Cheap motorcycle insurance

The Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

Good motorcycle insurance is more than a cheap rate. The best should have you covered, no matter what happens to you or your bike. Through our research, we found four top picks that strike the perfect balance between low premiums and great coverage. But because insurance rates are highly personal, you’ll need to compare quotes to find your best price.

How We Chose the Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

Well-rounded coverage

The best cheap motorcycle insurance needs to be affordable, but it also needs to have you covered. The seven personal injury lawyers and independent insurance agents we spoke to all agree: You should buy more insurance than your state’s minimum requires.

“The biggest problem with motorcycle insurance is that riders buy the cheapest policy to be ‘street legal’ by state law, but they don’t buy the correct amount of coverage to protect themselves in the event of an accident.”

Brad Tabakin

Personal Injury Attorney

Their advice pointed us towards five essential coverage options. The limits you choose are up to you, but the best provider needs to, at the very least, make the most important coverages available:

Lots of discounts

We scoured each of our finalists’ websites and tallied up their available discounts to see where you might find the biggest savings. As a general rule, most insurance providers will discount your premium for being a “less risky” customer to insure.

You may qualify for some by default, like being a “mature rider” or a homeowner, but you can also take proactive measures to make sure you get the best deal on your premium. For instance, if you install an anti-theft device, most providers will knock a few dollars off because they’re less likely to have to reimburse a stolen bike.

Affordable premiums

Based on our experts’ recommended coverage levels, we got multiple quotes from each of our contenders, altering the age of the rider and the type of motorcycle to get an idea of how that would affect price.

It’s a great policy, with plenty of coverage — but it’s also not the cheapest plan out there. While providers may advertise attractive low rates, that bargain price comes at the expense of strong coverage. We were looking for top-notch coverage at an affordable rate.

The 4 Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance Companies

Markel American — Most Affordable Premiums

Nationwide — Best for High-Risk Riders

Progressive —Best for Specialty or Vintage Bikes

Safeco — Impressive Discounts

Markel American — Most Affordable Premiums

Pros       Lowest premiums

Wide range of coverage options

Mechanical breakdown coverage

Rental reimbursement

Cons      Expensive for young riders

Fewer discounts

Why we chose it

Lowest premiums

Markel consistently quoted us the lowest premiums of any provider we tested — up to 73% less than the next cheapest option in some cases. To find average premium costs, we got quotes for a variety of rider profiles: a younger rider with a cruiser, an older one with a sports bike, and spotless driving records versus those with a history of infractions. No matter what kind of rider we threw in, Markel almost always came out with the cheapest premiums. While this should be taken with a grain of salt — factors like discounts and location will impact premiums, too — Markel is a great place to start looking.

Wide range of coverage options

Premiums alone would have kept Markel in the running for the best cheap motorcycle insurance, but we’re also really impressed with its thoughtful policies. The company has a wide range of coverage options, second in number only to Progressive. With standout features like mechanical breakdown and rental reimbursement, it’s obvious that Markel is dedicated to keeping you on the road at all times.

Mechanical breakdown coverage

Markel is the only company we saw that offers mechanical breakdown coverage, an optional add-on that pays for the cost of any parts that need to be repaired or replaced on your bike. While it will raise your rate by a few extra bucks, it could save you significant out-of-pocket expenses if your beak needs more regular repairs.

Rental reimbursement

In addition to paying for parts that need to be repaired, Markel also offers rental reimbursement, an add-on that will cover the cost of a rental car while your bike’s in the shop. It’s the only company we saw to offer what could be an essential perk for riders who use their bike as their primary means of transportation.

Points to consider

Expensive for younger riders

Young riders are the only exception to Markel’s cheap premium rule. Our 20-year-old biker was quoted exceptionally high prices when riding both a Harley Davidson cruiser and a Suzuki sportbike. Still, Markel charged very little to insure our cheap bike, a Honda Rebel (and was our only contender to do so). Ultimately, Markel is still worth a look for young riders, even if it scored a little lower in our test runs.

Fewer discounts

Markel doesn’t offer nearly as many discounts as our other top picks — only five compared to Nationwide’s eight and Progressive’s ten. The biggest omissions were discounts for being a member of a recognized motorcycle association, owning a home, or paying your entire year’s premium in full at the start of your policy. These were fairly standard with other companies and could significantly reduce how much you end up paying. That said, more discounts doesn’t necessarily mean lower premiums, and Markel consistently generated the lowest rates in our tests.

Nationwide — Best for High-Risk Riders

Pros       Affordable upgrades

Cheapest for high-risk riders

Built-in accessory coverage

Customer resources

Cons      No agreed value coverage

Fewer discounts

Why we chose it

Affordable upgrades

Nationwide has a distinct advantage when it comes to essential coverage: It’s really affordable to upgrade to its best plans. When we tinkered with our policy, we noticed that Nationwide charged only a few dollars more for its highest liability, UM/UIM, and MedPay limits. Other companies, like Progressive, bumped up our premium by as much as $500 for their top-tier plans. If you’re looking at a quote from Nationwide, make sure to experiment with your coverage options and see just how much protection you can add on for a modest upcharge.

