How Do Modifications Affect My Motorbike Insurance? | Compare the Market

How do modifications affect your motorbike insurance?

How do modifications affect your motorbike insurance?

As a motorbike owner, you’ve probably at some stage thought about making a few customisations to your bike so that it’s truly unique. But will modifications hike up the cost of your insurance premium? Let’s find out.

Daniel Hutson From the Motor team
3
minute read
posted

Will a modification affect my insurance?

Although you might think that simply uttering the word ‘modification’ will see your premiums sky rocket – that’s not always the case. Not all alterations will have a detrimental effect on your insurance. A few beneficial tweaks here and there might be seen as an improvement on the old model that keep it going for a bit longer. 

Bike insurance providers appreciate that you’ll want to make your bike your own, and some will accept certain modifications as ‘standard’ without altering your premium. 

Will a modification affect my insurance?

What are the most common modifications?

The most common alterations are the addition of stickers, and changes to mirrors, indicators and air filters. Whether or not these affect your premium depends on your insurance provider. They’re all different and what appears on one provider’s ‘standard modifications’ list might not be on another’s. As a general rule, you should always tell your insurance provider about any changes to your bike. Even the tiniest one could invalidate your policy so if in doubt, always find out.

What about performance-enhancing modifications?

If you start tinkering with bits of your bike that will enhance its performance, you’ll need to be prepared for potential premium increases. A more powerful bike could be considered a greater accident risk as well as possibly making it more attractive to thieves. Similarly, aesthetically enhancing your bike might make it more vulnerable to theft – and is also likely to increase the cost of your policy.

What about performance-enhancing modifications?

Are there any modifications that could lower my premiums?

Now for the good news… There are some modifications that should positively affect your insurance premiums. 

Adding security systems, immobilisers or brake locks can all make you a more attractive proposition for insurance providers. Of course, there’s no guarantee of a reduction, and not all of them will offer the same (if any) discounts on premiums, so it’s always best to compare.

What should I think about before making any modifications?

If you’ve been mulling over whether to change that carburettor, tune your engine or add a quickshifter, the best way to find out how it’ll affect your insurance is to ask your provider. Better to do it before you make the change (unless you like expensive surprises).

As a general rule, insurance providers view changes in any of these areas as increasing your risk:  

  • Value – if your alterations increase the value (and desirability) of your bike, it becomes more attractive to thieves.
  • Cost of repairs – if your alterations are extensive or complicated, then it could mean that repairs or parts are expensive or hard to come by. Your insurance provider may increase your premium in order to cover potential costs.
  • Performance increase – providers will interpret a more powerful bike as being harder to control and therefore more at risk of being involved in an accident.

Don’t let insurance costs get in the way of your dream bike, though – there are a huge number of factors, trends and statistics that go into working out insurance premiums, and some of them are impossible to predict. 

Honesty is the best policy

When it comes to buying your insurance, you should always be upfront with your insurance provider. Otherwise you run the risk of being underinsured, which means your insurance may not pay out when you need it the most. 

Honesty is the best policy

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