Getting your bike license is a great feeling. You now have the freedom to go on long rides, travel when you want to without having to worry about transit timetables and costs, and set your own schedule. Bikes are affordable, fun, and liberating.
While bikes are cheap to run, there are some expenses beyond the bike, maintenance, and petrol. One of the most significant expenses is insurance, and getting a comprehensive policy for an 18-year-old will be more expensive than it would be for a slightly more mature driver.
How Much Does Motorcycle Insurance for a Teen Cost?
The average price for insurance for an 18-year-old is around $400 per year. Prices tend to be lower for females than for males, with GEICO charging male riders around $440, and females $400.
Progressive offers slightly lower cost insurance than many of their rivals, with males paying around $305 and females paying $290. The main reason for the difference in price is that insurance companies in the United States are allowed to take gender into account when calculating risk. In some other parts of the world, this is not legal, so men and women pay the same price.
Why Is Insurance So Expensive For an 18 Year Old?
Insurance is higher for 18-year-olds than for older people because young people are statistically more likely to get into accidents. Insurance is a hedge against risk, and companies will base their premiums on how likely they think you are to get into an accident.
Factors insurers consider:
They will take into account how old you are, your gender, where you live, where you park your bike (to consider how likely it is to get stolen), whether you are riding to and from college or using the bike for work as a delivery rider, and more. They will consider how long you have had your license, and whether you have ever had a traffic violation or been involved in an accident.
- A clean driving record will help get you the lowest rates for your insurance which will increase based on the number of accidents that you have had over the time that you have been driving.
- Generally speaking, male drivers are going to pay more for their coverage. This is because statistically speaking men are more likely to get into accidents than women, and that includes vehicle drivers of this age.
- It is a fact that the better you do in school, the lower your rates will be. This is because “A” students are less likely to be involved in accidents than “C” students. So, the better your grades, the lower your premiums will be.
Types of Motorcycle Insurance:
There are several different types of insurance, including comprehensive insurance (which covers third party, fire, and theft, as well as no-fault/accident cover), and limited insurance that is the third party, fire/theft only.
- Comprehensive: This type of coverage means that you are covered no matter who caused the accident. You require this type of plan if you have taken out a loan to pay for your bike, so you will want to find the right company that offers the best rates for the coverage you need.
Comprehensive insurance is also the most expensive, with premiums of up to $550 for an 18-year-old male, on average, and still in the range of $500 for a female. Dairyland offers a competitive comprehensive policy.
- Liability and Uninsured Motorist: This is the typical minimum coverage for most states which will ensure that the person not at fault is covered. Also, the uninsured motorist is coverage provided when the other driver is at fault but does not have insurance for their vehicle.
Liability only policies are the least expensive, but they are hugely limited in what they cover. You may be able to find a liability only policy for under $300 in some states.
- Collision: This type of plan covers all costs in case of a crash which is the most common type of damage done to motorbikes.
There is also full coverage, theft, roadside assistance and other forms of specialty insurance that are well suited for particular needs. For example, if you only drive your bike during certain times of the year, then you can opt for seasonal or temporary insurance that only applies to the moments in which you drive. Be sure to go over your needs with your agent or company to find the right package for you.
Does your location matter at all?
Where you live has a big impact on what you pay, and premiums can double just because of the state you live in. The ‘average’ mentioned above is the average for the whole country. A rider in Florida may pay $400, but someone in California could pay $900 for a similar level of cover.
Keeping Costs Low
This is one of the most common means to lower your rates is by increasing the out of pocket expense. The bigger the deductible, the less your insurance rates will be depending in part on the type of coverage that you have.
However, you will need to have enough money saved up to cover your deductible so that you will not be caught flat-footed in the case of an accident.
If you are looking to reduce costs, then you should think carefully about the bike that you ride. A 125cc or a moped will be far less expensive to insure than a sports bike.
A bike with custom wheels and farings will cost more to insure than a plain bike because it is a bigger target for theft. If you are getting your first bike, then picking something small, practical, and perhaps even the second hand could be a smart option.
Save the expensive, high powered Ducati until you have spent some time on the roads on a smaller Honda, and you have proven to your insurance company that you are a responsible young adult that won’t drink and ride, and that isn’t interested in going street racing. It’s an unfair stereotype, but insurance companies are basing their assumptions upon decades of carefully collected statistics about risks for each age group.
Some insurers offer a GPS tracking option that will track your driving habits, and if you drive sensibly they will give you a discount. This is a good idea.
My go-to way to save for teens:
Some insurers will give you a discount if you attend a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course. Do this course to save money and learn how to ride safely, and follow the advice. The basic course takes two days, and it could save your life, let alone your pocketbook.
Note that if you do commit a traffic violation and get charged, your premium could increase by $500 per year.
If you avoid traffic violations, then simply by getting older your premiums could come down. That $900 California motorcycle insurance policy you pay for as an 18-year-old could come down to $600 when you turn 20, especially if you don’t have to put a claim in.
If you want to save money in the short term, you could opt for a liability-only policy, and then upgrade later when you have some no-claims bonus to help reduce costs.
Get quotes, Compare and Save:
Be truthful about your circumstances when you enter information into these tools. If you are caught misleading an insurance company to get a cheap policy then this would nullify any claims you needed to make in the future. In this instance, honesty is the best policy.
You can compare the best rate by requesting free quotes online.
Keep Your Grades Up
Some insurance companies offer a Good Student discount for people who maintain a high GPA while in college. Not all insurers have this, but it is worth looking for if you are a student and just 18 years old. The idea is that if you are a responsible student who is studying hard, then you are less likely to be involved in an accident. To qualify for the discount your GPA would usually have to be above 3.0.
Keep Your Bike Secure
- If you are looking for comprehensive insurance, or for insurance with a theft element, then you will want to make sure that your bike is unlikely to get stolen or vandalized.
- There are some things that are out of your control. Your zip code will have an impact on your premiums, for example. Other things you can manage, however.
- Parking off-street in a garage or a locked yard will be seen as safer than parking on the street. Using an immobilizer and an alarm will help as well.
- Do not be tempted to lie and say that you live at your parent’s house in a nice, sleepy suburb if you actually live in a multi-family place in the rough part of town, with several flatmates. You will get caught out, and if your bike does get stolen then the company won’t pay out.
Another thing to consider is whether you are going to insure any accessories such as your saddlebags, helmet, gloves, etc. The kit that goes with a bike can be quite expensive. If you already have a policy that would cover it elsewhere, then you may not want to pay twice for it.
If you don’t have the option of including your helmet on, say, your home insurance policy then you should cover it as a part of your bike policy instead. It will add some extra cost to the premium, but it is well worth doing it. This would cover you if you ever needed to replace a helmet after an incident, or if your gear was stolen.
It is frustrating to have to pay more for your insurance just because you are as young as 18, but with some savvy shopping and careful choices, you can minimize the premium that you pay.