Your guide to motorcycle insurance costs

Motorcyclist using a phone on the side of the road
July 15, 2021

As you search for the right motorcycle insurance coverage, you try to balance two priorities: protecting your bike without breaking the bank. Let's investigate the elements that determine your insurance premiums—and the actions you can take to help reduce your motorcycle insurance costs.

Factors that can affect your motorcycle insurance costs

Your insurance score

You probably have a good idea of your current credit score. But did you know you also have an insurance score? This score correlates to your likelihood of filing an insurance claim. Higher insurance scores typically contribute to lower motorcycle insurance premiums, though this varies by provider.

Also, keep in mind that while your credit score impacts your insurance score, it's not the only factor. Carriers also consider your accident history and insurance history.

The coverages you want

Aside from Florida and New Hampshire, every state requires motorcycle owners like you to carry motorcycle liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage. Beyond that, it's up to you to choose the coverages that make sense for you. You've got plenty of options—here are a few Dairyland® motorcycle insurance coverages that provide value to our customers:

  • Physical Damage Plus

  • Rental reimbursement

  • Roadside assistance

Your age and gender

Riding experience is a key factor in limiting accidents. Because experience tends to increase with age, motorcycle insurance premiums often start comparatively high for young riders—especially those in their teens and early 20s—and then gradually decrease until riders reach their 70s.

Insurance providers in some states also consider your gender when determining your premiums.

Your driving history

Insurance providers review your driving record—your history of accidents, violations and tickets, license suspensions, and other factors—to determine how likely you may be to file a claim in the future. If your driving record is spotless, you'll likely find cheaper motorcycle insurance rates, all other things being equal.

Motorcycle usage

Do you make your daily commutes on your motorcycle, or are you more of a weekend warrior? The more time you spend on your bike, the more likely you are to eventually experience an accident or other incident and submit a claim. Your rates may go up accordingly.

Motorcycle characteristics

  • Type: You've got a Harley®, but your neighbor down the street rides Hondas exclusively. And your sister-in-law just picked up a new Kawasaki.** How will your rates compare? Well, plenty of other factors are involved, but insurance carriers do take motorcycle types—and the theft and crash risk associated with each—into account.

  • Value: Expensive motorcycles cost more to repair or replace than cheaper models, which makes them more expensive to insure.

  • Safety rating: Motorcycles are assigned safety ratings based on historical data. If your bike has a high safety rating, your premiums will likely be reduced.

  • Theft rating: We know the mere mention of motorcycle theft makes you want to skip ahead, but if your motorcycle brand or make experiences a high rate of theft, your rates could go up.

  • Engine size: While engine capacity doesn't typically impact insurance rates as much as other factors, it still matters. Larger engines tend to mean more risk, which in turn can increase your insurance costs.


Do you live in a warm area that allows for year-round riding, or does your bike spend half the year in the garage to protect it from snow and ice? The more frequently you ride, the higher your accident risk. And even though months-long storage can increase your theft risk, it's outweighed by your lack of road time, so your insurance premiums will typically be lower.

Motorcycle insurance costs by state

Each state establishes its own minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance coverage. Motorcycle insurance costs can vary significantly by state. According to ValuePenguin, the national average cost for motorcycle insurance is around $700 per year. But remember, that's just the average—your state's average cost could be as low as $382/year (North Dakota), or as high as $1,360/year (California). Talk with your local insurance providers to get a better sense of your state's average.

Also, keep in mind that motorcycle laws vary by state as well. These laws won't always directly impact your premiums, but upgrading your bike or your gear to comply with state laws is an expense all the same.

Reduce your motorcycle insurance rates

  • Take a rider course: Participating in a riding course demonstrates your commitment to safety. As you can guess, insurance providers appreciate safe riders, and frequently offer discounts for riders who complete these courses.

  • Join a rider group: There's nothing quite like hitting the road with friends. Especially when you could enjoy lower rates just by joining a local group.

  • Limit your customizations: Customizing your bike can make it feel truly unique, but be strategic. Some customized equipment isn't covered by motorcycle insurance—or if it is, it could be more expensive to replace. You could end up with higher rates, or possibly pay out of pocket following an accident.

Money-saving motorcycle insurance discounts

There are plenty of ways to make your motorcycle insurance even more affordable, some of which aren't even directly related to riding! Give us a call today—you could be eligible for one or more of these Dairyland discounts:

  • Multi-cycle

  • Home ownership

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

  • Rider group

  • Rider safety course

  • Transfer

  • Loyalty

Save on motorcycle insurance by getting a quote today

Now that you know what to expect as you research motorcycle insurance costs, it's time to get a quote and see just how much you can start saving today. It's as simple as picking up the phone or clicking the button below.

We're committed to helping you find the right motorcycle insurance coverage at the right price. We know there's a lot to consider, but you've got a knowledgeable team on your side.

Till next time, ride safe!

**All product names, logos, brands, and trademarks are property of their respective owners. All company, product, and service names are for identification purposes only. Use of any of the foregoing does not imply endorsement.

The general information in this blog is for informational or entertainment purposes only. View our blog disclaimer.

*Data accuracy is subject to this article's publication date.

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