Motorbike Insurance

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What is motorbike insurance?

Let’s answer the basic questions first: what is motorbike insurance and how does motorcycle insurance work?

Motorbike insurance covers you for the cost of any riding-related damage or injury. For example, if you crash your bike into a car, motorcycle insurance will pay for the cost of the repairs to the car and any medical expenses required by the people in the car as a result of the crash.

Depending on the type of cover you have, repairs to your bike and your medical expenses may also be covered.

What types of motorbike insurance are there?

When you are looking at bike insurance and how it works, the first thing to do is understand the three types of cover you can get: comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party only bike insurance.


Comprehensive motorcycle insurance is the most expensive type of insurance, but, as its name suggests, it also gives you the most cover.

Comprehensive insurance covers you if you have accident or incident on your bike that is your fault. It covers:

  • Repairs to your bike
  • Repairs to any other vehicles involved
  • Any medical expense of any other people involved.

Comprehensive motorbike insurance also covers you:

  • If your bike is damaged in a fire
  • If your bike is stolen
  • If you were the innocent party in any incident or accident involving you and your bike (i.e. the accident or incident wasn’t your fault).

Some comprehensive insurance policies also give you third party cover when you ride someone else’s motorcycle with their permission. Others do not. If you think you might drive someone else’s motorbike at any point, you will need to check with your insurer whether your policy includes third party cover when you ride someone else’s bike.

Third party, fire and theft

Third party, fire and theft insurance gives you the following cover:

  • It will cover the cost of repairs to any other vehicles that were involved in any accident or incident involving you and your bike.
  • It will cover the costs of any medical expenses for any other people involved in any accident or incident involving you and your bike.
  • It will cover the cost of repair or replacement of your motorbike if it is damaged in a fire.
  • It will cover the cost of replacement of your motorbike if it is stolen.

There are two crucial differences between third party fire and theft insurance and comprehensive insurance. Third party fire and theft cover does not pay for any repairs to your motorbike if any accident or incident is your fault. It does not cover your medical expenses either. In other words, you will need to pay for any repairs to your bike or any medical expenses you need yourself.

Third party only

Third party only insurance is the minimum level of cover you can get. It is also the cheapest.

Third party only insurance covers the costs of damage and medical expenses of other vehicles and people in any accident or incident caused by you and your bike. You and your bike are not covered and you will have to pay for any expenses that you have. Your bike is not covered if it is in a fire or stolen either, so you will have to pay for repair and replacement in these situations too.

Circumstances when motorcycle insurance may not cover you

No matter what level of cover you choose, there are some things that your motorbike insurance will not cover you for. Policies differ, but as a general rule these include:

  • If you have deliberately put you and your bike in danger or have ridden dangerously
  • If any injuries you have are self-inflicted (i.e. you caused them yourself)
  • If any injuries occur while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • If any injuries occur while you are committing or trying to commit a crime.

Anything else I need to know?

Yes. Your insurance company will also want to know about how you use your motorbike. There are two options: social, domestic and pleasure use and social, domestic, pleasure and commuting use.

Social, domestic and pleasure use motorbike insurance covers you if you use your bike for leisure purposes. This includes journeys such as going shopping, visiting family and friends or simply going for a ride.

It does not cover you if you use your motorbike for travelling to and from work.

Social, domestic, pleasure and commuting motorbike insurance covers you for leisure purposes. It also covers you if you use your motorbike to get to and from work.

Different insurers define commuting in different ways. For example, some insurers will say you commute if you work part-time, others will not define this as commuting. It is always best to check your insurer’s definition of commuting to make sure you have got the right type of motorbike cover.

If you take passengers on your motorbike, you will need pillion cover. Some insurance policies will include pillion cover automatically. Others will have it as an optional extra. If you ever take passengers on your motorbike, this is something you will need to check.

Is it compulsory?

The one question many people have is whether bike insurance is compulsory. The answer is simple: if you intend to ride your motorbike, yes. The only time that bike insurance is not compulsory is if you intend to keep your bike off the road and do not intend to ride it. If this is the case, you will need to have a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

So if you have ever wondered why bike insurance is important, it is because it is the law. There are serious penalties if you do not have insurance. You may receive any of the following:

  • A maximum fine of £1,000
  • At least six points on your licence
  • An IN10 endorsement on your licence
  • Disqualification from riding
  • Your motorbike could be seized and destroyed by the police.

You are also likely to find it more difficult and more expensive to get motorbike insurance in the future

What happens if I forget to renew my insurance by mistake?

Your insurer will normally contact you around a month before your insurance expires. This is the point when you can decide to renew your policy with them or shop around for a better deal. Our advice is always to shop around to see if you can get a better deal on your insurance – the motorcycle insurance comparison tool on our website makes this easy.

Some bike insurance policies have an auto-renew clause. This means that, unless you tell them otherwise, your insurer will automatically renew your insurance when it expires. This gives you peace of mind that you will always be covered even if you forget to renew it.

What motorbike insurance policy should I get?

Many people want to know which insurance is best. The answer is it depends. The bike insurance that is best for you may be different from the insurance that is best for the next driver.

