Why Your Motorcycle Insurance is So Expensive

March 10, 2020
By Michael Padway

All Categories

Why Your Motorcycle Insurance is So Expensive

When it comes time to buy motorcycle insurance, you’ll likely experience a bit of sticker shock. There’s no getting around it; motorcycle insurance costs more than you’d expect for such a small vehicle. So, why is motorcycle insurance so expensive?

There can be many reasons, and we’ll break them down for you. Then, we’ll show you how to save money.

Average Cost of Motorcycle Insurance by State

The average cost of motorcycle insurance in the US is $702 a year. However, this can vary depending on your age, your coverage, and several other factors. So, how much is motorcycle insurance in your state?

Here’s a breakdown:

Rank State Annual Rate Monthly Rate
1 California $1,360 $113
2 Lousiana $1,175 $98
3 Michigan $1,083 $90
4 New York $969 $81
5 Arizona $935 $78
6 Missouri $934 $78
7 Florida $911 $76
8 Rhode Island $889 $74
9 Georgia $883 $74
10 Tennessee $820 $68
11 Maryland $801 $67
12 Utah $794 $66
13 South Carolina $781 $65
14 Arkansas $766 $64
15 North Carolina $763 $64
16 Alabama $762 $64
17 New Mexico $752 $63
18 Delaware $742 $62
19 Idaho $739 $62
20 Texas $723 $60
21 Kentucky $716 $60
22 Oklahoma $708 $59
23 Virginia $703 $59
National Average $702 / $59
24 Washington $688 $57
25 (TIE) Illinois $677 $56
25 (TIE) Mississippi $677 $56
27 Connecticut $668 $56
28 Pennsylvania $661 $56
29 West Virginia $653 $54
30 Oregon $652 $54
31 Massachusetts $649 $54
32 Nevada $644 $54
33 New Jersey $610 $51
34 Indiana $606 $50
35 Colorado $602 $50
36 New Hampshire $601 $50
37 Minnesota $592 $49
38 Ohio $575 $48
39 (TIE) Hawaii $540 $45
39 (TIE) Alaska $540 $45
41 Montana $532 $44
42 Kansas $516 $43
43 Vermont $515 $43
44 Wisconsin $501 $42
45 Maine $492 $41
46 South Dakota $472 $39
47 Nebraska $469 $39
48 Wyoming $439 $37
49 Iowa $414 $34
50 North Dakota $382 $32

States With the Most Expensive Motorcycle Insurance

Of the ten most expensive states for health insurance, seven are located in the Southern half of the country. There are reasons for that, which we’ll get into in a minute. Here’s a quick look at the ten most expensive states:

A bar graph showing the 10 most expensive average insurance rates by state in the USA, compared to the national average.

States With the Cheapest Motorcycle Insurance

Of the top 10 cheapest states for motorcycle insurance, all but one are located in the Northern half of the country. Once again, there are good financial reasons for this, which we’ll explain. Here’s a chart of the ten most affordable states for motorcycle insurance:

A bar graph showing the 10 least expensive average insurance rates by state in the USA, compared to the national average.

Need Motorcycle Insurance?

Enjoy your ride while feeling safe with the best insurance coverage.

What Affects Your Cost for Motorcycle Insurance?

So, what factors can affect your motorcycle insurance costs? There are several factors. Let’s break them down.

  • Location – With a few exceptions, motorcycle insurance tends to cost more in northern states. This is because the riding season in those states is shorter. In Southern California, for example, the riding season is basically 365 days a year. Conversely, in North Dakota, your bike will spend the majority of the year in your garage, where it won’t be at risk.
  • Age and riding experience – As with car insurance, younger riders are going to pay more for insurance. Riding experience is also a factor. So the first-time biker in their 50s will pay more than a 22-year-old with four years of experience.
  • Speeding and traffic tickets – If you have traffic violations on your record, your insurance is going to cost more. The more violations and the more severe they are, the more they’ll affect your rates. That said, most violations fall off your record after three years. Follow traffic regulations, and you’ll get the best motorcycle insurance rates.
  • Accident and claim history – Vehicle accidents will cause your insurance rates to go up. Even non-accident-related claims can drive up your rates. In most cases, accidents and claims will fall off your record in seven years.
  • Vehicle usage – Most insurance companies will take into account how your bike is being used. If you’re a weekend rider, you can expect to pay less than someone with a commuter bike.
  • Type of bike – The type and engine size of your bike will also affect your rates. The larger the engine, the more you’re going to pay for coverage. For bikes of the same displacement, sportbikes will cost more to insure than cruisers and touring bikes. In addition, more expensive bikes will also cost more to insure.
  • Type of coverage – Depending on what kind of coverage you buy, your rates will be different. State minimum coverage is going to cost less than a comprehensive policy with high amounts of coverage. Similarly, a high deductible can save you money, although you’ll have to pay more if you actually make a claim.
  • Credit – Many insurance companies, like GEICO motorcycle insurance, consider your credit rating when they give you a quote. Don’t worry about shopping around, though; an insurance quote doesn’t count as a hard check, so getting multiple quotes won’t affect your credit score


Now that we’ve talked about things that affect your rates, it’s time to look on the sunny side of things. Here are a few ways you can save money on your motorcycle insurance:

  • Bundling/multiple coverages – Many insurers allow you to bundle your motorcycle insurance with your auto, boat, or other insurance policy. This can get you a significant discount.
  • Safety course – Most states offer some kind of motorcycle safety course. Completing a safety course – and providing proof to your insurer – will lower your motorcycle insurance rates.
  • Loyalty (coverage renewal) – Most insurance companies offer discounted rates to long-term customers. The longer you stay with the same insurer, the more you’re likely to save.
  • Affiliated with organizations – Many insurance companies will offer a discount to members of certain motorcycle organizations. Organizations like the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), charge a small membership fee. However, they provide additional benefits such as hotel discounts.
  • Quote in advance – When you sign up for insurance, shop around with several companies. You might find that you get wildly different quotes. Get quotes from as many insurers as you can find, and choose the one that offers you the best rates.
  • Motorcycle endorsement (driver’s license) – In many states, you can ride a motorcycle with a learner’s permit, with certain restrictions. That said, you’ll get better insurance rates if you get a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license. Typically, this involves a written test and a road test. Check with your state’s DMV for details.
  • Switching from another company – We’ve already talked about loyalty discounts. However, if you’re unhappy with your current rates, you might do better if you get quotes from other companies. Some insurers even offer discounts for customers who switch from one of their competitors.
  • Paying in full – When you buy insurance, you can either pay in advance for a full year or pay on a monthly basis. Some companies even let you pay on a quarterly or bi-annual basis. Paying for the entire year in advance will get you a discount.
  • Automatic bill-pay – If you’re paying by the month, some insurers offer a discount if you sign up for automated payments. Since you’re going to pay your bill anyway, this option is a no-brainer.

For a more comprehensive overview of motorcycle insurance, visit our Motorcycle Insurance Guide for 2020

Motorcycle Insurance Guide

Michael Padway

Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.