Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

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Most states require motorcycle owners to have minimum liability insurance coverage, but it’s optional to have any other type of insurance. However, the minimum coverage usually isn’t enough for grave accidents, whose costs reach an average of $1.4 million. Upping limits and adding other important coverages like comprehensive and collision for vehicle damage will protect you better financially, but can raise premiums.  

Gathering multiple quotes will help you find the cheapest motorcycle insurance for the coverage limits and deductibles you can reasonably afford. Taking advantage of any discounts will also help lower your prices. But it’s essential to look at an insurer’s coverage offerings, customer service track record, and awards to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. We weighed all these factors when selecting the five best cheap motorcycle insurance companies.

Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance of 2021

Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance
Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

Best Overall : Progressive


Progressive

Progressive had some of the least expensive quotes for our low-risk driver profile. But Progressive cemented its ranking as our pick for the best overall cheap motorcycle insurance because it automatically includes several coverages that are typically paid add-ons with other insurers, such as full replacement cost for your bike. If you have comprehensive and collision insurance, you also get $3,000 of accessories and custom parts coverage, $500 of safety riding apparel coverage, and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts coverage. And if you want more protection for bike accessories and customizations, you can choose a limit of up to $30,000. 

Optional Coverages Beyond the Standard

Progressive goes above and beyond the basics with these add-on coverages:

  • Total loss coverage for a new motorcycle
  • Roadside assistance and trip interruption
  • Carried Contents coverage
  • Disappearing deductible
  • Enhanced injury protection

Discounts

Depending on your location, Progressive’s motorcycle insurance discounts include:

  • Motorcycle endorsement
  • Policy transfer (applies when transferring from another provider)
  • USAA or Harley Owners Group member

Customer Satisfaction

J.D. Power doesn’t consider motorcycle insurance in any of its customer satisfaction studies, but we think its rankings can still give us some indication of what your experience might be like. J.D. Power’s Insurance Digital Experience Study shows that customers find Progressive’s digital platforms about average in functionality. However, when it comes to customer satisfaction with buying policies online, Progressive ranks second to last in J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study.

What We Like
  • Small accident forgiveness on a claim up to $500 starts when you sign up

  • Large accident forgiveness after three years accident-free and four years as a customer

What We Don't Like
  • Below-average J.D. Power insurance shopping score

Best for Military Members : USAA


USAA

USAA offers motorcycle policies through alliance companies, but USAA members get access to a 5% member discount, roadside assistance, and 24/7 customer service. The company insures various types of motorbikes and off-road vehicles like cruisers, sport bikes, side-by-sides, and ATVs. USAA only insures military members and their spouses and children, but if you qualify, you’ll enjoy member benefits like disbursements and discounts. USAA can also finance your motorcycle purchase through a motorcycle loan, making it easy to take care of all your financial needs under one roof. 

Optional Coverages Beyond the Standard

Like Progressive, USAA offers more than just basic motorcycle insurance:

  • Total loss coverage for a new motorcycle
  • Roadside assistance and trip interruption
  • Carried Contents coverage
  • Disappearing deductible
  • Enhanced injury protection

Discounts

Depending on your state, USAA motorcycle insurance discounts include:

  • 5% membership discount
  • Safety course
  • Multiple motorcycles 
  • Motorcycle endorsement

Customer Satisfaction

J.D. Power studies don’t rank USAA against other insurers because of its membership restrictions, but they still publish its scores. In nearly every study in which it appeared, USAA obtained more points than its competitors, showing that its customers are highly satisfied with the service they receive. Notably, though, USAA scored below average on the shopping segment of the J.D. Power Insurance Digital Experience survey, perhaps because prospective customers must apply for membership before requesting a quote.

