Now, insurance is not the most exciting of subjects. Yet, whilst we dream about our next bike, that helmet or those new tyres, every year we all shell out for insurance before we can even cock a leg over the bike. Maybe we should give it a little more thought. It never fails to amaze me how it costs less to insure my 160bhp superbike than my 90bhp family hatchback. I suppose it’s not quite so easy to mow down a bus stop or demolish someone’s house with a bike, though I’m sure someone on YouTube has tried!
If you’re clever, there are a few ways you can save on insurance. The obvious is don’t fall off and don’t get nicked! Would you want insure someone who rides like a serial killer on the way to an axe sale. No, neither would insurance companies. One speeding conviction could bump up your premium by around 10%. Two could cost 25%.
Unfortunately, motorbikes get stolen. You park up, nip off for a pasty and come back to an empty space. Good security makes life harder for thieving oiks and lowers insurance costs. Tagging, alarms, immobilisers and trackers will reduce your premium significantly, as will parking in a garage or locked building. Good quality physical locks will deter thieves particularly if the bike is secured to something immovable. Locks that are ‘Sold Secure Gold’ approved will earn you a discount and are a lot more convenient than a snake pit or massive Indiana Jones style rolling bolder!
Demonstrating that motorcycling is your passion, and your bike is your pride and joy, helps too. Members of a UK owners or riders club can receive discounts of up to 25%. Advanced riding courses also show you’re a better rider and may lower your insurance. As far as I’m aware the ‘130mph One–Legged Power Wheelies’ course doesn’t count!
You can opt to pay a higher voluntary excess on any claim you may make. Claiming affects your no-claims bonus, increasing future costs, so a low excess might not make sense anyway. Just make sure you can afford the excess if you do have to claim. Many of us simply use our bikes for pleasure during the warmer months. Standard policies have a fixed premium regardless of how often you ride but limited mileage policies are especially underwritten for bikers who ride less. You will be asked to sign a mileage declaration which is checked in the event of a claim, so be honest. Likewise, if you never take pillions tell your insurer asyou may get a discount.
Make sure you’re accurate about the value of your bike. If your bike is written off you will only ever receive its current market value as agreed with an assessor. Inflating the price will just push up your premium.
Modifications that improve performance can increase your premium. Make sure your insurer knows about all modifications as failure to declare something could invalidate your policy. Look for a specialist broker like Bikesure who offer modified bike schemes as customised bikes can sometimes be cheaper to insure. I don’t think coloured wheel rim tape or logoed tank pads count as modifications but they do count as appalling taste…
Finally, and this may seem obvious, but before you buy that fire-breathing crotch rocket for 60 monthly payments of an arm and a leg, make sure you can afford the insurance! Get a quote, don’t guess.
So there you have it. A few quick money saving tips on something we all have to pay each year if we want to enjoy the open road. Big thanks for my time aboard the R1 must go to Bikesure insurance who have ensured I am protected and legal on our autumnal roads. As part of Adrian Flux, Bikesure have been around for years, have masses of experience and hail from my fair county of Norfolk. Bikes are their business, so give them a try.