It may not be as visually intimidating as an Abus Granit 59 Lock-Chain or sound as loud as a Dowco cover alarm. Still, the humble insurance policy has got you covered. Nothing says I have your back like good motorcycle insurance, which raises the questions: How easy is it to get the best motorcycle insurance quote online, and if Progressive gave the best overall performance, what about the rest?
Related post: Discover How To Prevent Motorcycle Theft
Not Only For Theft
An insurance policy can’t be frozen, smashed, cut, or ground off. What it can do is sit quietly in the background, ready to step in when needed.
Better yet, good motorcycle insurance isn’t just there when things go wrong. Its biggest asset is its ability to give peace of mind. There are, however, an incredible number of variations when it comes to choosing suitable coverage.
For many motorcyclists, knowing that their insurance policy covers breakdown, rental vehicles, accessories, clothing, legal, and medical costs forms an integral part of the riding experience.
Insurance is a must-have, so how can we find suitable cover quickly and efficiently? The solution is simple – online quotes. Most major players in the motorcycle insurance game have a web presence and are able to provide you with an insurance quote you can then purchase online.
As with all business sectors, not all insurance companies are created equal. To help you navigate this tangled web, we’re going to look at four companies offering online motorcycle insurance.
Here, we will guide you through the entire procedure of securing online quotes.
To make the process simple and fair, we chose a popular make and model of motorcycle. We followed this with the details of an average person with average riding experience. The applicant living in a state approximately midway in the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) list of motorcycle theft statistics.
Motorcycle: 2019 Triumph Street Twin 900cc, bought new and owned outright with no finance outstanding
Personal details: Age 40, with 20 years of riding experience
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, living in a rented property
Best Motorcycle Insurance
1. Best Overall – Progressive Insurance
Around 1937, the Progressive Mutual Insurance Company is true to its name, pushing the industry in new directions. The company was the first to offer payment installments.
Initially offering auto insurance, Progressive now branches out to all areas of coverage, including Vehicle, Property, Personal, and Business Insurance, along with Financial Services. It is currently one of the largest insurers in America.
Ease of Use
Progressive’s landing page is welcoming and clear. To request a quote first fill in your and name and address. Next up is details relating to your bike, followed by residence, license, and past claim history information.
Finally, with a question on insurance history and a contact email address, you progress straight to your quote. Four pages in and you receive a quote for 12-month coverage and options for Basic (lower cost) and Plus Coverage (higher cost).
The quote came in at $476. It had an option for Basic Coverage at $75 and a Plus Option for $808. The figures relate to the ‘paid in full’ price. For a deposit followed by 11-monthly payments, add $91 to the overall total.
Liability coverage if you’re at fault is $50K per person, $100K accident, and $25K property. Medical coverage is $2.5K, and the totaled or stolen cover is ‘actual cash value.’ The deductible figure is $500. The coverage also includes $3K of accessories or custom parts.
On the final page, there are two optional upgrades; roadside assistance and carried contents.
Progressive’s is a user-friendly site with a low number of pages to sift through before you get to the quote. The questionnaire is not overly intrusive regarding personal details. Coverage includes a disappearing deductible feature, which gives a 25 percent reduction for every year without a claim, reducing to a $0 deductible.
Pros – The site is user-friendly. It has a quick quotation process. Info required is non-intrusive.
Cons – No questions relating to garaging or the installation of anti-theft devices apart from LoJack.
2. Best for Cheapest Quote – Geico Insurance
Formed in 1936, Geico was known as the official Government Employee Insurance Company. Although Geico offers all kinds of insurance, the company is best recognized for its auto coverage and Martin the Gecko mascot.
Ease of Use
You’ll need to wade through 20+ pages before getting a quote. After that, pressing ‘Continue’ sees you answering seven pages of questions before eventually losing the will to live.
The problem lies in the fact there is one question per page making the process feel tedious and old-fashioned. Ironic, considering Geico’s excellent reputation for phone and mobile apps.
The final quote came in at $99. This figure got reduced by 15 percent (not sure why, but a discount is always welcome). The total cost with the reduction came in at $84.15.
The quotation page has three options. Options 1 and 2 are identical. In contrast, Option 3 is labeled ‘Build your Own.’ It would be easy to assume this refers to upping the cover with bolt-ons and upgrades. But no, after hitting the button, it came back with the same price as Options 1 and 2.
