Do you need motorcycle insurance?

Nearly every state requires proof of motorcycle insurance before you can register your bike and receive a license plate. You can buy a motorcycle without insurance, but if you plan to ride it legally, you need your state's minimum coverage limits. Motorcycle insurance protects more than your bike — it can cover you if you're liable in an accident where you injure someone or damage their property.

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A motorcycle and a person holding a motorcycle license plate.

Is motorcycle insurance required?

Nearly every state requires motorcycle insurance, and each state has its minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance. You can find your state's minimum motorcycle liability coverage limits in the tool in this article. If you're financing your bike, your lender will usually require you to carry comprehensive motorcycle coverage and collision motorcycle coverage.

Even if a state doesn’t mandate riders to carry motorcycle insurance, you’re still required to show financial responsibility if you cause an accident while riding.

Minimum liability limits for motorcycle insurance by state

Liability consists of two types of coverage: bodily injury and property damage. The chart represents three numbers that indicate each limit. For example, if the liability coverage required for motorcycle insurance in your state has a minimum limit of 25/50/25; you need at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage.

Select your state to see your minimum liability requirements:

Minimum liability requirementsLimit per person/Total bodily injury/Property damage
Minimum liability requirementsLimit per person/Total bodily injury/Property damage

When do you need motorcycle insurance?

Motorcycle insurance is required in nearly every state and is the best way to be sure you and your bike are protected. Here are a few instances when you should have motorcycle insurance in place before jumping on your bike and hitting the road.

  • You have a temporary permit: If your state requires insurance when you're a fully licensed rider, there’s a good chance they'll require it while you have a temporary permit as well.
  • If you're registering your motorcycle: Most states require proof of insurance when registering your bike. It's illegal to ride your motorcycle on the road if you haven't registered it.
  • If you financed your motorcycle: Most banks and lenders require insurance on their investments, so if you used a loan to buy your bike, there is a good chance you're required to have motorcycle insurance.

How much motorcycle insurance do you need?

Once you've satisfied the minimum liability requirements for riding in your state, the amount of insurance coverage you need depends on your bike and situation. If your net worth exceeds your state's minimum requirements, you might increase your liability limits to protect your assets. For instance, if your state’s minimum liability limits are $25,000/$50,000/$25,0000 and your assets exceed $50,000, consider bumping up your liability limits to $50,000/$100,000/$50,000.

Lenders generally require comprehensive and collision coverage on a financed or leased motorcycle, but the deductible amount is often your choice. A lower deductible will increase your cost for motorcycle insurance, but you'll pay less out of pocket in case of a claim. With a higher deductible you'll pay more for your claim, but your rate will be lower.

Do you need insurance for a motorcycle that’s paid in full?

Even if you have paid your bike off, comprehensive and collision coverage can be valuable to protect it against physical damage if it's damaged in an accident or from an event beyond your control. However, if your bike is worth less than a few thousand dollars, it may not make sense to pay for comprehensive and collision.

Many motorcycle insurers, including Progressive, give you the option to purchase additional coverages and features, such as total loss coverage for a new bike, carried contents coverage for personal items that you carry while you ride, and enhanced injury protection.

Check out all the motorcycle coverages Progressive offers.

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