Want to know if you actually need dirt bike insurance to safely and legally ride or just how much it costs? Whether you’re a beginner and have just one bike or own a family of dirt bikes, you’re in the right place!
In this article, you’re going to learn:
- Why you may or may not need dirt bike insurance
- What is actually covered under an insurance policy
- How much you can expect to pay for it
- Practical ways to keep your bike secure and last longer
- Why it may or may not be worth it for you.
What states require dirt bike insurance?
From the research that I have done, most states do not require insurance for off-road dirt bikes. However, there’s a big difference between a motorcycle for riding on public roads and a dirt bike that rides on private property.
For example, if you have a dirt bike that is street legal, most states DO require motorcycle insurance if you’re riding on public roads, such as a highway or neighborhood.
Do you need insurance for a dirt bike in California?
California law requires liability insurance for all motorcycles, including dirt bikes, operated on public roads, but does this mean that you need insurance for riding on the track or trails?
It appears that you don’t legally need it for dirt bikes if you’re just riding off-road, but you will need a policy if you’re riding on the road. To confirm, please talk to your local DMV or insurance professional.
What does insurance cover on a dirt bike?
Do you just want the minimum coverage in case you damage property, coverage that pays for repairs or something that will cover the cost of your dirt bike and accessories if it gets damaged in an accident?
The coverage for a dirt bike varies depending on the specific policy and insurance provider you choose. Here are the common types of coverage that you can purchase for riding a dirt bike:
- Liability Coverage: Helps protect you if you cause injury or property damage to someone else while riding your dirt bike. It can help pay for medical bills, property repairs, and legal fees if you’re sued.
- Collision Coverage: Helps pay for repairs or replacement of your dirt bike if it’s damaged in a collision, even if you’re at fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage helps protect against damage to your dirt bike caused by events other than collisions, such as theft, vandalism, fire, or natural disasters.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If you’re in a crash/accident with another rider or person driving a vehicle that doesn’t have insurance or not enough coverage, this can help pay for your medical expenses, bike repairs, or other damages.
- Medical Payments Coverage: AKA “MedPay,” it can help pay for your medical expenses if you’re hurt while riding your dirt bike, no matter who’s at fault.
- Accessory Coverage: Added coverage for accessories and modifications you’ve added to your dirt bike, such as custom parts, aftermarket upgrades, or specialized equipment.
Not all policies are created equal
Not all policies are the same when it comes to how much money it covers, the deductible you would have to pay, and what specific exclusions there are. It’s up to you to read and/or talk to an agent that you trust so that you know what to expect when choosing the right dirt bike insurance policy for you or your family.
Is it worth it to get dirt bike insurance?
It really depends on your specific needs as well as the insurance policy that you’re considering. For example, if you have an expensive dirt bike that’s worth over $10,000 plus the extra accessories, it might be worth getting a liability, collision, and/or accessory coverage policy so that you can recover most of your money in case your dirt bike is damaged from an accident.
However, if you have an inexpensive dirt bike (under $2000) and are confident that you most likely won’t damage anything, don’t ride often, or won’t regret it if something happens to it, then buying insurance might not be worth it to you.
What protection do you need for a dirt bike?
Whether you want physical or financial protection for you and your bike, or just want practical ways to make your dirt bike last longer, there are multiple ways to do that based on your specific needs and budget.
Here are the most common ways to protect and secure your dirt bike so that you can enjoy it for many years to come:
Insurance – is it worth it?
You may have to go through the hassle of dealing with a claim, but if you or your bike gets damaged or something or someone else gets hurt, an insurance policy gives you some peace of mind because your policy can potentially cover most accidents.
How to prevent your dirt bike from getting stolen and/or lost
Theft is a common thing today, which is unfortunate, but there are some practical ways to help prevent it or to help recover your dirt bike if it gets stolen.
