Best and Cheapest Motorcycle Insurance in California for 2024

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Esurance, Inc.
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Allstate
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USAA
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Dairyland
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Metlife, Inc.
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Safeco Insurance
3.41 ★★★★★
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AAA
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Allied Insurance
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Mapfre Insurance
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Nationwide
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Pure
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Hagerty
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What are the best motorcycle policies for drivers in California?

Have you ever pictured yourself riding a motorcycle down a highway near the coast, taking in gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean from a picture-perfect cliffside California road?

If so, you're not alone. Motorcycles are popular in the Golden State, with more than 828,000 of them being registered there, according to The Motley Fool. That's more motorcycles than in any other state. Some people drive motorcycles as their everyday mode of transportation. Others only take short rides or enjoy going on long road trips with friends. Finding the perfect motorcycle is the first step.

However, if you want to have a motorcycle in California, there are steps that you must take to make sure your bike is legally registered and insured with California motorcycle insurance. More importantly, you should make sure you have the proper coverage if you're involved in an accident. Without the protection of a traditional car, even a small fender bender could lead to death or long-term disability. Coverage is a must and should not be considered extra protection. A motorcycle insurance quote takes into account all these factors to give you a price for peace of mind.

Do I need motorcycle insurance in California?

Similar to most states, California requires motorcyclists to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. The state's requirements are:

  • $5,000 for property damage
  • $15,000 for injury to an individual
  • and $30,000 for injuries to multiple victims.

It’s up to you to decide what type of coverage you need, like if you want higher coverage limits and additional coverage such as collision or comprehensive. They are optional for many, however, it’s encouraged that all bikers consider these insurance coverages. Additional liability motorcycle insurance coverage would offer you more protection to you and your assets if you’re found at fault for an accident.

If you were to get into an accident with your motorcycle in California and you don't have collision coverage, you would be responsible to pay for the damages to your bike. Likewise, if your bike were to be damaged by a fire or severe weather and you don't have comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage, your insurer would not cover you for the damages.

The bigger concern for many motorcycle drivers and their families is medical costs. Even if you're a responsible drivers, people in cars may not see you. A small bump could lead to weeks or months in the hospital and death or disability. Unlike automobile drivers, many motorcycle riders choose to carry higher medical bills coverage and funeral costs or other benefits you generally see in life insurance policies. While not required, you probably wouldn't want to face the medical bills after an accident without them.

How much is motorcycle insurance in California?

The cost of motorcycle insurance in California varies greatly based on types of motorcycles, your age, your chosen coverage, and other factors. If you're an experienced rider, you may pay around an average cost of $500 per year for motorcycle insurance, but the price can vary if you live in San Francisco vs Los Angeles. Even within the same city, your zip code can change your coverage rates.

If you're lack riding experience new driver, you should expect to pay a high price for motorcycle insurance. Likewise, if you have a luxury motorcycle of high value, your premium could be higher than $1,000 per year. Much like people driving cars or trucks, you're a riskier prospect due to lack of experience and a lack of history with that particular company. The fact that many people don't go through formal training to drive a motorcycle adds to this risk.

There are many factors that affect the cost of motorcycle insurance in California including:

  • Your age
  • Your driving record
  • Where you live
  • Where you store your bike
  • Your motorcycle, type of bike and age of your bike
  • If your motorcycle has any modifications or you own any custom bikes
  • How many miles you drive each year (seasonal or full time)
  • Your deductible
  • The motorcycle insurance company that you choose. Be sure to get - 3+ quotes to find the best price for your needs. You can browse for an online motorcycle insurance quote.

What motorcycle insurance coverage options do you have in California?

If you're shopping for motorcycle insurance coverage options, you can search through a wide range of options. Some choose high coverage limits to cover a more expensive motorcycle or higher medical coverage. Others go with the bare minimum or choose standard motorcycle insurance limits. It works much in the same way that car insurance coverage does. You can always opt for a motorcycle policy that provides you extra coverage. The costs of coverages will be more or less depending on what you choose, but looking for an online quote can get you started on finding affordable motorcycle insurance.

