You’ve shopped around and found your dream motorbike, now you need to do the same for your motorbike insurance. In the same way as car insurance, motorbike cover is essential to provide cover in case you are involved in an accident or cause injury or harm to third parties or property. It is a legal requirement for motorcyclists to hold, at the very least, a third-party insurance policy before they can drive on the public highways.
Third party fire and theft cover is another option for motorcyclists, this policy covers the cost of repairs to another vehicle or for replacement of the bike in case it is damaged in a fire or is stolen.
Comprehensive insurance provides total cover, including the costs of damage to your own bike if you cause a collision.
There are two categories of motorcycle insurance. A specified rider policy provides cover for the person who rides the bike, not the bike itself. Therefore, it doesn’t matter which bike that person is riding they will be covered, irrespective of size or power. A specified bike policy insures a specific bike, and not the rider. As such it provides automatic insurance for anyone else who rides the bike.
Why do I need to take out Motorbike Insurance?
It’s against the law to drive a motorbike without taking out at least the basic third-party insurance. However, unlike car insurance, finding motorbike cover is no easy task. It is a hard reality that bike owners account for a large amount of accidents on the UK roads. Motorcycles are also more likely to be stolen and account for more thefts.
Taking out full comprehensive cover may seem like an extra expense, but if you are a motorbike fanatic who loves their bike, you may like the peace of mind of knowing, should the worst happen it can be repaired or replaced.
Where can I find Motorbike Insurance?
There are a wide variety of deals to be found on the high street. You can also enlist the help of a specialist insurance broker who will shop around on your behalf for the best deal based on your requirement.
Opting for an online policy will save your money than taking it out on the phone, because many insurers offer discounts if you apply via their website.
Taking an advance instruction course in motorcycling will also help to bring down premiums. Parking your motorbike in a garage at night and ensuring it has modern security features will also lower the price. Paying your premium in a lump sum rather than spreading the cost over a 12 month period should also lower premiums.
Don’t be tempted to cancel your motorbike insurance during the winter months when you don’t use it. Even if it is stored in a secure garage, it can still be stolen and if you’ve stopped your policy you cannot make a valid claim.
Taking out motorbike insurance is no easy task; providers have a list of classification groups as long as their arm. For example, they look at the rider’s claims history, the cost and power of a bike, age, location, and their annual mileage, and job, reasons for using the bike, security measures and whether the rider has taken an advanced instruction course.
Insurers will hike up premiums for young people and those living in crime or accident hotspots.
Searching for the right deal can be a time-consuming process but with the majority of providers are now posted on-line with tools that make it easy to find the right policy.
Do your homework and shop around by comparing different types of cover from several insurance providers. They are:
Third Party Cover is the legal minimum type of cover. It provides basic cover for a third party and also covers the liability of the policy holder. This is the cheapest and most basic type of insurance and does not include repair costs or a replacement if your motorbike is stolen.
Third Party Fire and Theft provides more cover but is slight more expensive. It includes all that is covered in Third Party plus cover for damage to a motorbike caused by fire, lightening, explosion and attempted theft. Typically this policy will include either the cost of repairs, replacement or a cash sum equivalent to the cost incurred
Fully Comprehensive does exactly what it says on the tin, it is designed to be as comprehensive as possible. This policy typically includes the loss or theft of the bike and any repairs required, providing extra features on top of the covered explained in third party fire and theft insurance.
Insurance cost differs widely and depends on a number of factors, including – your age (the younger you are the higher your premiums), the make of your motorbike, the power or size of the engine, where you live.
Do your research and shop around for on the Internet and high street. Always reach small print carefully before signing on the dotted line. Do not be afraid to ask the insurer or broker to explain everything to you in full.
In the event of a claim, you would typically pay the first £50 to £100 of any claim, often referred to as the “excess”. If you want to lower your premiums, then offer to pay a larger excess.
No Claims Discount
Building up a No Claims Bonus is a good way to reduce your premiums. Discounts typically grow each year to a maximum level set by your provider. It can sometimes take up to 9 years to build up the maximum no claims discount, which may or may not include a protection of your discount against claims of a certain nature.
The discount will always be affected once a claim is made, unless your insurance company can recover its costs from another party. As a rule of thumb, without No Claims Bonus Protection, the discount is usually reduced by two steps after a claim.
How to reduce your premiums
Similar to car insurance, the longer you go without making a claim on your policy, the cheaper your premiums become. It’s worth bearing in mind, should you need to make a claim, you could be penalised for as much as 5 years. It may be worth asking a broker to see how much your insurance will be for next year with a claim versus not claiming.
Voluntary excess –Bike insurance includes an excess. An excess is the first sum you must pay when you make a claim on your insurance policy. Adding a voluntary excess is one way to save significant money.
Security – Its worth splashing out on a quality lock and alarm combination. According to statistics around 80% of bikes are stolen from the back of a van, making most alarms useless; a high quality lock secured to an immobile object s a good deterrent.
Shop around – It’s worth putting the same time and enthusiasm to find insurance that it took you to find your dream motorbike. Different insurance companies target different customers, so do your homework to find the right policy to suit your needs. For example, some insurers specialise in your driver policies, while others are tailor made for women drivers. Buying over the Internet can also save you money, because web based businesses have lower overheads, they can offer reduced premiums. Check out online comparison websites and tools that can save you time and money.
Limit mileage – If you can limit your riding to less than 5000 miles a year, some insurers will offer you a discount.
Insurance renewal – While brokers will work hard to keep your business when your policy comes up for renewal, it’s worth shopping around to see if there is a better deal to be had elsewhere.