If you have to leave your dirt bike in a parking lot or outside, here are the best accessories to deter simple theft scenarios:
- Disc lock (Amazon) – A simple mechanical device that locks onto a brake rotor so that the wheel can’t rotate
- Cable lock (Amazon) – A cable that can be looped through a part of your dirt bike (frame/wheel) and tied to a solid object (a tree – if you’re camping)
- Chain lock (Amazon) – A heavy-duty version of a cable lock that requires a more powerful tool to cut through
- Alarm (Amazon) – A motion-sensing alarm installed on/in the dirt bike that sounds or alerts you when it’s moved
These will only prevent theft from “honest” or rookie thieves. Professionals or motivated “chumps” (lowly people that steal others’ property) will be able to easily break or cut these security devices with power tools.
If you want added security, then adding a quality GPS tracker (Amazon) can be a great way to notify you if your dirt bike has moved and its current location.
Then it’s up to you to report it to the local authority (police) or find the thief if you choose. However, just know that you might be at risk if you go after he/she/them yourself.
How to properly store your dirt bike
One of the most common reasons why dirt bikes get stolen is because people know that it’s there. For example, if you have an enclosed trailer with stickers and graphics that show you have expensive dirt bikes inside, a thief is much more likely to target your trailer, as opposed to a blank/white trailer in that they don’t know what’s inside.
You may not have that “cool” looking rig/set-up, but that’s the risk you take for “nice-looking” things.
So, it’s best to store your dirt bike in a locked garage or trailer that is dry and ventilated. A dirt bike cover (Amazon) can help cover the dust off, but make sure that moisture won’t get trapped underneath, or else the metal on your dirt bike is much more likely to corrode and look horrible after months or years of letting it sit in storage.
Maintaining your dirt bike is a physical insurance policy that most people neglect. For example, if you simply check and change your dirt bike’s oil on a regular basis, this will ensure that you have the best possible chance of making your dirt bike last much longer.
For example, if you don’t change your oil after 30 hours of riding, it’s probably going to run low, causing it to stop properly lubricating the engine parts and cause excessive wear or seizure and break down on an all-day trail ride when you’re miles from camp.
This could also cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs, as opposed to simply spending $10-20 and 20-30 minutes to change the oil every 5-10 hours of ride time.
It’s easy to go “gear heavy” and spend $1000 just on dirt bike protective gear, but if that scares you into not buying any or not enough, then you’re at a higher risk of injury – even if it’s just a chest protector and gloves that protect you hitting a tree or skidding across a gravel road.
Off-Road Riding Training
If you’re brand new to dirt biking, there’s a lot to learn, but one of the biggest mistakes I hear from my students is trying to do it all on your own. While it’s completely possible, it’s going to take much longer because you have to figure everything out on your own from experience – that’s what I did…
Not only that, but you’re more likely to fall and get hurt as a beginner because you don’t know what kind of bad riding habits you might have – even if you’re an experienced street or MTB rider!
If you want to start out the right way, then I want to give you a guide that shows you the best way to build your confidence for FREE today (click here).
Prevent dangerous problems BEFORE they happen
A common mistake that we (including myself sometimes!) all make is neglecting to inspect our dirt bikes.
Simply because we’re lazy and we just want to ride! I get it, but it’s also the reason why you might get 10 miles into a trail ride and find out that you forgot to add air to your tires and now they’re flat, making it difficult and dangerous to ride.
So what do you do? Just take a couple of minutes to inspect the important things on your dirt bike so that you can easily prevent a catastrophic failure when you’re out riding in the middle of the desert, mountains, or the bush.
How much is dirt bike insurance? Average cost
If you decide to buy an insurance policy, the price will mainly depend on these 3 factors:
- Your age and history – younger riders or a history of accidents will increase your insurance cost in most cases
- Your location – Some states charge a higher premium.
- Your bike’s value – A more expensive dirt bike will generally cost more to insure (especially if you added the value of accessories/upgraded parts to your policy)
- The type of coverage you choose – Liability, collision, comp, etc are the most common
Here’s the average cost of dirt bike insurance based on the policy you get:
- Full coverage: $560 annually or ($56.20 today + 11 payments of $51.62)
- Liability coverage: $70 annually or ($22 today + 5 payments of $15.50)
However, if you’re riding a dual sport dirt bike that’s plated and registered for legally riding on the road and off-road, insurance costs might be higher because there’s more potential risk for the insurance company (other drivers, buildings, etc.).
