Choosing the right bike for your needs is a lengthy process, but finding the appropriate insurance is just as important. With so many factors impacting on the final quotation, is it possible to find out how much does the average motorcycle insurance policy cost?
Even though it was an embarrassingly long time ago, I can still remember buying my first motorcycle. It was exciting, and all I could think about, and all I wanted to do was sling a leg over the saddle and hit the road.
All the peripheral paperwork and red tape that goes with it felt like it was there to stop my fun, but it wasn’t. You may not believe this, but compulsory riding courses save lives and as for the other legal requirements, riding without insurance is both idiotic and dangerous.
No Insurance, No-Brainer
Many states in the US have different levels of penalty for riding a motorcycle without insurance. In California, depending on the exact circumstances, they hand out on the spot tickets for anything between $100-$400, and you run the possibility of being towed.
Retrieval is then dependant on the production of an insurance certificate. Plus of course, you’ll also get hit with the towing and storage charge, so think of a number and double it!
Pull the same stunt in New York, and the fine is between $150-$1500, or jail time. Also, you’ll have your license revoked for one year after which you’ll be crossing the DMV’s palm with a further $750 in civil fines.
One last thing, (just in case we haven’t battered the point yet), have an accident while uninsured, and all kinds of horrible things happen. Even if you were not at fault, you would waive any rights to claiming for loss of injury.
Cause the accident, and the insurance company of the other party will be rubbing their hands with glee. They’ll be suing you for everything from loss, damage, and injury, to damage to land and property. Don’t worry if you haven’t got the cash; they’ll go after your property instead.
Ok, I think it’s safe to say we’ve got the message. So let’s assume you’re going to do the right thing, just what is the average motorcycle insurance cost?
Crunching the Numbers
Well, the fact is, obtaining an average insurance cost is an extremely difficult proposition as there are so many variables. However, the folks over at Insurify who run your stats past multiple insurers to give you a comparison reckon they’ve done just that.
Whether or not they’re crunching the numbers purely on their own stats or if they have access to comparable independent figures state by state, they don’t say, but here goes.
Starting with the cheapest, and coming in at under $30 per month are Iowa, Oklahoma and New Hampshire ($27, $28 and $29 respectively).
The top three most expensive states to buy motorcycle insurance are Delaware ($61) Michigan and Texas ($62) but the daddy of them all at a whopping $75 per month is Louisiana.
Minimum Liability Insurance
As previously mentioned, the number of variables needed to reach an average insurance figure is rather high. Complicating things still further is that each state has its own Minimum Liability Insurance. This figure is the absolute lowest amount of insurance cover you can have by law, and the amount your insurer can charge to cover you goes up accordingly.
Now although Louisiana has the highest insurance cost, by comparison, it has one of the lowest MLI rates. This anomaly is because, insurance companies also take into account areas of high natural disaster, which just goes to show how complicated an insurance quote, can be.
These variables we keep mentioning, usually break down into different categories such as personal details, riding experience, type of motorcycle, use of a motorcycle, geographical location, storage and type of coverage.
For personal details, you’re looking at DOB, occupation and a check on your credit rating. Now if you think that last item is somewhat over the top and intrusive, so does the state of California.
They introduced California Law 103, which states; ‘’it is illegal for insurance companies to use your credit history as a factor in determining the cost of your car insurance premium.’’
Riding experience – this is pretty straightforward; the DMV in your state will dictate the requirements for you to obtain a license. In some areas, this includes an additional training course.
Discounts are usually available for any further training courses you may have passed. Your quote will also reflect the number of years you’ve held a license and you should receive a discount for every full year you have not made a claim on your policy.
Type of motorcycle – this factor plays a large part in the cost of your policy, but like everything else, it’s tied to other factors too.
It should be no surprise, that for a recently endorsed 19-year-old to insure a new Yamaha R1, he or she would be looking at anything from $2000-$5000! For the same age rider choosing a 10-year-old Honda scooter, it would drop down to $200-$500.
Use of motorcycle – this ranges from occasional personal use to regular commuting, weekends only, seasonal or full use. Don’t forget, if you use your motorcycle for anything work related other than commuting, this will also affect your quote.
Geographical location – where you live will determine what you pay; it’s that simple. This statement may appear to makes sense, but consider this, insuring your bike in the Las Vegas (the city with the worse motorcycle theft rate) will cost you almost half of what you’d pay in rural Louisiana (the state with the highest insurance costs).
Storage – leave your wheels on the street every night, and you will pay more than if you have a lockable garage attached to your home. You should also inquire about discounts for any aftermarket anti-theft devices or alarms you may have fitted to your bike.
Type of coverage – you can choose from a bare minimum to a fully inclusive policy with all the bells and whistles. However, as previously mentioned, all states have an MLI (Minimum Liability Insurance), this is the lowest amount of coverage you can have and stay inside the law. The figures appear as three sets of numbers such as 25/50/10.
The first figure is bodily injury protection per person. The second refers to the amount per accident, and the final number covers property damage.
Different Rates in the Different States
To give you an idea how these fluctuate from state to state, the three regions with the lowest MLI are California, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania (15/30/5). By far the highest MLI however, is Alaska at 50/100/25.
Incidentally, in Washington, Montana, and Florida you are not required by law to have motorcycle insurance. Before you start packing to move though, it is highly advisable to buy insurance coverage in these areas, as you are still personally responsible for any damage or injury you may cause.
So there we are, just a few of the variables involved in putting together the cost of an insurance quotation. Variables why make it almost impossible to give an independent all-encompassing average cost for motorcycle insurance.
So whether you’re a 19-year-old living in Vegas desperate for a sports bike or an octogenarian from Des Moines treating yourself to a new scooter, the only way to find out ‘how much does an average motorcycle insurance policy cost,’ is to call around a few insurers and find out.
Actual Insurance quote for evaluation purposes – just to give you an idea of the real cost of motorcycle insurance, I chose a number of random facts to get a genuine quote.
The random details I chose were, a 19-year-old, single male rider, living with parents, with a Compton, California zip code. The motorcycle in question being, a 2016 Honda CB300F, garaged overnight, and usage being for leisure and commuting only.
The figure quoted me for the year was $1028 in a single payment or $101.75 per month. A total of $193 was added to the single payment price to cover the 12-installment payment plan.