Shopping for motorbike insurance is very similar to car insurance and should not be negelected at any cost!
Searching for the right deal can be time-consuming, but with many providers now posted on the internet there is a large variety of options available to help you make the most suitable choice.
Make sure you shop around and spend time comparing different types of cover from a selection of insurance providers.
Types of Cover
Third Party Cover - Third Party Cover is the legal minimum type of insurance cover. It provides basic cover for a third party and also covers the liability of the policy holder. Third party only is usually the most basic of the three types of policy and doesn't include repair costs or a replacement if it is stolen. It is traditionally known as the cheapest and most basic coverage available.
Third Party Fire and Theft - This policy includes all the features of third party liability cover, plus cover for damage to a bike as a result of the impact of fire, lightning, an explosion or attempted theft.
The policy will typically either include the cost of repairs, a replacement or a cash sum equivalent to the cost incurred, offering a more advanced but slightly more expensive option.
Fully Comprehensive - A fully comp policy is known as the 'top of the range' policy offer, and is designed to be as comprehensive as possible. This generally includes the loss or theft of the bike and any repairs needed, providing extra features on top of the coverage outlined in third party fireand theft insurance.
Cost of Cover
The cost of insurance varies depending on the following circumstances:
- Your age - the younger you are, the higher the costs
- Your motorcycle make
- The power and capacity of the engine
- Your location
Engine-size groups for insurance purposes can vary from one insurer to another so it pays to shop around online and on the high street. Remember to check the small print on the policy to ensure you are only receiving cover for what is needed. If you have any questions or queries ask your insurer or broker to sit down with you and explain everything in full.
You'll often have to pay the first £50 or £100 of any claim, which is what is known as the 'excess'. You can usually lower your premium by opting for a larger excess.
No Claims Discount
Building up a No Claims Bonus or discount is one of the best ways to bring down your insurance premium. The size of your discount grows each year up to the maximum level set by your insurerand it can sometimes take up to nine years to build up the maximum no claims discount, which may or may not include a protection of your discount against claims of a certain nature.
The discount will always be affected once a claim is made, unless your insurance company can recover its costs from another party. Without no claims bonus protection, the discount is usually reduced by two steps after a claim.
If your insurer can make a full recovery your no claim discount may not be affected. This may also apply if you manage to recover all your uninsured losses (such as accidental damage excess).
On some occasions your no claim discount will be reduced at policy renewal time if a claim is expected be processed, or is still waiting to be settled, but the discount may be reinstated if your insurer subsequently doesn't have to make a payout under the terms of the policy.
Reducing your premium
The following is a list of ways of reducing the costs of your insurance:
No Claims Bonus - The fact is, the longer you go without making a claim, then the cheaper your insurance gets. Before making a claim, remember that you will be penalised for between 3 and 5 years for a claim. So its worth getting a quote from a broker to see how much your insurance will be for next year with a claim versus not claiming. Remember that the purpose of insurance is to protect you from major incidents, not minor bumps and scrapes.
Voluntary excess - Your bike insurance will usually come with an excess. An excess is the first amount you have to pay in the event that you make a claim on your insurance policy. By adding a voluntary excess, you can sometimes save a lot of money.
Security - Try and purchase a quality lock and alarm combination. In fact, 80% of Bikes are stolen in the back of a van, rendering most alarms useless; therefore using a good quality lock secured to an immobile object will deter most thefts.
Shop around - The importance of shopping around should not be underestimated. Different insurance companies target different customers, so make sure you are using the best company for you. For example, some companies specialise in policies for young drivers, while some cater for women drivers. Buying online can save you money as online companies generally have lower overheads. Use the internet for access to comparison websites and tools that can save you time and money.
Limit mileage - Try and limit your riding to less than 5000 miles a year. Some insurers use this as their limit to give extra discounts.
Insurance renewal - Most brokers will work very hard to keep your business when it comes to renewing your policy. However, always check a few more brokers just to make sure you are getting the best deal.
Interest charges - Always check this, as the APR charged on insurance instalments is often much higher than your bank will charge you to use a credit card. Sometimes a broker will appear cheap but by the time you have paid the interest charges, it works out more expensive.
Other insurance - Check with providers to see if they offer a discount for taking out other types of insurance such as home and motor insurance in conjunction with your motorbike insurance.