It’s common knowledge (or at least it should be) that you need to have at least liability insurance covering damage or injury to another’s property or being before riding your motorcycle. However, say you want to rent a motorcycle but aren’t sure your personal policy covers rentals. Or you’re traveling to the U.S. from another country and don’t have insurance. What do you do then?

Some insurance plans offered by rental companies provide roadside assistance or towing services if needed with minimal to no out-of-pocket expense to you.

The answer isn’t difficult, but understanding the details can be a little tricky. This guide will hopefully answer those questions. In short, the same rules apply, and you can get coverage either through your own provider or that of the rental company. If you choose the latter, there’s added coverage which is offered in the event their rental is lost, stolen, damaged, or if there’s bodily injury to the renter.

Rates and terms for motorcycle rental coverage will vary, based on numerous factors like laws in your area, the individual providers and the level of coverage desired. While you aren’t technically required to purchase temporary insurance, it’s a wise idea if for no other reason than the number of added benefits. Like peace of mind in the event the bike breaks down, for example.

Sportbike Rental

Motorcycle rentals aren’t just for big cruisers; many companies also rent small-displacement bikes. Some even rent scooters!

Some insurance plans offered by rental companies provide roadside assistance or towing services if needed with minimal to no out-of-pocket expense to you. Should you need major repairs, the insurance provider or rental company will often replace the bike for you.

Insurance is usually offered at the time of rental and can be tailored to work with your existing rental coverage, or, if you don’t have a personal policy, can be tailored to match your needs for as little as $15 per day for basic coverage at companies like

In some cases, your current motorcycle insurance policy may cover rentals. Companies like Progressive and Allstate have just such policies available. Don’t be fooled by auto insurance you may have through a credit card – those policies do not cover motorcycles, especially rentals.

Motorcycle Tire Inspection

Any reputable rental company will ensure the bike is mechanically sound before handing over the keys, but it never hurts to give the bike a quick check before signing papers. Inspect the condition of the tires, fluid levels and overall condition of the bike.

If you don’t have coverage for rentals through your motorcycle policy, or don’t have enough, there are two common temporary coverage options: supplemental liability insurance, which can cover you if you’re involved in an accident that causes damage to another vehicle or injuries to others; and personal accident and personal property insurance, which can cover your personal belongings.

Also consider asking whether the shop offers a loss damage waiver, too. This covers damage and theft. Don’t be surprised to find deductibles as high as $1000 – there’s a reason the daily rate is so low – but rates that high are generally associated with the highest-tier plan covering more than just basic coverage.

So if you intend to rent a motorcycle, investigate insurance coverage either through your personal policy provider (which can be a hassle) or through the company you’re renting from (much more convenient). Any reputable renter should have different options available depending on the level of protection you seek with prices that are reasonable.

With insurance out of the way, go enjoy the open road!

Scenic Motorcycle Ride

Featured Insurance Providers