, $50K, $25K
Missouri$25K, $50K, $10K
Montana$25K, $50K, $20K
Nebraska$25K, $50K, $25K
Nevada$15K, $30K, $10K
New Hampshire$25K, $50K, $25K
New Jersey$15K, $30K, $5K
New Mexico$25K, $50K, $10K
New York$25K, $50K, $10K
North Carolina$30K, $60K, $25K
North Dakota$25K, $50K, $25K
Ohio$25K, $50K, $25K
Oklahoma$25K, $50K, $25K
Oregon$25K, $50K, $20K
Pennsylvania$15K, $30K, $5K
Rhode Island$25K, $50K, $25K
South Carolina$25K, $50K, $25K
South Dakota$25K, $50K, $25K
Tennessee$25K, $50K, $15K
Texas$30K, $60K, $25K
Utah$25K, $65K, $15K
Vermont$20K, $50K, $10K
Virginia$25K, $50K, $20K
Washington$25K, $50K, $10K
West Virginia$25K, $50K, $25K
Wisconsin$25K, $50K, $10K
Wyoming$25K, $50K, $20K

What does motorcycle insurance cover?

Similar to auto insurance, motorcycle insurance is designed to cover you if you’re in an accident. The main options available are collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and personal injury protection.

Collision

Collision insurance helps cover the cost of damage to your motorcycle if it’s involved in a collision. Like most insurance policies, you’ll likely have a deductible you’ll need to hit before the policy will start chipping in.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive insurance covers other incidents that may happen to your motorcycle, such as theft, damage, or a collision with an animal. Like collision insurance, you’ll likely need to pay a deductible before it kicks in.

Medical payments

Medical payments insurance is also known as MedPay. It helps cover the cost of medical bills if you or your passenger is injured in a motorcycle accident. MedPay insurance can help if you have poor quality health insurance (or if you don’t have health insurance at all), but if you have good health coverage you may not need it. MedPay is not available in all states, so check with a local insurance agent to see if you can get it (or if you need it).

Personal injury protection

Similar to MedPay, personal injury protection helps cover medical bills if you or your passenger is injured in an accident. It can also cover any pedestrians that are injured in a collision. PIP can also help cover lost wages if you have to take time off work due to an injury from a motorcycle accident. It also covers you no matter who is at fault.

Frequently asked questions

If you’re shopping around for motorcycle insurance, you may have some additional questions. This section will address some of the most common questions asked about motorcycle insurance.

Do you need motorcycle insurance in Florida?

Florida is currently the only state that does not require any kind of insurance in order to register your motorcycle. 

However, the state does still hold the driver financially responsible if they are found at fault in a motorcycle crash. Without insurance, you may find yourself facing a bill you can’t pay on your own. For that reason, it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re protected by purchasing liability insurance that can help pay for any charges incurred in an accident.

Can I get a loan without insurance?

Many lenders will ask that you buy motorcycle insurance if you are seeking financing in order to purchase your bike. Until you pay off the loan, the lender would be liable if you’re in an accident since they are technically the owners of the motorcycle. Insurance helps protect the lender’s asset in case it is damaged or destroyed.

How can I save money on motorcycle insurance?

There are several ways to lower your monthly motorcycle insurance premiums. Like with other types of insurance, you may be offered a lower rate if you bundle multiple policies with the same agency. You can bundle your car, motorcycle, home, or even renters insurance and save money on each.

You can also ask about discounts for security systems or low mileage. Like with car insurance, if you don’t drive your motorcycle much you may be offered a lower rate. And if you have an alarm system on your bike, your insurance company may lower your monthly premiums.

Though you have to go through testing to get a license to ride a motorcycle in most states, you can sign up for advanced safety classes to make sure you are comfortable and confident on the road. Some insurers may offer you a discount if you go through additional motorcycle safety courses.

If you live in a state that has cold winter weather and you lock your motorcycle away for part of the year, you can ask about lay-up insurance. This type of insurance will still cover you if your bike is stolen or vandalized, but it won’t cover you for accidents since you’re not riding the bike. Lay-up insurance can lower your annual premiums.

What’s the best motorcycle insurance policy for me?

The answer to this question depends on many factors, including your location and age. There is no one-size-fits-all motorcycle insurance policy. The best thing to do is shop around to see what your options are, and then pick the one that works best with your budget.

Summary

Most states require you to have motorcycle insurance in order to register a bike. Additionally, motorcycle insurance is a smart idea because it’ll cover you and your bike in case of an accident, theft, or other damage. Contacting various providers allows you to find the best policy for your budget.

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