5 ways to save money on your motorcycle insurance
The cost of your motorcycle insurance is determined by how likely you are to make a claim and how expensive that claim will be. Here we look at some of the factors that will influence your premium and how you could reduce it.
Choose the right level of cover
Third party fire and theft, fully comprehensive, or third party only (TPO) – the level of cover you opt for is arguably the biggest consideration for your motorbike insurance. It could also have the biggest impact on your costs.
Generally speaking, the cheapest option is usually TPO which is the minimum cover required by law. Third party Fire and theft is more costly and fully comprehensive is the most expensive.
Third Party Only
Third party only is the legal cover required to ride on the road. There is no cover for the policy holder or their vehicle, only for the other person involved in the incident.
In the event of fault incident the Third Party can claim from the insurer’s policy for any losses incurred in the i.e injuries, damage to vehicle/property and loss of earnings.
As the policy holder cannot claim from their own policy there is no excess on this level of cover.
Third Party Fire and Theft
Third Party Fire and Theft includes the third party only cover as well as cover for the policyholder’s motorcycle in the event of a theft or if the vehicle catches fire.
As the policyholder can claim from their policy for fire or theft of their motorcycle there is an excess payable in the event of a claim.
Comprehensive Cover includes all the elements of Third Party Fire and Theft as well as Accidental Damage and Malicious Damage.
As the policyholder can claim from their policy for fire, theft or accidental damage of their motorcycle there is an excess payable in the event of a claim.
If your bike is your pride and joy (as it is for many), you may want the peace of mind that fully comprehensive cover brings. It needn’t mean breaking the bank, there is still plenty you can do to lower your insurance costs.
Balance your excess
In most cases, selecting a higher excess will reduce the cost of your premium. Most insurers allow some flexibility over the level of excess on your insurance. That said, you should be realistic and remember that you will have to pay out in the event of a claim. Likewise, it may not be worthwhile upping your excess by £200 just to save a pound or two a month. Talk to your insurer to find your ideal excess level.
Some insurance providers even offer an excess protection policy. You can claim back your excess on a single insurance claim during the year of your policy.
Store your motorcycle somewhere safe
One of the best ways to lower your insurance premium is improving your vehicle security. Where you park your bike when at home, can greatly affect your premium.
Often insurers will give a discount for bikes with security tagging, alarms and immobilisers. Your scooter/motorcycle may come with this, as standard. If not, it’s worth considering additional security, opt for an alarm that is approved by Sold Secure or Thatcham and have it fitted professionally.
Store your bike in a locked garage overnight if possible. It puts your bike out of the sights of potential thieves, as well as protecting it from the elements. However, if you do not have a garage, there are a whole range of bike security options that look favourable to insurers. These include parking it on your property rather than on the street, locking with an armoured chain & ground anchor, and covering your bike well — as this prevents drawing thieves’ attention.
Essentially, your insurer is looking for your bike to be as safe as possible from theft and damage. The lower the risk, the less likely you are to claim for intentional damages to your bike or bike theft, and so the lower your premium will be.
Calculate your mileage
Does your insurance accurately cover your annual mileage? Have you moved, changed jobs, or do you now work from home some days? Perhaps you don’t use your motorcycle for your commute at all?
In order to calculate your miles travelled as accurately as you can, you should consider all uses of your bike - work, pleasure, running errands and travelling.
If you commute, you should roughly know the distance door to door. Times that by two, then by five, or however many days of the week you work, finally multiply by 47 weeks of the year, rather than 52 to factor in some annual leave.
Then think about how you use your bike outside of travelling to work. How often do you use your motorcycle to pop to the shops? How far do you go on your weekend rides, and realistically, how often do you get to go on adventure rides or biking holidays throughout the year?
Add these all together, err on the side of caution and round up to the nearest thousand. The result? Some insurers may offer a lower premium for riders with a low yearly mileage.
Be the best possible rider
You are more likely to get a cheaper quote If you have no previous claims, commonly known as a ‘no claims discount’ (NCD). This builds up year on year if no claims are made. It’s just one way of evidencing to your insurer that you are a good rider.
But for new riders this saving is but a pipedream, so how can you show your insurer that you are a safe rider?
You'll keep your premium lower if you're a good rider. Don't speed, and don't get motoring convictions. Beyond this, you could invest in an advanced training course. Some companies will offer reduced premiums if you have completed an approved course. Government-backed schemes are the most likely to be recognised by your insurer — but do give them a call to check this.
In theory, by completing advanced training your insurer recognises you as a more experienced, safer and better rider. These courses can be expensive. While you may not earn back the cost through savings on your insurance, the benefits of being a more vigilant rider are priceless.
More ways to save
Here are a few more tips for cutting costs on your motorcycle insurance:
Firstly, consider the make and model of your ride. Your bike’s appeal to thieves is seen as a risk factor to insurers. Keep this in mind before purchasing a straight-from-the-production-line, powerful machine. If you simply can’t resist, then get an insurance quote on the model before completing the purchase.
Next, be mindful of modifications. This could mean any change made to your bike from the standard specification. Upping the value of your bike and it’s desirability to thieves could mean higher insurance costs.
Finally, find out whether it is cheaper to pay annually. More often than not insurers will add interest to your premium if you pay monthly. This figure can be as much as 10% of your annual quote. So if you can, opt to pay yearly rather than monthly.