Best and Cheapest Motorcycle Insurance in Washington: Companies, Coverage Options and Cost in 2020
Motorcycle insurance in Washington State
What comes to mind when you think of Washington State? Maybe it’s rainy weather, lots of fog, grunge music, and Starbucks. It may not be the first place you think of for riding a motorcycle.
But maybe it should be since the Evergreen State boasts some gorgeous scenery, including hundreds of miles of Pacific coastline, the Cascade Mountains, and the Columbia River basin. And while western Washington State may be heavily populated, the eastern part of the state has plenty of space for everyone.
If you’re ready to ride your motorcycle in Washington State, here’s what you need to know to do so safely and legally, including purchasing motorcycle insurance.
Do I need motorcycle insurance in Washington State?
Washington State used to be one of the rare states that did not require motorcyclists to carry any liability insurance, but that changed in 2019 when the state legislature passed a new law. Washington now requires motorcycle drivers to purchase liability insurance with at least the following minimums:
- $10,000 for property damage,
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person, and
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident (two or more people).
It’s important to keep in mind that those minimums may not provide enough coverage in the event of a serious accident. You can decide if you want higher coverage limits above the state minimums and additional coverage like collision or comprehensive. It’s often highly encouraged that all bikers consider these insurance coverages. Additional liability motorcycle insurance coverage above the minimum limits would offer 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 and you didn’t have collision coverage, you’d be on your own to pay for the damages to your bike. Likewise, if your bike were damaged by a fire or severe weather and you don’t have comprehensive motorcycle insurance coverage, you wouldn’t be covered for the damages. You’d be responsible for paying to replace your bike or paying for repairs out of pocket.
How much does motorcycle insurance cost in Washington State?
Just how much you’ll pay for motorcycle insurance in Washington State depends in large part on where you live within the state. Insuring a motorcycle in Seattle could cost more than what you’d pay if you live in a more rural part of the state. Other factors, including the bike you have and your age, also will determine how much or how little you pay for motorcycle insurance in Washington.
For example, if you’re an experienced rider, you may pay around $500 per year for motorcycle insurance, but if you’re a new driver, you should expect to pay more for motorcycle insurance. Likewise, if you have a luxury motorcycle of high value, your premium could be more than $1,000 per year.
There are many factors that affect the cost of motorcycle insurance in Washington, including:
- Your age
- Your driving record
- Where you live in Washington State
- Where you store your bike
- Your motorcycle - type of bike and age
- If your motorcycle has any modifications
- How much you drive each year (seasonal or full time)
- Your deductible
- The motorcycle insurance company you choose - get 3+ quotes to find the best price for your needs
Motorcycle insurance coverage options in Washington
Many motorcycle insurance coverage options work in the same way that car insurance coverage does. 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 the state of Washington.
Most motorcycle insurance companies in WA State offer the following coverages:
- Liability insurance: Liability coverage is now a required motorcycle insurance coverage in Washington. 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 caused while on your motorcycle.
- Property damage liability covers damage that you caused to another person’s property, such as their car.
- Motorcycle insurance liability also covers legal expenses in case you are 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 damaged in a collision with another vehicle. In the event that you’re in an at-fault accident in which your motorcycle is damaged, your motorcycle insurance company would cover the cost of damages, up to your policy’s limit, after you paid your deductible.
- 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 paid pay 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 get into an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured, this coverage may help pay for medical treatment, lost wages and damage to your bike. Exactly what this coverage would pay for may 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 while 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.
- Personal injury protection: Washington State does not require drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) or no-fault insurance, but it does require insurance companies to offer it to you. If you don’t want PIP, you must decline this coverage in writing. It would cover medical payments for injuries to you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Optional motorcycle insurance coverages in Washington
In addition to the coverages that are in the list above, there are many other types of Washington State motorcycle insurance coverages. You may be able to add the following coverages to your Washington motorcycle insurance policy.
- Coverage for customized motorcycle parts: Most of the time, standard collision and comprehensive coverages 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 motorcycle insurance company about coverage for your transport trailer. Many companies offer coverage for your trailer for up to $7,500.
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance provides you with service if you’re ever caught with 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.
- Rental reimbursement: 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 if your motorcycle was damaged in a covered accident and needs repairs.
- Replacement cost: You have the option to choose replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage for your bike if it’s a total loss.
- Actual cash value (ACV): ACV will give you a payout of the value of your bike at the time of its loss. Actual cash value takes into consideration the depreciation of your motorcycle.
