Motorbike insurance Guide
If you own a motorbike, be it a Ducati for the daily commute, a classic Triumph for trips out at the weekend, or a twist-and-go scooter for getting around town, then you’ll need to make sure you have it fully insured all year round – even if you only use it during the summer months.
This is due to the Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) regulations which stipulate that it is an offence to keep a motorbike without bike insurance – even if you keep it off the road and in a locked garage - unless you have notified the DVLA that it is being kept off the road via a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).
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This means you don’t even have to be riding your motorbike to be caught out. And if you fall foul of the regulations by being caught riding around without a relevant bike insurance policy you could face a fixed penalty notice of £100, your vehicle could be clamped, seized and crushed, and you could then face further court prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.
So, given that fuel prices are constantly on the rise, it’s arguably more important than ever to make sure you shop around for the cheapest motorcycle insurance quote to help keep running costs down.
And using MoneySupermarket’s motorbike insurance comparison tool means that you can instantly compare quotes from the UK’s top bike insurance companies and increase your chances of finding the right policy at the right price.
What levels of bike insurance are on offer?
When shopping around for motorbike insurance, you will first need to work out what type of cover you need. There are three levels of bike insurance cover to choose from: third party only, third party fire and theft, and fully comprehensive.
Third party only motorbike insurance is the most basic type of cover and the minimum required by law. This will only cover damage to a third party’s vehicle, property or the third party themselves as well as any passengers that they or you may be carrying.
This does not cover you for damage to your own bike and you will not be insured against it being stolen and so it would probably not be best suited to you if you have an expensive motorbike – particularly given the risk of theft.
Third party fire and theft motorbike insurance is the next level and, as the name suggests, it offers the same cover as third party only, but insurers will also pay out on claims if your motorbike is stolen or damaged/destroyed by fire.
Fully comprehensive motorbike insurance is the most complete level of cover, taking all that third party fire and theft has to offer and also adding cover for yourself and your motorbike if it is damaged or destroyed in an accident for which you are at fault.
A higher level of bike insurance cover always used to come at a higher price, but this is no longer the case, so it makes sense to shop around to see if you can get a more comprehensive policy at a competitive price. And if you have a more expensive motorbike it may be worth paying a little more for the extra piece of mind that comes with a fully comprehensive bike insurance policy.
What bike insurance is on offer for different types of motorbike and riders?
With so many different types of motorbike on the road, it’s clear that not everyone requires the same type of bike insurance cover. For instance, the insurance needs of the owner of a classic Lambretta will differ greatly from the requirements of a brand new Aprilia SportCity owner, despite both vehicles being classed as scooters.
In recognition of this, and to make each price comparison as relevant as possible, MoneySupermarket provides specialist bike insurance comparison pages:
Classic bike insurance
If you are the proud owner of a classic Triumph or a Harley Davidson for instance, then you could make a saving by opting for a dedicated classic bike insurance policy.
Classic motorcycles tend to be less likely to be stolen as they are generally harder to sell on. Additionally, many bike insurance companies assume that the owners of classic vehicles will be more careful with them and hence be less likely to make a claim. This generally results in classic bike insurance premiums being cheaper than those offered for conventional motorbikes.
Bike insurance for women
The rules around motorbike insurance for women have changed, with insurers now no longer permitted to take gender into account when calculating premiums. Traditionally female bike insurance premiums have been cheaper on account of women being statistically less likely to make expensive claims.
Rather than this meaning that men will be paying less for cover, insurers have instead upped the price of bike insurance for women. You can find ways to overcome this on MoneySupermarket.com’s guide to motorbike insurance for women.
Motorcycle insurance for convicted riders
If you have points on your licence then you will probably be forced to pay more for bike insurance on account of insurers assuming that you will be statistically more likely to make claims.
Find ways to overcome the high cost of bike insurance for convicted riders in our guide.
Motorbike insurance for young riders
Young and inexperienced riders are statistically more likely to make bike insurance claims. This means that bike insurance for young riders tends to be more expensive.
If you are looking to overcome this obstacle, you can find ways to reduce premiums on the MoneySupermarket guide to bike insurance for young riders.
Modified bike insurance
Modified bike insurance premiums are traditionally higher than they would be if you owned a motorbike in its original design specification. However, this is only the case if the modifications are performance or aesthetically enhancing.
Modifications which improve the security levels of the motorbike can actually result in cheaper motorbike insurance premiums.
Moped and scooter insurance
Many people choose to invest in a scooter due to the potential running cost savings; with fuel and road tax both tending to be cheaper than for larger motorbikes with bigger engines.
You can also make sure that you are not getting the cheapest insurance deal available by taking advantage of the MoneySupermarket scooter insurance guide. MoneySupermarket also has a separate moped insurance guide, dedicated to this type of vehicle – but how do scooters and mopeds differ from each other and the range of other motorbikes out there?
Scooters and mopeds are more or less the same; mainly requiring an upright riding position and used to commute around town due to their manoeuvrability, low fuel consumption and low running costs.
However, the engine of a moped must not exceed 50cc and the weight of the framework can be no higher than 250kg – which, although may be not far from the specification of many of the scooters on the road, is an entirely different beast from a Harley Davidson Fat Boy.
