California Motorcycle Insurance – By the Numbers

California’s scenic landscape and iconic culture make it a popular state for motorcycle enthusiasts. According to Department of Transportation numbers, there are over 800,000 registered motorcycles in the state, and this doesn’t account for the many tourists who come to the Golden State to tour the coastline, the Sierras, and our major cities. If you live here and own a bike or have visions of “Easy Rider,” there are several things that you need to know about California motorcycle insurance.

Motorcycle Accidents in California

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars. You pay a price for your freedom, and part of that is the increased risk of accidents, injuries, and death. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, motorcycle fatalities in the state are on the rise. For every 100,000 registrations in 2014, there were 60 deaths. This is up from 54 deaths the year before.

There was also an increase in the percentage of motorcycle deaths involving alcohol, which is something you can easily prevent by drinking responsibly. Another interesting fact is that fewer motorcycle operators were killed who were properly licensed. Part of being a properly licensed motorcycle operator in California is having motorcycle insurance in place.

Minimum Limits for Motorcyclists in California

In the state of California, all registered vehicles, including motorcycles, are required to carry insurance. The state wants to make sure that, if you cause an accident, you’ll be able to pay for damages or for the treatment of others’ injuries. To be compliant with the law, you’ll need California motorcycle insurance that meets some minimum requirements. You must have liability coverage of at least $15,000 per person for injury or death, at least $30,000 for total injury/death coverage per accident, and $5,000 for damage to another’s property.

These minimum requirements will not, however, give you coverage for your own property damage or injuries. Also, some states allow drivers to forgo helmet laws as long as riders have certain coverage in place. No dice in California, where all operators and passengers are required to wear a DOT-approved safety helmet.


Have California motorcycle insurance in place or your fun will be short-lived.

California Motorcycle Insurance

When you get motorcycle insurance in California, your insurance agency will electronically report your active policy to the California DMV, which means that you now have proof of “financial responsibility.” You’ll also need to carry that proof with you as a motorcycle operator in the state. Failure to obtain motorcycle insurance or pay premiums in the state has several consequences.

If you operate an uninsured vehicle, including a motorcycle, in California you are breaking the law. Penalties for doing this include a ticket for up to $500 plus other penalties and assessments if you were involved in an accident. If the DMV system is notified that your insurance is no longer in effect, your vehicle registration may be suspended.

While motorcycles are affordable transportation and can be a lot of fun, they also entail risk and responsibility. Be sure to take safety seriously and have the right California motorcycle insurance in place. Contact us to learn more or get a motorcycle insurance quote now.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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