insurance for motorcycles

Before hitting the open road, you may find yourself asking “is motorcycle insurance required for…?” The tips below will help you determine when it’s time to ask a Nationwide agent about motorcycle insurance.

When you have a learners permit

  • Generally, state laws and requirements are the same for permit holders and fully licensed motorcycle drivers; if your state require motorcycle insurance to get your motorcycle license or endorsement, you will most likely need insurance while you have your permit
  • At the very least, beginning riders will need a state issued driver’s license, which does require them to carry some liability coverage

When buying and financing a motorcycle from a dealer

  • As with car insurance, if you take out a loan to pay for your motorcycle, you will need to protect the bank’s investment with insurance.

When registering your motorcycle

  • Most states require proof of insurance before allowing you to register your motorcycle.
  • If your motorcycle is not registered, it is not legal to drive on public roads.

When you live in or travel through one of the 46 states requiring motorcycle insurance

  • As of 2017, Florida, New Hampshire, Washington, and Montana are the only states that do not require motorcycle insurance. However, uninsured drivers traveling through neighboring states can still experience legal penalties for driving without insurance.
  • Some states, like Iowa, do not require insurance to operate a motorcycle, but will request proof of insurance or financial responsibility after an accident.

When you have a moped or scooter in states that require coverage

  • As of 2015, 24 states require motorcycle insurance for mopeds and scooters.
  • Motorcycles and fast scooters almost always require motorcycle insurance, while mopeds and slow scooters (with top speeds under 30-35 mph) are less likely to require insurance. Your agent can help determine what coverage is right for you.

When your motorcycle is in storage

  • Motorcycle insurance is purchased as an annual policy. There is no benefit in cancelling your policy when our motorcycle is in storage. In fact, leaving your policy active can be beneficial because it allows you to have a history of continuous insurance.
  • Keeping insurance on your motorcycle while it’s in storage means you’re covered if the weather turns unseasonably warm and you go for a joy ride, or if your bike is damaged while it’s in your storage unit, garage, or barn.
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Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.