Learner’s guide to motorcycle insurance

Right, so you’ve passed your CBT, bought some kit and found a bike you like – what’s left to do before you can ride on the road legally? That’s right. You’ve still got to sort some insurance.

Whether you’re looking at motorcycle insurance for the first time, or you’ve been riding for over 20 years, finding the right insurance can be confusing and can cost you serious money if you’re not careful. Finding the right policy and knowing how to get a great deal can save you hundreds of pounds if you’re responsible and do your research. The options Before you do anything, it’s important you understand the types of cover available.

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There are several options available and it’s handy knowing the difference between these options.

Third party

The most basic motorcycle insurance required by law. It’s important to note that this only covers your liability for death or injury to someone else and for damage to someone else’s property. It won’t cover you or your bike.

Third Party, Fire & Theft

It is similar to simple third party insurance, but also covers your scooter or bike if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.

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Fully Comprehensive

This kind of insurance not only covers you from the liability to other people and their property, but it will also cover the cost of fixing or replacing your ride. Understandably, the price of this will often be higher than the other two options.

Additional Cover

On top of the standard insurance, there are a number of additional coverage options that may be offered to you to cover other aspects of your ride. These include: gear, transport, breakdown cover, legal assistance, European coverage, no claims discount protection – the list is endless.

Chat through these with an advisor and ask them to discuss what is covered so you can make an informed decision about whether you think you need it or not. Sometimes there can be a temptation to have one (or even more) of the additional options on the ‘off-chance’ you might use them or because you don’t want to say no.

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Consider them carefully and don’t be afraid to say you don’t want them if you won’t use them.

Bikesure’s Top Tips to save some cash

1. Limit your mileage to only what you really need. Try not to over-estimate the genuine mileage you will need across the year as it can end up seeing you lose out on potential discounts. Always make sure that the mileage you insure for is accurate to your needs, though!

2. Think about the age and value of the bike you’re buying for your first ride. If you buy a brand new bike then repair costs can be higher for insurers due to the modern technology being used and the cost of replacement parts for new models. Looking at a bike that’s a little older can save you money on your insurance, and will often have a lower value for the bike itself, giving you even more discounts on your insurance.

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3. Select the style of your first bike carefully. If you’re riding on a provisional licence and CBT then insuring an automatic scooter or moped will generally be cheaper than insuring a geared bike, and considerably cheaper than sports or enduro-style bikes. If you’re riding on a full bike licence, or A2, then think about what would be a sensible first bike. Insuring a naked, 600cc motorcycle, for example, will cost far less than insuring a fully-faired sports bike. Once you have got some experience and bonus on your first bike, it can considerably reduce the cost of insuring a sportier ride in the future.

4. Think about security, storage and voluntary excesses. One of the biggest risks for insuring motorcycles is theft, so having decent security is a must and can also see good discounts on your insurance. Investing in a decent, Thatcham approved alarm and immobiliser or a tracker pays for itself over time with what you can save on your insurance, and also protects your bike. If you are able to store your bike in a garage or shed at home then that can have a really big impact on your insurance, but make sure you are able to keep it in there at all times when not using the bike or you could end up paying more in the long run if you can’t store it inside at all times. Couple security and storage with a voluntary excess 
on your policy to make the most of the discounts available.

5. Call a specialist motorcycle broker for your insurance, rather than doing it online. Specialist brokers, like Bikesure, can look into tailored quotes for you to make sure you have all the cover you need at a competitive price. Not only that, but they can ask a lot more questions than you’re able to answer online, some of which can draw even bigger discounts!

6. Do you over-insure yourself ‘just in case’? Many riders will put pillion cover on their policies just in case the need arises, even though they never take pillions on their bike. Insuring for commuting use just in case you have to use it one day to get to work is another common occurrence, even when the bike has never been used to commute in the past. If you think the chances of needing this cover are so remote, then don’t select it at the start of the policy and you could see some more discounts applied. Of course, if you think there is a chance you really will need the cover, then insuring yourself in case is the best option.

7. Don’t add riders to your policy that you don’t need. With car insurance, adding a named rider, especially someone older and more experienced, can attract discounts to your premium. With bikes, though, it is not the same and generally you won’t see discounts applied to your policy for adding a rider.

8. Explore different levels of cover. You often hear car drivers say that their insurance is almost the same price for Third Party, Fire and Theft as it is for Fully Comprehensive. Motorcycle insurance, however, will often see a much bigger difference between the levels of cover and going for Third Party, Fire and Theft or even Third Party Only can see some much cheaper prices for you than always going for Fully Comprehensive.

9. Don’t cancel your policy during the winter. Many riders will cancel their policies during the winter because they’re not using their motorcycle at that time. Doing so can be detrimental as you will lose out on building up your No Claims Bonus, which can offer huge discounts to your motorcycle insurance as you accrue it. You also run the risk of being uninsured in the event of a fire or theft that could see you unable to claim for your motorcycle if it’s lost.  

What if I have an accident? Your insurance is crucial in the event of an accident. If you find yourself in this situation then the first thing to do is stay calm and assess yourself. Have you got any injuries? If so, stay put and seek help. If you are not hurt then remove yourself away from the incident to a safe spot.

The next step is to then evidence gather. Speak to anyone who saw the accident. Try to get a clear account of what happened and how it happened. Tate time, date, location, names, number plates etc. All this will help you immensely with the next step, which is calling your insurer. They will then take it from there and advise you on your nest steps.

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