Washington Motorcycle Insurance

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The state of Washington is one of a handful of states that does not require motorcycle insurance. While that sounds like it could be a great cost savings on a monthly basis, having a Washington motorcycle insurance policy in force at all times is critical for protecting yourself, your passengers, and your ride.

To help you understand Washington 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 be fully protected.

Washington Motorcycle Insurance Law

For insurance purposes, every state is required to define what a motorcycle is. Washington statutes offer a very broad definition of a motorcycle:

”A motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels, not including any stabilizing conversion kits, on which the driver: Rides on a seat or saddle and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a handlebar; or Rides on a seat in a partially or completely enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a steering wheel. ‘Motorcycle’ excludes a farm tractor, a power wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device, a motorized foot scooter, an electric-assisted bicycle, and a moped.”

Washington is famous for two things: lots of rain and its beautiful rides. When you are not conquering miles of evergreen forests, you can find challenging rides in Seattle. No matter where you ride, however, there are street legal motorcycle requirements for both you and your machine:

  • Eye protection: required, unless equipped with a windscreen.
  • Handlebar height: maximum of 30 inches above the seat.
  • Helmet: required for all riders and passengers.
  • Mirrors: two required.
  • Turn Signals: required if originally equipped.
  • Passenger Seat and Passenger Footrests: required if carrying a passenger. Passengers must be at least 5 years of age.
  • Headlight: required, a modulating daytime headlight is approved.
  • Muffler: required. Acoustical requirements are: Max A-weighted sound level as measured at 50 feet: 78dBA at 45mph or less; 82dBA over 45mph; Stationary 20 inch standard; Models before 1986 99dBA.
  • Safety Inspection: periodic random inspections required.

Washington Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

While Washington does not require motorcycle insurance, it is best to have at least the same amount of liability as for cars:

  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person
    $50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons
    $10,000 for damage or destruction of property

Even if you have these minimum coverages, they may prove to be inadequate. Once you consider the cost of medical attention you can see that an accident that results in a serious injury could quickly exceed those coverage limits. To make matters worse, if you are at fault and your policy falls short, you will be responsible for all additional costs, potentially draining your life savings. Even if you are not at fault, but the at fault motorist is uninsured, the minimum coverages may not be sufficient.

Recommended Coverage for WA State Riders

  • Collision coverage: this protects your bike in an accident with another vehicle, or even a stationary object such as a tree or building or mailbox.
  • Comprehensive coverage: this protection covers what collision does not:  non-collision items like fire, wind, water, and other acts of God, as well as animal strikes and theft.
  • Uninsured/Under-insured motorist coverage: at any given time more than 16 percent of the motorists in Washington are uninsured. With so many uninsured motorists on the roads you can understand the need for this type of coverage. The under-insured aspect of the policy protects you in case the other driver is from a state with lower minimum requirements or the injuries exceed the policy caps of an at fault motorist.
  • Bodily injury coverage: this protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. It also protects your passenger.

Washington Motorcycle Insurance Cost

It’s difficult to estimate motorcycle insurance rates without taking into account some of the more important variables such as:

  • Make/Model/Year of Bike
  • Driving Record
  • Location
  • Type and Limit of Coverage

Fortunately, we’ve streamlined this process by allowing you to request quotes from major motorcycle insurers in the Evergreen State. Simply enter your zip code to begin. You’ll be shown an array of trusted companies that insure bikes in your area. Select the companies in which you’re interested, then enter your bike and rider information and begin comparing rates, policies, and more.

Get Coverage

Review Rates and Policies Online

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