What is off-road bike insurance?
This is a type of insurance specifically for off-road bikes like motocross bikes, dirt bikes or scramblers. Without it, any damage you do to your bike, yourself or anyone else is your own responsibility.
That means if you total your bike, you won’t get any money back. Likewise, if you injure someone and they sue you, you’ll have to pay any legal bills and compensation yourself.
Is insurance a legal requirement for off-road bikes?
That depends. If your motorbike never sets wheels on a public road, then you don’t legally need to have it registered or insured. But without insurance you’re on your own in case of an accident.
If you ride it on the road (even for a short way to get to the dirt bike track) it must be road-legal, registered and have at least third-party insurance.
Around 6% of new motorbike registrations in the UK are trail/Enduro bikes - road-legal, but with off-road capabilities. If you have one of these, you’re likely to use it for getting around on public roads as well as dirt biking, in which case you’re legally required to have insurance.
What should I look for when choosing off-road insurance?
When buying off-road motorbike insurance, whether from a specialist or as an add-on to a standard policy, there are some features you should look out for. Consider if you need these or not:
- accidental damage cover – a key feature, covering your bike for damage it suffers off-road
- legal assistance cover – to pay for any legal expenses and compensation in case someone sues you for damages
- personal injury cover – this provides a pay-out if you’re seriously hurt in an accident
- in transit cover – if your bike gets to the track in a van or trailer, some policies will cover for damage along the way. Always check the wording of your policy, to see what you are, and aren’t, covered for
- breakdown cover – off-road bikes can take a beating, so this is helpful in case you break down and get stranded on the ride home
If you want to take part in trials and competitions, you’ll need to check this is covered too, as it can be excluded from mainstream policies – even those designed for off road.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use standard motorbike insurance for my off-road bike?
If you’re just looking for insurance that makes your bike legal on public roads, you can use standard motorbike insurance. But if you’re looking for any kind of protection for your bike on the track, standard insurance probably won’t do the job. It will usually only cover you for ordinary road use.
Do I need insurance for my quad bike?
If you ride a quad bike on public roads you’ll need a minimum of third-party insurance. Also, the bike must be registered with the DVLA, taxed and have a valid MOT certificate.
If your quad bike is only used for agricultural or horticultural use, you may be exempt from paying road tax. But it must be registered as a light agricultural vehicle and you’ll still need insurance if it’s ridden on public roads.
If you only use your quad bike off-road on private land, you won’t need insurance. However, it must be exclusively ridden on private property. It must not be taken onto byways, footpaths or bridleways without adequate insurance, as these count as public roads.
Quad bikes are typically excluded from standard motorbike or car insurance policies. You may need to look for specialist quad bike insurance if you want to ride it on public roads.
Where can I find motorbike insurance to cover me off-road?
If you want your off-road bike to be insured while it does what it’s made for, you need specialist off-road motorbike insurance. You can either use a specialist insurance provider, or contact a standard insurance provider to see if they can offer you a tailored policy.
What can I do to lower the cost of motorbike insurance?
- look for ‘limited mileage cover’ – off-road bikes don’t tend to rack up as many miles as their regular road-cruising cousins. Look around for insurance that takes your mileage into consideration
- invest in some security – storing your bike in a secure garage or drive and fitting an immobiliser, alarm or lock could knock a few pounds off your premium. They can also deter thieves, helping to protect your no-claims bonus
- upgrade your riding – being an experienced rider can mean more favourable premiums with some providers. While you can’t buy experience, you can pay for accredited training courses which could help lower your premium. Find out more about reducing motorbike insurance by taking training courses.
How do I find the right bike insurance for me?
At Compare the Market, we help you find motorbike insurance that’s right for you, at a price you can afford. Just tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll bring you back a range of great-value quotes to choose from. Check the policy details to see what off-road options are covered.
What do I need to get a quote?
We’ll need you to provide some basic information about you and your off-road bike, including:
- your personal details
- age, make and model of your bike
- where your bike is kept overnight
- your claims history
- the level of cover you want
- any optional extras you want to add
Once we have the information we need, we’ll show you a list of suitable quotes to compare.
From the Motor team
“In most cases, off-road biking is considered a higher risk, so it can often be difficult to find affordable insurance with the right level of cover. By comparing quotes through us, you’ll be able to browse the policy options and find a deal that suits you and your requirements, in a matter of minutes.
“Make sure you get the level of cover you need to protect you and your bike for off-road activities.”