Quad bike insurance
A quad bike obviously stands apart from the rest – it has four wheels and has to be specially registered for road use. If you own a quad, then you should take advantage of our quad bike insurance guide.
What insurance add-ons are on offer?
Whatever bike insurance type you choose and whatever the level of cover, there are a number of extras that you can add on to your policy, such as motorcycle breakdown cover (in case your bike should suffer a breakdown), personal accident cover to compensate medical fees, and loss of earnings and legal expenses to cover the cost of hiring solicitors in the event of a claim.
Although you will usually have to pay an additional fee for any add-ons you choose, some bike insurance companies may add one or more of them on to your policy at no extra cost, so you should check the terms of your policy first.
What affects the price you pay for bike insurance?
There are many things that affect how much you’ll pay for your annual motorcycle insurance premium and it’s worth knowing what these are to help you cut your bike insurance costs.
One of the major factors in deciding the cost of motorcycle insurance is the age of the rider, with younger, less experienced riders paying higher bike insurance premiums. Your occupation can also have a bearing on how much you’ll pay, with certain professions paying more than others as they’re considered a higher risk. For instance, there’s a good chance that students and journalists will pay more for motorcycle insurance than teachers and policemen.
Another influential factor is the type of bike you ride, including the make and model – with more powerful or more expensive models normally commanding higher premiums due to their being a higher risk vehicle or more desirable to thieves. A good indicator of this is motorcycle insurance groups.
The area in which you live also plays a part with some postcodes having higher premiums than others due to higher traffic volumes or crime rates.
And if you’ve made a claim within the last five years, or you have an unspent motoring conviction, then you could find you’ll be quoted a higher price for bike insurance cover.
If you are a frequent rider, or cover a lot of miles over the course of the year, then this will also bump up the price of your premium as the more time you spend on the road, so the risk of being involved in an accident increases.
As bikes are relatively susceptible to theft, your bike’s security features will also have a bearing on the price of your motorcycle insurance premium. You can often bring the price down by having insurer-approved locks, alarms and immobilisers and by keeping it in a locked garage overnight if possible.
How can you get a cheaper bike insurance quote?
There are many ways to bring down the cost of your motorbike insurance and arguably the most straightforward way is to shop around and compare motorcycle insurance quotes using MoneySupermarket.
By simply entering a few details you can instantly compare motorcycle insurance quotes from a range of insurers to find a policy that suits your needs and your pocket. And don’t simply auto-renew with your current insurer as renewal prices are rarely as competitive. Simply shopping around could save you around 35%.
If you’ve not yet bought your bike then it may be worth considering going for a model with a smaller engine as not only will this save you money on fuel, it could also save money on your bike insurance policy as bikes with smaller engines are considered less of a risk.
If possible, you should try to pay for your policy annually as monthly bike insurance premiums are normally subject to interest charges. You may also be able to bring the price down by reducing your annual mileage and by making sure your bike is fitted with insurer-approved security devices.
If you’re including additional riders on the policy, keep in mind that adding a younger rider or a rider with a conviction could bump the price up considerably. On the other hand, putting an older, more experienced rider on the policy could actually bring it down.
For more money saving motorbike insurance tips, click here.
How do you make a claim on your motorbike insurance policy?
Making a claim on your motorbike insurance should be a relatively straightforward process but there are certain processes you should follow to make sure everything goes smoothly.
If you’re involved in an accident in which someone is injured, or your claim is for a vandalised or stolen motorbike, you should inform the police immediately and they will give you a crime reference number that you will have to pass on to your insurer.
If possible you should also take photographs of the event and note down your location and also take the details of any other involved parties or witnesses who can support your claim when it’s passed on to your insurer. You should also keep records of any phone calls you make regarding the claim, making a note of the person you spoke to as well as the time and date of the call.
Although you’ll want any repairs to be carried out quickly, don’t just take your bike to your local garage as you may find that you will not be able to claim back the cost of the repairs unless the garage is approved by the insurer. So you should always wait until the insurer gives you the nod to get the repairs done, and they will often have their own preferred garage in your area.
It’s also worth checking your policy at this point to see if you are entitled to a courtesy motorbike while yours is getting repaired.
However, no matter how well insured you are the idea is to avoid an accident and never have to make a claim. That is why, when on the road, you should always concentrate on what you’re doing, where you’re going and be aware of your surroundings and other road users.
This is especially important for motorcycle riders, who often have to anticipate the actions of other drivers who may not have seen them.
You should ensure you have the right protective clothing on when riding a motorcycle, For instance, padded, reflective, waterproof clothing, gloves and a helmet with a visor are essential (and legally-required, in the case of the helmet). You should also make sure that your helmet fits you correctly as an ill-fitting helmet can actually cause more damage in the event of an accident.
Make sure your bike is properly maintained and, if you’ve not been out on your bike in a while, it may be worth taking a refresher training course to get you used to the roads again. Visit our motorcycle safety tips page to make sure you are a safe as possible while on the road. We have also created a motorcycle safety checklist for the benefit of our customers. Make sure that you don’t have a need to make a claim on your bike insurance policy.