Dirt bikes are generally covered under standard motorcycle insurance policies. There are a number of differences between dirt bikes and motorcycles, but they are similar enough that each vehicle is eligible for the same coverages and discounts.
Is Dirt Bike Insurance Required?
It depends on where you live and ride. Some states, such as New Jersey, require all dirt bikes (and ATVs) to be registered and at least have bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. In states that do not require dirt bikes to be registered or insured, riders might still have to show proof of insurance to ride in certain areas, such as state-owned parks or commercial properties designated for riders.
However, regardless of local requirements, dirt bike owners should strongly consider purchasing insurance to cover their bike and anyone who rides it. They are vehicles primarily designed for recreation but can be potentially dangerous, especially for inexperienced riders. There’s also a chance you might injure someone else while riding or that your dirt bike is stolen. The good news is that dirt bike insurance (via motorcycle insurance policies) offers coverages for a variety of situations.
Is a Dirt Bike a Motorcycle?
A dirt bike is a type of motorcycle. Much like cruisers or choppers, dirt bikes have two wheels and an engine, making them by definition motorcycles. What differentiates dirt bikes from other types of motorbikes is that dirt bikes are lightweight and designed for off-road riding. In fact, some states have laws against riding a dirt bike on public roads. Regardless of whether your dirt bike is street legal, companies typically offer dirt bike insurance under a motorcycle insurance policy.
What Dirt Bike Insurance Covers
Since most motorcycle insurance policies cover dirt bikes (as well as mopeds and scooters), the same coverage is available for the all-terrain vehicles. Basic dirt bike insurance policies include bodily injury and property damage liability coverage but there are a number of other optional coverages dirt bike owners should consider purchasing.
Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: These two coverages are included in every dirt bikes insurance policy. They cover any injuries or damages the rider causes to other people while operating their dirt bike. Bodily injury and property damage coverages each have their own claim limits – the maximum amount of money an insurance company will pay out for a claim.
Dirt bikes are fun and others might want to ride yours – with or without your permission. It is important to remember that whether someone has permission or not (such as a neighbor’s kids), the owner of a dirt bike could be liable for anything that might happen to them. The only way to ensure you’re protected from any serious financial consequence is to insure your dirt bike with these coverages. Dirt bikes are typically not allowed on streets, so while property damage claims might seem less likely, they can easily happen. A dirt biker might accidently ride somewhere they aren't permitted and damage a trail, lawn or crop they are then responsible for repairing.
Medical Payments (Optional): This coverage pays medical bills for you (the rider) and any passenger in the event you’re injured on your dirt bike. The coverage applies to any incident, regardless of who is at fault, and can act as supplemental coverage if a rider meets their health insurance coverage limit. While head injuries tend to more severe, some of the most common dirt bike injuries are to knee ligaments, shoulders, collarbones and ankle and wrist sprains. These types of injuries would be within the scope of your dirt bike insurance policy.
Collision And Comprehensive (Optional): Whether a rider collides with another vehicle, object or a rough patch of terrain, collision coverage will pay for those damages. Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages related to almost anything else, such as flooding, fire and theft. If a rider purchases collision and comprehensive coverages they choose a deductible for each one.
Collision and comprehensive coverages are ones every dirt bike owner should consider if they use their bike for more than leisurely activity. For example, if a farmer or rancher uses their dirt bike to traverse their own property, it’s more important that bike is repaired or replaced as quickly as possible.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (Optional): Sometimes shortened to UM/UIM, this optional dirt bike insurance coverage protects riders and their dirt bike. In the event an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes an accident and cannot pay for damages to a rider or their bike, this coverage can pay for expenses incurred in that circumstance.
Not Covered: Motorcross / Racing: A standard dirt bike insurance policy will not cover organized racing, called motocross. Racing is inherently more dangerous than casual riding and standard insurance policies are not priced with that level of injury risk in mind. Typically, racetracks offer some type of policy or coverage participants either can or are required to purchase.
How Much Does Bike Insurance Cost?
