Insurers take into account a number of factors when they calculate premiums for motorbike insurance, such as your age, occupation and address. Of course, you can do nothing about your age and you are unlikely to change your job or move house for the sake of your insurance. But we have put together a selection of money savings tips for the modern motorcyclist to keep down the cost of bike insurance cover.
Shop around for cheap bike insurance quotes
If you think your existing insurer will give you a good deal at renewal you should think again as loyalty rarely pays. It is therefore important always to compare motorbike insurance quotes from a number of different companies before you renew your cover. It’s also easy with MoneySupermarket’s free independent bike insurance comparison service.
Pick the right motorbike insurance cover
There are basically three different levels of cover for your motorbike. Third party bike insurance is the legal minimum and covers damage or injury to a third party or property. It would not pay out for any damage to your own bike or for personal injury. Your bike would also not be insured in the event of theft or fire. Third party fire and theft motorbike insurance is the next step up and includes insurance in case your motorcycle is stolen or set on fire. Then there is a fully comprehensive motorbike insurance policy for all round peace of mind. Third party motorcycle insurance is sometimes cheaper than comprehensive cover, but you should always compare quotes as prices vary between insurers. You should also consider whether third party cover is sufficient for you and your bike.
Increase the excess
Motorbike insurance comes with a compulsory excess, which is the amount the policyholder has to pay towards any claim. So, if the excess is £200 and the claim is for £600, the insurer would pay out only £400. You can also agree to pay a higher voluntary excess in return for cheaper bike insurance quotes. You might, for example, agree to pay a voluntary excess of £100, on top of the compulsory £200. Increasing the excess can be a good way to cut the cost of bike insurance, but be careful not to raise the excess so high that it becomes unaffordable – remember, the excess is what you’ll have to pay in the event of a claim.
Choose your bike with care
A high performance machine is more expensive to insure than a standard motorbike because claims are more likely and more costly. So, if you are buying a new bike, you might want to steer clear of the pricier models at the top of the range.
A good indication of this is motorcycle insurance groups, with there being between 17 and 22 different groups (depending on the insurer) to which motorbikes are assigned. Bikes in lower groups (i.e. groups 1-3) will generally be cheaper to insure. For more information on this, visit our motorcycle insurance groups page.
Modified bike insurance premiums tend to be more expensive than for conventional motorcycles as they tend to be more expensive to repair in the event of an accident. Anyone who is concerned about the cost of cover should therefore keep modifications to a minimum.
Ride fewer miles
The more you ride your motorbike, the more likely you are to make a claim. So if you can limit the miles then you could reduce the motorcycle insurance premium. But always be honest about your mileage or you could invalidate the policy.
Anyone with motoring convictions will pay more for their cover because they are a riskier proposition. It is therefore essential always to obey the rules of the road and ride with care, for financial as well as safety reasons.
Improve your road skills
Insurers often offer discounts to riders with additional qualifications. Organisations such as the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the British Motorcyclists Federation run advanced training courses for motorbike enthusiasts. You might have to pay for the course, but you could easily earn the money back in the form of a lower motorbike insurance premium.
Secure your motorbike
The more secure your bike, the less chance it will be stolen or vandalised, so the lower the motorcycle insurance premium. Security markings are a sensible option. You should also fit your motorbike with locks, chains, anchors, and a Thatcham approved alarm or immobiliser – anything to keep it safe. And try to park the bike in a locked garage rather than on the street.
Limit the number of claims
Riders can earn big discounts if they do not claim on their policy. The discounts vary between insurers but you could knock 20% off your premium if you do not claim for a year, rising to 75% or more for five claim-free years. If you have only a minor accident, it might therefore make sense to pay for the damage out of your own pocket rather than risk losing your no claims discount. Of course, your bike insurance premium might still go up at renewal, but the discount should stay the same.
Restrict other riders
You can add other riders to your policy, but it will almost certainly affect the motorcycle insurance premium. For example, if you want to insure a 20-year-old with a past conviction to take your bike on the road, you will pay more than if you add a 50-year-old with a clean riding history. So think carefully before you add any other riders as it could cost you dear.
Motorcyclists can typically cut their premiums by 10% if they opt to ride without a passenger. But it’s against the law to carry someone on the bike without insurance, so you need to be sure that you will always ride alone.
Ride for pleasure
Motorcycle insurance usually works out cheaper if the policy covers you for social, domestic and pleasure use than for commuting or business use. Cost conscious motorcycle owners might therefore want to leave the bike at home when they go to work.