The quote congratulates you for qualifying for the ‘lowest premium available in your state’ and offers a payment plan. The deal is, make a down payment of $22.42, and then pay in monthly installments of $15.20. Unfortunately, no information on the number of monthly payments followed. Maybe we can assume the deposit acts as the first payment followed by 11-monthly payments.
This total brings the payment plan option to $189.62, which means you’re paying $105.47 of interest for an $84 loan!
Bodily injury or death to a third party in an accident caused by the policyholder is $25K with $50K of legal fees and property damage liability coverage of $15K. No medical coverage for either rider or passenger, but it does include $25K medical coverage for the uninsured or underinsured injury.
Damage to your bike from an uninsured third party is $15K with a $200 deductible. Comprehensive cover, which includes theft coverage, comes up as ‘Declined’ as the default setting, so you will need to manually add it.
All of the above options offer drop-down menus enabling you to increase coverage and deductibles, increasing the cost of the cover.
Geico should be a nice easy site to navigate, but 23 pages feel excessive. The question about anti-theft devices only allows you to choose one option from the drop-down menu.
You must fill in your spouse’s details multiple times, including their date of birth, even when you don’t list them as an additional rider. If you skip entering the details, you won’t be able to complete the form to receive a quote. To me, this is a simple case of data gathering.
The actual quote is a disappointment too. Yes, it may be by far the least expensive. All you’re covered for though is damage or injury to third parties. There is also some medical coverage as the result of an injury caused by an underinsured driver.
Also, for medical, theft, and collision coverage, the boxes default to ‘I Decline’ despite not being asked if you want them. Click ‘Accept’, and you’ll find you have no theft, damage, or injury coverage in the event of you coming off your bike with no other parties involved.
I clicked ‘Accept,’ and this took me through another seven pages of questions. I then decided to call it a day.
Pros – Inexpensive coverage. One question per page is good for those who are not tech-savvy.
Cons – Too many questionnaire pages to navigate. Irrelevant questions. Basic coverage.
3. Best for Ease of Use – Nationwide Insurance
The granddaddies of insurance, Nationwide can trace their humble origins to 1925. Starting in Ohio insuring farmers, the then aptly named Farm Bureau Mutual went nationwide in 1955, hence the name change.
Nationwide is a mutual insurer. If they make a profit, the dividend is paid to the shareholders (policyholders) by way of reducing insurance rates.
Ease of Use
With nine pages between you and a quote, the process is twice as long as Progressive, but less than half of Geico’s. Web pages are easy to read with multiple questions per page, all of which are simple to answer.
The site is a bit buggy with a lag between each page transition and when a page updates. When you finally reach the quote page, trying to navigate back can leave you with a blank page. For me, this happened more than once.
When it comes to selecting your make and model of motorcycle, the drop-down menu on the other sites reveals every model on the Triumph menu. The Nationwide drop-down box offers only three from which to choose; they are all variations of a Speed Triple!
Amusingly, when I completed my selection, it went on to ask me if my 2019 Triumph Street Twin is a ‘pocket bike, go-kart, sandrail, or amphibious vehicle.’ This question combined with not being able to choose my particular model left me feeling that Nationwide isn’t particularly invested in supplying motorcycle quotes.
The single anti-theft related question only wants to know if you have a motorcycle tracker. It then asks ‘is your bike garaged?’ Answer ‘No,’ and you enter into a catch-22 scenario. Where four questions later, it asks for the garage’s address (that you don’t have) and, worse still, won’t let you progress further.
Does this mean they don’t want to offer insurance for anyone without a garage? Remember, if you lie on an insurance application it can void your cover.
The cost of covering a Triumph Street Twin with Nationwide came to $672.40 if you are lucky enough to have a garage that is. There are no alternative higher or lower quotes as with the other two sites.
On the plus side, they do offer monthly payments of $56.20, which in theory, amounts to precisely the same as the total cost. I say in theory, because it doesn’t state the number of payments required, and whether a larger deposit is needed.
If you hit the ‘Begin Payment’ button to check the deposit details, the relevant page won’t open. It doesn’t matter how many times you try it or enter your quote retrieval reference number.
Third-party liability for bodily injury is $25K with property damage liability set at $15K. There is no medical coverage for uninsured injury and a vanishing deductible of $100 for every claim-free year.
There is no coverage for damage to your bike caused by an uninsured party. The policy does include theft, animal, vandalism, and weather damage and collision damage, both with a $500 deductible.
