A lot of riders think of motorcycle insurance as yet another costly legal requirement standing between them and the open road. However, we found the most affordable annual cost of motorcycle insurance in Illinois was $355.
Compare Motorcycle Insurance Quotes from Providers in Illinois
To get you started right, we gathered nearly 1,200 quotes for addresses across Illinois to identify which motorcycle insurers offer the best combination of value and quality. Use the above quote tool, or continue reading for our comparisons of insurance companies.
Best for most people: Nationwide
We found that for most riders in Illinois, Nationwide's motorcycle insurance offers the best all-around package of low premiums, coverage benefits and service quality. The annual rate for a standard policy at Nationwide was $413, which is 40% cheaper than the statewide average for similar coverage. This leaves plenty of room to customize your policy with add-ons that may be uniquely relevant for you.
The optional extras at Nationwide include protections such as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) coverage, which guarantees that your policy will cover the cost of replacement parts produced by the vehicle manufacturer rather than cheaper third-party parts. Nationwide's OEM coverage applies to parts on your bike that are less than 10 years old.
Nationwide's customer service appears solid. While J.D. Power only ranked Nationwide 12th of 24 auto insurance providers available in its "North Central" region, we also saw that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) gave Nationwide's biggest subsidiary in Illinois an NAIC Complaint Index of just 0.34. This number means Nationwide customers filed just a third as many complaints as expected for a typical company of its size.
Best rates for motorcycle insurance: GEICO
Our analysis of quotes in Illinois showed that GEICO consistently offered the cheapest rates for motorcycle insurance in the state, charging an average of $355 per year. On top of that, GEICO offers premium discounts for switching your carrier, renewing your policy and taking an accredited motorcycle safety course.
In addition to its extreme affordability, GEICO also holds up well in its policy options. It ranked in the upper half of auto insurance providers in J.D. Power's consumer survey of auto insurance satisfaction, actually outscoring the overall winner in the policy offerings category. Some of the extras available to riders at GEICO include coverages for damage to:
- Aftermarket seats and handlebars
- Electronic gear
- Nonstock sidecars
- Trike conversion kits
However, GEICO's performance on claims appears to be a point of weakness. The NAIC recorded a 2018 Complaint Index of 1.20 for GEICO's auto policies. That translates to customers who are 20% more likely to file a formal complaint about GEICO's service than would be typical given the company's market share. In addition, GEICO's mostly decent J.D. Power scores were dragged down by its subpar rating on claims satisfaction.
Best for frequent riders: Progressive
If riding motorcycles is a major part of your life, Progressive's comprehensive coverages and discounts for members of motorcycle associations make it the first insurer to consider. Getting your motorcycle policy from Progressive gives you the option to add total loss coverage, which ensures you'll be reimbursed for the entire cost of replacing your bike.
Unlike other companies, Progressive offers total loss protection for bikes up to two years old (the usual limit being one year). In addition, the company's OEM coverage guarantees that your policy will restore any damage to your motorcycle with parts from the original manufacturer rather than third-party parts. The extra protection at Progressive can even extend to the belongings you carry on your bike, such as cellphones or camping gear.
Where cost is concerned, Progressive quotes in Illinois came out to an average of $690 — a few dollars over the state average for one year of coverage. While this makes Progressive a relatively expensive choice for motorcycle insurance, the insurer shines when it comes to providing options.
How we chose the best motorcycle insurers in Illinois
Our selection of insurance providers for motorcycle policies in Illinois was based on an evaluation of three major categories:
- Affordability: How much will a typical rider pay for coverage?
- Coverage options: What features and benefits are available?
- Customer service: How well does the insurer meet customer needs?
Each of these areas is an important element of effective insurance coverage. Policies need to fit into your budget while also providing strong protection — both on paper and in the company's ability to deliver on its written promises. In order to evaluate each motorcycle insurance provider in Illinois on a level playing field, we looked at several metrics relevant to affordability, coverage and service.
Affordability: Finding cheap motorcycle insurance in Illinois
The first and most important step in comparing motorcycle insurance options was to collect quotes that would tell us the relative cost of coverage at each provider. For most people, cost is the primary motivator in selecting an insurer. We think that shopping to find the cheapest rate can be an effective strategy — as long as it's done the right way.
|Company||Annual motorcycle insurance rate|
What we mean by this is that the cheapest rate you see in a quote doesn't necessarily indicate the best value for your particular situation. For instance, standard coverage at GEICO costs less than any other major insurer in Illinois. However, adding in the cost of coverage for custom fairing, handlebars, seats and other parts may result in a more expensive overall quote than you might find with an insurer that specializes in custom rides.
