How Motorcycle Type, Age and Location Affect Insurance Cost

Kirk Harrington
by Kirk Harrington

Motorcycle insurance rates can vary drastically depending on a number of factors. Three big ones are the type of bike you own, your age and where you live.

When it comes to the type of motorcycle you want insured, cruisers, sport-tourers, standards, full-dress tourers and dual-sport bikes are all pretty easy to cover. Some bikes cross segments like the Ducati Multistrada, Triumph Tiger 1050 and the Buell XB series. So, make sure you get many quotes with different insurers.

If you live in a highly dense metro location you will pay up to 65% higher than someone that lives is a less-dense location.

Why the discrepancies? Losses are the basic answer. Insurers try a bike in a segment (like the Multi being considered a dual-sport by a company or two) and when the losses get too high they move it to a different segment that reflects its loss ratio. In the case of the Multi, the shift would be toward the sport-tour segment. Back in 2005 Dairyland tried an experiment with the Suzuki Hayabusa. It listed the Busa as a sport-tourer. It happened because the bike was becoming a customizing standard for its class. Well, word got out and Dairyland took a huge beating in losses. Needless to say, it’s back to the GT class of the sportbike category.

Young riders looking for affordable insurance should probably stay clear of the Hayabusa.

Age is also huge factor when it comes to motorcycle insurance. Don’t expect to insure a Busa for a few hundred a year if you’re under 30 years old. Likewise, when you reach 68 years old, your rates will be steadily increasing. Why? You young squids and old codgers are liability risks for different reasons. Squids are reckless and fearless. Old codgers have slower reaction time and reflexes. Remember that your driving record matters. You can’t hide from it. Don’t even try to fib your way out. All it will do is make you mad when the rates change.

Another significant motorcycle insurance consideration is your geographic location. If you live in a highly dense metro location you will pay up to 65% higher than someone that lives is a less-dense location. Crime rates affect insurance rates, too. That’s why I live 40 miles north of Atlanta. I hate paying the rates. Those guys get it stuck to them on all insurance, including homeowner rates. I’d rather drive into the city than spend all that money for convenience. For me the trade-off is being closer to the North Georgia Mountains.

Kirk Harrington is a longtime rider and avid motorcycle enthusiast, and he’s one of the nation’s only specialized motorcycle insurance agents, operating from his location north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Kirk Harrington
Kirk Harrington

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