In the event of a total loss, replacement is calculated less any accumulated depreciation and no roadside assistance is included. There is 3K aftermarket accessory coverage.
Bolt-ons are available but do appear pricey. Add injury cover of $2.5K, and the cost jumps up almost 100 bucks. Tick the box for OEM replacement parts in the event of a claim and add over $70 to your quote.
If like me, you find the site buggy, I recommend trying it again a couple of hours later to see if it’s any better. I did and it was definitely better. Some anomalies need sortings, such as a lack of specific brand models to select from and the assumption that everyone has a garage.
In my opinion, Nationwide needs to address these issues if we are to believe they are committed to offering motorcycle insurance rather than only including it in their portfolio.
Pros – Coverage appears comprehensive. Vanishing deductible plan.
Cons – Questions need to be more motorcycle focused. Bolt-ons are expensive.
4. Best for Payment Plans – Markel Insurance
Markel may be the newest of our four insurance companies, but they proudly state that they specialize in motorcycle insurance rather than merely including it in their vast portfolio.
Ease of Use
Easy enough to navigate, the opening page has 20 questions. By the time you arrive on page five (including three questions on page four about how you found them), you will have a quote.
Page two asks questions relating to the bike, including one on anti-theft devices. As with some of the other companies, Merkel doesn’t appear to seem interested in what measures the applicant has gone to protect them from a potential claim. The only options on the drop-down menu offer Electronic Alarm, Tracking Device, or None.
The quotation page is well laid out and has all the information you need, including possible bolt-ons and upgrades. The only problem comes when you want to check some details and hit the ‘Previous’ button. Why? Because it’ll return you to the login page. Here, there is no option to return to the quote, which means re-starting the quote from scratch.
I did check my emails an hour later in case Markel had sent me the quote along with a reference number, but nothing arrived.
Markel’s 12-month coverage came in at $728 with no options for cheaper or more expensive cover. It is possible to increase the coverage price significantly by clicking on more options and upping coverage.
To lower the cost, the only option is to increase the two deductibles from $500 to $1000, which reduces the price to $637.
Hit the View Installment Options button, and a pop-up offers no less than four payment plans ranging from two, four, seven, and 12-months. The 12-month option costs $72 more, which equates to $6 per installment.
Third-party injury and damage liabilities are $25K and $15K, respectively, which seems to be the standard bottom line coverage. No rider medical coverage, passenger injury, or injuries sustained from an uninsured third party.
As with the other insurers, there are several options to increase coverage, such as raising the deductibles and increasing the basic liability coverage. By doing this, there will be a considerable hike in the price.
The landing page of Markel’s website proudly boasts, ‘Prices as low as $50 per year.’ For me, having received a quote for $728, I can’t imagine what state, personal circumstances, or cc of the bike could secure that sort of deal.
You can get the price lower by increasing the deductibles. Seeing as Markel gives a reducing deductible for a year with no claims if you want to play the long game; that could be the way to go.
The site is easy enough to navigate with just five pages before you reach the bottom line. Don’t dare hit the ‘Back’ button, though! If you do, you’re toast, with no way to return to your initial quote. Beginning again is frustrating. Waiting to receive an email with a retrieval reference number is even more annoying as the system repeatedly said my quote couldn’t be found.
However, offering four different installment options is a good idea and gives Markel the edge in the payment department.
Pros – Multiple payment plans. Five pages before getting to the quotation stage.
Cons – Having to start again from scratch. Quote reference number didn’t work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need insurance?
Yes, you do! Even if you live in a state that technically doesn’t require it by law, it’s still an excellent idea. Medical bills and liability claims can run into six figures.
Is it better to buy my insurance online or with an agent?
In theory, the cost should be the same but check just in case. Ultimately, if your details are straightforward and you know what you want, the online option can get you insured in 20-30 minutes. Some folks prefer the personal touch of a local agent, though.
Is the online quote price the actual insurance policy price?
Yes and no. Some insurance companies will take you through all the questions to give you a quote, but when you press the ‘Buy button’, they take you to another questionnaire. This section may ask for your Social Security Number (SSN) at which point the insurance company will pull your personal details and may carry out a credit check. Consequently, the quoted price could increase.
How do I get the best from an online quote?
Have all your details ready. These should include your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), plus all of your personal details, along with your SSN.