How to get the best & save on your motorcycle insurance
Finding a good insurance quote for your motorcycle which offers the right level of cover can be a struggle. Whether you're looking for your first policy or renewing an existing one, cost is always going to play an important part but it's also important to make sure you're getting the right cover.
Take a read of our motorcycle insurance guide and our top tips below:
Step 1: Getting the right cover for you
When it comes to insurance it's all about risk: the riskier the policyholder the higher the premium, and motorcyclists are certainly a risk. Whilst motorbikes may only make up 1% of the road traffic, statistics show that they unfortunately riders suffer 20% of all road fatalities.
Everyone wants cheap insurance, but remember it isn't always about getting the cheapest premium. Sometimes it can be worth paying a little bit extra to get cover which has all of the features that you require.
Motorbike insurance rates are set by actuaries, whose job is to calculate risks. Each insurer's price depends on their underwriters' assessment of your particular risk, plus their own pricing model which dictates what customers they want to attract and what they should charge.
Step 2: Consider the type of cover
Depending on your circumstances it may be worth considering an insurance policy with a lower level of cover such as third party, fire and theft - perhaps if you own an old bike that isn't worth much money.
Make sure however that you always remember to read the policy carefully before purchasing so you're sure what you will and won't be insured for. Note that third party-based policies typically offer much lower levels of cover - and whilst cheaper may not provide the best cover for you.
Step 3: Check out special policies
Once you've obtained quotes from comparison sites, it's worth trying these extra steps to see if they can undercut your best price.
How you use your bike will have an effect on your bike insurance. For example, if you only use it to go on social trips and for everyday activities such as shopping or visiting friends then you're likely to be seen as less of a risk than if you ride to work. The more often you take your motorcycle out on the road, the greater the chance there is of an incident occuring. Make sure you tell the potential insurer what you use your bike for and if you only ride on weekends, or commute to and from work. This one difference could most definitely result in a significant change to your premium.
For some, jumping in the saddle is a good weather activity. If your bike only comes out when the weather is on the bright side, take a look at cheaper temporary insurance that can just last up to three months.
There are a few things to be aware of:
- You won't build up a no-claims bonus. This will mean you won't be eligible for no-claims discounts in future years.
- When not insured, you must SORN your vehicle. Rules came into force in 2011 saying all vehicles must either be taxed and insured or declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). For more information click here.
REMEMBER: if you do not hold a valid insurance policy and your bike is stolen, you will not be covered.
Step 4: Only cover what you need
As with choosing your level of cover, look out for the optional extras on your policy and don't pay for more than you need.
For example, legal assistance or access to a courtesy motorbike may not be essential to you, and if you've included passenger cover you're likely to pay more for a policy.
You may consider motorbike breakdown cover an essential product - but think about whether you'll get a better deal by buying a separate breakdown policy rather than choosing it as an add-on your insurance.
While comparison sites offer a large chunk of policies, some deals are only available direct from insurers and may offer a special deal or extra cover.
LV: Free legal expenses, helmet and leathers cover
You won't find LV motorcycle insurance on comparison sites but it does offer a number of incentives to tempt you into signing up. You'll automatically get free helmet and leathers cover, £100k of legal expenses and a 10% discount if you have an existing LV car or home insurance policy.
BE WISER: Free helmet and leathers cover + roadside assistance
Insurance broker Be Wiser offers a number of incentives such as free helmet and leathers cover, legal protection service, RAC roadside assistance and personal accident cover.
Once you've found the cheapest, there are two important checks to make:
Double-check the quotes
- Click through to the insurance provider's own website to double-check the quotes. Some comparison sites make assumptions so it's always best to check them out direct on the insurers site.
Examine the policy's coverage
- Is the policy suitable for you? If you want 'passenger cover', is it included? Plus while you're there, it's worth playing with the policy details to see if you can slim the price down. Look at the excess, and if extra security will definitely help to drive the cost down.
Step 5: Don't auto-renew
Providing you ride well and don't have any accidents, your insurance premium will hopefully cheaper after the first year. However, don't automatically stick with the same provider.
Try applying for cover from your existing insurer as if you're a new customer and it’s likely you'll be given a better price. This is because insurers are cheeky and will happily profit from customers that may not always remember to renew their existing insurance policy!
Plan ahead - insurers must send out renewal notifications at least 28 days before renewal. This doesn't leave much time, and you can end up rushing to find a cheaper price. To avoid being forced to decide quickly, put a reminder in your diary six weeks before your renewal date, this way there's plenty of time to sort out a new provider.
Some other things to consider
Take a safety class
Even if you’ve ridden motorcycles for years, taking a safety class could save you money as some insurers provide as much as 10% off for those who provide proof they’ve completed a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. We can offer advice on local companies who offer Advanced Riding courses in the local area.
How good is your credit score?
Believe it or not, insurance companies look at your credit score as an indication as your overall stability. As a result, they tend to charge higher premiums to people with lower credit scores and vice versa. One way to reduce your insurance costs is to boost your credit score. If you haven’t checked your credit score in a while and you’re shopping for insurance, then now is the time!
Upgrade your ride
And we don’t mean by adding more chrome and modifications! Think about disc locks, alarms, immobilisers, anti-lock brakes or fitting a GPS tracker to your bike - these could all qualify you for a discount.