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How Your Age Can Affect Your Motorcycle Insurance Premium Cost

Added July 29, 2022
Person riding a red Harley Davidson

The process for getting a new motorcycle insurance policy is relatively straightforward. 

You reach out to an insurance agent and tell them your age, driving record, what kind of motorcycle you ride, and where it will be kept. 

You go through choosing what types of coverage you want to make sure you’re meeting state-requirements. Do you then also spring for full comprehensive coverage and other options to add-on, or is liability coverage enough?

Many things affect the average cost of motorcycle insurance coverage. Age may be a big factor, and as you get older, you could expect your insurance premiums to drop significantly from the initial motorcycle policy prices for 16 to 18-year-olds.

So, what kind of premium costs can you expect as you age?

How Motorcycle Insurance Rates Are Factored

While the process of getting a quote as a consumer is relatively straightforward, calculating your motorcycle insurance premium is quite complex.

To manage for risk, insurers utilize rating formulas that can affect the ultimate price of your annual premium based on that risk.

We already mentioned age, style of bike, and driving record, and there are other aspects to the process like credit score, and gender, that may be factored into rating.

Each of these may affect the ultimate price, but perhaps some of the most critical factors in motorcycle insurance costs are the location, limits of coverage, and the type of bike that you select.

Coverage Limits

Every motorcycle insurance company offers a variety of different protections that riders choose based on needs and tolerance for risk.

Some riders feel comfortable with a policy that includes:

  • bodily injury liability coverage
  • uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage
  • property damage liability coverage
  • medical payments coverage
  • comprehensive and collision coverage

Some riders feel the need to ride with additional optional coverages to help protect them in an unforeseen incident, theft, or damages caused by an "act of God". Having the additional coverage from higher limits can help in case of extreme damage to others’ property around a mishap. As well, having additional optional coverages could provide coverage to your safety apparel equipment like leathers, riding boots, and gloves.

If full comprehensive coverage plus the optional add-ons is the only thing you think of as "adequate insurance," your policy premium will be higher. An annual premium ultimately depends, among other things, on the extra policy add-ons you deem necessary - perhaps more so than your age.

Type of Motorcycle and Coverage Costs

It can be hard to zero in on precisely what you want with so many different bike types. But if insurance is a factor, it's essential to know how bike type plays into average motorcycle insurance rates.

The type of motorcycle you ride may considerably impact the ultimate cost of your motorcycle coverage. Major factors may include the MSRP ("Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price”) of the bike, the theft rate, and the average incident rate.

 

Cost of Motorcycle

Many young riders opt for vintage low displacement cruisers to get experience on a bike that is (often) low in cost and easier to handle.

But if you have your heart set on a sports bike, be prepared to pay for it on your insurance. Sports bikes are often ~30% more expensive to insure than cruisers. 

Upgrading to a touring bike from a lower-cost bike type can be almost twice as expensive to insure (no matter the rider’s age!). This is because touring bikes can be much more costly, to begin with, which factors into the amount it will take to repair or replace if damaged.

 

Theft Rate

Some motorcycles are statistically more likely to be stolen than others. Sports bikes, in particular, are prone to theft, per Value Penguin.

 

Incident Rate

The number of miles and riding style may come into play with this factor. Touring bikes are built to go long distances increasing the likelihood for a mishap.

Sports bikes are built to go fast, and as speed increases, so does the incident rate, which means that insurance may increase.

How Age Affects Motorcycle Coverage

To better evaluate average premium rates by age, we've compiled some information from multiple sources, including comparisons from Value Penguin.

On average, a 50-year-old rider seeking standard coverage with a clean driving record should expect to pay 40% less than a 16-year-old rider with the same motorcycle and coverages. 

This is because younger drivers and riders are statistically more likely to be involved in an insurance incident. Insurance companies view age as a risk, and risk means that the cost of motorcycle insurance tends to be higher. 

A new 50-year-old rider should expect to pay more than a 50-year-old rider with experience. In insurance coverage, experience counts for a lot. 

Per the Value Penguin analysis mentioned above, compared to the rate for insuring a cruiser with slightly higher than basic coverage and a low deductible, most sport bikes will be around 30% more, and touring bikes will be 50% more.

But once again, these figures combine estimates from different insurers across the country, and the figures vary wildly by age, location, type of motorcycle, and experience.

What is the average motorcycle rate across the country by age? 

The overall average nationwide is $721 per year for basic motorcycle insurance, per Value Penguin. 

The following figures were taken from an insurer in California (one of the most expensive states to insure a motorcycle). You can expect to spend below these figures outside of California, but these will provide a top threshold for your research on how much age affects pricing. 

Remember that motorcycle riders can also save on insurance costs in a variety of ways including:

  • taking advantage of discounts
  • having a clean driving record
  • taking a motorcycle safety course
  • taking advantage of a multi-policy discount by bundling in auto insurance or multiple bikes
  • setting up automatic payments. 

Average insurance rates for 16-year-old

The average 16-year-old rider offers the highest risk for an insurance company. They are statistically more prone to insurance incidents as well as riding unsafely. The average insurance price for a 16-year-old rider was $2,576 per year.

Average insurance rates for an 18-year-old

Even two years of experience plus two additional years of age will help with insurance, and the average cost of motorcycle insurance was $2,044 per year for an 18-year-old rider in California.

Average insurance rates for a 21-year-old

Adding three more years of experience and age lowers insurance rates only slightly. The average cost of motorcycle insurance for a 21-year-old rider was $1,911 per year.

Average insurance rates for a 30-year-old

The 30s are when motorcycle riders start to see significant insurance discounts, especially if they have experience riding and a clean driving record. The average cost of motorcycle insurance for a 30-year-old was $1,389 per year.

Average insurance rates for a 50-year-old

Unfortunately for mature riders, the average cost of motorcycle insurance was the same for a 50-year-old rider as a 30-year-old rider at $1,389 per year.

So ultimately, while age matters, the other factors like location, coverage choices, and type of bike may factor in much more heavily to the ultimate cost of your insurance. 

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