What factors affect the cost of my motorbike insurance?

Insurance providers make general assumptions about you based on factors like age, postcode and type of machine. Some of these factors are outside your control, but others can be changed to improve your chances of lower premiums.  

Insurance providers make general assumptions about you based on factors like age, postcode and type of machine. Some of these factors are outside your control, but others can be changed to improve your chances of lower premiums.  

Daniel Hutson
Head of Motor Insurance
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Posted 11 OCTOBER 2019

How is bike insurance calculated?

To put it very simply, the premium you’ll pay depends on your insurance provider’s opinion of how likely you are to make a claim, and if you do, how expensive it will be. Here are a few of the factors they take into account... 

Your age

Statistically, insurance providers know that young riders – those aged 17 to 25 – are more likely to be involved in an accident. So if you fall within that age group you can expect your premiums to be higher than the average rider.

Your occupation

Some professions are considered higher risk than others, so if yours falls into this category you may find that you are quoted a higher premium than other lower risk occupations.

Where you live

Vehicle insurance is a bit of a postcode lottery. If you live in a high crime area, particularly one with high bike thefts, you’re likely to see this reflected in your premiums. And in general, if you live in a busy town or city, you’re at greater risk of being involved in an accident than if you live in a quiet, rural area. 

Unsurprisingly, as of 2017 the most expensive place to insure your motorbike is in London, with Manchester, Liverpool and Bolton also coming high up the list.

Your riding record and no-claims eligibility

Each year you ride without a making a claim on your bike insurance gives you a year of no claims discount (NCD). This can reduce the cost of your insurance when you come to renew it.

Most insurance providers will accept up to five or six years’ worth of no claims to calculate a discount on your premium, meaning that the level of discount will tend to be capped at that point, no matter how many more years no claims discount you accrue.

Conversely, if you have any penalty points on your licence, you can expect to pay a higher premium. 

How you use your bike and how many miles you do

If you use your bike to commute to work, you may pay more than if you just use it for social, domestic and pleasure purposes (although this is not always the case). That’s because you’ll potentially be riding during rush hour – the busiest time on the roads – when an accident is more likely to occur.

When you take out an insurance policy, your provider will ask how many miles you drive on average – it’s one of the main factors used to calculate your insurance premium. If you can restrict the number of miles you do each year, you may be able to cut the costs.

Try to be as accurate as you can when you work this out. If you overestimate your mileage, you could end up paying more than you need to, but set it too low and your insurance provider could decide not to pay out if you make a claim.

The value of your bike

If you’re riding a more expensive bike, the cost of any claims for damage and repairs are likely to be higher, which means higher premiums. For classic bikes, spare parts may be scarce and expensive to obtain. This can inflate repair costs which will also be factored into your premium calculation.

The make and model of your bike

Generally speaking, a powerful superbike will cost more to insure than a street bike with a modest engine capacity and performance. But don’t assume more powerful automatically equals more expensive to insure. As well as the manufacturer, insurance providers take into account information about you and how you use your bike when working out your premium.

Find out about insurance for different motorbike models.

Any modifications you make to your bike

Typically, insurance providers take a dim view of customers making modifications to their bikes. Modified bikes tend to be more attractive to thieves, increasing the chances of your bike being stolen and you making a claim on your insurance. Similarly, any modifications that make your bike go faster could increase your chances of being involved in an accident, making you a higher risk to insure.

But if you have modified your bike, it’s important to let your insurance provider know, otherwise you could invalidate your policy and leave yourself unprotected in the event of an accident. You’re better off paying an increased premium than being underinsured if you have to make a claim.

Get more detail on how modifications can affect motorbike insurance.

Security of your bike

If your bike is less likely to be stolen, it stands to reason that it could reduce your insurance premium. Storing your bike in a locked garage or on a private driveway, rather than on the street, could save you money.

Security features like a bike lock, ground anchor and immobiliser can all make a difference too, but you might need to speak directly to your insurance provider to get this reflected in your premium.

Your level of cover

Don’t assume that third party insurance is the cheapest option just because it offers the most basic level of cover. Bike insurance prices are dependent on each person’s circumstances. When you compare bike insurance with us, you can review prices for the three main types of insurance: third party, third party fire and theft, and comprehensive.

Your voluntary excess 

All insurance policies have an excess, which is the amount of money you’ll have to pay towards repairs if you make a claim. There are usually two types: compulsory, which is set by the insurance provider, and voluntary which is chosen by you.

If you choose to pay a higher voluntary excess, it might reduce the price of your premium. But remember, in the event of a claim you’ll need to pay both the compulsory and the voluntary excess amounts at once, which could be quite expensive.

Make sure you get a good deal on motorbike insurance

Comparing motorbike insurance costs with us is easy. Just give us a few details about you and your bike, and we’ll give you an overview of the deals available. You’ll see the prices, policy features and other key information in a summary. When you find the deal that’s right for you, just follow the link to the provider’s website to buy. See if you could save: compare today.

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