If you're leasing or financing your bike, you'll likely be required by your lender to purchase collision and comprehensive protection in addition to any other coverages required by California. If you regularly have others ride with you, you may want to increase your medical coverage to avoid greater liability should you be involved in an accident. If you're involved in any kind of service, motorcycle insurance requirements from the parent company may be greater.

Most motorcycle insurance companies offer the following type of insurance for California motorcyclists:

  • Liability: Liability coverage is a required motorcycle insurance coverage in California. There are two forms of liability coverage: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
    • Bodily injury liability covers injury or death to other people in an accident that you may cause while on your motorcycle.
    • Property damage liability covers damage that you may cause to another person’s property, such as their car.
    • Motorcycle insurance liability also covers legal expenses if you were to be sued. Liability doesn't cover injury to you or damage to your motorcycle. This coverage doesn't have a deductible.
  • Collision insurance: Motorcycle insurance collision coverage protects your bike if it were to be damaged in a collision with another vehicle. In the event that your motorcycle is damaged in an at fault accident, your motorcycle insurance company would cover the cost of damages, up to your policy's limit, after your deductible has been paid.
  • Comprehensive insurance: Motorcycle insurance comprehensive coverage protects your motorcycle from damages not caused by a collision. Comprehensive covers damages from fire, theft, vandalism and anything else not caused by a car accident, such as severe weather like a flood or hail. Similar to collision coverage, your motorcycle insurance company would cover the cost of damage, up to your policy's limit, after you paid your deductible.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you from drivers on the road who either don't have insurance or don't have enough insurance coverage. If you were to get into an accident with someone who is an uninsured driver or underinsured driver, this coverage would help pay for medical treatment, lost wages and physical damage to your bike. Encountering an uninsured motorist is always a possibility. Exactly what this coverage would pay for will vary based on your policy.
  • Medical payments: Medical payments coverage pays for medical payments from injuries to you or any of your passengers in an accident if you were on your motorcycle. Medical payments motorcycle insurance coverage is not available in all states. If you have health insurance, you may not need this coverage. If you don't have health insurance or you don't have enough health insurance coverage, medical payments coverage would be useful. Even with traditional medical coverage, adequate insurance for medical bills after a motorcycle accident could lower your cost by tens of thousands of dollars or more.
  • Personal injury protection: Some states require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance. This coverage is used instead of medical payments coverage in some states. It would cover any medical payments for injuries to you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Do you need optional motorcycle insurance coverages in California?

In addition to the coverages listed above, there are other types of California motorcycle insurance options that you can add to your policy. Low-cost motorcycle insurance can get you on the road. Additional coverages can protect your family in the event of an accident and give you greater peace of mind on and off the road. In some cases, these optional types of coverage may be essential for different types of motorcycles.

  • Coverage for customized motorcycle parts: Most of the time, standard coverage such as collision and comprehensive don't cover motorcycle parts that aren't factory parts. For example, if you replaced your factory fenders with custom fenders, they may not be covered under a standard collision and comprehensive policy. If you've modified your bike with customized motorcycle parts and accessories, you may be able to add coverage for the customized parts to your policy, depending on your motorcycle insurance company. Coverage for customized motorcycle parts would protect your after-market purchases.
  • Motorcycle trailer coverage: If you have a trailer for your motorcycle, make sure to ask your California motorcycle insurance company about coverage for your transport trailer. Many companies offer coverage for your trailer for up to $7,500.
  • Roadside assistance in California: Roadside assistance provides you with service in the event that you experience a bike mechanical or electrical malfunction. It may even include towing in some cases. With roadside assistance, you could get help for various issues including if your bike ran out of gas, has a dead battery, has a flat tire and so on. Unfortunately, it could be just as expensive to have a bike towed as you'd expect with a car. Drivers may also feel more cautious about leaving their bike to go to a gas station or repair shop for help.
  • Rental reimbursement in California: While your bike is getting fixed, you may need a rental in order to get around. Rental reimbursement coverage will allow you to get money back from your insurance company for a rental.
  • Replacement cost for your motorcycle in California: You have the option to choose replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage for your bike if it’s a total loss in the event of an accident.

