Delaware, known as the “First State,” offers motorcycle riders a blend of picturesque landscapes, from the Atlantic coastline to rolling farmlands.
Before cruising on Delaware roadways, motorcyclists should understand the state’s insurance requirements & safety regulations.
Understand that insurance is intended to protect you and other drivers in the event of accidents and/or collisions – by ensuring financial responsibility for damages and/or injuries that may occur.
Delaware Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
To comply with Delaware’s motorcycle insurance requirements, your policy must include the following coverage limits:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $10,000 property damage liability per accident
- $10,000 damage to property other than motor vehicles per accident
- $15,000 personal injury protection (P.I.P.) per person
- $30,000 personal injury protection (P.I.P.) per accident
Delaware is different than many states in that it requires a basic “25/50/10” insurance plan for bodily injury and property damage liability – plus P.I.P. coverage.
P.I.P. coverage: Personal injury protection – a type of insurance that provides for medical expenses and lost wages in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
P.I.P. coverage is often referred to as “no-fault” coverage because it pays out benefits no matter who caused the accident.
Motorcycle insurance requirements in Delaware are overseen by the Delaware Department of Insurance and the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Note: Insurance requirements for the state of Delaware may change in the future. Insurers and/or government authorities will inform riders of these changes.
Motorcycles & Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined in DE
In Delaware, motorcycles and other two-wheeled vehicles are legally defined as follows:
Motorcycle: A motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and excludes tractors and motorized bicycles.
Motor-driven cycle: A motorcycle with a motor that displaces less than 250 cubic centimeters.
Motorized bicycle (moped): A two-wheeled vehicle equipped with a motor that has a maximum piston displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less, is incapable of speeds greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground, and meets specific equipment requirements.
Note: Definitions are based on the Delaware Code, Title 21 – Motor Vehicles, Chapter 101 – Definitions and Penalties.
Insurance Requirements for Smaller Vehicles in Delaware
Below are some smaller vehicles (non-car) that require insurance in Delaware:
Motorcycles: All motorcycles, including those with three wheels or more, must have liability insurance coverage in Delaware.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs): Insurance is required for any ATV operated on public lands in Delaware, and additional coverage may be necessary depending on the specific use or location.
Utility vehicles (UTVs): Insurance coverage is necessary for UTVs operated on public roads or lands in Delaware.
Common Motorcycle Laws in DE
Anyone operating a motorcycle in the state of Delaware should understand some basic rules & regulations.
Lane splitting: Lane splitting, or riding between lanes of traffic, is not legal in Delaware.
Helmet use: Delaware law requires all motorcycle riders and passengers under 19 years old to wear a helmet while riding. Riders 19 years and older are not required to wear a helmet but are encouraged to do so for safety purposes. All helmets must meet the safety standards set by the Department of Transportation.
Eyewear: Riders in Delaware are required to wear protective eye-wear unless their motorcycle has a windshield.
Passenger: A passenger can only ride on a motorcycle if the bike is equipped with a designated passenger seat and footrest.
Mirrors & lighting: Motorcycles must be equipped with at least one rearview mirror and have proper lighting, including brake lights, tail lights, and turn signals.
Turn signals: Delaware law requires motorcycles to have functioning turn signals.
Headlights: Motorcycles must have at least one working headlight, which must be used during daytime and nighttime hours. Seat & footrest: All motorcycles must have a seat for the rider, as well as a footrest.
Endorsement: To legally operate a motorcycle in Delaware, you must have a Class M motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license.
Additional Insurance for Motorcyclists in DE
As a motorcyclist in Delaware, you might want to consider additional insurance beyond the state’s minimum requirements.
Although you are required to have P.I.P. coverage, you may still want additional forms of coverage in some cases, especially collision & comprehensive.
Uninsured & underinsured coverage and medical payments coverage are less necessary with P.I.P. coverage – but talk to your insurer for the most up-to-date-information.
- Collision Coverage: This coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if your motorcycle is damaged or totaled in an accident.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if your motorcycle is stolen or damaged by factors such as weather, fire, or vandalism.
- Roadside Assistance Coverage: This coverage can provide assistance if your motorcycle breaks down while you’re on the road, including services such as towing, fuel delivery, and battery jump-starts.
