New York motorcycle insurance

Illustration of Bow Bridge at Central Park in New York City, New YorkIllustration of Bow Bridge at Central Park in New York City, New York

Whether you’re cruising the streets of Manhattan or going on a leaf-peeping ride in upstate New York, you'll need a motorcycle insurance policy when you hit the road in the Empire State. Here’s what you need to know about motorcycle insurance and other requirements for motorcyclists in New York State.

What’s required of all motorcycle riders in New York?

Per vehicle and traffic laws established by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you need to follow these requirements when operating a motorcycle in New York:

  • Helmets: All riders and passengers must wear a helmet, regardless of age and riding experience. Your helmet can have a speaker, but only in one ear.

  • Eye protection: You’re required to wear eye protection that meets American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. This means wearing approved goggles or a helmet with an attached face shield.

  • Handlebars: Your handlebar height can’t extend above the height of your shoulders while seated.

  • Brakes: Brakes are required on both wheels for all motorcycles manufactured in or after 1971.

  • Reflectors: You’re required to have least one red reflector facing rearward. It can be part of the taillight, but for increased visibility and safety, we recommend using additional reflectors.

  • Turn signals and directional signals: These signals are required for all motorcycles manufactured in or after 1985.

  • Mirrors: You’re required to have at least one rearview mirror mounted on your bike.

  • Speedometer: All bikes manufactured in or after 1980 must have a working speedometer.

  • Horn: You’re required to have an operational horn or other noise-producing warning device.

  • Muffler: Your bike is required to have a muffler. Note that cut-outs are illegal.

  • Lights: Your headlights must be on at all times when riding, even during daylight. Additionally, be sure your bike is equipped with a properly functioning taillight, brake light, and license plate light.

  • Passengers: All passengers must have a dedicated seat and footrests.

  • Lane sharing: Two motorcycles are allowed per lane.

  • Lane splitting: Lane splitting is illegal, as are any other maneuvers that involve weaving in and out of traffic.

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What are the motorcycle insurance requirements in New York?

Motorcycle insurance is required in New York. To register your motorcycle, you’ll need to show proof of insurance. If you ride uninsured or don’t maintain your New York motorcycle insurance, you could face fines, license suspension, and registration suspension.

Here are the minimum insurance coverages required to ride legally in New York:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person and $50,000 per accident

  • $25,000 for guest passenger liability per person and $50,000 per accident

  • $10,000 for property damage liability

  • $25,000 for uninsured motorist (UM) bodily injury per person and $50,000 per accident

  • $50,000 for personal injury protection (PIP)

Here are some additional requirements to keep in mind:

  • Your liability coverage must be in effect whenever your motorcycle registration is valid.

  • You need to purchase your motorcycle insurance from a provider certified by the New York DMV and licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

  • Your motorcycle registration must be issued in the name of the vehicle registrant and stay in their name at all times.

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The factors behind your insurance rates

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Are optional motorcycle insurance coverages available in New York?

Yes, we offer several additional motorcycle insurance options in New York. Consider the following:


Comprehensive coverage can help pay for the costs of repairing your motorcycle following an accident, such as hitting an animal. It can also help compensate you if your motorcycle is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a fire.

Collision coverage

When your motorcycle is involved in a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object—or even if it just tips over and is damaged—your collision coverage can help pay for the resulting costs of the damage.

Supplementary uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury liability

If you’re in an accident where the other motorist doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for your injuries or vehicle repairs, you could end up paying those bills yourself. Purchasing supplementary coverage on top of the required uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages listed above can help limit your out-of-pocket costs in those cases.

Medical payments

Medical payments coverage can help pay for you or your passengers’ medical expenses for bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death.

Physical Damage Plus

This coverage can help pay for original replacement parts if your bike is damaged in a covered accident.

Want to explore New York off the beaten path? We have coverage options for your ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles.
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How to get a motorcycle insurance quote

Insurance quotes are quick and free. You’ll just need to:

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Have your bike’s year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) on hand.

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Answer some additional questions about your bike (e.g. customizations, where it’s kept, whether you’ve taken a rider safety course, etc.).

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Select the coverages you want.

New York motorcycle insurance discounts

We offer the following discounts on motorcycle insurance in New York:

  • Homeownership

  • Anti-theft

  • Prior insurance

  • Accident prevention course

  • Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) member

  • Multi-vehicle

  • Paid-in-full

Sites to see in New York

Lake George

If you’re looking to escape the summer heat of New York City, consider visiting Lake George. This lake is located in the Great Appalachian Valley, within the southeast Adirondack Mountains. The town that shares the lake’s name is a popular summer resort, with restaurants, water attractions, and amusement parks. 

Fort Ticonderoga

If you’re a history buff, don’t miss Fort Ticonderoga. This fort—which attracts nearly 75,000 visitors each year—was built between 1755 and 1757, and was held by French forces to control a major north/south water travel route. Today, it’s home to the largest series of untouched Revolutionary War era earthworks in the country.

Hudson River bridge tour

This scenic motorcycle ride will take you across several of the Northeast’s most impressive and historic bridges. You’ll start in New York City with the George Washington Bridge and head west through the Hudson River Valley. Get ready for some twisting, winding roads and beautiful architecture along the way.

Get a New York motorcycle insurance quote

Before you head out on the road, get your New York motorcycle insurance in order. Give us a call at 866-324-7952 to get started.

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