How do companies determine your motorcycle insurance rates?

When you're shopping for motorcycle coverage, insurance price is determined by a range of factors including how much protection you want for your bike. Motorcycles naturally don't have many of the safety features that can reduce costs for high-priced cars and trucks. So insurance companies look at the amount of protection you want. In short, how do you want them to value your bike after a total loss?

You have the option to choose replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage for your bike if it's a total loss in the event of an accident.

- **Actual cash value ACV**: ACV would give you a payout of the value of your bike at the time of its loss. Actual cash value would take into consideration the depreciation of your motorcycle. So it will pay less, and you may pay more out of pocket to replace it with a motorcycle you want.
- **Replacement cost coverage**: If you want more California motorcycle coverage, you can choose to have replacement cost coverage which may pay out enough for you to get a new bike. Talk with your California motorcycle insurance company when you purchase a policy to find out which option is best for your bike.
  • Lay-up motorcycle insurance for California residents: If you live in the northern part of California near snow in Lake Tahoe or cold, rainy areas in Northern California and only drive your motorcycle in warmer seasons, lay-up motorcycle insurance could be an option for you. Lay-up motorcycle insurance would allow you to keep your comprehensive coverage active while pausing your other coverages during the off season.

How can I find the best and cheapest motorcycle insurance in California?

When shopping for motorcycle insurance in California, you have a few options. Some California car insurance companies allow policyholders to add motorcycle insurance to their existing car insurance policy as an endorsement or rider. You can choose to do this or purchase a separate motorcycle insurance policy.

Be aware that if you add your motorcycle to your California car insurance policy as an endorsement or rider, you may be restricted in the coverage options you have. Standalone California motorcycle insurance policies are typically more flexible and customizable and may even be more affordable in some cases.

In order to find the best and cheapest California motorcycle insurance, you'll want to shop around. You should get motorcycle insurance quotes from multiple companies so you can compare motorcycle insurance cost and coverage options. If you're going to buy a standalone policy, make sure to get a quote from your auto insurance company. Many offer discounts when you combine with a renters insurance policy, auto policy, homeowners policy, and more.

Use the table at the top of this page to find the highest rated motorcycle insurance companies in your zip code. In this table, you can see which motorcycle insurance companies in California customers say are the best. You can sort through companies and find the ones from which you want to get quotes.

If you want to read customer reviews of the motorcycle insurance company in California, click the company name in the table and you will be directed to the company's profile page containing information about the company and reviews.

How can you save money on industry-leading services?

Many insurance companies offer a range of discounts to Californian motorcyclists that can help you save money on coverage for your bike. You can receive discounts based on you and your motorcycle. Discounts vary by company and eligibility. The following types of discounts are commonly offered, but you should reach out to an insurance representative to inquire about any special discounts.

