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For those driving a motorcycle, different rules apply to the license you receive and, in some cases, the laws that govern driving on the roads and highways. However, many new motorcycle drivers wonder whether the same insurance rules that apply to cars and trucks also apply to their motorcycles.

Since motorcycles are significantly different in terms of structure and are generally not as expensive as their car and truck counterparts, the question about their insurance status is legitimate. Plus, each state does have its rules when it comes to insurance coverage.

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Is Motorcycle Insurance Required?

The answer generally is yes; all states save for two have minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance. Most of the 48 states requiring at least minimum levels of motorcycle insurance mimic automotive insurance requirements. Only Washington and Montana do not require motorcycle insurance.

Montana precludes motorcycle drivers from having the same status as automobiles when it comes to owning insurance, and Washington has no laws in place that cover motorcycles, mopeds, and other similar motor-powered vehicles.

Not long ago, motorcycle and vehicular insurance were not requirements, according to state law.

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However, that has changed for several reasons over the years, and now motorcycle drivers must purchase at least the minimum requirements for insurance.

Minimum Requirements for Motorcycle Insurance:

As with automobiles, each state has its own requirement for motorcycle insurance. Most states require some form of liability and uninsured or underinsured motorists, which means you cover the other driver if it is your fault in an accident. If the other driver has no insurance, then you are covered. Assuming everyone has liability and uninsured motorist insurance, everyone is covered.


Motorcycle insurance in Florida is an exciting set of circumstances. Your motorcycle has no insurance requirement for those with a clean driving record. However, if you cause an accident, you must carry insurance for three consecutive years to maintain your motorcycle’s registration. In addition, you are responsible for any injuries you cause, regardless of your insurance status.

Another interesting twist to the law is that if you do not carry at least $10,000 of injury protection insurance, you must wear a helmet when driving your motorcycle. So, whether motorcycle insurance is required in Florida will depend on your driving status.


California’s motorcycle insurance mirrors in many respects their auto insurance requirements. The minimum required is $15,000 per person injured in any single accident or $30,000 for all persons injured in any single accident. Plus, there is $5,000 for damage to property in any single accident. There is also optional insurance coverage, including uninsured and underinsured motorists. That slightly differs from many other states, which generally require uninsured motorists.

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As mentioned previously, Washington simply has no laws that govern motorcycle insurance. This means that while it is not required, it still can be purchased at the level which suits the motorcycle owner. However, if a loan is paid for the new bike, then the lender may require that the motorcycle have proper coverage insurance in case of an accident.

Other states have their requirements, which usually vary in terms of coverage and monetary value. In Alaska, insurance companies are not required to offer more than the minimum coverage. However, Texas, Utah, and Oregon require that automobile drivers have personal injury protection insurance, not motorcycle drivers.

What Happens If I am Uninsured?

Despite being required in most states, many motorcycle drivers do not have insurance. While the exact numbers are unknown, it is estimated to be roughly 15% to 20% of all motorcycle drivers live in the states where it is required, similar to automobile drivers. The practical effect of being uninsured may seem relatively benign if you never get into an accident or can renew your license tags without showing the requirement

However, there are serious consequences if you live in a state where insurance is required and you do not have any.

The financial impact may be devastating if you are involved in a motorcycle accident without liability and uninsured motorist coverage. While your health insurance may cover your injuries, there will be no coverage for the damage to your bike or the lost wages from missing work.

If the other driver is at fault and has no insurance, you must file a lawsuit that may or may not compel them to pay your medical expenses. If the other driver files for bankruptcy, you may have nothing from them to help you.

Note that:

Motorcycle drivers are particularly vulnerable to injury, given the nature of their bikes. A fender-bender and a minor annoyance in a car accident may result in major injuries to a motorcycle driver. In addition, of the accidents caused by the driver of a vehicle to a person riding a motorcycle, in most cases, the automobile driver never saw the motorcyclist until it was too late.

The importance of having insurance for your motorcycle cannot be understated regarding liability and uninsured motorists, which will at least cover your legal responsibilities in most states. If you are covered by uninsured motorist insurance, the other driver causes the accident. You will not only get your medical treatment covered, but you will also have your lost wages and additional money for pain and suffering.

So, the question may not be, is motorcycle insurance required, but why do you not have the coverage needed to protect your finances in case of an accident?

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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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