Savvy Britain

Motorbike Insurance Guide

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Cheap Motorbike QuoteThis fantastic Motorbike Insurance Guide has been written for people across the nation, who want more information, money saving tricks and tips.

By British law the minimum level of cover required is third party motorcycle insurance. This means your cover if you injury somebody or damage their property. Third party insurance will not cover any injuries to yourself or your bike.

It’s really important that you select the correct policy before you start using your motorbike on UK roads.

Many different elements can affect what price you pay for insurance, this can range from the type of bike, how you use the motorcycle, your age and so on.

Types of Motorbike Insurance Policies

 Generally, in the United Kingdom, there are three different levels of cover available to you. These include:
  • Third Party Only – This level of cover is the minimum required by UK law. It will cover liability for damage or injury to a third party and damage to property.
  • Third Party Fire and Theft – This will offer the same level cover as third party only, however it will also protect you against fire, theft and any damage, which is caused to your motorbike during a theft or attempted theft.
  • Comprehensive – If your budget allows, comprehensive cover is always recommended as it offers you the most protection. This will cover everything Third Party Fire and Theft covers, however it will also have additional benefits. Such as medical expenses, breakdown recovery, accidental damage, vandalism, etc. As most insurers offer different plans, you may find that some will include a ‘temporary’ motorbike, if yours is getting repaired. This will obviously vary however depending on which insurance company you decide to select.
Always remember to be completely happy with your policy quote and its content before you agree or sign any documents. Read all the policies details and the insurers terms and conditions too.

How do you use your Motorbike?

Motorbike InsuranceJust like purchasing car insurance, when you apply for motorbike cover you need to declare how you intend to use your bike. All insurers will want to know this piece of information, as it’s usually a major ranking factor in how your premium cost is calculated.

For example, let’s say you use your bike a couple of times a month for social use, this policy will likely be cheaper than a motorcyclist who is using their bike every day to travel to work and back.

Here are the main reasons why people use a motorcycle in the UK:
  • Commuting – If you use a motorcycle for commuting you may see higher premiums than standard motorcyclists. This is because commuting tends to involve driving in ‘rush-hour’ traffic; thus the chances of an accident occurring are more likely.
  • Social and Domestic – Typically this is the most ‘standard’ reason people have a motorbike. For those long summer weekends. If you use your bike a few times week for social purposes you should see premiums lower than an owner with daily use.
  • Business Use – You will pay more for motorcycle insurance, which is for business use. Some mainstream providers will offer policies, however you may find a cheaper quote at a specialised provider.
  • Courier / Delivery – Generally most insurance providers will not cover for courier or delivery use as standard. You will need to seek a specialised provider.

Understanding Motorbike Insurance Excesses

Just like other forms of insurance, the excess is the amount you contribute towards any claim. Generally, you should always state an amount, which fits, nicely into your budget. Never try to state a higher amount that you may have trouble paying should a claim be made.

Typically, in Britain there’s two different types of excesses:
  • Compulsory Excess – This is an amount, which decided by your insurance company. You must pay this compulsory excess if you make a claim on your motorcycle policy.
  • Voluntary Excess – This is the amount you choose to pay on top of any compulsory excess. Generally speaking, having a higher excess tends to lower premium prices, however as stated you need to make sure you’re able to pay in the event of making a claim.

Motorbike Insurance Exclusions

It’s important to remember that all insurances have exclusions and exceptions and motorcycle insurance is no different. This means some insurers may have stipulations on what you can and cannot do.

For example, most insurance companies will not allow a bike to be raced, if you get caught for speeding or cause an accident. This will most likely affect your insurance too.

If your policy has an exclusion to travelling at high speeds, this will usually make your cover invalid should an accident occur. This means you will have to personally foot the ‘bill’ for any damage you caused, as the insurance company will not pay out if a claim is made.

As you can imagine all insurance providers have different sets of rules, what’s OK for some, won’t be for others.

You need to read all of the terms and conditions to understand what you’re are covered for, and what you’re not covered for. Read all of the policy documentation before you sign or agree to any quote.

What can affect Motorcycle Insurance Prices?

