Motorcycle Rental Insurance – How Does It Work?

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

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.

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.

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!

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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Join the conversation
  • Saad Saad on Aug 12, 2018

    Which company offers commercial or rental motorcycle insurance?

  • Guillermo Cornejo Guillermo Cornejo on May 02, 2023

    Riders Share ( can help you start a motorcycle rental business fairly quickly. If you rent from them, they are one of the few that accept motorcycle insurance policies from other companies. Other companies force you to buy damage waivers or leave $5,000 deposits.