Motorcycle Insurance California: Everything You Need to Know

Riding a motorcycle is an exciting experience that offers a sense of freedom and adventure. However, as a rider, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved and the measures you need to take to protect yourself and your bike on the road. That’s where motorcycle insurance comes in. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about motorcycle insurance in California.

What is Motorcycle Insurance?

Motorcycle insurance is a type of policy that provides financial protection to riders in the event of an accident, theft, or damage to their bike. In California, motorcycle insurance is mandatory and riders need to carry a minimum level of coverage to legally operate their motorcycles on public roads.

What are the Minimum Requirements for Motorcycle Insurance in California?

In California, motorcycle riders need to carry a minimum level of liability insurance that covers at least:

Type of Coverage
Minimum Amount
Bodily Injury Liability
$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability
$5,000 per accident

These minimum requirements are applicable to all types of motorcycles, including cruisers, sport bikes, scooters, and mopeds.

What Other Coverage Options are Available?

In addition to the mandatory liability coverage, motorcycle riders can also opt for additional coverage options to enhance their protection. These options may include:

  • Collision Coverage: Covers the cost of damages to your motorcycle in case of an accident.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Covers the cost of damages to your motorcycle due to non-collision incidents such as theft, fire, or vandalism.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Covers the cost of damages and injuries caused by a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to pay for the damages.
  • Medical Payments Coverage: Covers the cost of medical expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident.
  • Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing custom parts and accessories on your motorcycle.

Why is Motorcycle Insurance Important?

Motorcycle insurance is important for several reasons:

  • It’s a legal requirement: As mentioned earlier, motorcycle insurance is mandatory in California, and riders who don’t carry the minimum level of coverage can face legal consequences.
  • It protects you financially: In case of an accident or theft, motorcycle insurance provides financial protection to cover the cost of damages or injuries caused to you, your passengers, or other motorists.
  • It gives you peace of mind: Riding a motorcycle can be risky, but having insurance coverage can give you the peace of mind that you’re protected in case of an unexpected event.

How to Choose the Right Motorcycle Insurance Policy

Choosing the right motorcycle insurance policy can be overwhelming, but here are some factors to consider:

Consider Your Riding Habits

Do you ride your motorcycle on a daily basis or just for weekend joyrides? Do you use your motorcycle for commuting or leisure activities? The frequency and purpose of your rides can impact the type and amount of coverage you need.

Compare Quotes

Shop around and get quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare prices and coverage options. Make sure you understand what is covered and what is not covered in each policy.

Check the Insurance Company’s Reputation

Make sure you choose an insurance company with a good reputation and a history of providing quality service to their customers. You can check their ratings and reviews online or ask for recommendations from other riders.

Ask About Discounts

Many insurance companies offer discounts to motorcycle riders who have taken a safety course, have a clean driving record, or have multiple policies with the same provider. Be sure to ask about any available discounts to lower your premium.


Do I need motorcycle insurance if I only ride on private property?

No, motorcycle insurance is not required if you only ride your motorcycle on private property. However, if you plan to ride on public roads in California, you need to carry at least the minimum level of liability coverage.

Can I add a rider to my motorcycle insurance policy?

Yes, most insurance companies allow you to add a rider to your policy. However, adding a rider can increase your premium, so make sure to consider the cost before making a decision.

What happens if I don’t have motorcycle insurance in California?

If you don’t have motorcycle insurance in California, you can face legal consequences such as fines, license suspension, and even impoundment of your motorcycle. In case of an accident, you can be held personally liable for the damages and injuries caused to other parties.

Can I customize my motorcycle insurance policy?

Yes, many insurance companies offer customizable policies that allow you to select the coverage options that best fit your needs and budget. Make sure to discuss your options with your insurance agent.

Is motorcycle insurance expensive?

The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on several factors such as the type and amount of coverage you need, your age and riding experience, and the make and model of your motorcycle. However, there are ways to lower your premium such as taking a safety course or bundling multiple policies with the same provider.


Motorcycle insurance is an essential requirement for any rider in California. It provides financial protection and peace of mind to riders in case of an accident, theft, or damage to their bike. By understanding the minimum requirements and available coverage options, riders can choose the right policy that fits their needs and budget.