How does motorcycle liability insurance work?

There are two types of liability coverage: bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. When you're deemed at fault for an accident, your insurance can pay for the damage you cause. The policy you buy defines limits that determine how much your insurance may pay. If you make a claim and that claim is approved, the insurance company can pay for damages up to the limits in the policy. If the damages exceed that amount, you'll need to pay for the difference yourself, so it's important to have limits that adequately protect your assets.

What does motorcycle liability insurance cover?

Motorcycle liability insurance covers damages you cause others — up to your policy's coverage limits — when you're deemed responsible for an accident. That includes:

  • Medical bills for injuries you cause to other drivers or pedestrians
  • Property damage, such as damage to other vehicles involved in the accident or objects and personal property, for example, if you crash into someone's fence
  • In some cases, legal fees associated with an accident if another party takes you to court

Motorcycle liability insurance typically does NOT cover damage to your bike when you are at fault for an accident. Learn more about motorcycle insurance coverages.

Do I need motorcycle liability insurance on an old motorcycle?

Generally speaking, yes. Any bike that will be on the road should carry motorcycle liability insurance. If you're a collector and own vintage bikes that are only for show and you don't ride, you may still want to carry liability insurance for collectible bikes in order to add comprehensive and collision coverage that could protect the bike in the event of a covered loss, including fire and theft. Learn more about motorcycle comprehensive coverage and motorcycle collision coverage.

Is motorcycle liability insurance worth it?

If you want to ride your motorcycle confidently, yes. Almost every state in the country requires some form of motorcycle liability coverage to ride legally. If you ride without insurance, you can incur heavy fines and other penalties, so if you plan to put your bike on the road — no matter how infrequently — you need to carry motorcycle liability insurance. Learn more about motorcycle insurance requirements by state.

Liability insurance is the most basic and commonly required form of insurance and is included in any standard motorcycle insurance policy.