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LAST UPDATED: March 15th, 2021

Founded in 1930, Markel is a global company of many insurers. Most of Markel's insurance companies have earned high financial strength ratings, which makes Markel a reliable choice.

About 25 years after its founding, Markel began offering motorcycle insurance. Its motorcycle policies are competitive for the industry both in coverage and discounts.

Top Ranked Companies


The Good

  • High Financial Strength Ratings
  • Many Types of Motorcycles Covered
  • Competitive Policies
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Range of Discounts

High Financial Strength Ratings

Markel is a large, global insurance company that owns 20 insurance providers. Eighteen of these have received high financial strength ratings from A.M. Best. The other two do not have ratings listed on Markel's site.

High financial strength ratings show that an insurer will likely be able to meet its claims obligations. You'll always want to check an insurance provider's financial strength before buying a policy.

These high ratings make Markel a competitive insurance carrier. Although, it's worth asking which of its insurers will be underwriting your policy so you can check the financial strength rating.

Many Types of Motorcycles Covered

Another advantage of working with Markel is the range of motorcycles it covers. You can find insurance coverage for the following types of motorcycles:

  • Cruisers
  • Touring motorcycles
  • Sport bikes
  • Sport-touring bikes
  • Big twins
  • Street bikes
  • Scooters/mopeds
  • Dirt bikes
  • Trikes
  • Custom motorcycles

Although other insurers cover multiple types of motorcycles, the list on Markel's website is one of the longer ones.

Competitive Policies

Markel offers the industry's standard coverage options that you can include in your policy:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive (if motorcycle is damaged in a non-collision-related event)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (property and bodily injury)
  • Liability (property, bodily injury, and passenger)
  • Medical payments
  • Funeral expense (for insured rider on insured motorcycle)Trailers
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Accessories
  • Rental reimbursement

Collision and comprehensive coverage automatically include some coverage for accessories. You can add additional coverage for accessories including riding gear and some parts. A complete list is available on Markel's website.

Whatever kind of coverage you want to include with your policy, you can find it with Markel.

Roadside Assistance

You can also add roadside assistance coverage to your policy. Markel uses Nation Safe Drivers Auto Club's roadside assistance program. In addition to roadside assistance, you can benefit from auto service, theme park, and hotel discounts with Nation Safe Drivers membership.

Access to these discounts makes adding roadside assistance to your motorcycle insurance policy more attractive compared to other insurers, particularly if you like to travel.

Range of Discounts

Markel's discounts are also competitive for the motorcycle insurance industry. You can find discounts for your motorcycle's features (anti-lock brakes and anti-theft alarms), driver safety (being accident-free or participating in an approved motorcycle safety course), and for choosing Markel (switching to Markel and renewing your Markel policy).

Beyond these discounts, Markel rewards policyholders for loyalty and safe driving with its accident forgiveness and diminishing deductible features. You can receive accident forgiveness if you've maintained your Markel motorcycle coverage for four consecutive years, and it's your first at-fault loss.

Each year you have your Markel policy, your deductible lowers by 25 percent if you are accident free. After the fourth year, your deductible will be nothing.

Some other insurers offer similar programs, but they are usually optional and may cost more. From Markel's website, it seems like its accident forgiveness and diminishing deductible programs are included with its policies.


The Bad

  • Insufficient Customer Reviews
  • Shareholder Obligations

Insufficient Customer Reviews

Best Company has not received many Markel motorcycle insurance reviews. Without sufficient customer insight, it's hard to gauge customer satisfaction or understand the customer experience.

Shareholder Obligations

Markel has shareholders. Some insurance providers are mutually-owned, which means the policyholders are also shareholders. This structure makes it easier for insurers to prioritize the interests of their policyholders.

Since Markel has shareholders, it has to balance the sometimes different shareholder and policyholder interests. Although this is a slightly less-advantageous structure, it's not a deal-breaker. 

For example, if Markel didn't take care of its policyholders, they would switch companies. Losing lots of policyholders would in turn negatively affect shareholders.

Even while balancing shareholder and policyholder needs, doing right by policyholders is important.


The Bottom Line

Although more reviews would offer valuable insight on the customer experience, Markel's high financial strength rating, competitive coverage, and discounts make the company worth exploring further.

Markel stands out because its policies include accident forgiveness and automatically lowering deductibles. Other motorcycle insurance companies offer these features, but they are often an optional feature.

If you're interested in adding roadside assistance to your policy, Markel's participation in Nation Safe Drivers's program is advantageous. The program offers access to discounts on auto care and travel alongside roadside assistance.

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