If you’ve ever had to get insurance for driving a car, then understanding motorbike insurance should present no difficulties. But if not, then this rough guide ought to answer most questions.
First things first, yes, you do need insurance. If you’re caught riding a bike, either your own or someone else’s, without adequate insurance, then you can expect trouble. So before heading down to a dealership such as metropolismotorcycles.com, you need to make sure you’re covered, or you’ll be breaking the law the moment you ride off the forecourt.
Here’s the different types of cover available:
The least expensive policy you can buy, and the minimum required by UK law, third party insurance covers you for exactly that – any damage you accidentally cause to the person or property of a third party. So, if you have a prang with a car which is your fault, then you’re covered for any injuries the driver or their passengers suffer, and any damage you cause to their vehicle. If you get hurt, third party insurance won’t pay your medical bill, and it won’t cover the cost of getting your bike fixed. It’s inexpensive, but if you wreck your own bike, you’ll have to replace it out of your own pocket.
Third Party Fire and Theft
As above, with the following addition: this policy covers your bike if it is damaged by a fire, or if it is stolen, or damaged during an attempted theft. So, if someone tries hacking off your security chain, fails but makes a mess of your wheel in the process, then you can claim for that. But if your bike just falls off its stand, or you crash it, then your insurer won’t be paying out.
The most expensive insurance policy you can get, but if you can afford it then it’s worth it. This should cover you for most kinds of damage to your bike and your person, as well as third parties. That ought to include vandalism, medical bills, and most other kinds of problem you’re likely to encounter.
However – as with any kind of insurance policy you buy, there will always be exclusions, and you need to understand these thoroughly. For instance most policies will be instantly void if the damage is caused while you’re racing your bike illegally, not to mention you can expect a knock on the door from the boys in blue at some point too. And that will apply to any damage you cause to someone else – so to be on the safe side, never race. Additionally, you need to check with your insurer if you can carry passengers, or ride someone else’s bike, before you do so.
So – to summarise, there are usually three types of insurance policy you can get: third party; third party fire and theft; and fully comprehensive. Each affords a different level of cover, but you must always check exactly what’s included and what could cancel out any claim you make.
Premiums, Excess and No Claims
In most cases, insurance is paid monthly, but sometimes annually. Your premium (regular payment) will go up if you make a claim, especially if you get any points on your license. It’s always worth shopping around every time your policy is up for renewal.
Most insurers will require you to pay an excess towards any claim, a financial contribution. So for example if you claim for £3,000 worth of damages to your bike, you might have to pay the first £500 yourself. Sometimes you can also pay a voluntary excess charge too, which could work in your favour as it can reduce any impact on your future premiums.
One last thing to mention – you can sometimes, not always, transfer your no-claims discount from a car to a motorbike, especially if you’re using the same insurer. However you cannot transfer from bike to car. So if you’re a careful rider, you could end up saving a fair bit on your annual policy.