UK Motorcycle Insurance Guide The cost of insurance is often one of the biggest expenses involved with running a vehicle, and insurance for your beloved motorcycle is certainly no exception.
Whether you’re looking for insurance cover for your classic Triumph or brand new scooter, you’ll want to ensure you get the best value policy at the best possible price.
Finding the best deal on your insurance cover
In order to find the best deal on your motorcycle cover, it’s always a good idea to plan out beforehand exactly what level and type of cover you need.Some insurance policies also include a number of extras, which if you’re on a budget, you might be able to have removed which in turn should lower the cost of your premiums.
How is my insurance calculated?
When embarking on finding a competitive motorcycle insurance policy, it can often be helpful to first learn about the ways in which insurers calculate the price of your premium. This will help you to think of areas you can change to help lower the price of your cover.
When you submit your information for an insurance quote there are a few main factors that the insure uses to calculate the cost of your cover. These include:
The make and model of your bike
In most cases the type of bike you own is a huge factor in determining insurance premiums. Obviously, a more expensive motorbike will cost more the insurance company to repair or replace, so as a result premiums will be higher.
Likewise, if your bike has a powerful engine and is capable of achieving higher speeds, insurers will consider that it will be more likely to be involved in accidents, or for the accidents in which it is involved to cause greater damage. Again, this causes insurance costs to rise.
Most new motorbikes can be easily repaired, with parts more available than older models. If you have a bike that is at least 20 years old, then you should definitely look for specialist insurance cover. Classic insurance will in most cases provide you with a far more competitive quote than regular motorbike insurers.
How often you ride your bike?
In the eyes of your insurer, the more miles the bike does each year, the more likely it is to be involved in an accident. By limiting your yearly mileage you will help to reduce the cost of your insurance premiums.
In some instances your insurer could even charge you more if you happen to use your bike for commuting rather than just for pleasure.
How secure are your bike?
Insurance companies don’t want your bike to be stolen, and will reward you with lower premiums if you can make your motorbike harder to steal. Keeping your bike securely locked away at night in a secure location or garage is a simple and easy way to reduce premiums.
Similarly, if there are any extra ant-theft measures you can apply to your bike, such as ground anchors, immobilizers and bike locks; will also help to keep your premiums on the low side.
Where you live
Just like car insurance, motorbike cover can be somewhat of a postcode lottery, with some areas of the UK having higher premiums than other locations. This is because insurers assess a number of risks at different levels depending on the area in which you live.
As an example, a motorists living in a busy urban area with increased levels of traffic means that they’re more likely to be involved in an accident. Some areas also have a higher proportion of motorbike thefts than other areas, so this will also be taken into account when calculating an insurance quote.
Have you made a claim in the past or have any motoring convictions?
If you happen to have made an insurance claim within the last 5 years, or currently have any unspent motoring convictions, then your premiums will be higher. There are however, insurance companies that specialize in convicted riders so you may be able to find a better deal that way.
When filling in your insurance application it is vital that you admit these claims or convictions when applying for insurance. Failure to disclose this information could invalidate your policy and may be a criminal offence.
Your age, occupation and other personal details
When you apply for an insurance quote, the insurance company will also use your personal details as a fact in calculating your premiums. Age is an important factor for insurers, as younger riders (typically those under 25 years of age) are seen to be more likely to ride dangerously and are therefore more of a risk.
Statistics often show that female riders are safer, and are less likely to be involved in accidents; as a result women bikers may find their insurance premiums to be lower than men’s.
Along with age, your occupation will also be factored into the equation. If you happen to be a professional sportsman for example, an insurance company might have to pay out more if you crash, and as a result increase your premiums.
Other named riders
Along with your own details, insurers will also want to know the details of anyone else you want to include as a named riser on to the insurance policy. For example, adding your 18 year old cousin could prove to be costly.
The excess you need to pay
Your excess if the amount of money that will be required to pay should you make a claim. If your bike needs repairs worth £500 and you insurance policy has an excess of £100, you will be required to pay £100 towards the cost of the repairs, and your insurer will pay the rest.
In some cases opting for a higher voluntary excess will lower the price of your premiums. Some insurance policies stipulate that part of the excess is compulsory.
What level of cover should you have?
Ultimately, the level of insurance you want depends on how much you want to pay. If you want insurance that protects you from pretty much any eventuality, then this will cost you more than a policy that only offers you the bare minimum cover.
If you are happy to cut back on some areas of your bike cover, then that will allow you to save money on the total cost of your premiums.
In the UK there are 3 main types of motorcycle insurance available, third party, third party fire & theft, and fully comprehensive.
Third party only
Third party is the cheapest of the three levels of cover and is the bare minimum allowed by law in the UK. Third party only cover will generally only pay out to victim or accidents in which you were at fault, or any property damage that is a result of your accident.
Should your bike be damaged or stolen you won’t receive anything.
Third party insurance is sometimes useful if you don’t have the money to pay for a better level of cover, or if the bike you insure isn’t worth a lot of money.
Third party, fire and theft
Third party, fire and theft is the next step up from third party only and offers you added protection should your bike be stolen or damaged/destroyed in a fire.
Fully comprehensive insurance is often the most expensive level of cover as it provides protection for damage to yourself, and your own bike and property – even if the damage was your fault.
Extra levels of insurance cover
Even if you decide to opt for a fully comprehensive insurance policy, it is worth keeping in mind that there will still be exclusions in your policy. Most insurers will offer you added extras which can be included in your insurance policy.
This will increase the cost of your premiums, but it will allow you to select the extras that you want included so that you can custom build the right level of insurance for you needs.