Cheapest for high-risk riders

Although we found that Markel had the cheapest premiums on average, Nationwide did come in first for our riskiest test profile: a 20-year-old riding a Suzuki sportbike. When we spoke with insurance experts, they unanimously agreed that this would be the most expensive type of rider to insure. If you’re one of these “high-risk” bikers looking for a cheap premium, we recommend including Nationwide in your search.

Built-in accessory coverage

Every Nationwide policy includes $2,000 of insurance for any personal belongings you have on your bike, from luggage to safety equipment. Most other policies we looked at charge extra for this coverage and topped out at $1,000. If you’re planning on traveling with valuables — on a cross-country trip or commuting with a laptop, for example — this extra peace of mind is a huge bonus.

Customer resources

Along with Progressive, Nationwide has some nice perks that come with signing up with a bigger company. Its website is incredibly streamlined, making it a breeze to request a quote, customize your coverage, and take advantage of online claim filing. By contrast, we found Markel’s website clunky: It’s harder to navigate, took longer to load, and glitched a few times when we used the “back” button. Nationwide also brings app-powered claim filing to the table, which allows you to easily upload photos and information to your claim document in real time. This is a level of convenience beyond the online and call-in options offered by Markel.

Points to consider

No agreed value coverage

Of our three top picks, Nationwide is the only one that doesn’t offer actual agreed value coverage, which means your bike is covered at an agreed-upon future price instead of its current cash value. This is a particularly attractive add-on if your bike is a collector’s item that doesn’t follow the normal rules of depreciation; you can insure it for an appraised value that’s agreed on by you and your insurance company. That said, most riders won’t miss this coverage; if you have a newer bike, insuring the actual cash value is the better option.

Fewer discounts

While Nationwide only has two fewer total discounts than Progressive, we thought it was missing a few key ones. It’s the only one of our top picks that doesn’t reduce your premiums for maintaining a driving record with no “at-fault accidents.” It also doesn’t have any discounts for “mature riders,” renewing your policy at the end of the year, or switching over from a different insurance company.

Why we chose it

Specialty motorcycle coverage

Progressive has the best protection we saw when it comes to vintage, antique and custom bikes. Some highlights include OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts in all repairs, plus an automatic $3,000 of coverage for all your custom parts and equipment when you buy collision or comprehensive. Along with Markel, Progressive was also one of the only providers with an actual agreed value option, which lets you and your insurer agree on a value for your bike independent of its cash value.

Generous discounts

With 10 different discounts available, Progressive has more options than any other provider we looked at. Most importantly, Progressive will reduce your premium if you’re a member of a motorcycle association, can show a history of safe driving, and bundle with other types of insurance. It will also lower your premium if you own a home (which Markel does not) or if you come to them from another insurance company (unlike Nationwide). If you qualify for a few of these, they could have a big impact on your overall rate.

Customer resources

Like Nationwide, Progressive customers have the benefit of being covered by one of the largest insurance companies in the country. Along with a 24/7 phone line, you’ll have access to a mobile app that lets you view your policy and file claims, a nice tool for riders who want to check their coverage on the road. We also loved Progressive’s easy-to-navigate website full of resources to help you save money, particularly the Progressive Answers page, which goes over every conceivable insurance situation in simple and straightforward language.

Points to consider

Expensive coverage upgrades

Spend a few minutes on Progressive’s website and you’ll see a “$75 per year” figure touted over and over again. And although that might be technically true, it also represents the bare minimum liability insurance you could purchase — not a great idea. To get the protection you need, you’ll have to add things like un/underinsured motorist coverage, medical, and increased liability, which will all raise your premiums significantly.

After we started adding in our recommended coverage amounts, Progressive quickly became the most expensive of our top picks. Of course, insurance quotes are impacted by a number of personal factors, so you should always compare quotes from a few providers before committing.

Why we chose it

Generous discounts

Safeco offers an impressive range of discounts on its motorcycle insurance— second only to Progressive. It has all the standard ones — discounts for a history of safe driving, membership in a motorcycle association, and bundling with other types of insurance — as well as some that were more uncommon. Safeco was the only one of our top picks to offer a discount for experienced riders. As long as you’ve been riding for more than a year, you qualify.

Excellent roadside assistance

While you can add roadside assistance to all of our top picks, Safeco goes above and beyond with this coverage, providing trip interruption benefits along with the standard towing and battery services. That means if you lose money on a trip because your bike breaks down (think flights or hotel reservations) Safeco will reimburse you for your loss.

