A motorcycle lies wrecked in the road after an accident with a red car.

Motorcycle crashes happen andeven the safest rider can accidentally cause a motorcycle accident. To limit your exposure to payment of damages in a motorcycle accident, you’ll need motorcycle insurance. There are many types of motorcycle insurance, and they may seem confusing or they may seem to overlap. Below, the attorneys at TonaLaw describe the different types of motorcycle insurance and what these insurances cover. We will also explain some factors involved in calculating the cost of motorcycle insurance. 

Remember, a motorcyclist is exempt from New York’s no-fault insurance coverage. This means that if someone else hit you or caused your accident, as a motorcyclist, you must sue the responsible party for all damages that you’re owed. Lawsuits and compensation claims, however, can be complex. If you are in a motorcycle accident, call our attorneys today to see how we can help. 

New York State Insurance Requirements

New York requires all motor vehicles, including motorcycles, to carry the following different types of insurance with these minimum amounts of coverage:

  • Property damage insurance of $10,000 for a single accident;
  • Bodily injury insurance of $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people in an accident; and 
  • Insurance for at least $50,000 for the death of one person and $100,000 for the death of two or more people.

These minimum amounts of required coverage seem like a lot. However, accidents often involve sums far greater than these minimums. Plus, you may be in an accident that results in damages that aren’t covered by these specific types of insurance. Riders often opt for higher coverage amounts or additional types of insurance to feel more protected on the road.

Types of Motorcycle Insurance in New York

Riders often wonder what type of motorcycle insurance they should carry. There are several different types of motorcycle insurance in New York. Understanding the different types of motorcycle insurance will help you select the most suitable options for your needs.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance protects you against claims of injury, property damage, or death by others if you are found to have caused or partially caused an accident. If a third-party claims that you caused their injuries, liability insurance will pay their medical bills and other costs up to your maximum coverage amount. 

There are three primary types of liability insurance for motorcyclists:

  • Physical Injury Liability Insurance–this insurance is required by New York law and  covers medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with a third party’s injury or death if you are at fault for an accident; 
  • Property Damage Liability Insurance–this insurance is also required by New York law and covers the other person’s car or other property damage if you caused the accident; and 
  • Guest Passenger Liability Coverage–this optional insurance covers your passenger’s injuries or death in an accident.

As discussed above, New York requires a minimum amount of liability insurance coverage for a third party’s personal injury, death, and property damage. It’s important to note that New York’s mandatory liability insurance does not cover your passenger on a motorcycle. This is why many riders opt for additional guest passenger liability insurance.

Collision Insurance

None of the types of motorcycle insurance discussed above cover damage to your motorcycle if you hit someone or something, only coverage for the other vehicle in an accident. You’ll have to purchase an optional supplement called collision insurance that covers the damage to your motorcycle from a collision. This also includes damage to your bike from other causes, such as if your motorcycle is damaged from grounding your bike or hitting an object. 

Collision insurance is not required under New York law. However, if you leased or financed your motorcycle, your lender may require you to have collision insurance.

Personal Injury Protection or No-Fault Insurance

You may be confused if you see no-fault personal injury protection on your insurance coverage since motorcycles aren’t covered under New York’s no-fault insurance laws. This type of no-fault insurance only covers medical bills and injuries to pedestrians if the motorcyclist causes an accident. It does not cover injuries to you or your passenger. 


Since liability insurance generally only covers injuries and damages incurred by other people, you may wonder which motorcycle insurance covers a motorcyclist’s injuries. The optional supplement called medical payments coverage or “med-pay” may help. Med-pay covers out-of-pocket medical expenses if a motorcyclist is injured in an accident. Some forms of med-pay require you to use med-pay in conjunction with your medical insurance. 

Comprehensive Coverage

One of the most misunderstood types of motorcycle insurance is comprehensive coverage. People often believe that it is the same as collision insurance, which is not the case. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your motorcycle caused by things outside your control, including vandalism, fire, and the weather. It also covers theft. Comprehensive coverage does not, however, cover damage from a collision.

Comprehensive coverage is optional. You may be required to carry it if you’re leasing your motorcycle under your leasing agreement.

Under-Insured or Un-Insured Motorist Insurance

Under-insured or uninsured motorist insurance are types of motorcycle insurance that cover your losses if you’re hit by someone without sufficient insurance coverage or with no insurance coverage at all. Despite auto insurance being mandatory in most states, according to the Insurance Information Institute,12.9% of drivers were uninsured in 2019, which amounts to approximately 1 in 8 drivers. This means that the chances of a motorcyclist getting hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver are relatively high. 

How Much Is Motorcycle Insurance?

After looking at the different insurance options above, you may wonder, how much is motorcycle insurance? Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to the question of  how much is motorcycle insurance? The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Your driving record–as with driving, a motorcyclist’s insurance premiums will be greater if they have a bad driving record;
  • Your zip code–if you register your motorcycle in a zip code or town with a high number of claims, you may face larger premiums; and
  • Whether you have optional coverage–if you want supplemental insurance, such as collision coverage, comprehensive insurance, or med-pay, you’ll pay a higher premium than if you only have New York’s minimum coverage. 

Other factors can affect the cost of your motorcycle insurance. Nonetheless, sometimes paying a higher premium is worth it so that you can rest assured that you’ll be covered in the event of an accident.

TonaLaw Fights for Motorcyclists

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an attorney with experience representing people injured in motorcycle accidents. You need someone who isn’t afraid to fight for your right to fair compensation. The motorcycle accident attorneys at TonaLaw are experienced in motorcycle accident litigation and care deeply about our clients and their needs. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. 

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