A simples guide

What affects the cost of motorbike insurance?

There are a number of factors that affect the price of your motorbike insurance premium: some you can do something about and others that you can’t. Here’s what they are …

How is bike insurance calculated?

To put it very simply, the premium that you’ll pay depends on how likely the insurance provider thinks you are to make a claim and, in the event that you do, how expensive that claim will be. They take into account the following factors to work out how risky you are to insure.

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Your age

While there’s nothing you can do about how old you are, it does have a big effect on the cost of your bike insurance. Statistically, insurance providers know that young riders – those aged 17 to 25 years old – are more likely to be involved in an accident. Reflecting that greater risk, if you fall within that age group you can expect your premiums to be higher than the average rider.

Where you live

Your postcode can have a bearing on your insurance. If you live in a high crime area, particularly one with high instances of bike thefts, you’re likely to see this reflected in the price you have to pay. In addition, 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, so your premiums may be higher. 

Your riding record

Each year that you ride without a making a claim on your bike insurance gives you a year of no claims discount (NCD), which can reduce the cost of your insurance when you come to renew it. The more years you ride without making a claim, the greater the discount on your premium could be.

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 can expect to pay more than if you just use it for social, domestic and pleasure purposes. 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.

Similarly, if you can restrict the number of miles you do and, therefore, the overall amount of time you’re on the road, you may be able to cut the cost of your insurance. 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. 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, but set it too low and your insurance provider could decide not to pay out if you make a claim.

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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. This means your premiums are likely to be higher too. For classic bikes, spare parts may be at a premium and expensive to obtain. This can lead to higher repair costs and again this could be factored into your premium calculation.

The make and model of your bike

Generally speaking, powerful superbikes will cost more to insure than street bikes with a modest engine capacity and performance. But, don’t just assume more powerful equals a higher cost. As well as the manufacturer, insurance providers take into account information about you and how you use your bike when working out your premium. It’s always worth comparing quotes with us before you buy a bike, if lowering your insurance premium is important to you.

Any modifications you make to your bike

Typically, insurance providers take a dim view of modifications you make to your bike. 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, don’t be tempted not to inform your insurance provider if you’ve modified your bike, as you could invalidate your policy. While insurance for modified bikes tend to be higher, you’re better off paying an increased premium than being underinsured should you have to make a claim.

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

Storing your motorbike and the affect on your insurance

Your insurance policy

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 individual’s circumstances. Compare bike insurance with us and you can look at 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 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. Be aware, though, that this could cost you more should you make a claim, as you’ll have to pay this higher voluntary excess as well as the compulsory excess set by the provider.

Make sure you get a good deal on motorbike insurance

Our comparison service is the most effective way to ensure you’re getting a good deal on your bike insurance. Just give us a few details about you and your bike, and we’ll give you an overview of the deals available. Remember, though, while price is important, always check the policy terms and conditions to make sure that you’re getting the level of cover that’s right for you.

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