For many riders, the decision will be a simple one between comprehensive insurance, third party fire and theft insurance and third party only insurance. For other riders, a more specialist insurance will be best.

Modified bike insurance

Lots of riders make modifications to their bikes. These might include a new paint job or a different exhaust to the standard one. If you make any modifications to your motorbike, it is likely to make it more expensive to insure.

The important thing to remember is that if you make a modification to your motorbike, no matter how small that modification is, you need to tell your insurer. If you do not, you may be invalidating your insurance and might not be covered in the event of an accident or incident.

If you have got a modified motorbike, it is worth considering modified insurance from a specialist modified bike insurer.

Take the first step in finding great insurance for you by using the motorbike insurance comparison tool on our website.

Multi-bike insurance

If you have more than one bike, it can be cheaper to get one multi-bike insurance policy. This covers all your motorbikes in one policy rather than having separate policies for each of them.

Temporary motorbike insurance

Do you only ride your bike in the summer when the weather is fine? Do you put your motorbike in store in the winter? If you don’t ride all year round, there are several options open to you.

Short term bike insurance

Short term insurance cover means you only pay for cover for the months you ride, not for the months you don’t.

Laid up motorcycle insurance

Laid up insurance covers your bike for fire and theft all year round and provides comprehensive cover for the months you ride in.

Pay as you go cover

Pay as you go insurance covers you only for the days you ride.

One important thing to note with policies like these is that for the times when your bike is not insured you will need to have a SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) from the DVLA for your bike.

How much does it cost?

When you are looking at how much insurance costs, it can help to know how it is calculated. Read on to find out about the factors that affect your motorcycle insurance. Then, in the next section, get our top tips for making motorbike insurance cheaper. Factors that affect your motorbike insurance premium include:

  • Your age – the younger you are, the more expensive your motorbike insurance will be.
  • Where you live – city dwellers will pay more than rural dwellers.
  • Where you keep your bike – you’ll pay more if you keep your bike on the road than if you keep it in a garage.
  • How you use your motorbike – if you use your bike to commute, you’ll pay more.
  • How much mileage you do – the more miles you do, the more you’ll pay.
  • The type of motorbike you have – the more expensive the bike, the more expensive the motorbike insurance.

One other big factor in the cost of your insurance is the type of excess you have.

Compulsory excess is the amount of money you must pay towards any damage if you make a claim. If the incident or accident you are claiming for is not your fault, your insurer may waive the fee.

Voluntary excess is the amount you would be willing to pay if you were to make a claim. You do not have to have a voluntary excess on your policy, but it is worth bearing in mind that the higher the voluntary excess you agree to pay, the cheaper your motorbike insurance is likely to be.

How can I save money?

Everyone likes a bargain and how to make mbike insurance cheaper is a very common question. Here are our top tips for reducing the cost of your insurance and making your insurance cheaper.

Compare cover online

This is one of the best ways to get cheaper insurance.

Get the best security

Keeping your motorbike in a garage is the best option when it comes to getting cheap insurance. But if that isn’t an option, look at the locks and other security measures you could put in place.

The better the security, the cheaper the motorcycle insurance.

Take an approved advanced training course

Better trained riders are safer riders who are less likely to have to make a claim on their insurance.

Because of this, insurers reduce the cost of insurance accordingly. If you want cheaper insurance, it’s worth considering taking an approved advanced training course.

Make sure all your details are correct on your policy

If you never take passengers on your motorbike, make sure your insurer knows this. Similarly, if you never ride someone else’s bike, tell your insurer.

Little things like this can make a difference when it comes to cheaper insurance.

Increase the voluntary excess

The more voluntary excess you are willing to pay, the cheaper the bike insurance you are likely to be able to get.

How do I cancel, claim or renew my policy?

How do I claim on my policy?

If you are involved in an accident or incident involving your motorbike, you will probably want to make a claim on your insurance. Here are the important things to know when it comes to making a claim on your insurance.

If you would like to make a claim on your insurance because you have been involved in an incident or accident or because your motorbike has been damaged or stolen, you need to contact your insurer.

If the incident is covered by your policy and it was your fault, your insurance company will pay out.

If the incident was not your fault, your insurance company will make a claim from the person to blame’s insurance company.

If the incident was your fault, other people involved in the incident who were not to blame can make a claim on your insurance.

How do I cancel my policy?

Here are a few reasons why you may need to cancel your motorcycle insurance policy

  • You will be replacing it with a new bike insurance policy
  • You have sold your motorbike so no longer need a motorcycle insurance policy
  • You do not plan to ride your motorbike and have got a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

How do I renew my insurance?

Many motorbike insurers will automatically renew your insurance when it is due for renewal. This gives you peace of mind you are covered and are obeying the law – remember that insurance is compulsory.

On the other hand, with an automatic renewal, you won’t know whether you are getting the best deal on your insurance.

Your motorbike insurer will contact you when your insurance is due for renewal.

Compare motorbike insurance

You should now have all the necessary information you need to help you choose the right policy and level of cover. Use Utility Saving Expert’s online comparison tool to help you find cheap motorbike insurance.