Before you can take any motorbike onto public roads you must get proper insurance cover.
Insurance premiums can vary hugely; it will depend on a variety of factors.
1. Your age. The younger you are, the more it will cost. This is mostly because your lack of experience means that your hazard awareness is likely to be poor, therefore you are more likely to have an accident.
2. The size of your motorcycle. The more powerful it is the faster you are likely to go, and the less experience you have, the less likely you are to be able to control that power. This will become less of a factor as you gain experience, i.e. a young person (or a new rider) trying to insure a big motorcycle would have difficulty getting anyone to insure them, but someone with many years experience and a good claims record would find that size of motorcycle did not make a huge difference to the premium.
3. Age of motorcycle. This will not make a significant difference unless it is very old (20 years +) then you may qualify for Classic insurance.
4. Where you live. As far as the insurance company is concerned this affects a lot of things, i.e. the amount of traffic that you are likely to be mixing with when you go out e.g. London is a lot busier than Bury St Edmunds. Most motorcycles are stolen from your home and even if you do not have theft insurance the insurance company is usually still liable for any third party claims. So if you live in a busy area with a high occurrence of theft your insurance will cost more.
5. Security & Desirability. The less likely the motorcycle is to be stolen then the less it will cost to insure. So if it has an approved security system or approved lock or chain this will reduce the cost, keeping it in a locked garage will cost less than leaving it on the street, However be aware that if you claim discounts for these things then if they are not used then the insurance company will either not pay or charge an increased excess. Desirability, the more people that want a motorcycle like yours means it will cost more, this is largely because it is more likely to be stolen for parts.
6. Excess. If you make a claim on your insurance you will have to pay the first part of the cost, this is called the excess. When you take out the insurance they will tell you how much this is, it will vary and is likely to be between £50 & £300. You can reduce the premium by volunteering to increase the excess.
7. Your driving & claims history, if you do not have any accidents or make any other types of claim you will receive a no claim discount next year, this will build up over the years until you get a maximum no claims discount usually after 5 years, after that you can usually either guarantee or protect your no claims discount these are not the same and you need to carefully check what you are getting. No claim discounts can be moved from one insurance company to another, each year you will get a renewal notice that shows your no claim discount, you just show this to your new insurance company. If you get points on your licence for speeding, dangerous driving etc your premium will go up, if you are disqualified for a period you will find insurance is very expensive when you get your licence back.
8. Training. You can sometimes get discounts because of the training you have done, passing an advanced test will usually get you a discount. Our new DSA Enhanced Rider Scheme course certificate will give you a 10%-15% discount.
All of the above affect your premium, but it will also vary when the insurance companys are trying to balance their risks. You will usually find big differences in prices this is often because the ones quoting high prices are trying to dissuade you; they have got enough people like you. The ones offering lower prices are looking for people like you. However you do need to check that you are comparing like for like. Sometimes, insurance company's try to reduce premiums by reducing the cover.
Remember it is illegal to ride without insurance. Always be honest with insurance companies, If they discover that you have not told them something that they should have known, then you may find that your insurance is invalid, apart from the fact that they would not pay out, this could also leave you open to prosecution for driving without insurance. You should tell them if anything you originally told them, changes. You should also tell them if you make any modifications to the motorcycle, particularly if the modification is likely to alter its performance.
Third Party. This is the legal minimum & the cheapest. The 'third party' is any person you might injure or property you might damage. You will not be paid for anything else. You will still have to pay the excess.
Third Party Fire and Theft. This adds cover for your motorcycle being stolen or damaged by fire.
Comprehensive. This is the most expensive insurance. This is the one that pays for repairs to your motorcycle if it is damaged in an accident, it also means that if the accident was not your fault you do not need to wait for the other party's insurance to sort itself out, your insurance will pay anyway (you will have to pay the excess, you will get it back when the others party's insurance reimburse your insurance company). These policies often have extras such as breakdown cover included.
When you buy insurance you will be sent the certificate of insurance. This is a short and simple document which states:
· who is insured,
· the vehicle covered, usually by registration number,
· the type of insurance cover,
· the date cover starts and ends,
· the main exclusions and conditions.
Sometimes you will get a temporary certificate or 'cover note'. This is issued while you're waiting for your certificate and is proof of insurance.
Keep the certificate of insurance safe you will need it:
· if the police ask to see it,
· when you renew your vehicle excise licence.
You will also get the policy document. This contains the full details of the contract between you and the insurance company. It's usually written in legal language. Ask your broker or the insurance company to explain any details which you don't understand.
There are many places to buy motorcycle insurance but essentially you will go to an insurance company or an insurance Broker.
The difference is that an insurance company will only offer you their own policies, whereas a broker will compare premiums from a number of companies. You may find that one broker will offer you a policy from an insurance company; another broker may offer you the same policy at a different price. It is always worth ringing around a few places before you accept a quote.
Most motorcycle manufacturers have a tie into insurance and often offer big savings insuring their own motorcycles.
It is also always worth remembering that new motorcycles often come with free or heavily discounted insurance. This often means a big enough saving to make it worth considering a new motorcycle instead of a used one. This is particularly true of 16 year olds buying a scooter i.e. if you found a good used scooter for say £1200 but it cost £400 to insure. You would be much better off buying a New Scooter for £1600 with free insurance. The numbers may not work out quite as neat as this example but you can often end up with a new machine for very little more than a used one when the cost of motorcycle insurance is taken into account.