We all know that motorcycle insurance is not cheap, and finding a good quote can take a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, depending on their personal circumstances, some people will struggle to find affordable bike insurance, but at least if you understand how the system works you will stand a better chance of paying less.
In the UK it is illegal to ride a motorbike on the public highway without insurance, just like much of the rest of the western world. The main reason for this is to protect innocent third parties in the event of an accident that is not their fault; if you were to cause an accident which permanently injured a bystander, or damaged their property, your insurance policy would ensure that they were fairly compensated.
In the UK there are three types of motorcycle insurance:
- Third Party Only: This is generally the cheapest type of policy, and provides the basic minimum level of cover to compensate other people for injury or damaged property caused by an accident that you are responsible for. If your bike is damaged in an accident that is deemed to be your fault, you will not be compensated.
- Third Party, Fire and Theft: The next level up, this type of cover will also pay for your motorbike to be replaced if it is stolen or damaged by fire. This is usually much more expensive than Third Party Only cover, as a lot of bikes get stolen each year and the insurers have to recoup the cost of replacing them.
- Fully Comprehensive: Not only will this policy protect third parties and cover your bike for theft, it will also pay for any accidental damage caused to your bike by yourself, so if you have an accident that is your own fault, the insurer will pay to repair or replace the motorcycle.
How to get cheaper motorcycle insurance
The important point to remember about insuring a motorbike, is that it’s all about minimising the risk of anything happening that will cause your insurer to have to pay out. Experience is a very important factor, every year that you ride without making a claim on your policy, you will be rewarded with a no-claims bonus – usually to a maximum of five years. Five claim-free years of riding can mean paying up to 75% less than a brand new rider with zero no claims. And it’s a simple fact of life that insurance costs less as you get older – if you’re under 25 you’ll get burned, sorry, that’s just the way it is.
But what can new riders do to save money? Firstly, think about the bike you want to ride – high performance machines are statistically more dangerous, so riding a less powerful motorcycle will usually result in much cheaper insurance costs. Also, many insurers will offer discounts if you have an advanced rider qualification (which might also improve your abilities and stop you from wiping out).
Other than that, there’s not much you can do to lower the cost of Third Party Only motorcycle insurance.
To reduce the amount you’ll pay for Fire and Theft cover, you need to make your bike harder to steal (fire isn’t really so much of a concern, compared to thieves). Keeping the bike on a public road is not good, keeping it on a private drive-way or garden is better and keeping it in a locked garage is the best – this will make a big difference to your premiums. If you invest in some good quality security products, such as a chain, alarm and immobiliser, disc-lock and tagging system, you will usually save a little more money.
The best thing to do is call insurers and ask them which specific brands and products work best – they have access to huge amounts of data on motorcycle thefts, so they know which security products are most likely to stop your bike from being stolen.
Finally, the best tip we can offer to help you find cheap motorcycle insurance quotes is to shop around. Don’t just rely on the price comparison websites, spend the time doing the research and personally checking out the different providers – often comparison websites don’t check all insurers, only the ones who they have deals with. Most of the big insurers will give you a free online quote, and you can always call to ask about any additional discounts that you might be able to get. If one company offers you a competitive quote, don’t be shy about letting the others know – it’s not unheard of for them to offer you a better deal so they can win your business.