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✔ Article reviewed by Ethan Orenstein. Bringing motorcycles back from the dead since 2013. Learn More.

Do You Need Insurance for a Motorcycle?

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Are you thinking about buying a motorcycle? You’re not alone. Motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular with people of all ages, from teens to adults. But before you go out and buy one, there is something very important that you should consider: insurance. 

Yes, even if your bike is the coolest ride around town, it won’t do much good if you don’t have the right coverage for it. The best way to protect yourself (and your bike) from any potential risks on the road is to get an appropriate motorcycle insurance policy.  So why should you bother with this seemingly tedious task? Well, here are just a few reasons why having proper motorcycle insurance could save your bacon in more ways than one.

Are You Required by Law to Have Motorcycle Insurance

With the exception of Florida and Montana, all states require some form of motorcycle insurance for any bike you ride in public. The coverage requirements vary by state, so it’s important to check with your local DMV before hitting the open road.

In general, you are required to have liability insurance which is the type of insurance that covers you if you cause an accident or damage someone else’s property.

Additionally, some states also require that you carry uninsured motorist coverage (UM) which pays for your medical expenses in the event of an accident with a driver who has no insurance. 

Minimum requirements for insurance liability will vary by state. It’s important to check your state’s requirements and meet them if you plan to ride your bike on public roads. 

How Liability Insurance Protects You

Having liability insurance coverage is an essential part of protecting yourself on the road.

It can protect you from financial responsibility if you are ever involved in an accident with another driver.

Without it, you could be held liable for any medical expenses or property damage that results from an incident that you cause. Additionally, liability coverage will also cover your legal fees should you need to go to court over an accident. 

Motorcycle Insurance and Bike Loans

You might know that when you finance a car, the lender almost always requires you to have comprehensive and collision coverage on top of your state-mandated liability insurance. The same usually applies to motorcycle loans.

The lender will require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage which pays for any repair or replacement costs to your bike in the event of an accident, theft, or natural disaster.

Even if you don’t have a loan on your bike, it’s still a good idea to carry these types of insurance as it can help ensure that your investment is protected in the case of an unexpected incident.

How Comprehensive and Collision Coverage Protects You

In addition to liability insurance, comprehensive and collision coverage can provide you with protection.

These two types of insurance cover the repair or replacement costs if your bike is ever damaged in an accident, by theft or vandalism, or even due to a natural disaster like floods or windstorms.

It’s important to note that while liability insurance will pay for the other driver’s medical and property damage expenses, comprehensive and collision coverage will only cover the costs associated with your motorcycle. 

Insurance Coverage for Custom Parts and Accessories

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your ride with chrome rims, customized seats and handlebars, custom paint jobs, or performance-enhancing parts like exhaust systems and carburetors, most standard policies won’t cover these accessories.

To make sure that all the money you’ve put into your bike is protected in the event of an accident, you’ll need to purchase additional coverage for custom parts and accessories. 

This type of insurance will cover any repairs or replacement costs related to damage due to an accident, theft, or natural disaster.

If you’re looking to ride a motorcycle, make sure that you secure the right kind of insurance first—it could save you time, money, and a whole lot of hassle down the road. 

Research all of your options before selecting a policy that meets both your state requirements as well as your own personal needs and preferences. With the right coverage in place, you can hit the open road confident that your bike (and yourself) are properly protected.

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Content Editor: Ethan Orenstein

Ethan is not just any motorcycle enthusiast. With a decade of experience riding, maintaining, and restoring a range of motorcycles, Ethan brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Many of the tips and tricks shared on this site are born from hours spent wrenching on personal bikes. Paired with his experience as a journalist covering DMV & insurance topics, MotorcycleZombies.com is a must-visit site for any home-mechanic. Every article has been carefully reviewed and edited to ensure accuracy, authenticity, and simplicity - all to help bring your bike back from the dead and onto the road.

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