A simples guide

Types of motorbike insurance

Nothing beats the freedom of riding a motorbike – feeling the wind whipping past you and the satisfaction of weaving through traffic as you leave cars cursing in your wake. But whilst life as a bike rider might be free from the usual rush hour constraints – you’re still bound by the rules of the road and you need to have insurance. But what to choose? Well, at comparethemarket.com we like to keep things straightforward, so here’s our guide to the types of bike insurance out there.

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Do I need motorbike insurance?

Yes – you do. Insuring your motorcycle is a legal requirement and if you don’t do it, you’re breaking the law (uh-oh). The only exception is if you’ve declared your bike off the road and have a SORN (statutory off road notification) to prove it.

If you’re caught without insurance when you should have it then you could be fined up to £300 and if you end up in court you could face an unlimited fine or even be disqualified from riding. The moral of the story is to make sure you have bike insurance.

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What types of motorcycle insurance are available?

There are three levels of insurance that you can choose from:

  • Third party – this is the absolute minimum that you can opt for. This compensates others for any injury or damage you’ve caused to them or their vehicles. It won’t cover the cost of any repairs your bike needs or treatment that you might require. Third party fire and theft – you get what’s included in third party only, plus you’re also covered for any damage to your bike caused by fire and… theft.
  • Comprehensive – this is the highest level of cover you can get, it will include all the features in third party fire and theft and will typically cover you for any accidental damage, personal injury treatment and may possibly also cover the cost of a replacement bike if yours is written off. One thing you will need to check is whether your insurance includes cover for any passengers (sometimes known as pillion insurance) so if you carry passengers on your bike, it’s worth reading the small print.

How do I choose the best bike insurance for me?

Choosing the right insurance can be tricky, which is why comparing the market really is the best way to find the deal that’ll suit you – you can compare key features and prices and weigh up the pros and cons at a glance. Insurance premiums are based on multiple factors such as:

  • Where you live – the more built up and populated an area is, the more likely an accident is to happen (your bike may also be more prone to being stolen in a big bad city).
  • Your age – the younger you are, the higher your premium will probably be, as ageist as it sounds, your youth and inexperience means you could be at greater risk of being in an accident and making a claim.
  • Your claims history – insurance is all about risk and how safe (or not) you’re considered, if you’ve had an accident and claimed in the past, chances are it could happen again and as a result, your premium could go up.
  • Your motorbike – if you’ve got something expensive and desirable that’ll appeal to thieves then obviously your premium is likely to be more expensive.
  • Modifications – if you pimped up your bike then whilst you might think it looks great, you’ve potentially made it harder and more costly to repair and more desirable to steal – which could mean a premium increase on two counts.
  • Security – if you store your bike somewhere safe at night like a locked garage that’s a tick for lowering your premiums, if you’ve invested in an approved security device or system for your motorbike, then that’s something else in your favour.
  • Use – what you use your bike for will also impact on your premium. If you’re using it for work then chances are you’ll be out and about more often than if it’s for leisure only; which means you’ve got more exposure to potential risks – and this could be reflected in the price you pay.

So if you live in a busy, packed, city centre and park your beloved bike on the street round the corner from your flat; third party only might not seem like the best choice when you wake up and realise your bike isn’t where you left it. Ultimately it’s your call, but whilst you might think third party only is the cheapest option – is it really, in the long run?

Getting the right deal…at the right price

Choices are great but too much can be daunting, that’s why we make it simples. You tell us what you want and give us all the little details like how old you are, where you live and what bike you have and we’ll do the searching for you. We’ll present you with a choice of providers who we think will be a good match, leaving you do make the final decision – we’re comparethemarket.com and it’s just what we do.