Your costs will also be impacted by the model and make of your bike, as well as personal details like your age and level of riding experience. The quotes we've provided were based on a 45-year-old rider with 20 years' motorcycle experience, riding a 2019 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide. Our selected levels of coverage were:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $50,000 per accident
- Collision coverage: Included/$500 deductible
- Comprehensive coverage: Included/$500 deductible
- All other coverages: Not included
Coverage options: comparing motorcycle insurance policies and benefits
The second step to determining the best motorcycle insurer in Illinois was to consider the policy details at each insurer. While every insurance company we looked at provides at least the legally required minimum coverage for the state, not all of them include much more beyond that. For frequent riders and those who have invested more in their bikes, add-ons like OEM parts coverage and accessory coverage can be as important as liability protection.
Recognizing that this kind of additional coverage usually drives premiums higher, we focused on providers who were able to offer extra features at reasonable rates. We also looked for insurance policies in which a rider had the ability to adjust his or her coverages well after starting the policy — a sign of flexibility that helps motorcycle owners balance cost and protection.
Customer service: Evaluating insurer quality in service and claims
Finally, we also had to consider whether an insurer would likely provide a smooth and helpful experience to a rider who ended up making a claim. For this we looked at the following metrics:
|Insurer||NAIC Complaint Index||J.D. Power rank||A.M. Best FSR|
NAIC Complaint Index: Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners compiles statistics on the number of consumer complaints it receives about every auto insurance company in the country. Each company's NAIC Complaint Index is equal to its relative share of complaints divided by its market share. This means that an insurer with a complaint index under 1.0 is receiving fewer complaints than would be expected for a business of its size.
J.D. Power rankings: J.D. Power is best known for studying consumer attitudes about vehicle manufacturers, but it also looks at the insurance companies that cover those vehicles. The company asked auto insurance customers to rate their providers in areas like variety of options, billing process, service interactions and claims. We used these scores to help compare how likely insurers would be to meet user needs.
A.M. Best FSR: The Financial Strength Rating maintained by A.M. Best is a measure of an insurance company's ability to survive the financial stress of paying out its claims, especially in times of mass disaster or economic recession. While most companies maintain a high FSR, we relied on it to ensure that our recommendations steered clear of any insurers that posed any real risk of defaulting on a claim.
Illinois motorcycle insurance: Costs by city
Insuring a motorcycle can cost you different amounts depending on where you live. Local road conditions, traffic patterns and accident statistics may all factor into the rates that insurers determine for coverage in a particular area. To see how motorcycle insurance premiums varied in Illinois, we gathered quotes using one profile in 15 of the state's largest cities.
|City||Average annual cost||Difference vs. state average|
Chicago is by far the most expensive place to insure a motorcycle in Illinois, with an average yearly bill of nearly $1,200 for our selected levels of coverage. This puts the cost of insurance in Chicago 75% above the statewide average of $685. Other cities with high premiums for motorcycle riders included Cicero and Skokie, which came in at $1,100 and $850 respectively.
Illinois motorcycle insurance requirements
In Illinois, all motorcycle riders are required to have liability coverage. This covers the cost of damage that a rider causes to other motorists or their property. The state's minimum required levels of coverage include the following:
|Coverage type||Required amount|
|Bodily injury liability (BIL)||$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$20,000 per accident|
Insurers will almost never sell you a policy that offers coverage below these minimums, so it's unlikely you'll be in violation of the law so long as you have insurance of some kind. However, you can't assume that bare-bones coverage is sufficient to protect you financially. For one, the law says nothing about collision and comprehensive coverage for your motorcycle itself. Liability insurance alone won't cover the costs of fixing your ride.
How do you get a motorcycle license in Illinois?
There are two kinds of license endorsements that apply to motorcycles in Illinois: class L licenses for "motor-driven cycles with less than 150cc displacement" and class M for "any motorcycle or motor-driven cycle." Given the difference, most riders will want to obtain a class M license. The requirements for a class M endorsement include:
- Show proof of identity
- Pass written knowledge test
- Pass either a rider skill test or an approved training course
- Pass vision exam
If you're 16 or 17 years old, you must take both the approved education course and the skill test. If you don't currently have a regular Illinois driver's license, you'll also need to pass the basic written test and vehicle test for that certification before earning your class M endorsement for motorcycles.
Our search for the best motorcycle insurance in Illinois began with 1,145 quotes collected for 235 addresses in the state. All quotes were for a 45-year-old male rider and a 2019 Harley-Davidson FLHX Street Glide. The rider was also a married homeowner who had 20 years' motorcycle experience — all factors that can affect your own quote in different ways.