- Replacement cost coverage: If you want more coverage, you can choose to have replacement cost coverage which may pay out enough for you to get a new bike. Talk with your motorcycle insurance company when you purchase a policy to find out which option is best for your bike.
- Lay-up motorcycle insurance for Washington State residents: Lay-up insurance can come in handy if you live in Washington and only drive your motorcycle seasonally while storing it away in the winter months. Lay-up motorcycle insurance allows you to keep your comprehensive coverage active while pausing your other coverages.
What to do with your Washington motorcycle insurance in the winter
Washington State commonly experiences rain and light snow showers and very rarely big snowstorms in the winter. But riding your motorcycle in a cold rain likely isn’t your idea of a good time, so you might consider packing your motorcycle away for the winter months and waiting until spring hits before riding again. If you do so, you may be tempted to cancel your Washington motorcycle insurance during the winter months, but doing so may not be the best idea.
Canceling your Washington motorcycle insurance may seem like an easy way to save a few bucks, but it could end up costing you in the long run. If something should happen to your bike, say a fire, theft, or vandalism, you wouldn’t be covered. Or if there’s an expectedly warm day and you want to ride your bike, you wouldn’t be able to since motorcycle insurance is required in Washington.
Lay-up insurance, which allows you to put a hold on certain parts of your insurance policy, can be a much better and safer option. You can, for example, put a hold on your liability coverage while leaving your comprehensive coverage intact. If your insurance company does not offer this option, you may be able to save money by increasing your deductible during the motorcycle off season.
How to find the best and cheapest motorcycle insurance in Washington
When shopping for motorcycle insurance in Washington, you may have a few options. Some car insurance companies allow policyholders to add motorcycle insurance to their 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 car insurance policy as an endorsement or rider, you may be restricted in the coverage options you have. Standalone Washington motorcycle insurance policies are typically more flexible and customizable and may even be more affordable in some cases. Make sure to evaluate all your options to find the best one for you.
In order to find the best and cheapest motorcycle insurance in Washington State, 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. Motorcycle insurance rates in Washington vary greatly by company.
Use the table at the top of this page to find the top-rated motorcycle insurance companies in your zip code according to customers. In this table, you can see which motorcycle insurance companies in Washington 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 company, 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.
Motorcycle insurance discounts in Washington
Many companies offer motorcycle insurance discounts to Washington residents to 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 motorcycle insurance discounts are commonly offered.
- Multi-policy discount: If you insure your motorcycle with a company with which you already have a policy for another line of insurance, you may qualify for a bundling discount. This discount may apply if you insure your motorcycle along with your car, home, apartment, condo, boat or RV with the same company.
- Multiple motorcycles discount: Some motorcycle insurance companies offer a discount if you insure more than one motorcycle with the same company on the same Washington insurance policy.
- 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 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.
Washington motorcycle licensing laws
In order to legally operate a motorcycle in Washington State, you must have either a valid motorcycle permit or a motorcycle endorsement. To apply for a Washington motorcycle instruction permit, you must be at least 16 years old and have a valid Washington driver license. You also have to pass the motorcycle permit operation knowledge and riding skills test or take a motorcycle safety course that includes both of these tests.
To apply for the motorcycle endorsement you must be at least 16 years old with a valid Washington driver license and have successfully passed the permit tests. You have two options for obtaining the motorcycle endorsement: you can take a motorcycle safety course that includes both the endorsement knowledge and riding skills test, or take the endorsement knowledge and riding skills test with an approved motorcycle safety school.
Washington State motorcycle laws
Washington State law requires all motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear helmets at all times. Passengers under the age of five are not permitted on motorcycles; all other passengers must have a seat and foot pegs. Washington motorcycle laws prohibit lane splitting, the practice of driving between lanes of slowed or stopped automobile traffic. Motorcyclists are allowed to ride two abreast in a single lane of traffic, though.
Washington weather for motorcyclists
The weather in Washington State varies depending on where you live. Areas west of the Cascade Mountain Range typically experience mild but humid summer days and mild winters, where the temperature rarely drops below freezing. There tends to be a lot of fog and drizzle here, too. The weather is less temperate – and less favorable for year-round riding – in the areas to the east of the Cascade Mountains. Here, you’ll experience hot summers and cold winters with a lot of rain and some snow.
How Clearsurance rates and ranks the best motorcycle insurance companies in Washington State
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:
- Customer Service
- 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.
The Clearsurance customer ratings and rankings of the best motorcycle insurance in Washington are derived entirely from customer reviews and ratings.