What types of motorbike insurance are there?
Motorcycle insurance, like car insurance, comes in three tiers:
- Third party: which covers you for damage done to another person and/or their vehicle
- Third party, fire, and theft: this includes everything in third party, plus cover for if your bike is stolen, or destroyed/damaged by fire
- Fully comprehensive: this includes all of the above, as well as accidental damage, vandalism, repairs. It may also cover if you lose accessories such as a camera, sat-nav or luggage. However this can vary by insurer, so it’s best to read policy documents before taking insurance out.
What affects the cost of motorcycle insurance?
How much you pay for motorbike insurance can be affected by a number of factors, including:
- The motorbike, scooter or moped: this includes the make, model, type, and engine size
- Your age: often the older you are the cheaper cover will be
- Your claims and driving history: this includes any driving convictions or licence points
- How you use the bike: whether it’s for commuting, business, or social use
- The security of the bike: such as locks, trackers, and alarms
- The location of the bike: if it’s kept in a secure garage or on the road
- The excess you pay: the higher your voluntary excess the lower your premiums are likely to be
- Modifications: Performance-enhancing modifications can add to premiums
Does motorcycle insurance cover modifications?
Some providers may include cover for some modifications and not all, while others may only offer cover as an additional option. However you can also look for specialist insurers to cover your powered two-wheeler if you need to.
Adding ‘bling’ to your bike can usually be covered. But any modifications that increase the power or speed or your motorbike will be considered a higher risk factor and will probably bump up your premium.
Does motorcycle insurance cover accessories and add-ons?
Like with modifications, it can vary by insurer. Some may cover accessories by default, and some may only offer certain levels of cover if you take out an extra policy – you should always read policy documents to be sure.
Does motorcycle insurance cover punctures and wheel damage?
Depending on the provider you choose and the policy you take out, you may or may not be covered for things such as punctures and tyre/wheel damage. You should always read the provider’s policy documents before taking out a deal so you know what their insurance deal covers.
Does motorcycle insurance cover me when I ride other bikes?
Some insurers offer ride-any-bike policies as part of their motorcycle insurance – which will cover you for when you want to borrow a friend’s two-wheeler. But you are likely to be covered for third-party only damage. If you crash your mate’s motorbike, you will have to pay for its repairs.
Can I add other people to my motorcycle insurance policy?
Many insurers will let you add additional drivers to your policy, though it can often lead to an increase in premium costs.
Can I add other bikes to my motorcycle insurance policy?
Likewise you are often able to add more than one bike with a multi-bike policy, but the number of bikes you have is likely to affect how much you pay for cover. This may, however, be cheaper than having several policies as you can only be riding one motorcycle at a time.
Can I carry passengers with motorcycle insurance?
Whether you’ll be covered if you have passengers – known as pillion cover – will depend on your insurer and the policies you’ve taken out. However it also depends on if your motorcycle licence allows you to carry passengers.
If you commit not to carrying pillion passengers you might get a discount.
Can I ride abroad with motorcycle insurance?
You’ll be covered for riding your two-wheeler abroad if you have a policy included in your motorcycle insurance. You should check beforehand so you know what countries you’re allowed to travel to and for how long.
What extras can I add to motorcycle insurance?
When you take out motorbike insurance, many insurers will offer the option of adding cover for:
- Riding with passengers (pillion cover)
- Helmet and leathers
- Riding abroad
- Breakdown cover
- Sidecar cover
- Personal liability
- Personal accident
- Lost keys
- Wrong fuel
How can I use my bike with motorcycle insurance?
Insurers are likely to have certain requirements when it comes to using your bike for commuting or business. In any case if you plan to use your motorcycle for either, you’ll have to tell your insurer.
Failure to do may not only mean you’re unable to claim if something happened on your journey to or from work, it also means you are riding uninsured, which is against the law.
Insurers generally have the following classes of use for motorcycles:
- Social, domestic, or pleasure: for private use only
- Commuting: for social, domestic, or pleasure use, as well as commuting to a single regular place of work
- Business: for all of the above, but it also covers you for multiple locations for work
- Courier: if you use your bike for delivery of goods
Can I get a new replacement if my bike is written off?
Some insurers offer the option for a brand new replacement if your motorbike, scooter or moped is written off, though this is likely to increase your premium costs. It will onnly apply if you have a new, or recently purchased, bike.
Is there an agreed-value pay-out if my motorcycle is written off?
You’ll often have to take out an additional agreed value policy for your insurer to pay out for this amount, otherwise there is generally a set limit on how much they will cover you for.
If my motorbike written off, can I buy it back and rebuild? Or reuse the parts?
This generally depends on both the insurer and the extent of the write off. For write off categories A (scrap) and B (break) the motorcycle is not allowed to be put into circulation again.
The rules are less strict for categories S (structurally damaged repairable) and N (non-structurally damaged repairable). Some insurers may allow you to buy back the bike, or parts of it, under certain conditions, while others may not.
Can I use my no-claims bonus from my car insurance policy?
In most cases you won’t be able to transfer a no-claims bonus from your car to your bike, however some insurers may allow this – it’s best to check first before assuming either way.
Can I insure my bike just for part of the year?
If you only ride your bike for part of the year, such as only in the summer, you may only need to insure it for the time you’re riding it.
However, when not using your motorbike, you’ll need to take out a SORN (statutory off road notification) from the DVLA, which allows you to keep the bike off road without insurance.
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