- Custom Parts & Equipment Coverage: If you have customized your motorcycle with aftermarket parts or accessories, this coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if they are damaged or stolen.
- Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage can help protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who has zero insurance or lacks adequate insurance to cover damages. (May be less necessary with P.I.P.)
- Medical Payments Coverage: This coverage can help cover medical expenses for you or your passengers in the event of an accident. (May be less necessary with P.I.P. coverage).
Proof of Insurance & Penalties
In Delaware, all motorists, including motorcyclists, are required to carry proof of insurance while operating their vehicle.
This proof of insurance should be presented when requested by a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or after an accident.
Penalties for failing to provide proof of insurance can include:
- First Offense: Fine of up to $1,500, six points added to your driving record, and license suspension until you can provide proof of insurance.
- Second Offense: Fine of up to $3,000, six points added to your driving record, and license suspension for up to six months.
- Third & Subsequent Offenses: Fine of up to $4,000, eight points added to your driving record, and license suspension for up to 12 months.
In addition to the penalties for failing to provide proof of insurance, motorcyclists who are involved in an accident without insurance coverage may face significant financial and legal consequences.
FAQs: Motorcycle Insurance in Delaware
You may want to review some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about motorcycle insurance and motorcycle operation laws in the state of DE.
Is lane splitting legal in Delaware?
No, lane splitting is NOT legal in Delaware.
Motorcyclists should always maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and follow traffic laws.
Are helmets required on motorcycles in DE?
In Delaware, helmets are required for riders under 19 years old and for those who have held a motorcycle license for less than one year.
Nevertheless, it is highly recommended that all riders wear helmets that meet the Department of Transportation safety standards for their own protection.
Do I need an endorsement or license to ride a motorcycle?
Yes, you need a Class M motorcycle endorsement on your Delaware driver’s license to legally operate a motorcycle in the state.
You can obtain a Class M endorsement by passing a written test and either completing a motorcycle training course or passing a skills test.
Can I get discounts on motorcycle insurance in Delaware?
Nearly all insurers will have discounts available for people to save on motorcycle insurance policies in DE.
Discounts may be given for: driving history (safe driving), combining multiple insurance policies with the same insurer (i.e. bundling), finishing motorcycle safety courses, being a military member, etc.
If my bike is kept in storage for certain months, do I still need insurance?
Despite the fact that you may not ride your motorcycle during certain months, you may still want to consider maintaining some degree of insurance coverage.
Most companies are flexible and will modify your plan to suit your riding preferences.
Even in storage, things could happen to your bike including: theft, fire, other damage, etc. – such that you’d probably still want insurance.
How can I reduce my motorcycle insurance premiums?
Comparing quotes from multiple providers may help you save on your insurance – as many companies are willing to compete for your business.
Specific ways to save on insurance might include: asking your provider for discounts, driving safely (maintaining a clean record), enrolling in and finishing a safety course, choosing a higher deductible policy, etc.
Do scooters & mopeds need the same insurance as motorcycles?
In Delaware, mopeds and scooters with a motor that displaces less than 50 cubic centimeters are subject to different insurance requirements.
Nevertheless, it’s strongly recommended to have insurance coverage to protect yourself and others on the road.
Contact to your insurance provider for exact details of insurance requirements for your particular vehicle.
What if you use a motorcycle without insurance in DE?
It is illegal to operate a motorcycle without sufficient insurance in Delaware.
Anyone who operates a motorcycle without insurance may be subject to high-cost fines, suspension of license, motorcycle impoundment, and/or other legal ramifications.
Which factors affect the cost of motorcycle insurance?
Things that often impact the cost of motorcycle insurance in Delaware and every other state include:
- Age/sex of operator
- Driving record (history)
- Make & model of motorcycle
- Specific location (where you live)
- Exact policy you want/need
- Frequency of motorcycle riding
Finding cheap motorcycle insurance in Delaware
Assuming you’re trying to get a high-quality but low-cost insurance plan for your motorcycle in Delaware, it is strongly recommended to compare insurers.
The goal is to make insurers compete for your business – and see which company offers the exact plan you want at the lowest cost (compared to others).
To efficiently compare rates for motorcycle insurance plans in DE, use our free tool by entering your zip code and comparing quotes.