We all want to keep insurance costs as low as we can; here are some things, which may have an affect on your motorcycle insurance price:
  • Your Age – For most insurers, they use the rider’s age as the one of the most important factors when calculating premiums. Similar to young car drivers, some age groups face higher prices than others. The best thing anybody can do to try and keep prices low is to shop around and get as many quotes as possible.
  • Location – Unfortunately your address can have a big affect on how high or low your insurance will be. This is because most providers will rate your location on the likelihood of a crime occurring. It goes without saying that ‘high crime’ areas may see higher premium prices compared to ‘low crime’ areas. Equally, the line between a high crime and low crime area can be thin. This means a road or two away from yours could have a totally different rating. To make things even more confusing, each insurance company will judge your location in a different way. What may be classed, as a low crime area for one company might not be for another.
  • Job – Think about how you describe your occupation to an insurer, are you a ‘cook’ or a ‘chef’, are you a ‘handyman’ or ‘joiner’. Sometimes job titles can have an affect on how much you have to pay for a policy.
  • Riding History – Just like car cover, if you’ve been riding for a couple of years and have built up a no claims bonus, you should see a decrease in your premium prices. Some companies will give you a larger discount than others, so it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best quote.
  • Type of Motorbike – In most cases; the insurance company will calculate your policy based on the CC of your motorbike. This obviously means that high performance models could face larger premiums. If you can you should always get a motorcycle with the lowest CC as possible, these tend to enjoy low cost motorbike insurance.
  • Security – Generally speaking, the more levels of security you have the better chances of policy prices decreasing. This can range from many different things such as alarms, security wheel clamps and so on. You will need to work out if the cost of security measures will outweigh any potential savings you might make on your policy. Your ‘discount’ for enhanced security features could be lower than you imagined.
  • Modifications – Typically insurance companies do not look favourably on motorcycles, which are heavily modified. This is because they tend to signal a owner who likes to race, which means they’re more likely to crash. Equally it also says to insurers that the parts will be harder and more expensive to replace should an accident occur. This obviously increases the insurance costs quite a bit, compared to ‘standard’ parts, which are available from most motorbike dealerships.

Motorbike Insurance Money Saving Tips

Finding a cheap motorbike insurance quote is obviously the top of everybody’s list. You can attempt to bring your premiums down with some of these fantastic money saving tips:
  • Yearly Cover – Generally you should get a ‘discount’ on your policy if you opt to pay for a full year in advance. If you can’t afford it in one go, a good idea is to place it on a 0% credit card. You can pay the credit card off on a monthly basis, but still get the yearly discount from your provider. Remember that you need to pay off your card before the interest free period runs out. Otherwise it may actually cost you more in the long run.
  • No Claims Bonus – Just like other forms of insurance, you can easily build a no claims bonus on your motorbike policy if you don’t claim. While this doesn’t help beginner motorcyclists, it’s something to keep in mind further down the road. In addition to this, some insurers may allow you to have a joint policy with both a car and a motorbike, this isn’t very common, but equally it’s not unheard of too. If this appeals to you, the best method is ringing providers rather than attempting to get a quote on a comparison website.
  • Excess – If your budget allows you should try to opt for a higher excess. This can bring your premiums down. However please remember that you will have to pay this excess should you make a claim, so only select the amount which is comfortable within your budget.
  • Other Riders – Include only a small number of people on your policy. If possible it’s best to just insure yourself. However, if other members of your family need use of the bike, this may increase premiums depending on their age.
  • Carrying Passengers – You may find that some insurers will massively increase your cover price if you plan to carry passengers. This obviously varies from each individual company; however if you don’t plan to carry passengers, don’t take out this level of cover. It can easily increase your premiums.
  • Limit Your Mileage – Similar to car insurance, you can easily save money depending on how many miles you do. The fewer miles in a year, the less likely of an accident occurring. Usually you should find cheap motorcycle quotes for annual mileage under 9,000.
  • Avoid Modifications – Generally modifications are hard to replace, as they’re regarded as ‘unique’ to the bike in question. This means in an event of a crash or accident, the cost of replacing these modified parts are much more than standard parts. This means your insurance could potentially skyrocket.
  • Think About the Power – Typically smaller engine bikes are cheaper to insurance. Unfortunately high performance motorbikes tend to be seen as a ‘racing’ bike; thus the motorcyclist is likely to be travelling at faster speeds. This obviously means there’s more chance of an accident occurring. To keep premiums as low as possible, try and select a smaller engine.
  • Storage – If your store your motorbike in a secure location then you should see lower premiums. This can be in a purpose built shed, garage and so on. If your motorcycle is hard to steal then your insurance provider will likely feel more confident that a claim won’t be made for theft; thus you could see a decrease in your policy price. Remember however, that this may not only be applicable to motorbikes stored at your home, it can also apply to bikes stored at your workplace too. Read all of the policy documentation before you sign or agree to any quote.
  • Advanced Courses – By taking an advanced motorbike course you’re showing insurers that you take your safety and other road users safety seriously. Some companies will give you a discount on your insurance if you can provide advanced motorcycle certificates. Please remember that this doesn’t apply to every insurer. Equally, you must also take into considering that the initial cost of the course may be more money than you could potentially save on your policy. It’s up to each individual to work out if an advanced driving course is cost effective or not.
  • What You Need – Read your policy details carefully before signing up and take out anything you don’t need. After all, you will be paying for these additional things. If you don’t need them then your premium price could easily see a reduction.
  • Seasonal Use – If you’re a seasonal bike rider then there’s no point getting cover in the winter when your motorcycle is in the garage! Some providers will let you cover your bike for certain periods of the year. This obviously means you can’t use it during the ‘off-season’, but could decrease your motorbike insurance costs.

Original Publication: 23 June 2017
Last Updated: 23 June 2017

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