What Does Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

What Does Full-Coverage Motorcycle Insurance Cover?

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Full-coverage motorcycle insurance covers repairs or replacement if your bike is damaged or stolen, as well as damage you may cause in an accident. Typically, it includes comprehensive and collision insurance, in addition to any state-mandated liability coverage.

A full-coverage policy is the best way to protect your bike. However, these policies are usually much more expensive than those that include only the state-required liability coverages.

What's included in a full-coverage motorcycle insurance policy?

The defining feature of a full-coverage motorcycle policy is that it includes collision and comprehensive insurance, though these policies also include the coverages required by your state.

State-mandated coverages for riders often include:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Personal injury protection

Collision and comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive and collision coverage are first-party coverages that pay to repair or replace your motorcycle in the event of a covered loss. Collision coverage pays for damage that results from an accident with another vehicle or object — including incidents like hit-and-runs — while comprehensive coverage covers theft as well as "act of God" incidents. This includes damage to your bike from flooding, fires, hail and falling objects.

Comprehensive coverage can be particularly helpful for seasonal motorcycle riders, as it protects your bike while it is stored. So when it's not riding season — which can be a significant amount of time for some — or you don't get your bike out very often, you still are protected for possible damage.

When you file a collision or comprehensive claim, your insurer will pay to repair or replace your bike (as long as your claim is approved). Most policies include coverage for your bike up to its actual cash value, also known as current market value.

Some insurers offer riders the option to upgrade to replacement cost for newer motorcycles, which ensures you'll be able to purchase a brand new bike if your motorcycle is totaled in an accident. Custom bike owners can also choose policies that use an agreed value that covers the cost to repair or replace the custom features of your bike.

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Motorcycle accessories — which include fairings, saddlebags, windshields and luggage racks — may not be covered by full-coverage motorcycle insurance. Some insurers automatically include a certain amount of accessory coverage — such as Progressive, which includes $3,000 in accessory coverage. Others have it available as an optional add-on coverage when you buy collision and comprehensive coverage, and some may not offer it at all.

It's important to check your policy's limitations when it comes to custom parts, original equipment manufacturer parts and new vehicle replacement.

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Bodily injury and property damage liability insurance cover damage you may cause other motorists and their property in an accident. For example, if you crash your motorcycle into someone's car and cause $10,000 in damage to their vehicle and injure the other driver, resulting in medical expenses, that would be covered by liability insurance. These coverages are required for riders in many states. However, even if it isn't required, we recommend that you buy a policy that includes liability coverage to protect your assets if you are at fault in an accident.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage covers losses you may experience in an accident caused by a driver who doesn't have sufficient liability insurance or isn't insured at all. There are two kinds of UM/UIM coverage — bodily injury and property damage — which function the same way as the liability insurance that we discussed in the previous section.

UM/UIM bodily injury coverage will pay for medical bills if you are injured by a motorist that doesn't have insurance or has insufficient bodily injury liability limits to cover your bills. Similarly, UM/UIM property damage insurance covers damage to your bike caused by a motorist without sufficient property damage liability limits.

Personal injury protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) is insurance that pays for your own medical expenses and lost wages due to an injury that occurs in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. PIP is required in one-third of states, but it is available in nearly half. Because PIP is a no-fault coverage, you can expect to get your medical bills paid more quickly than with liability insurance, where an insurer will only pay out when one party is determined to be at fault.

How much is full-coverage motorcycle insurance?

While your rates will depend on a variety of factors — including your driving record, age and motorcycle make and model — full-coverage motorcycle insurance is typically much more costly than a basic policy with just liability insurance. Based on the quotes we gathered, buying a full-coverage motorcycle insurance policy that includes the minimum required liability insurance plus collision and comprehensive insurance is an average of 10 times more expensive than purchasing the state minimum of liability insurance and PIP (when required).

A bar graph showing the price of state minimum coverage versus full-coverage motorcycle insurance
A bar graph showing the price of state minimum coverage versus full-coverage motorcycle insurance

Compare Cheap Motorcycle Insurance Quotes

Currently insured?
City
Minimum coverage
Full coverage
Dallas$136$1,407
Los Angeles$187$1,677
Las Vegas$118$1,487

Why is full-coverage motorcycle insurance more expensive?

The main reason that full-coverage motorcycle insurance is so much more expensive than a basic liability policy is that motorcycle riders are seen as very likely to get into an accident by insurance companies. This means that your insurer assumes that you will probably end up filing a collision claim — and therefore will be more costly for it to insure.

Which company has the cheapest full-coverage motorcycle insurance?

Motorcycle insurance costs can vary significantly based on where you live, your age, the type of motorcycle that you drive and your driving history. We found that Nationwide has the best rates for full-coverage motorcycle insurance, with an average annual rate of $593 a year. Along with inexpensive rates, Nationwide offers a range of coverage limits, vanishing deductible and high customer satisfaction ratings.

Should you get full-coverage motorcycle insurance?

Whether you should opt for full-coverage insurance over the required liability coverage will depend on two factors: the value of your bike and if your motorcycle is your main mode of transportation.

If your motorcycle is worth more than $5,000 — or is a classic or custom ride — you should strongly consider getting full motorcycle coverage. For bikes of this value, the increased premiums for comprehensive and collision coverage are justified when you consider the potential loss.

For bikes worth less than $5,000, the increase in insurance costs will likely surpass what you can expect to get out of the coverage. Therefore, the cheapest option may be to buy a policy without collision or comprehensive coverage, save the money you would have otherwise spent, and simply pay out of pocket for any necessary repairs.

However, we recommend that riders gather their own quotes and consider their riding safety and personal financial situation before ruling out a full-coverage policy.

You should also consider a full-coverage policy if you rely on your motorcycle for everyday transportation. If you get into an accident and have collision coverage, you won't have to wait for another driver's insurance to pay out for repairs. That means that your bike will be back on the road sooner than if you only had liability coverage. Similarly, with comprehensive coverage, you won't be without a vehicle if your bike is stolen and you don't have the cash on hand to replace it.

Methodology

We collected thousands of quotes from six major insurance companies across the country to determine the average annual cost of motorcycle insurance nationally.

To calculate the difference between the annual cost of state-minimum and full-coverage motorcycle insurance, we compared quotes for a single 35-year-old male with a clean driving record who has been riding a motorcycle for 10 years. We analyzed quotes for a 2021 Yamaha V Star 250, Kawasaki Ninja 400 ABS and BMW R 1250 RS. We used the following limits for full-coverage policy quotes:

Coverage
Limit
Bodily injury liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Property damage liability$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Medical payments$5,000
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible
Uninsured motorist property damageNone
Rental car reimbursementNone
Roadside assistanceNone

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.