  • Multi-policy discount: If you insure your motorcycle with a company that you already have a policy with for another line of insurance, you could earn this discount. This discount may apply if you insure your motorcycle along with your car, home, apartment, condo, boat or RV with the same company offering insurance in California.
  • Multiple motorcycles discount: Some motorcycle insurancecompanies in California offer a discount if you insure more than one motorcycle with the same company. So if you like to ride with a spouse, roommate, etc., you could combine multiple bikes onto the same policy to save collectively.
  • Biker group discount: Many motorcycle insurance companies offer biker group discounts or riding association discounts if you're a member of certain motorcycle organizations. Some examples of motorcycle organizations include the American Motorcycle Association and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
  • Mature riders discount: If you’ve had your motorcycle insurance for a certain number of years, your motorcycle insurance company in California may offer you this discount.
  • Safe driver discount: You may qualify for a safe driver motorcycle insurance discount if you’ve been motorcycle insurance claim free for a number of years.
  • Safety and security discounts: If your motorcycle has certain safety and security features, such as anti-lock brakes or an anti-theft device, you may be eligible for a discount.
  • Motorcycle safety course discount: If you take a motorcycle safety course to educate yourself, your motorcycle insurance company may offer you a discount on your insurance.
  • Renewal discount: If you renew your motorcycle insurance policy, you may be rewarded with a discount.
  • Transfer discount: Some motorcycle insurance companies offer a discount to bikers who switch or transfer their motorcycle insurance to them.

Even if you don't see discounts populate up front, don't be afraid to talk to an experienced customer service representative once you've chosen a policy. Let them know you plan to move forward with a certain policy, and ask them about any discounts you might've missed.

What are California motorcycle licensing laws?

California has different legal requirements for motorcycle drivers based on their ages. To obtain a motorcycle license in California, you must be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18, you are required to have held a learner's permit for 6 months. You also are required to provide proof that you've completed a driver education or training course in California and a completion certificate from a motorcycle basic rider course approved by the California Highway Patrol.

All California drivers, regardless of age, are required to pass a vision screening and a motorcycle knowledge test. Drivers under the age of 21 are required to take a motorcycle driving test; those over 21 can choose to take the test or provide a certificate of completion from a motorcycle rider training course instead.

Like most states, California requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets at all times. The state has no age restrictions on motorcycle passengers, but the law says that passenger seats must be securely fastened to the bike behind the driver's seat. Passengers footrests also are required. California does not require a motorcycle insurance minimum on medical coverage if you take passengers regularly, but it's best to consider higher coverages to avoid excess liability.

California was the first state in the nation to make lane splitting legal. Lane splitting is defined in state law as “driving a motorcycle that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including both on divided and undivided streets, roads, and highways.” While many drivers say lane splitting can be dangerous, many motorcyclists believe the practice can keep them safer, as they are less likely to be hit from behind while sitting in traffic.

Are there any additional California motorcycle laws you should know about?

Like most states, California requires motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets at all times. The state has no age restrictions on motorcycle passengers, but the law says that passenger seats must be securely fastened to the bike behind the driver’s seat. Passengers footrests also are required.

California was the first state in the nation to make lane splitting legal. Lane splitting is defined in state law as “driving a motorcycle that has two wheels in contact with the ground, between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, including both on divided and undivided streets, roads, and highways.” While many drivers say lane splitting can be dangerous, many motorcyclists believe the practice can keep them safer, as they are less likely to be hit from behind while sitting in traffic.

What is California weather like for motorcyclists?

California may be known for its warm, dry weather, but the state actually has a varied climate. The state’s coastal regions and much of its Central Valley have warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters, but the mountains and areas in Northern California tend to receive significant snowfall. Still, those that enjoy motorcycle riding will find that California’s mild climate allows them to enjoy their bikes year-round, and not just on public roads!

How does Clearsurance rate and rank the best motorcycle insurance companies in California?

Consistent with its mission towards greater transparency, Clearsurance does not keep its rating and ranking formulas in a black box. Our algorithm analyzes a range of inputs from our independent community of insurance customers, including:

  • Price
  • Customer Service ratings
  • Claim service
  • Likelihood to renew

The algorithm also takes into account the percentage of what customers say the company does well vs. the percentage of what customers say the company could do better.

We encourage all shoppers to get at least a few quotes to compare options. If you need a specialty insurer, you can narrow your choices. When you put in your zip code and answer a few questions, we populate quotes from motorcycle insurance providers in your state. Begin saving now by browsing through affordable insurers at average prices and competitive rates.

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