If you want to ride a motorcycle on UK roads, you will need to make sure that you have adequate motorbike insurance. Riding without sufficient insurance is an offence and could lead to a fine or disqualification. This insurance is designed to protect you against liability if you are involved in an accident and should help to cover the cost of any damages that may have occurred in the incident.
Insurance is also available to cover theft, vandalism and damage by fire. If you are not going to drive your motorcycle on the road you can have it declared off the road using a SORN, however you may still want to buy special SORN insurance to protect the bike. Lower your insurance premiums using the following tips.
Type of Motorcycle
Older motorcycles tend to cost less to insure than newer motorcycles do, because newer bikes normally cost more for an insurance company to replace. However you may struggle to find normal insurance for motorcycles which are over a certain age. These motorcycles may be classified as classic bikes and could require special classic bike insurance. Bikes with less powerful engines also tend to come with cheaper insurance premiums as well, because statistics show that they are less likely to be involved in speed related accidents.
Avoid Unusual or Modified Bikes
Insurers tend to place a higher insurance premium on any motorcycle that has modifications. Modifications can make the bike more attractive to thieves and they make it harder for the insurance company to offer “like-for-like” replacements. Likewise, if the bike is a very rare older model, it may also come with higher insurance values, because it could be much harder to source a replacement or cover the cost of parts.
You will also find it harder to insure a bike that is imported (grey imports). Although it may be tempting to hide the fact that your vehicle is a grey import, you must declare it when you are insuring the vehicle, because failing to declare this could lead to your policy being declared invalid.
Give Accurate Mileage
When you are looking to insure your motorcycle, you may be asked to give an estimated annual mileage. Try to give a value which is as accurate as possible, because it will help to keep your premium down. Lower mileage motorcycles are seen as less of a risk for insurers, so overestimating your annual mileage can increase your premium. Take care not to wildly underestimate your mileage though, because this will affect your insurance premium in following years.
Boost Motorcycle Security
Boosting your motorcycle security will help to lower your insurance premiums and will help to give you peace of mind. Bikes with immobilisers and top-of-the-range alarm systems, such as a Thatcham-approved alarm are always cheaper to insure than equivalent models with no security system at all.
As well as getting a better security system for the vehicle, you should also be mindful of where you park it at night. A bike which is stored in a locked garage on your land will cost less to insure than a bike which is going to be parked up on an unlit road every night. In some cases, renting a garage to store your bike will actually cost less than the additional premium that you would pay on your bike insurance.
It is now possible to take advanced motoring courses to improve your riding skills. It is particularly worthwhile to take one of these courses if you plan on carrying a pillion passenger on your bike. Although the course may cost more than the reduction in your premium, attending one of these courses is a great way to boost your experience levels and improve your skills.
Who is Insured?
Adding other people to your insurance policy will increase your premiums. The amount that the insurance is increased by will be affected by the individuals that you add. For example, adding a young rider or a learner to your policy will have a greater effect than adding someone who has been riding for years without incident.
Think carefully before adding new riders, so that you can consider whether it is “worth it”. Riders with a No Claims Bonus get lower premiums, so it is worth remembering that anyone on your policy can affect your No Claims history.
Consider Cover Types and Options
Do you want comprehensive cover, or can you make do without third party, fire and theft? Experiment with pricing levels for different types of cover to see whether you can lower your costs. If you only ride your bike during summer, consider getting seasonal cover rather than annual cover. Raising your voluntary excess is likely to lower your overall insurance quote, although this could end up costing more if you do need to make a claim.