What We Like
  • Access to USAA policy and member benefits

  • High scores on multiple J.D. Power insurance studies

  • Affordable rates for drivers with clean records who want state minimum motorcycle coverage

What We Don't Like
  • Only available to active/former military personnel and their immediate families

  • Motorcycle insurance policies are offered through another insurer

Best for Experienced Riders : Markel


Markel

Markel’s motorcycle insurance choices were the most extensive we saw, including policies for big twins, touring bikes, dirt bikes, trikes, custom motorcycles, cruisers, and more. A motorcycle insurer for over 45 years, Markel offers customizable coverage to let you choose the limits and deductibles that make sense for your bike and how you ride it. It offered good coverage for our low-risk driver profile, with a clean driving record and five years of experience, and its coverage includes a diminishing deductible that’s a paid add-on with other insurers. But Markel wasn’t able to offer a quote for our higher-risk driver, so it may not be an option if you’ve been in at-fault accidents within the last four years.

Optional Coverages Beyond the Standard

Markel offers add-ons including:

  • Replacement cost
  • Funeral expenses
  • Trailer coverage
  • Mechanical breakdown

Discounts

Based on your location, Markel offers several ways to save, including:

  • Policy transfer (10% for switching to Markel from another insurance provider)
  • Diminishing deductible (25% for each consecutive accident-free year until $0)
  • Multiple motorcycles
  • Anti-theft device
  • Safe driver
  • Renewal discount (insurance rates are discounted at renewal after a loss-free policy period)

Customer Satisfaction

Markel isn’t included in J.D. Power studies because it provides insurance for recreational vehicles, rather than other common insurance products like standard personal vehicles or homes.

What We Like
  • Policies available for multiple types of bikes

  • Diminishing deductible is included in standard coverage, not added as an endorsement

What We Don't Like
  • Would not insure our high-risk driver, who had a recent at-fault car accident within the last four years

Best for High-Risk Drivers : GEICO


GEICO

GEICO gave our high-risk driver profile the lowest rate: just $413 for motorcycle insurance that met the state minimum. Despite its affordability, GEICO offers riders add-ons like optional motorcycle accessory coverage (up to $20,000). Policies are backed by GEICO’s superior financial strength rating of A++ from AM Best, and customers can enjoy its award-winning digital and policy purchase experience.

Optional Coverages Beyond the Standard

GEICO’s add-on motorcycle insurance options include:

  • Accessories coverage
  • Helmet coverage
  • Emergency roadside assistance

Discounts

Depending on your location, GEICO’s discounts include:

  • Policy transfer (up to 10%)
  • Mature rider (up to 10%)
  • Policy renewal (up to 10%)
  • Bundle discount with GEICO car insurance (up to 5%)

Customer Satisfaction

GEICO took first place in J.D. Power’s Digital Experience Study and Insurance Shopping Study for large insurers for its overall customer satisfaction.

What We Like
  • #1 in service category of J.D. Power’s Insurance Digital Experience Study

  • #1 in large insurer category of J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study

  • Most affordable rates for our high-risk driver profile

What We Don't Like
  • Few optional coverages

  • Must have comprehensive or collision insurance to add accessories coverage

Best for Vintage & Custom Bikes : Foremost


Foremost

Foremost has an array of motorcycle insurance packages ranging from liability-only to comprehensive coverage. Some packages are specially designed for vintage or custom bikes: They cover motorcycles over 25 years old that have been restored to their original condition or ones that have over $30,000 in custom equipment. Many of Foremost’s policies also include first-accident forgiveness. 

Optional Coverages Beyond the Standard

Foremost offers the basics, as well as a few other notable add-ons:

  • Deductible waiver
  • Safety apparel coverage
  • Towing and roadside assistance
  • Trailer coverage

Discounts

Foremost doesn’t list any discounts on its website, but our sample quotes included these savings:

  • Motorcycle endorsement
  • Policy transfer
  • Locked storage

Customer Satisfaction

Foremost isn’t included in independent studies from agencies like J.D. Power, but it’s affiliated with Farmers for its motorcycle insurance policies. However, Farmers’ customer satisfaction ranked below average in both the J.D. Power Digital Experience and Insurance Shopping studies.

What We Like
  • Premade packages make it simpler to choose insurance based on your budget

  • Package available for low-speed vehicles like golf carts and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

  • Optional equipment coverage included with comprehensive coverage

  • Works with USAA to provide members with specialized insurance options

What We Don't Like
  • No instant online quotes; you must call an agent for quote adjustments

  • We received a quote for the “Saver” package despite requesting a “Liability-Only” package

  • No discounts advertised on the website

Compare Providers

Insurance Company Why We Picked It
Progressive Best Overall
USAA Best for Military Members
Markel Best for Experienced Riders
GEICO Best for High-Risk Riders
Foremost Best for Vintage & Custom Bikes

FAQs

Do Motorcycles Need Insurance?

