Ways to reduce the cost of your motorbike insurance
Motorbike insurance is calculated based on two things:
1: How likely are you to make a claim?
2: How big is the claim likely to be?
The less likely you are to make a claim, the lower your premiums; the more likely that the claim will be small, the lower your premiums.
Some factors insurance companies use to figure out risk are beyond your control.
For instance, older riders usually pay much lower insurance premiums than younger ones. Not much you can do about that, except wait.
But some are in your control, and tweaking them can make a big difference to how much you have to pay for your insurance.
You should also look at how you choose and source your insurance. Even if you don’t change anything else, you might be able to find the same provisions elsewhere for less.
Let’s look at the factors insurers use to calculate the risk you represent, and how to tweak them in your favour. Here's what to look out for when shopping for bike insurance.
As with all insurance, the best way to save money is to compare motorbike cover online and switch to a cheaper deal.
1: The bike you ride
Bigger bikes mean more expensive premiums.
All other things being equal, then, you’re going to pay more for your Goldwing than for a Kawasaki Ninja.
But there’s more than engine size to consider. An older, classic bike will add to your premiums too, because repair costs are higher thanks to scarce parts.
And sports bikes attract higher premiums too.
Finally, any changes you make from the factory model count as modifications. You have to declare these to your insurers or your insurance will be invalid.
And they’ll probably push up your premiums even if their effect is to make the bike safer...
2: How well you ride
Many insurance companies will give you reduced premiums if you pass your Advanced Riding Test.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists will charge you £62.00 to take the test, so it pays for itself pretty quickly.
Insurance companies are very quick to seize on evidence that you’re a less-safe rider to jack your premiums up, too: getting a speeding ticket could push up the cost of your insurance.
3: Your security
If you store your bike on the street, you’ll see your premiums reflect that it’s a whole lot easier to steal or vandalise than if it was in a garage.
Conversely, if you can show that you keep your bike somewhere safe and secure, you’ll likely get cheaper insurance.
Everything from secure marking like the Alpha Dot, through using a garage to investing in a serious lock, will be reflected in lower premiums. In particular, getting a Thatcham-approved lock - often as little as £20 - will bring down your premiums significantly.
4: Your mileage
The more time you spend on your bike, the more likely you are to have an accident.
Insurance companies know this and factor it in when they work out your premiums, so one way to cut the cost of your bike insurance is to keep your mileage low.
Make sure you declare your mileage accurately or your insurance could be invalidated.
5: Your excess
The more you agree to pay yourself in the event of an accident, the less your insurance company has to fork out, and your premiums fall accordingly.
But make sure you don’t end up with an excess you can’t actually pay, especially if you need your bike to get to work.
6: Your Cover
If you want to drive the cost of your motorbike insurance down, start with not buying what you don’t need.
Make a list of the cover that you actually need, then look for that.
If you’re used to getting Breakdown Cover, Personal Accident and Legal Fees cover, Third Party coverage might look surprisingly cheap - right up until you find yourself needing that extra cover.
If your bike’s worth a lot of money, going for very low cover could be a false economy.
7: Your no claims bonus
Go a year without making a claim and your premiums fall by an average 15% on a car.
Motorcycle insurance is more sensitive; you could save up to 40% of your premium for every year you don’t make a claim.
So if you do have an accident, it’s sometimes worth eating the cost of repairs to keep your no-claims.