Markel Motorcycle Insurance Review: Good Coverage and Rates

Markel Motorcycle Insurance Review: Good Coverage and 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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Find Cheap Motorcycle Insurance Quotes in Your 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 motorcycle coverage, if it's offered where you live. Its rates and coverage options are above average, though prices vary significantly from state to state. A specialty insurance company, Markel provides motorcycle and home insurance, as well as niche policies related to farming.

Markel motorcycle insurance: Our thoughts

Markel has a nice mix of motorcycle coverage options and affordable rates. Cost-wise, Markel insurance is slightly better than average overall, though there is substantial variation in its rates across states.

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

We appreciate that Markel rewards safe motorcyclists. With Markel, riders can save money by taking a safety course or by being claim-free for several years.

Markel has an above-average variety of coverage options. Besides the standard offerings, it allows customers to insure their trailer or get coverage for mechanical breakdowns.

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 in all 50 states. It's not concentrated in a certain region or area of the United States like most smaller insurers. The nine states where Markel sells motorcycle coverage are all over the country: 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

Markel motorcycle insurance typically cost $707 per year across the nine states where it offers coverage. That's 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

Bar chart comparing the cost of Markel motorcycle insurance with competitors

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 on price varied significantly by state. In California, for example, 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.

State
Average cost
Markel
% 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 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 provides multi-policy discounts, as well as discounts for both switching and loyalty.

One thing notably missing from 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 standard car insurance, 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 the average motorcycle insurer. In addition to standard and legally required coverages like liability, comprehensive and collision coverage, Markel offers a few extra options.

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 provides other types of insurance products including ATV insurance, classic car insurance and 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 average customer service among motorcycle insurers, though customer impressions are generally positive. In 2018, Markel didn't receive any consumer complaints for 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 expected for a company of its size.

It's worth noting that as a small insurer, Markel's complaint index is disproportionately affected by a small number of individual complaints: in 2017, it received only 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 AM Best 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 where 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:

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

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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