Why Motorcycle Insurance Is So Costly In New York City

Motorcycle insurance rates in the state of New York are similar those of other states but the cost of premiums in New York City are stratospheric. 

We found the average motorcycle insurance quote for a sample policy and rider in the state of New York was $537, while the average in New York City was $1,486. That’s nearly three times the cost for the typical sample rider we gathered data for.

The study included quotes for more than 80 addresses throughout New York City alone and no single area pulled the city’s average that high. All five boroughs had an average quote with a range of $1,480 and $1,498. 

Generally, large cities and metropolitan areas have the highest motorcycle insurance premiums – and New York City obviously supports that trend – but the difference between the state average and the largest city is wider in New York than other states. For example, the average quote in the state of California for the identical sample policy and rider was $665, but Los Angeles and San Francisco had annual rates of $960 and $979, respectively.

New York City is also unique because roughly 40% of the population of New York state lives there, meaning a large number motorcycle riders are affected. In most other states, the population is more distributed across cities and geographic areas.

The city that never sleeps is known to have a cost of living, but why are motorcycle insurance rates there so high?

It’s hard to say for certain. Like all places, the cost to insure a motorcycle in New York City is impacted by a long list of factors. However, there are some things that likely contributed to the rates. Claim history is taken into consideration by every insurance company when pricing policies and if claims weren’t happening as frequently or costing as much, premiums wouldn’t cost so much in the city.

Most motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle incidents, meaning the motorcycle and rider were the only things involved. So while it’s not probable that bodily injury claims in New York City – which would cover the cost of injuries caused to others by rider – are driving up rates, that might partly be the cause. Pedestrians are constantly crossing streets in the city.

It’s probably more likely that motorcycle passengers injured in crashes and resulting in bodily injury claims. Property damage liability is also a contributor. Although a motorcycle crash might not injure anyone else, a rider in New York is probably far more likely to wreck into another vehicle or building than in more rural areas.

Our sample motorcycle insurance policy also included comprehensive and collision coverage, which likely had a significant impact on the cost in New York City. Combined, the two cover costs to repair a motorcycle after an accident as well as in the event it is damaged or lost in a flood, fire or some other peril. 

Comprehensive coverage also will replace a motorcycle if it is stolen – a major expense for insurers and something that happens frequently. Motorcycles, even those with anti-theft devices, are highly sought after by thieves. 

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