How much is liability insurance for a dirt bike?
Liability insurance is typically the cheapest coverage because it only covers injury or damage to someone else’s property if you have an accident with your dirt bike.
For most dirt bikes, liability coverage alone is only about $50-100 per year.
With that said, I just added one of my trail dirt bikes to my Geico motorcycle policy (I already have two insured street bikes) and my yearly premium did NOT change with liability coverage.
How to make dirt bike insurance cheaper
The easiest way to make your monthly or annual payments cheaper is by choosing less coverage (lower dollar limits that don’t cover as much damage or injury costs). If you don’t want to decrease your coverage, then here are the top practical ways to make insuring your dirt bike cheaper:
- Bundle with other policies (Motorcycle/Auto/Boat/Home)
- Buy a cheaper dirt bike
- Opt for a higher deductible (lower monthly/annual payments)
- Auto-pay or Pay-in-full – sometimes gets you a lower rate when the company knows that you’re “committed” to their policy coverage
- Join an AMA membership – potentially offering you a lower rate
- Take a riding safety course – potentially offering you a lower rate
Does dirt bike insurance cover theft?
It depends on the policy you choose – the value of your dirt bike can be owed to you in the event of theft, but it has to be listed or added to your policy.
This may increase your premium or deductible, but it might be worth it if you live or ride in an area with high theft/criminal activity. If you’re not sure what your policy covers, I recommend talking to your insurance agent so that you won’t be upset when you file a claim and find out it’s not something that’s covered under your policy!
Do you need insurance for a 50cc dirt bike?
In most states, a 50cc dirt bike does not need insurance to ride off-road, but it really depends on your local laws and regulations on where you can legally ride.
For example, if you’re riding a 50 cc dirt bike or pit bike on the road, it needs to be registered for the street and insured in most states to be legal.
What parts are covered under dirt bike insurance?
If your dirt bike insurance policy covers damage or theft of your dirt bike, then it’s generally the value of your dirt bike that will be reimbursed. If you have upgraded or custom parts on your dirt bike, then you will typically have to “add on” to your policy or increase the coverage limit for those extra parts to be covered.
Again, if you’re unsure or want clarification on your specific policy, you should be able to call your agent and talk to them.
Does dirt bike insurance cover engine damage?
However, you may be able to add additional coverage that includes “mechanical breakdowns”. You might be able to get the engine damage reimbursed, but it depends on the specific details of your policy.
For example, you likely won’t be covered if you run the engine out of oil and break down, but there’s a possibility that you’re covered if a rock is roosted into your engine and puts a hole in it, although it might be hard to prove it.
Are aftermarket parts covered?
For a general dirt bike insurance policy, you’ll only be covered for OEM (stock) parts. If you want additional coverage for aftermarket parts, then you will have to add an additional “Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage” to your policy if it isn’t included already.
What considers a dirt bike totaled?
When the total cost to repair your dirt bike exceeds the actual cash value (ACV), then it’s generally deemed as “totaled” or a “total loss”, which you would then be reimbursed by your insurance company.
However, it’s not up to you to determine the value or cost to repair it. An insurance adjuster will typically have a thorough inspection of your dirt bike to determine the damage and whether or not it’s totaled or if there is a compromise in the safety of your dirt bike, such as a bent or cracked frame.
Where to get dirt bike insurance?
There are many places to get dirt bike insurance. Basically, any company that offers motorcycle insurance should be able to offer a policy for an off-road dirt bike.
If you already have an insurance agent that you trust for home and auto insurance, I recommend asking them if your insurance company offers motorcycle insurance as well because you’ll likely get a discounted rate for bundling multiple policies.
The best insurance for every rider…
You can have full coverage with a dirt bike insurance policy as well as the best riding gear, but that doesn’t mean you won’t crash and get hurt – you’ll still have to deal with going to the hospital, recovering from an injury and filing an insurance claim (hopefully customer service is reasonable!).
Sometimes accidents just happen, but if you want the best chance at preventing a bad crash that could break bones or damage your dirt bike, then learning how to properly control your dirt bike by forming positive riding habits is the best way (click/tap to learn how).