Whether you ride to work every day or only go dirt biking on the weekends, you can find a motorcycle insurance policy to suit your needs.
Are you looking to insure your motorbike, moped or scooter?
This article discusses what to look for in a policy, how to get a quote, how to make a claim on your policy, and how premiums work.
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What do you want to learn about?
What insurance options do I have?
Like car insurance, motorcycle insurance generally comes in three forms: comprehensive, third party fire and theft, and third party property online. The best motorcycle insurance policy for you depends on how you use your motorcycle.
Each policy typically covers the following, however this may differ between insurers:
|Storm or Flood|
|Emergency Accommodation Transport and Repairs|
|Locks and Keys|
|Personalised Registration Plates|
What else should I be looking for in a policy?
Consider the cost of a policy and the cover offered, as well as the various extras and options available. Some of the extras you might find include:
- Helmet and riding gear cover. Your riding leathers, helmet and other gear can be expensive. A lot of policies can cover theft or damage of helmets and riding gear.
- Personal effects cover. Often found separate to riding gear cover, you may be able to find policies that let you insure personal effects carried on or in the bike.
- Agreed or market value. If market value isn't a fair reflection of your bike's true worth, for example if you need insurance for a modified motorcycle, then you might want to look for policies that offer agreed value as an option, rather than simply insuring it at market value.
- Flexible excess. It may be worth looking for insurers that let you set your own standard excess, to further tailor your costs.
- New replacement. If a relatively new motorcycle is written off following an insured event, you might be able to get a brand new equivalent replacement. A time limit, often 2 years, usually applies to this cover type.
- Temporary replacement vehicle. If you need your bike to get around, then it might be worth looking for policies that cover hire vehicles following theft.
- Personal items. You can get covered for the theft or damage of personal items and trailers.
- Keys and locks. Cover for the cost of re-keying or re-coding locks if your keys are stolen.
- Windscreen damage. You may be able to find an option for excess-free windscreen and broken glass claims.
- Protected no claims bonus. Policies that offer no claims discounts may also offer an extra-cost option that lets you make at-fault claims without losing your discount.
- Tools and trailer cover. If you use your bike to tow a trailer, or use it to transport any trade tools, then cover for these will often be found as separate options.
I'm new to motorcycles - what insurance options do I have?
As a young or inexperienced driver, it's an unfortunate reality that you will have to pay more on your premiums. However, there are some ways to help reduce your premiums. Choose a bike with a less powerful engine. Larger and more powerful engines are more expensive to insure.
If you keep your bike in a garage and have good security measures in place, your premium may be reduced. This is because it reduces the likelihood of your bike getting damaged. If you can, try to avoid accidents to build up a no-claim history.
How much does it cost?
How much will it cost me?
Consider the example below to get a sense of how drastically the cost of insurance might change depending on your age and the type of vehicle. Insurers will often categorise motorcycles by engine capacity range, for example a "300cc to 600cc" group.
Age will often be categorise similarly, such as with a "30-40 years old" group.This means you might find your premiums shifting dramatically as you change groups, and might find quite different costs depending on the exact categories used by an insurer. For example, if you have a 250cc bike, then one insurer might place that in the safest group, and another might put it in the second-safest group.
You'll need to get a quote to find out how much motorcycle insurance will cost for you.
What effects my motorcycle insurance premiums?
- The value of your bike. Newer, more expensive and more powerful bikes will usually cost more to insure than older, cheaper and less powerful models. Consider how much your bike will cost to insure before you lay down your hard earned cash to buy your motorcycle insurance.
- Your claim history. The longer you have a policy without making a claim, the greater the no claim discount you will receive from your motorcycle insurance provider. This can help you save on your premiums.
- Your age. Riders under the age of 25 are much more costly than older drivers. So, if you're over 25 you may wish to consider whether it’s worth adding an under 25 rider to your motorcycle insurance policy. Specifying that no one under 25 will be riding your bike might save you a lot of money.
- Modifications. In some cases, modifications to your bike can help you save on premiums, such as if you add a security system to deter thieves. However, if your bike undergoes performance enhancements to make it faster or more powerful, you can expect your premiums to go up.
