Ride Safe, Ride Insured: Understanding Motorcycle Insurance in Washington

For motorcycle enthusiasts in Washington state, the open road beckons with the promise of adventure and freedom. However, before you embark on your next thrilling journey, it’s crucial to understand the state’s motorcycle insurance requirements. Failing to comply with these laws can result in hefty fines and legal consequences, putting a damper on your riding experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of motorcycle insurance in Washington, ensuring you’re fully prepared to hit the road with confidence and peace of mind.

The Mandatory Motorcycle Insurance Law

In Washington, carrying motorcycle insurance is not just a recommendation – it’s a legal requirement. On July 28, 2019, a new law was passed, making it mandatory for all motorcycle drivers to carry liability coverage and proof of insurance. This law effectively eliminated the previous exemption that allowed motorcyclists to ride without insurance.

Under the state’s mandatory liability insurance law, motorcycle riders must carry the following minimum coverage levels:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $25,000 for injuries or death to another person
  • Total Bodily Injury Liability: $50,000 for injuries or death to all other people
  • Property Damage Liability: $10,000 for damage to another person’s property

Failure to comply with this law can result in serious consequences, including traffic violations and fines.

Showing Proof of Insurance

When you purchase or renew your motorcycle insurance policy, your insurance company will provide you with a proof-of-insurance card. This card serves as evidence that you and your motorcycle are covered by the required liability insurance. It’s crucial to carry this card with you at all times, as law enforcement officers may request it during traffic stops or after an accident.

If you’re unable to present proof of insurance when requested, you may face a traffic violation and potentially hefty fines. Protecting yourself and staying on the right side of the law is as simple as keeping your proof-of-insurance card readily available.

Exceptions to the Mandatory Insurance Law

While the mandatory motorcycle insurance law applies to most vehicles on Washington’s roads, there are a few exceptions. The following vehicles are exempt from the insurance requirement:

  • Motor scooters and mopeds
  • Specially licensed horseless carriage vehicles over 40 years old
  • State or publicly-owned vehicles
  • Common or contract carriers regulated by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission

It’s important to note that even if your vehicle falls under one of these exceptions, you may still be held liable for any damages or injuries resulting from negligent use. If you’re unsure whether your vehicle is exempt, it’s always best to consult with the Washington State Department of Licensing for clarification.

Additional Coverage Options

While the mandatory insurance law in Washington requires only liability coverage, it’s generally recommended to consider additional coverage options to ensure comprehensive protection. Some popular add-ons include:

  • Collision Coverage: Helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle if you’re involved in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Provides protection against non-collision incidents, such as theft, vandalism, or damage caused by natural disasters.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Safeguards you in the event that you’re involved in an accident with a driver who has insufficient or no insurance.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Covers medical expenses and lost wages for you and your passengers, regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

By exploring these additional coverage options, you can tailor your motorcycle insurance policy to suit your specific needs and riding habits, ensuring maximum protection on the road.

Choosing the Right Insurance Provider

With countless insurance providers vying for your business, it’s essential to do your research and choose a reputable company that offers competitive rates and excellent customer service. Look for providers that specialize in motorcycle insurance and have a deep understanding of the unique risks and challenges faced by riders in Washington.

Additionally, consider factors such as the provider’s financial strength, claims handling process, and customer satisfaction ratings. Don’t hesitate to shop around and compare quotes from multiple providers to find the best coverage at the most affordable price.

The Importance of Staying Insured

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with inherent risks. Without adequate insurance coverage, you could be financially responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from an accident, potentially leading to devastating consequences.

By complying with Washington’s mandatory motorcycle insurance law and exploring additional coverage options, you not only protect yourself from legal penalties but also safeguard your financial well-being. Responsible riders understand the importance of being properly insured, ensuring that their passion for the open road doesn’t come at an unnecessary cost.


In Washington state, motorcycle insurance is not just a recommendation – it’s a legal requirement. By understanding the mandatory liability insurance law, carrying proof of insurance, and exploring additional coverage options, you can enjoy your riding adventures with the peace of mind that comes from being fully protected.

Remember, riding a motorcycle is a privilege, and it’s your responsibility to comply with the state’s laws and regulations. By prioritizing safety and responsible riding practices, you can continue to embrace the freedom and thrill of the open road, all while ensuring that you and those around you are adequately protected.

Washington State will now require motorcycle insurance


How much does motorcycle insurance cost in Washington state?

The cheapest motorcycle insurance in Washington is from Dairyland, which offers coverage for a monthly cost of $16. That makes Dairyland 44% cheaper than the average company in Washington. The average cost of motorcycle insurance in Washington is $29 per month.

Do I need to insure my motorbike?

What if I’m not insured? Riding without motorbike insurance is illegal. If you’re caught riding without it, you could be fined or even disqualified from riding.

Is motorcycle insurance mandatory in USA?

Almost all states require motorcyclists to carry some amount of insurance on their bikes. Some states also allow alternatives to insurance, like filing a certificate of financial responsibility that demonstrates assets equal to or greater than the minimum required coverage limits.

Is it illegal to not have car insurance in Washington?

If you drive your car without purchasing the required insurance, you could receive a fine of $550 or more. If you’re at fault in a collision and don’t have insurance, your license may be suspended if you fail to pay the resulting damages and/or injuries.

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