Motorcycle insurance cost for new or vintage rides
Generally, brand new motorcycles will cost more to insure than used ones due to the cost of replacement. New motorcycle safety features like ABS may offset some of the higher premiums that come with new motorcycle insurance.
At the same time, premiums on vintage bikes could be relatively high, especially if it’s considered a classic or antique motorcycle.
Just like with auto insurance, the cost of motorcycle insurance partially depends on the type of motorcycle you are insuring. Factors such as safety features, the crash rate for that bike model, theft rate, the cost of replacement and the age of the bike are used in determining the cost of your classic motorcycle insurance. Sometimes a vintage motorcycle is just a great vintage bike, but if it’s been meticulously maintained or restored, it may qualify as an antique or classic. That may give you another option for how to keep classic motorcycle insurance cheaper.
When is a bike considered an antique, vintage or classic motorcycle?
A motorcycle generally is considered a classic, vintage or antique when it’s at least 20-25 years old and well maintained. When insuring a classic, vintage or antique motorcycle, there are criteria similar to those when you insure a classic car, such as:
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- A classic motorcycle should appear as if it just rolled off the manufacturing line and without any modifications. Your custom “classic” bike might still qualify if it was rebuilt with fabricated parts.
- An antique or classic motorcycle must be used on a limited basis, such as infrequent pleasure driving, shows, exhibitions, club activities or parades.
- You need to have restored, maintained or preserved your antique or classic motorcycle or it must be actively undergoing restoration. Keep in mind some insurers may decline coverage if the vehicle is not in excellent condition.
- Also, be prepared for an insurer to require you to keep your motorcycle stored in an enclosed building.
The insurance premiums for classic motorcycles might be higher due to the market value of the bike and the cost to replace or repair it. When insuring your classic motorcycle, consider insurance policies that include comprehensive and collision coverage, to cover any damage.
What type of insurance coverage is available for motorcycles?
Whether you ride regularly or on weekends, you will need insurance to ride legally in most states. You might want to check with your insurance agent to make sure your policies include:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability insurance – These insurance options pay for injuries or damage to other people or their property while you are riding. Motorcycle liability insurance is required in most states.
- Comprehensive and Collision Insurance – These coverages pay the cost to repair or replace your bike if it is damaged or stolen. If you have a lienholder, they likely require these coverages. Make sure your agent is aware of any customizations you have made, including a sidecar.
- Medical Payments Coverage – This can help ensure your medical payments are covered if you get into a crash. This coverage may not be available in all states.
If your motorcycle is an antique or classic, or has a higher value, you may want to consider insuring it with all the above options.
How much is motorcycle insurance?
Classic, antique or vintage motorcycle insurance
Older motorcycles vary in their insurance costs. While they tend to be less powerful than newer bikes, making them less risky, they can be harder to replace and more expensive to repair. Liability may be lower but comprehensive and collision might be more. In addition, the make, model and year of the motorcycle impact the price. An older, hard to find make and model, may be more expensive to insure than on that is more common.
New motorcycles insurance
By and large the most expensive type of motorcycles to insure tend to be sportbikes. These types of motorcycles are designed for speed, with sleek lines and more powerful engines, which drives up the cost of liability insurance. Also, some touring bikes with multiple features can be more expensive to insure because the repair or replacement cost is high. Generally, the average cost of motorcycle insurance can vary depending on the value of the motorcycle.
Insuring new motorcycles can also be pricier if you took out a loan to buy it. Lienholders typically require comprehensive and collision coverage in addition to the other coverages required in your state.
Used motorcycles insurance
Insurance rates for used motorcycles may be more affordable as value and replacement costs tend to be lower. Also, used motorcycle owners may consider liability-only coverages because there are no lienholder requirements on insurance.
Also, just like with auto insurance, there are factors such as the age of the rider, location you are riding and driving history that can determine your motorcycle insurance premium. When checking for low-cost motorcycle insurance rates, make sure to ask if there are discounts available for completing motorcycle safety courses.
Do I need to get my vintage motorcycle appraised?
Some insurance companies will quote your classic motorcycle using their own internal valuations. These, in part, will be based upon pricing guides such as the Kelly Blue Book Value and the NADA Motorcycle Appraisal Guide. If that value does not match what you think your motorcycle is worth, the insurer might allow for an “agreed value.” Typically, when they do, they will ask for your motorcycle to be appraised by a third party. Once the value is established, the insurer will determine if it’s reasonable.
Does the classic insurance policy cover my vintage accessories?
Motorcycle gear and accessories are typically covered under the comprehensive and collision part of the policy. However, they generally have a limit. This limit is the maximum amount the insurance will pay to replace the items, regardless of their real value. If you have vintage accessories, check with the insurance agent to make sure that amount will cover those items.
If your favorite ride is a vintage motorcycle, an antique rarity or a new cruising bike, make sure you and your motorcycle are covered with insurance that fits your needs. Be sure to talk with your insurance agent who can review policy options and discounts with you and help protect your ride.