Want to potentially save hundreds of pounds by getting cheaper motorcycle insurance? Even just a few minutes of effort can not only save you money on your insurance, but it also means you’re less likely to get caught out. It’s important to know when you might not be covered – for instance, if you travel abroad, go on a track day, or with some insurance, if you leave your bike out of the garage even when you’re washing it.
Insurance companies make the most money from motorcyclists who don’t pay attention or do their research – so make sure that isn’t you.
Cheaper motorcycle insurance: Research:
Don’t wait until the last minute before grabbing whatever renewal quote came through your letterbox. Set a reminder or mark your renewal date on your calendar, and start researching at least a few weeks before your current policy expires:
- Insurance companies charge more when you need cover immediately. Save money by renewing a few weeks before it’s due and you’re save cash.
- Don’t just take your renewal quote. Most insurers will hope you’ll renew without getting other quotes or negotiating. Even just checking a couple of quotes online and phoning your existing company can save hundreds of pounds in a few minutes.
- Think realistically about what insurance excess you might be willing to have. A higher excess means a lower price on your policy, but also means you’ll pay out more if something happens. Is it worth saving a few quid with an excess that might cost you a few hundred?
- What policy cover do you really need? Fully comprehensive or Third Party Fire & Theft? Do you plan on going abroad? What sort of mileage do you actually do each year? Do you expect to be covered on track or off-road?
Once you’ve got an idea of what you want from your cover, you can start ringing around. But there’s still more you can do.
Cheaper motorcycle insurance: The rider
The main way motorcycle insurance often gets cheaper is just by getting older and building up a no claims discount. But if you don’t want to magically age 20 years overnight, then there are a few other things you can do:
- Consider your profession: You have to be honest on your insurance policy or risk problems in the event of a claim. But if you’ve been claiming to be a rock star or journalist when you’re actually working in a supermarket at the moment, your insurance policy is not the place for aspiration. For example, an insurance company will assume a journalist might be carrying celebrities as pillions or riding to risky locations – but if you work in an office on a computer all day, that’s not the case.
- Develop your skills: Advanced training and qualifications can help with lowering your insurance premiums. Check with insurers before you pay out, but the likes of RoSPA and the IAM are good places to start.
- Consider adding a rider: Adding an older, more experienced rider to your policy can actually bring your premium down.
- Get married: Things like getting married will lower your premium as insurance companies will think you’re getting older and more sensible. The risk here is that you might end up with a mortgage, kids and a people carrier instead of a bike, so pick your spouse carefully. It’s probably best to marry for reasons other than the saving on your insurance premium.
- Location, Location, Location: Some places are more expensive than others. As a rule of thumb, London and the South East are seen as a guaranteed theft risk, but if you live in the middle of nowhere in the countryside, you’re laughing.
- When and how you ride: Are you planning to commute by bike every day? That’ll add a lot to your premium if you’re parking in a motorcycle bay in Central London Monday-to-Friday. It’s a reason to think about having a different bike for commuting, but be aware new emission laws in London will apply to motorcycles, scooters and even mopeds built before July 1st, 2007 with a £12.50 daily charge.
- Don’t forget your kit: Do you want to make sure your custom-painted £500+ crash helmet is covered? Lids, leathers, gloves and boots can soon add up if you need to replace them.
Cheaper motorcycle insurance: Your bike
We’d all like to be on the coolest motorcycle around. But sometimes it makes sense to be a little more sensible, especially if you’re commuting rather than posing. Keep the MotoGP rep on a limited mileage insurance policy for the weekends…
- Consider smaller motorcycles, scooters and mopeds: Smaller engine, slower speed and cheaper insurance. It doesn’t have to mean it’s not fun though – there are plenty of ways to enjoy two wheels from 50-500cc. It’s liberating to be on something with a relatively small capacity that’s cheap to buy and crash. And you’ll be surprised how many people you can overtake on bigger, faster bikes because they’re worried about their paintwork.
- Older motorcycles – cheaper insurance: Go classic and you can save without being boring. There are plenty of motorcycles 25 years and over which can be reliable or entertaining with the right care and attention. And they’ll be cheaper to buy and insure.
- Avoid modifications: If you want to save money on your insurance, don’t add bling performance parts. The faster your bike can go, and the more special it looks, the more your insurance company will want to charge. And if you don’t declare your £1500 full exhaust system on your premium, then you definitely won’t get the cash if your bike is stolen – and your policy may well be judged invalid.
Respect your security:
- Garage, storage, driveway: Ideally you’ll have a secure garage away from prying eyes. But if not, consider investing in a dedicated motorcycle storage unit. Before you buy, check with insurance companies to make sure it’ll be treated as a garage equivalent. And if all else fails, parking in your back garden or on a driveway is better than leaving your bike on the road. The perfect excuse for parking in the conservatory or living room!
- Check for garage exclusions: Insurance companies can be arses at times. For instance, check your policy if you’re covered when your bike is at your home address but not in the garage – for instance, if it’s drying in the sun after a good clean. You might find some insurers will try and get out of payments in that case.
- Locks, chains and anchors: Physical security is always good. Generally to get a discount you need to have something which is Thatcham approved, although Sold Secure can also be applied – and you actually need to use it. But in addition to the security, the deterrent factor can also persuade thieves to go and pick on someone else.
- Alarms, immobilisers,trackers: The same deal – approved brands and security schemes can get you a discount, and can deter thieves in some cases. But don’t rely on just an alarm or immobiliser – most professional thieves will have your bike in a van and the electronics disconnected quicker than you’d imagine.
- Mark up your bike: Secure marking systems like Datatag can reduce your premiums as your parts will be less attractive for thieves to try and sell on.
Basically, you’re probably going to buy security devices for your bike anyway. So just check they’re going to help your premium before you pay for them. Don’t accept your first quote, don’t assume your covered without going through the small print first, and do what you can within the realms of honesty to improve your situation if possible.