A simples guide

What factors affect the cost of my motorbike insurance?

If you’re riding a motorbike on UK roads, there is no getting away from the need for insurance. What you might be able to do though, is influence the cost of that insurance. To do that, you need to know what influences the price that insurers charge for the cover.

To put it very simply, the premium that you’ll pay depends on how likely the insurer thinks you are to make a claim and, in the event that you do, how expensive it will be. There are a number of factors that affect the cost of your motorbike insurance, some that you can do something about and others that you can’t.

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How old you are

Well not a lot you can do about your age assuming you want to get on the road now! Your age does have a big bearing on the price. The insurer relies on a series of statistical models to calculate the likelihood of a claim. Some insurers believe that those aged 16-25 are the riskiest age group to cover.

Unfortunately, this means that if you’re a younger biker, you may have to be prepared to pay more to start with.

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Where you live

Well we guess that it’s probably not going to be worth your while to move house to save on your bike insurance! Your postcode though, will have a big bearing on your premium cost.

Living in built-up areas of towns and cities is likely to increase the cost of your premiums. More people mean more traffic. More traffic leads to more accidents.

In addition, if you live in an area with a higher crime rate, particularly where there are high instances of bike thefts, you’re likely to see this reflected in the price that you have to pay.

The bike you ride

You’ll probably guess correctly, that the more expensive or powerful the bike, the greater the risk of an expensive claim for the insurer. That could mean a higher premium.

The type of bike is likely to be looked at alongside other factors. So if you’re a young rider, on a supercharged machine, you might find you get hit with a double whammy.

On the other hand, an older rider, in a rural area might find that even a powerful machine works out relatively reasonably.

Whatever your age and whatever you’re riding, it usually makes sense not to modify your bike from an insurance perspective. Simply put, insurers don’t like modifications. They’re likely to make you pay for the privilege or possibly even decline to insure you altogether.

Your motor biking history

There are two factors that influence whether your riding record is good news or bad news for your insurance premiums.

Firstly, if you don’t make any claims on your policy, you will build up the holy grail of cheaper insurance, a no claims bonus.

No claims bonuses are a good way of reducing the cost of your biking insurance. While most insurers will accept up to five years’ worth of no claims bonus, if you have more than this, it might be worth shopping around to see if you can find an insurer who will take more into account.

The second factor is whether you have any endorsements on your licence. Picking up penalty points will have the opposite effect to no claims and as you rack up the points, you can expect your premium to go up too.

Building up no claims bonus and keeping your licence clean will go a long way in helping keep your premium down.

How you use your bike and how many miles you do

If you use your bike to travel to work, you can expect to pay more than if you just use it for domestic purposes. This makes sense when you think about it. If you’re on the roads at rush hour, the roads are busier and the chances of an accident are higher.

Similarly, if you can restrict the overall amount of time you’re on the road by restricting your mileage, you’ll be able to reduce your premium. Someone riding 20,000 miles a year is more likely to be involved in an accident than someone riding 2,000.

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Security

Yes, armed guards and a guard dog might help when you’re not riding the bike, but more practical measures could have an effect on your premiums too.

Keeping your bike in a locked garage or on a drive when you’re not out on the roads for example could help reduce your premiums. Conversely, if you have to leave your bike on a road, you’re likely to pay extra as the risk of theft or accidental damage is higher.

Other measures may help too. Anti-theft devices such as ground anchors, immobilisers or even a humble bike lock might all make a difference, but you might have to speak directly with your insurance provider for this to be reflected in your premium.

Your policy

Last but not least, there’s your insurance policy itself. Whether you take out a comprehensive policy versus a third party policy will have a bearing.

Don’t assume though that because comprehensive insurance provides greater cover it will automatically be more expensive. This often isn’t the case. If you’re thinking about getting a third party policy, check the price of comprehensive cover too, you might get a nice surprise.

One way you can influence the cost of your insurance is to vary the voluntary policy excess. In the event of a claim, this is the amount of money that you have to pay first before the insurer makes a contribution. Bear in mind that the voluntary excess is in addition to the compulsory excess already set by the insurance provider

If you set your voluntary excess at £500 instead of £100, you’ll find that you can reduce the cost of your insurance. Obviously, you need to be able to afford this voluntary excess as well as the compulsory in the unfortunate event that you need to make a claim.

There’s a lot to think about and it’s worth comparing policies before you settle on one to make sure you’re getting the right cover for you.

Insurance providers calculate their premiums differently and weight certain factors in different ways. It’s really easy to compare prices with us and we’ll give you the option to play with the voluntary excess amounts for example so you can see the effect that it has on your premium.

Remember though, while price is important, make sure you read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully. It’s really important to be sure that you’re getting the level of cover that you need.

Happy and safe biking.

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