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What is the Average Cost to Insure a Motorcycle?

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 SuperLow

Putting an exact figure on something like motorcycle insurance isn't easy. The average is $702. Does that mean you'll be paying $702 yourself? Probably not. Multiple factors go into determining just how much your motorcycle insurance will set you back, including your age, your driving record, the type of motorcycle you ride, and even where you live. To find out how much your riding habit is likely to cost you, here's what you need to know.

How Are Insurance Premiums Calculated?

Insurance providers don't have a one size fits all attitude when it comes to insurance premiums. What you'll eventually be asked to pay depends on multiple variables, including....

  • Age - If you're very young or very old, expect to pay more than people in the middle category. Up until the age of 25, motorcycle riders are considered untested, inexperienced, and high risk. You might be the greatest thing on two wheels, but until you hit that 25th birthday, don't expect it to be reflected in your insurance premium. After that, your rate should steadily decrease until you reach your 70s.
  • Address - Live in a busy city? Then prepare to pay more for your insurance than if you lived in the suburbs. The more traffic and people there are around, the more insurance providers will charge you for coverage. If you're misfortunate enough to have a zip code associated with a high crime rate, expect to see that reflected in your premium as well. Motorcyclists who live in colder climes with shorter riding seasons will typically enjoy lower premiums than those who live in warmer areas with year-round riding opportunities.
  • Claims History - If you've made a substantial number of claims in the last few years, don't expect to get away with it. When it comes to insurance, the fewer claims, the better. If you've made no claims in the past few years, you'll be considered a 'low-risk rider' and as such, one more deserving of a lower premium.
  • Past Convictions - If you're wont to do 60 in a 30mph zone, expect to see it reflected on your insurance premium. Any speeding violations, whether they've happened while you're driving your car or riding your bike, can push up the cost of your insurance. The good news is that in most states, violations will be dropped from your driving record after three years.
  • Family Members - If you're keen on letting other family members drive your ride, expect to pay richly for the privilege, especially if they happen to be young, learner riders with no previous riding experience or insurance history.
  • Qualifications - If you're had the foresight to attend a rider safety course, prepare to see it reflected in your insurance premium. Riders who've attended an advanced rider/ riding safety course can expect to receive a discount of as much as 25 percent on their insurance.
  • Use - If you use your motorcycle on the weekends only, you can expect to pay less for your insurance premium than if you were to ride it in and out of the city each day for work. When it comes to insurance, the higher the mileage, the higher the cost.
  • Claim History - If you've had any car or motorcycle accidents in the past, there's a good chance your insurance provider will ask you for more for your annual premium. As a general rule of thumb, at-fault accidents have a bigger impact on your bill... just don't make the mistake of thinking that a no-fault accident won't dent your reputation (and your wallet) either.
  • Motorcycle Type - As Nimblefins notes, a high performance bike with a big engine will usually cost a lot more to insure than a small scooter. No matter how long you've been riding, motorcycles with a 1000cc displacement are always going to cost more when it comes to insurance than ones with a 250cc displacement. The reason is simple - the bigger the engine, the bigger the risk of an accident.
  • Modifications - What starts as a pretty basic motorcycle can quickly turn into something else altogether with a few modifications. If you're installed any after-market parts that ramp up your bike's performance, expect to see it reflected in your premium.
  • Credit Rating - The insurance premium you get offered is down to more than just your riding experience and your vehicle of choice. Basic things like credit rating have a surprisingly big impact on insurance premiums: the better your rating, the more money you can save.
  • Coverage - It stands to reason that the more comprehensive the policy, the more it's going to cost you. If you want to pay the bare minimum for your insurance, a liability-only policy is the way to go.... just bear in mind that you'll be responsible for repairing any physical damage to your bike in the event of an accident. The most customizable options you select, the more you can expect to pay.
  • Security - As notes, the more secure your motorbike is, the cheaper your insurance is likely to be. If you can demonstrate you have a safe, secure spot to store your motorcycle, your insurance provider is likely to look more kindly on you than if you keep it in the street... and woe betide anyone who tries to log an insurance claim for a motorcycle that's been kept in an unlocked garage.

Cost Examples

If you're still confused about just how much your love of riding is going to cost you, has helped break it down. If you're between 25 and 60 years old with a good driving record and are looking to insure a cruiser or touring motorcycle, you can expect to pay between $100 - $500 a year, depending on other variables. If you want to move to full coverage, plan on adding a few extra hundred dollars per year.

For those who are between 25 and 60 years old, the cost of insuring a cruiser or touring motorcycle if you have a bad driving record can significantly push up the cost of your premium. The actual difference it will make will depend on just how bad you're record is. If you're below the age of 25 and are trying to insure a sports motorcycle on full coverage, expect to pay anything between $1000 to $3000. If you have a clean driving record and have previously completed a safe riding motorcycle course, you can expect to see a reduction.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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