Dirt bike insurance policies are generally less expensive than motorcycle insurance policies. GEICO offers standard bodily injury and property damage liability coverage for as little as $99 per year. They are cheaper for a couple reasons. Unlike motorcycles, it is illegal to drive dirt bikes on highways and roads and riders probably spend less time on them. Dirt bikes are also typically much less powerful than motorcycles.
For example, the difference in engines between motorcycles and dirt bikes by Kawasaki (one of the most popular manufacturers) is significant. Most standard Kawasaki dirt bikes designed for the average rider have 144cc, while most of their motorcycles have between 634cc and 1,441cc. Even Kawasaki’s motocross dirt bikes designed for racing only have 449cc.
Best Cheap Motorcycle Insurance for Dirt Bikes
While dirt bikes themselves can be expensive, most motorcycle insurance policies are quite affordable. Price should always be a consideration, but we recommend you also consider a policy's perks and features before signing up for coverage. To help aid dirt bike riders, we highlight some of the best cheap motorcycle insurance companies below. All of them offer perks beyond just low rates.
Best for Minimum Coverage: GEICO
If you're just looking to stay street legal, GEICO offers some of the cheapest dirt bike insurance rates available. On top of this, GEICO offers motorcycle insurance payment plans, which is a great feature for customers who are on a tight budget and would rather not make one large lump-sum payment. Policyholders have the option to pay in four, six or nine installments for a policy that is one year in length. While paying in installments comes with a fee, it's usually just a few extra dollars. In addition to cheap dirt bike insurance policies, GEICO also offers one of the best mobile apps among insurance companies. It can save you time on simple tasks like paying your bill, getting ID cards or making changes to your motorcycle insurance policy.
Best for Custom Dirt Bikes: Progressive
Progressive offers custom parts coverage, so it's a great choice for anyone who enjoys customizing their dirt bike. Let's say you've recently modified your bike with new decals and a custom seat. If you were in a covered accident and have comprehensive and collision insurance, you'd be covered for up to $3,000 for these customizations. On top of this, policyholders can purchase $30,000 of additional custom-parts coverage. Very few other dirt bike insurance companies offer such competitive coverage for custom dirt bikes.
Best for Multiple Dirt Bikes: Markel
Markel is great for riders who have multiple dirt bikes because of its multiunit discount. The discount decreases premiums for policyholders who have more than one motorcycle insured with Markel. Markel also provides insurance coverage for other off-road vehicles, like ATVs and UTVs, making it a great choice for someone who enjoys off-roading with multiple vehicles. Another benefit is that Markel has other discounts that are easy to qualify for. For instance, if you switch from another dirt bike insurance company, you'll automatically save 10% on your motorcycle insurance premium.
Dirt Bike Insurance Discounts
Like motorcycles, dirt bikes are eligible for a number of discounts. Some of the discounts are ones dirt bike owners are probably already familiar with, such as a discount for purchasing more than one policy. Insurers typically offer at least a 10% discount on the annual premium of a policy when “bundling” policies together.
Installing some types of anti-theft devices is another easy way to get a discount on a dirt bike insurance policy. Generally, only a radio or GPS location device (sometimes called a “dirt bike finder”) qualify a policyholder for this discount. Most companies offer a discount of at least 10% if a dirt bike has a device professionally installed.
Some insurance companies might also offer a discount if a dirt bike rider completes a safety course but this is not nearly as common a discount as it is for motorcycle riders. One reason might be there are fewer dirt bike-specific courses offered because they are off-road vehicles, while motorcycles which are street-legal.
Although it is highly recommended that all riders wear a helmet while on a dirt bike, it is not required by law and does not warrant a discount on dirt bike insurance policies.
Are Dirt Bikes Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
No. Your dirt bike is most likely not covered by your homeowners insurance policy (neither is a motorcycle or ATV). Even if your dirt bike is stored inside your home, garage or shed on your property, it will most likely not be covered if it is damaged or stolen.
Dirt bikes are usually less expensive than motorcycles so some owners might decide to take a chance and not insure their bike. However, this is ill-advised. Dirt bike insurance covers more than damage to your bike or if it is stolen, it provides liability coverage which is equally or more important.