Yes. Most states require you to have minimum liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage you may cause to others. Depending on state laws, some insurers may also offer Guest Passenger Liability coverage for passengers injured on your motorcycle. 

Other typical optional coverages include collision and comprehensive coverages for damage to your motorcycle, customized motorcycle parts coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. 

How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance Cost?

The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on a lot of factors, including the rider's age, the cost of the bike, even where the rider lives, so coming up with an estimate is challenging. One survey we looked at put the U.S. annual average cost at $702; another has it at $1,173. The average of the quotes we collected is $706, partly because two of the insurers did not give us quotes for the higher-risk driver. Your best bet is to shop around, get multiple quotes, and compare coverages.

Is Motorcycle Insurance Cheaper Than Car Insurance?

The latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows the average annual car insurance premium in the U.S. is $1,134, so your motorcycle insurance policy is likely to be cheaper than your auto policy. 

Factors that affect your motorcycle insurance premiums include:

  • Location
  • Age and riding experience
  • Motorcycle usage
  • Driving record
  • Type of bike
  • Modifications, customizations, and conversions
  • Coverage and deductible selections
  • Credit scores

How Can You Get Cheap Motorcycle Insurance?

It’s essential to get quotes from various insurers before committing. Just like with car insurance, each insurer uses its own formula to calculate your premiums, so you may get very different quotes from various companies.  

You’ll get better motorcycle insurance rates if you have a clean driving record. Maintaining or improving your record by staying incident-free in all vehicles you drive will help keep your costs down, as will selecting higher deductibles that you can still reasonably afford. 

Many insurers offer discounts that are available with some effort on your part, like for taking a training course. Others are easier to obtain, such as multi-bike, multi-policy, and experienced-rider discounts. If you live in a state where you park your bike for the winter, look into “lay-up” policies that suspend all coverages except comprehensive while it’s in storage.  

Final Verdict

You can get cheap motorcycle insurance policies with various companies, but based on our research, Progressive offers the best overall value for its price. 

How We Chose the Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

We looked at 18 insurers that offer motorcycle insurance. We narrowed down the list based on standard and optional coverages, deductibles, discounts, member perks, and J.D. Power scores. From there, we pulled quotes in the state of Illinois for the top contenders and selected the winners for this list based on their affordability and standout features. 

As our low-risk rider profile, we used a 35-year-old woman with a clean driving record and five years of experience riding a Honda CMX500 Rebel, a popular bike with a smaller engine.

Our high-risk rider was a 20-year-old male with one recent at-fault auto accident and two years of experience riding a Suzuki GSX-1300R Hayabusa, a powerful sport bike. However, your premiums may vary based on your unique circumstances, so we recommend comparing your own quotes from at least three insurers to find the best cheap motorcycle insurance for you.

Article Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Motorcycle Insurance." Accessed June 20, 2021. 

  2. United States Government Accountability Office. "Motorcycle Safety," Pages 12-13. Accessed June 19, 2021. 

  3. J.D. Power. “Property & Casualty Insurers Raise Digital Games as COVID-19 Elevates Customer Expectations, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed June 20, 2021. 

  4. J.D. Power. “Direct-to-Consumer Auto Insurers Take Top Honors in Shopping Study as New Normal Arrives for P&C Industry, J.D. Power Finds.” Accessed June 20, 2021. 

  5. AM Best. "Government Employees Group." Accessed June 20, 2021.

  6. Business Insider. "The Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance by Age and by State." Accessed June 20, 2021.

  7. ValuePenguin. "Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance (2020)." Accessed June 20, 2021.

  8. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Auto Insurance Database Report 2016/2017," Page 7. Accessed June 20, 2021.

  9. Insurance Information Institute. "Motorcycle Insurance," see "Tips for the cost-conscious rider." Accessed June 20, 2021.