Points to consider

Not ideal for specialty bikes

If you have a vintage or antique motorcycle, Safeco probably won’t be your best option. Like Nationwide, Safeco doesn’t offer actual agreed value coverage for your bike, so you might not get the correct reimbursement back if your specialty bike needs to be replaced. Along the same lines, Safeco doesn’t pay for original manufacturer parts, either. If this is a must-have for you, we’d recommend starting your search with Progressive.

No online quote tool

Currently, Safeco doesn’t provide a way to get quotes online. If you want to see how your premiums with Safeco would compare to our other picks, you’ll have to call the company and request a quote from an agent. It’s not ideal — we prefer companies that offer multiple ways to purchase a policy — but Safeco’s excellent policies make it worth taking that extra step.

Guide to Cheap Motorcycle Insurance

How to save on your premium

Bundle your insurance

Sometimes you can save on multiple types of insurance by bundling them together. John Espenschied, Agency Principal at Insurance Brokers Group recommends, “when it’s practical, combine as many policies as possible to receive the best multi-policy discounts.” This means insuring your motorcycle through the same company that covers your home, auto, or any other insurance you may carry.

Be aware, though, that bundling isn’t always the right choice. Espenschied also points out that motorcycle insurance is often standalone because it’s so specialized. You may want to purchase your bike coverage through a provider that has options like custom parts, accessory, and safety apparel coverage — your auto provider may not offer these, but all of our top picks do.

Motorcycle Insurance Rates and Discounts

Save now and save even more later on claims

We offer cheap motorcycle insurance rates starting at just $75/year.* But, you get more than just affordable motorcycle insurance to start. We also offer some of the best protection and coverage in the industry. So if you have a claim, you could save thousands on what you pay out of pocket.

Just get a motorcycle insurance quote, and we’ll automatically add discounts to your rate.

Motorcycle insurance discounts we offer

Quote in advance

Plan ahead and save. Quote at least one day before your actual policy starts, and you’ll get a discount. For example: quote on March 19, and your policy starts March 20 or later.

Safe driver

If you haven’t had any accidents for the last three years, you’ll get a huge savings.

Multi-policy or multi-vehicle

You could save even more if you have (or get) another Progressive policy. It could be for anything: a car, second motorcycle, ATV, etc.

Switch discount (transfer)

Already insured by another company? Break the ties, switch to us and we’ll say thanks with another discount.

Pay in full

Just pay your policy in full (all at once), and we’ll pay you back with a discount.

Pay on time

The easiest discount of all. Pay your premium on time for a year, and we’ll lower your motorcycle insurance rate at renewal.

Automatic bill-pay (electronic funds transfer)

It’s a discount any one can get. Once you complete your quote, sign up for automatic bill pay to immediately lower your rate.

Homeowner discount

Got a home, mobile home or condo you own? Great! You got another discount, even if it’s not insured by us.

Association discount

You can even get a discount if you belong to the Harley Owners Group or United Services Automobile Association (USAA).

LoJack discount

Get another discount If your bike is equipped with LoJack.® See how easy it is to get affordable motorcycle insurance.

Anti-lock brakes

It’s another easy discount. You got ‘em on your bike, we’ll lower your motorcycle insurance rate.

Motorcycle endorsement

Get a valid motorcycle license or add a motorcycle endorsement to your driver license, and we’ll add another discount.

Safety course

Just complete an approved safety course (no matter what you’re driving record is) and you could lower your motorcycle insurance rate again.

Progressive’s deep discounts and coverage add-ons, many of which are included at no additional cost, make it an outstanding cheap choice for most motorcycle riders. For instance, all of Progressive’s motorcycle insurance policies provide full replacement cost coverage. The coverage, for which other motorcycle insurance companies typically charge, ensures your motorcycle is restored to pre-accident condition without a deduction for depreciation. This can be a highly valuable coverage in some situations. For example, if you crashed your motorcycle and damaged your three-year-old back wheel, Progressive would reimburse you for the cost of a new wheel rather than the lower depreciated value of your existing wheel.

Another free add-on that helps cement Progressive as a top motorcycle insurance company is its original equipment manufacturer coverage. Motorcycles equipped with original parts are repaired with original parts. Similarly, motorcycles equipped with custom parts are repaired with custom parts. Furthermore, all Progressive motorcycle insurance policies include $3,000 of coverage to pay for damage to custom parts, upgrades and customizations.

Progressive also offers its policyholders a long list of discounts and access to accident forgiveness programs. Progressive’s discounts are varied, which means most people can find ways to reduce their motorcycle insurance costs. For instance, Progressive’s motorcycle insurance policies offer discounts to anyone who owns a home, regardless of which company it is insured with. Furtheremore, if you go four years accident-free and then have an accident, the first one won’t be counted against you as long as the accident costs Progressive more than $500.

Aside from cheap motorcycle insurance rates and extra coverage options, Progressive’s customers benefit from the company’s sleek website, which delivers quotes a lot faster than its competitors’ sites. In other words, Progressive is a great company to compare motorcycle insurance quotes against. All of these features make Progressive the best motorcycle insurance company overall.