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Most motorcycle insurance policies label occasional drivers based on how often they operate the bike.

The policy lists a principal driver for the insurance coverage. This person is the one that rides the motorcycle most often, and it is usually the individual who owns it.

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Imagine that a couple owns a truck and a motorcycle. One person drives the truck to work each day, while the other uses the motorcycle. Each person would be the principal driver for their insurance.

Now, let’s say these two people have an 18-year-old son with a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. This person sometimes drives the bike, and the couple might also use the other vehicle where they aren’t the primary driver at times.

Those situations would all qualify as occasional drivers for motorcycle insurance.

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Most insurance companies require an occasional driver to operate the motorcycle 25% of the time or less.

What Does This Setup Mean for Motorcycle Insurance Costs?

Anyone who rides a motorcycle should have insurance coverage for their activities. Anyone who owns a bike should have a policy that protects their investment in this mode of transportation.

two persons on bike

Some motorcycle owners choose to include other family members on the policy if they ride the bike, but not very often.

Three potential outcomes occur in most situations when other people get included in a motorcycle insurance policy.

  1. If the new driver is considered a low-risk operator because of zero or a few violations, having them listed as an occasional operator is unlikely to raise costs much.
  2. Most policy underwriters consider drivers with numerous incidents, tickets, or accidents a high-risk addition. This change could add a significant amount to the monthly premium.
  3. You might have the option to insure multiple motorcycles or bunded a bike with another vehicle, then list the same drivers for all of them. This insurance policy type often comes with specific discounts.

It helps to be honest and transparent with your insurance company. They need to know who operates your motorcycle, even if the person is only an occasional driver. Without that information, you could lack coverage if an accident occurs.

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The insurance company could sometimes ban some people from operating your motorcycle. That’s why discussing every driver is crucial for proper coverage. Without it, if an accident occurs and an occasional driver without insurance is at fault, that person would be responsible for paying the bill.

Relevant: Learn more about ‘Resident Relative Coverage’ here.

What If I Only Ride My Bike a Few Months During the Year?

Obtaining seasonal motorcycle insurance is different than a policy for occasional drivers. Although the outcome is essentially the same, the coverage structure is different.

You’d want to speak with your agent or broker about having both options if you expect someone other than yourself to take the bike for a spin.

Seasonal coverage makes sense when you take financing out to purchase a motorcycle. Lenders require comprehensive, liability, and collision coverage to ensure the bike’s value is still obtainable if something happens to it.

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Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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