- How much you ride. You can save money by finding motorcycle insurance that allows you to only pay for cover for the kilometres you ride. Make sure not to over or underestimate your annual mileage when purchasing cover.
- Where you keep your bike. Keeping your bike in a secure, locked garage (or car hold) whenever it isn’t being ridden it will lower your premiums. If your bike is left parked on the street you can expect to pay more for your motorcycle insurance.
- Your level of cover. If you need to be covered for more risks under a comprehensive policy, your premiums will obviously be higher.
- Engine capacity. More powerful engines typically come with higher premiums. This is because accidents at higher speeds often cause more damage, riders may be more likely to lose control of powerful motorcycles, and these types of motorbike might be statistically more likely to be ridden in an unsafe way.
- Your excess option. You can opt to pay a higher excess in return for a lower premium.
Can you lower your insurance premiums?
If you can adjust the factors that affect your premiums, you may be able to get lower premiums. Can you:
- Keep your motorcycle in a different place overnight? You'll often get lower premiums for keeping it in a secured garage rather than out in the open.
- Re-assess the value of your bike? For example, if you've insured a brand new motorcycle at agreed value then it might be over-insured two years later, and you might be paying too much for cover.
- Pay premiums annually? Many insurers will charge less overall for premiums paid annually rather than monthly.
- Get discounts? You may be entitled to a range of discounts, including loyalty bonuses, no claims bonuses, discounts for signing up online, multi-policy discounts and others.
- Adjust your cover? You might be paying extra for policy options that you don't feel strongly about.
What excess will I have to pay on my motorcycle insurance?
The excess is the amount you will need to contribute towards a claim. The exact amount will often depend on the type of claim, the insurer, the policy and your chosen options. Sometimes there will be more than one excess payable, including:
- Basic excess - Also known as the "standard excess." This basic excess will apply to most types of claims. When you get to choose your own excess for higher or lower premiums, you're typically adjusting the basic excess.
- Age excess - Under 25s will often have to pay an additional age excess in the event of a claim.
- Undisclosed rider excess - If the driver isn't listed as a user on the policy, an additional excess may need to be paid in the event of a claim.
- License or experience excess - Inexperienced riders who have held their motorcycle license for less than 2 years may need to pay an inexperienced rider excess. Sometimes this will only apply to over 25s.
- Special excess - Special excesses may be applied for individual circumstances. For example, if you have a history of traffic infringements then an insurer might only agree to cover you with a special excess. Often a special excess will apply to certain types of claim. For example, there might be a special "theft excess" with some policies.
How much should I choose for my basic excess?
The ideal amount depends on your circumstances and the policy. It may be worth opting for a higher excess to help reduce your premiums, especially if you're a particularly safe rider, or only intend to make claims in the event of a total loss.
However, it's generally a good idea to make sure the excess is affordable, so you can more easily make a claim if needed.
How are my bike insurance premiums calculated?
Different insurers will use different factors when determining premiums. Generally all of these factors might be considered to determine motorbike insurance quotes.
- What is your claims history like? If you’ve made a claim on your motorcycle insurance in the past, insurers will classify you as posing an increased likelihood of making a future claim. This will drive your premiums up. On the flip-side, a no claims bonus can help lower the cost of cover significantly.
- Who rides your bike? If you’re an experienced rider with an unblemished claims history and you’re the only person riding your bike, the cost of your cover should stay low. But if you want your motorcycle insurance policy to also cover a 22-year-old rider with a speeding conviction and several previous insurance claims, expect your premiums to skyrocket.
- Do you have a clean riding history? If you’ve got a long string of speeding and traffic offences, insurers will see you as posing a high level of risk and will increase your motorcycle insurance premiums.
- Where do you live? If you live in a high crime area the likelihood of your bike being stolen increases. This will be reflected in the cost of your motorbike insurance premiums, as will whether or not you keep your bike safely garaged overnight.
- Are there any security systems installed on your bike? Bikes with alarm systems or immobilisers are less likely to be stolen, which means you can save on your motorcycle insurance premiums.
- What kind of bike do you ride? If your bike is expensive and/or high powered, expect it to cost more to insure than cheaper, less powerful models.
- How much do you ride? The fewer kilometres you ride, the lower your motorcycle insurance premiums.
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