Markel Motorcycle Insurance Review: Good coverage options, uneven rates

Markel Motorcycle Insurance Review: Good coverage options, uneven rates

Editor's Rating

Markel has a nice range of extra coverages available, but you can't bundle your policy with car insurance.

Good for

  • Safe motorcycle riders
  • Residents of California

Bad for

  • People who want to bundle their policy with car insurance
  • Riders who live outside of Markel's coverage area
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Editor's Rating

Markel has a nice range of extra coverages available, but you can't bundle your policy with car insurance.

Good for

  • Safe motorcycle riders
  • Residents of California

Bad for

  • People who want to bundle their policy with car insurance
  • Riders who live outside of Markel's coverage area
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Markel insurance is a good choice for residents of states where it's available. Its rates and coverage options are better than average, though insurance prices vary significantly in competitiveness from state to state. It's a specialty insurance company that provides motorcycle and home insurance, in addition to more niche policies related to farming.

Markel motorcycle insurance: Our thoughts

We found Markel to be a good motorcycle insurer, with a nice mix of coverage options and affordable rates. The cost of Markel insurance is slightly better than average overall, but the competitiveness of its rates differed substantially across states.

For example, we found that Markel's rates were an impressive 56% cheaper than the average insurer we looked at, representing a savings of over $700. In Florida, on the other hand, Markel's rates were starkly more expensive than is typical, with an average price that was 60% more than competing insurers.

We're fans of the fact that Markel rewards safe motorcyclists. Riders can save money at Markel by taking a safety course, as well as by being claim-free for several years.

Markel has an above-average variety of coverage options. Besides standard offerings, it allows customers to insure their trailer, as well as opt for mechanical breakdown coverage.

The biggest downside to Markel is that you can't take advantage of a bundle discount.

Markel only offers motorcycle insurance in nine states, though the company is licensed to operate in all 50 states. However, unlike most smaller insurers it's not concentrated in a certain region or area of the United States; the states where Markel sells coverage are all over the country. The nine states where Markel motorcycle insurance is available are Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont.

U.S. map showing where Markel insurance is available

U.S. map showing where Markel insurance is available

Cost of Markel motorcycle insurance

We found that Markel had a typical motorcycle insurance cost of $707 per year across the nine states where it offers coverage. That makes it about 8% cheaper than the average cost we found among four major motorcycle insurance companies, resulting in an average savings of $48.44.

Bar chart comparing the cost of Markel motorcycle insurance with competitors

[Cost of Markel Motorcycle Insurance vs. Competitors" alt="Bar chart comparing the cost of Markel motorcycle insurance with competitors"]markel-motorcycle-insurance-m_mnfhla

Quotes are based on averages across the nine states where Markel provides motorcycle insurance, except for Dairyland, which does not offer coverage in Alaska.

However, Markel's competitiveness when it comes to price varied significantly by state. In California, for example, we found that Markel offered rates 56% less expensive than the average among companies we looked at. On the other hand, Florida motorcycle riders can expect to pay almost 60% more at Markel than a typical company.

StateAverage costMarkel% difference from average
9 state average$755$707-8.4%
Alaska$540$75172.8%
California$1,462$746-56.1%
Florida$993$1,38159.9%
Georgia$883$544-45.4%
Michigan$995$930-8.5%
North Dakota$401$43511.7%
South Dakota$493$60532.8%
Vermont$488$5208.9%
Wyoming$449$4490.1%
Markel motorcycle insurance has limited availability in southeastern Georgia. Statewide average based on typical price across Markel, Dairyland, GEICO and Progressive.

Insurance discounts at Markel

Markel offers a moderate variety of insurance discounts to riders who use their bike safely. For example, Markel will lower your rate if you have taken a motorcycle safety course, or if you meet certain requirements for being a safe rider.

Some of Markel's best savings opportunities are for motorcycle riders with safe driving histories. For example, if you've gone four years without a crash, Markel will also waive your deductible for your first incident. And should you ever get in an accident, Markel will waive your first at-fault accident surcharge, so long as you've had four years without an at-fault crash.

Markel also provides multi-policy discounts, as well as discounts for both switching and loyalty.

One notable absence on Markel's discount list is a multi-policy discount for bundling your motorcycle and auto insurance policies together. As a specialty insurance company, Markel does not provide insurance for standard cars, so you can't save money by combining those policies together.

Markel motorcycle insurance discounts

  • Transfer/switch discount
  • Renewal discount
  • Multi-bike discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Safety course discount
  • Anti-lock brakes discount
  • Anti-theft alarm discount
  • Diminishing deductible
  • Accident forgiveness program

Coverages from Markel Insurance

Markel has more coverage options than an average motorcycle insurer. In addition to standard and legally required coverages like liability, comprehensive and collision coverage, Markel offers a few extra options for its customers.

For example, Markel offers riders rental reimbursement coverage, which pays for a rental vehicle while your motorcycle is being repaired after a covered incident. They also offer coverage for motorcycle trailers and mechanical breakdown coverage, both of which are fairly rare among motorcycle insurance companies.

As a specialty insurance company, Markel also provides many other types of insurance products: from ATV and classic car insurance to even farm and ferrier (professional horseshoe applier) insurance. However, Markel does not provide regular car insurance, so you can't insure your everyday car with the company.

Notable motorcycle coverages from Markel

  • Roadside assistance
  • Accessories
  • Motorcycle trailer
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Mechanical breakdown

Markel Insurance reviews and ratings

Markel has about typical customer service among motorcycle insurers, though customer impressions are generally positive. In 2018, Markel didn't receive any consumer complaints for any of its personal passenger vehicle lines from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). However, in 2017 it had a 2.7 complaint index from the NAIC, meaning that it received 2.7 times as many complaints as could be expected for a company of its size.

It's worth noting that as a small insurer, Markel's complaint index is disproportionately affected by individual complaints: in 2017, it received two complaints nationwide. Additionally; the NAIC doesn't break out motorcycle insurance as a separate category.

Markel does have strong financial stability. Financial ratings company gave it an "A" rating, meaning that Markel has an "excellent" ability to meet claim demands, even in times of high claim demand or economic downturn.

Methodology

To understand the cost of Markel motorcycle insurance, we collected motorcycle insurance quotes for 769 different locations across the nine states Markel offers motorcycle insurance: Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

Our sample rider is a 45-year-old man who rides a 2019 Harley Davidson FLHX Street Glide. He has been riding a motorcycle since he was 25 and carries the following insurance limits:

CoverageLimit
Bodily injury$100k/$300k
Property damage$50k
ComprehensiveIncluded, $500 deductible
CollisionIncluded, $500 deductible

Matt is a Technical Writer at ValuePenguin who works on distilling the complex details of insurance into accessible advice. He previously created educational content at Grovo Learning and MarketSmiths Content Strategists. Matt's consumer-focused analysis of insurance has appeared in publications like CNBC, Yahoo Finance and the Miami Herald.

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.

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