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Find out all you need to know about taking out the best motorcycle insurance policy for you, including how to save money on your premiums.

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It is a legal requirement for any person person driving a motorbike on the roads in the UK to have insurance. Driving without insurance can not only result in a heavy fine and the removal of your licence, but also financial difficulty if you’re involved in an accident or have your bike stolen.

Third party damage claims (the minimum level of insurance required by law) can particularly involve life changing sums of money.

Taking out an insurance policy for your bike means you’re not just abiding by the law of the land, but also protecting yourself from potential financial ruin.

What are the different types of cover?

There are three main types of cover for motorbike insurance. Each type is designed to suit specific individuals, so make sure you fully understand each level and choose one that matches your needs, not just the cheapest option.

This is the minimum level of cover that all UK drivers are required to have by law. This is often the cheapest option, but it does not protect your motorcycle against any type of damage.

What is covered?

  • Injuries to others, including riders on your motorbike, people in other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Damages to other people’s property or other vehicles.
  • Some policies include the cost of legal claims against you.

What isn’t covered?

  • Damages to your motorbike.
  • Personal injury.
  • Cover for your motorbike against theft.
This policy offers all the same benefits as third party cover, as well as protection for your bike against fire and theft. This is often a popular choice for those who need a bit more cover without the potentially high price tag.

What is covered?

  • Injuries to others, including riders on your motorbike, people in other vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Damages to other people’s property or other vehicles.
  • Some policies include the cost of legal claims against you.
  • Replacing your motorbike if stolen.
  • Damages to your morotbike as a result of attempted theft or fire.

What isn’t covered?

  • Other damages to your motorbike.
  • Cover for your personal injuries.
  • A payout if your motorbike is written off.
This is the most complete form of insurance you can get, so if you’re looking for top cover, this is the option for you. Specifications vary by provider, but comprehensive motorbike insurance covers you for most eventualities, except for those outlined in your policy exclusions.

What is covered?

  • Everything covered under the third party, fire and theft policy.
  • Damages to your motorbike through accident.
  • Cover for your personal injuries.
  • Some policies also include additional cover, such as riding accessories, sidebar cover and legal protection.

What isn’t covered?

  • There may be some exceptions outlined in your policy exclusions.
Laid up insurance is for motorbikes that are left in storage. It means your bike is still covered for fire and theft even when it isn’t being used. This type of cover does not cover you to ride your bike during the time of your policy.

What is covered?

  • Damages to your motorcycle as a result of attempted theft or fire.

What isn’t covered?

  • You are not covered to ride your bike during this period.

Note that, in some cases, comprehensive cover actually works out cheaper than the more limited options. According to VastVisibility data from April 2020, the average annual cost of a comprehensive motorcycle policy was £243, compared to £323 for third party only cover.

When will I have to pay an excess?

You will usually have to pay an excess when you make a claim.

An excess is the amount you must contribute towards the cost of a claim. This varies by provider, but you should be able to review the amount before taking out a policy.

The two main types of excess are:

  • Compulsory – set by the provider and payable for most claims. The amount for this cannot be changed by you. Young and inexperienced riders may have to pay a higher excess.
  • Voluntary – set by you and payable on top of the compulsory excess. Setting this type of excess to a higher amount will usually lower your premiums, but make sure you can actually afford to pay it should the need arises.

I use my motorcycle for business purposes – can I get cover?

Yes you can. When taking out a quote, you will have to choose one of three use options for how you use your motorbike: social domestic and pleasure, commuting (riding to work) or business use.

If you use your bike for business purposes, choose that option. You’ll need to inform your insurer exactly how your bike will be used before you can be approved for a policy. Some forms of use might be excluded or require extra cover (such as cover for tools or stock in transit).

What affects the cost of my motorcycle insurance?

Your insurance premium is generally based on how likely you are to make a claim and how expensive that claim is likely to be. As a result, there are a number of factors involved in deciding your premium, some which you can control and others you unfortunately can’t. Insurers will use the below factors to calculate your premium.

  • Age. Insurers rely on statistics to work out how likely you are to make a claim. Unfortunately for young drivers, those aged 17-25 are considered the riskiest age group of them all and therefore are charged higher rates.
  • Your bike. If you’re driving an expensive, powerful or rare bike, expect to pay your insurer a top rate, as the expected cost of repairs will be much higher. Bikes with larger engines will also face higher premiums, as they’re considered more likely to be involved in a crash.
  • How secure your bike is. Any security measures that protect your motorbike from being stolen will drive down your premiums. Whether you store your motorbike in a garage or have anti-theft tools such as bike locks or ground anchors, be sure to notify your insurer as you could be entitled to a discount.
  • Where you live. Your postcode is likely to impact the cost of insuring your motorbike. Living in an urbanised area will raise your premium, due to a greater risk of accident, as will living in an area with higher levels of theft.
  • How you use your bike. Most insurers will want to know when you use your motorbike and how often. If you typically ride your bike at busier times of the day, such as on your commute to work, expect to pay a higher rate. Additionally, the more time you spend on the road, the more you’re likely to pay, as your chances of being involved in an accident are greater.
  • Your riding history. Your claims history is one of the most significant ways insurers calculate your insurance premium. If you have points on your license or have recently made a claim, you’ll be charged a higher rate. Securing a no-claims bonus is a key way to save on your insurance.
  • Your excess. Generally speaking, the higher the voluntary excess you sign up for, the less your insurance will cost. This is because if you do make a claim, your insurer will have less to pay. However, make sure you don’t set your voluntary excess to an amount you cannot actually afford to pay should you need to make a claim.

How to claim if you’ve had an accident

If you’re involved in an accident and would like to make a claim, keep the following tips in mind to help the process run smoothly.

  • At the scene of the accident. Make a note of the names, contact information and registration numbers of the other people involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. If a police report had been put together, be sure to make a note of the report number. Take pictures of the scene if possible.
  • Before you make the claim. Consider all the consequences that might arise as a result of making a claim. You’ll need to review your insurance policy and check up on any excess obligations you may have, as well as the impact of loosing your no claims bonus.
  • Make the claim as quickly as possible. You must give the insurance company complete and accurate information about your accident as close to the date of the incident as possible.
  • Provide proof. If available, provide as many supporting documents as possible and make sure that the insurance company acknowledges that your claim was received.
  • Keep in regular contact with your insurer. You’ll have to answer any questions that are relevant for the assessment of your claim. To ensure everything goes smoothly and you get a quick resolution, make sure you stay up to date with how your claim is progressing.

Frequently asked questions

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