If you're going to be spending the summer on the open road it's important that you stay safe and have adequate insurance that suits your needs.
There are a number of factors unique to motorbikes that make finding the right insurance worthwhile, such as security issues, riding ability and cover for pillion passengers.
So here we take a look at ways in which you can keep down the cost of your insurance premium without compromising on cover.
Compare the best deals with MoneySupermarket
Shopping around for the best deal is a must if you want to save money on your motorbike insurance, and MoneySupermarket's
motorbike insurance channel is one of the easiest and quickest ways to do this.
By inputting your details you can compare quotes from over 30 of the UK's best known specialist motorbike insurers, so you can be confident of finding a deal that suits you in terms of both price and cover.
The motorcycle insurance comparison channel now has an enhanced question set that takes into account modifications, medical conditions and other factors to ensure you receive more accurate and, hopefully, cheaper quotes.
In addition, to avoid having to repeatedly input your details, you can retrieve your quote via an instant email.
Take advantage of discounts
If you compare insurance quotes online it makes sense to complete the journey and buy your insurance online.
Not only is this more convenient but, because of the lower overheads involved, many insurers will also offer a discount if you buy online.
It is also a good idea to pay for your premium in one lump sum if you can find the funds as paying monthly incurs interest fees that will further push up the cost of cover.
However, the best way to save money on your insurance is to build up your
no claims discount (NCD). Insurers will reward you with an NCD for every year that your policy remains claim-free and this can amount to a 75% saving on the cost of cover.
Someone who made a significant saving thanks to accruing one year's NCD is Ben Sidebottom from London (pictured right). The 27-year-old, who has held a full licence for a year and recently upgraded his bike to a Yamaha XJ6F, made a saving of £140 on his renewal price thanks to a combination of having a year's claim-free riding and having an immobiliser fitted.
Ben said: "I wanted to get a more powerful machine as soon as possible so I took the accelerated riding test, which is available to those over 21."
He added: "The insurance premium is quite high but it would have been a lot worse if I'd been a few years younger. And I'm already seeing the benefit of the no claims discount."
You actively need to tell your insurer if you ride alone and have no intention of taking passengers on your motorbike.
Insurance companies assume you will need cover for pillion passengers and will bump up the premium price accordingly, so informing them that you ride alone will result in you getting a discounted rate.
However, if there is any chance that you will be carrying passengers then you should not opt out of this cover. Not only would this invalidate your insurance, it is actually illegal to carry a pillion passenger if you are not insured to do so.
Prove you're a better rider
If you have taken any advanced motorcycle training then you could qualify for a further discount on your premium as insurers will see you as a more responsible rider.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents offers an
advanced riding test that is designed not only to make you a better rider and reduce the risk of you having a crash, it also gives lessons on how to improve your fuel consumption and reduce wear and tear on your bike.
So as well as lowering the cost of insurance cover it can also help to bring down the overall cost of running and maintaining your motorbike.
British Motorcycle Federation (BMF) also offers courses such as Rider Plus and Blue Riband Advanced Riders' Award, which must be taken every three years to renew the qualification. Increase your security
Motorbikes are sometimes seen as a soft target by thieves so it makes sense to fit extra security devices to make it as hard as possible for them to steal yours.
And doing this can also have insurance benefits as many insurers will give you around 10% off your premium for adding things such as immobilisers, heavy duty locks and ground anchors.
If possible you should also keep you bike in a locked garage overnight as this will also make it more difficult for thieves to steal and, in turn, bring down the cost of your cover.
Increasing security is a tried and trusted way to bring down the price of your premium but you must ensure that any security devices fitted are approved by your insurer. If not then you will benefit from improved security but not from a reduced policy price. Many insurers specify Thatcham as their preferred brand of security devices.
Other tried and trusted ways to bring down the cost of your insurance include reducing the number of miles you cover each year and increasing the voluntary excess you pay.
However, you must ensure that you do not exceed your stated annual mileage as this would invalidate your policy - and be sure that you can afford your excess as not being able to meet this cost could leave you without a bike.
Get the right cover
Although you don't want to be paying more than you have to for your insurance you need to ensure that have the right level of cover to suit your needs, so the cheapest policy may not necessarily be the best option.
For instance, if you were to be involved in an accident would your policy cover you for damage to your leathers, helmet and gloves? If not then you could be left with a hefty bill when you come to replace them.
So make sure that such items are either covered as part of your policy, as part of a separate 'helmet and leather' policy, or check to see it they are covered by your home insurance.
Another option if you only use a small bike for getting to and from work is a 'scoot and commute' policy, which limits the mileage and type of riding you can do.
It is also important that you inform your insurer of any modifications to your bike, be them cosmetic or performance based, as failure to do so could result in your insurance being invalidated.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.
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