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Idaho has some of the best riding country in the nation, from the northern forests and lakes to the canyons, valleys, and lava fields in the southern part of the state. That said, you must be insured to ride in Idaho. Every registered motor vehicle in the state must be insured and every driver must show proof of financial responsibility. That includes motorcycles.
Idaho Motorcycle Insurance Laws
Idaho is an “at fault” state and uses a “system of Comparative Negligence,” meaning that one or more drivers can be found at fault in a single accident. The state’s comparative negligence laws reinforce your need to have the right coverage in place. A lack of coverage could expose you to severe financial hardship and legal action after an accident.
To help you understand all of the unique Idaho motorcycle insurance issues, let’s have a look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the coverage levels and types you may need.
To the average person, it may seem silly to define a motorcycle, but every state must clearly do so. According to Idaho statute 49-114(11) a motorcycle is:
“Every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground, that meets the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) as originally designed, and includes a converted motorbike, but does not include a motor-driven cycle, a motorbike, a tractor or a moped.”
That section of the statue is about as clear as mud, but further on it clearly states: ”with a motor that produces five (5) brake horsepower or more”; thus, clearing the mud.
Idaho Street-Legal Motorcycle Requirements
You have to search the Gem State to find a crowded urban area. There are many areas where you can go hours without feeling the need to take your ride back on-road, but those occasions do come. Riding on-road necessitates certain equipment for you, your bike, and your passenger. That required equipment includes:
- Eye protection: no restrictions.
- Handlebar height: no restrictions.
- Helmet: required for all riders under the age of 18.
- Mirrors: only one is required.
- Turn Signals: not required.
- Passenger Seat and Footrest: required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
- Headlight: required. A modulating daytime headlight can be used.
- Muffler: according to Title 49, Sec.49-937 of the Idaho code: ”Muffler required. No cut-outs, bypass or similar device. No modifications in a manner which amplifies or increases noise above that emitted by muffler originally installed.
- Noise levels are regulated at by Title 49, Sec. 49-106, which states ”Maximum allowable A-weighted sound level measured at 20 feet is 92dBA. Exceeding this constitutes ‘excessive’ or ‘unusual noise’.”
- Safety Inspection: none required.
Minimum Motorcycle Insurance: Idaho
The mandatory insurance laws in Idaho require a minimum motorcycle insurance policy with the following limits:
$25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person;
$50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons; and
$15,000 for damage or destruction of property.
As you can see, these coverages may not cover all of your medical or funeral costs after an accident. All costs that exceed your policy limits could be your responsibility.
The basic coverages required in Idaho may seem liberal, but they may not be enough to fully protect you, your passenger, and your bike. To make matters worse, the comparative negligence aspect of Idaho law leaves open the chance that another driver could be partially at fault, but not have coverage, leaving you on the hook for all costs. That is why you should always carry additional coverage. Some policy types that you should consider are:
This protection covers your bike in an accident under nearly every circumstance. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage.
Uninsured/Under-insured Motorist Coverage
Just under 7 percent of the drivers in Idaho are uninsured and another 10 percent are under-insured. It is easy to see the need to carry an uninsured/under-insured motorist policy.
This protection covers items like fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.
Bodily Injury Coverage
This protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. Additionally, it protects your passenger.
Custom Parts and Equipment CPE
If you ride a custom bike, you should consider additional coverage to protect aftermarket items such as saddlebags, backrests, seats, and chrome pieces, as well as items that are unique like handmade tanks and pipes.
Insure Your Bike–Online!
We have created an easy to use tool so that you can get quotes for the Idaho motorcycle insurance that you need. All you have to do is enter your rider and motorcycle information once and you will receive several quotes from reliable companies like Progressive, Geico, Dairyland, and more. Follow this link to get your instant, free, no obligation quotes.
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